Help with an old ailing Sun Archive QIC-150 tape drive - SUN

This is a discussion on Help with an old ailing Sun Archive QIC-150 tape drive - SUN ; Hi all, I recently had a need to break out my Sun Archive QIC-150 tape drive (Sun P/N 370-1218-04) to read some old archives, and had the misfortune of discovering that the pinch roller has turned to a sticky black ...

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Thread: Help with an old ailing Sun Archive QIC-150 tape drive

  1. Help with an old ailing Sun Archive QIC-150 tape drive

    Hi all,

    I recently had a need to break out my Sun Archive QIC-150 tape drive
    (Sun P/N 370-1218-04) to read some old archives, and had the misfortune
    of discovering that the pinch roller has turned to a sticky black goo!
    Anyone else ever had this problem? Ive been reading up on this
    phenomenon and apparently its not so uncommon on older equipment. Is
    there anyone out there who still has a working one or these? If so and
    you own a pair over vernier calipers and know how to use them, could you
    be so kind and measure the outside diameter of the rubber pinch roller?
    I found a guy on line who rebuilds these rollers with a superior rubber
    compound and would like to send him the original OD specs.
    Thanks in advance!!
    Kurt

    p.s.: to reply directly please remove the fruit from my reply email address.

  2. Re: Help with an old ailing Sun Archive QIC-150 tape drive

    According to Kurt Nowak :
    > Hi all,
    >
    > I recently had a need to break out my Sun Archive QIC-150 tape drive
    > (Sun P/N 370-1218-04) to read some old archives, and had the misfortune
    > of discovering that the pinch roller has turned to a sticky black goo!
    > Anyone else ever had this problem? Ive been reading up on this
    > phenomenon and apparently its not so uncommon on older equipment. Is
    > there anyone out there who still has a working one or these? If so and
    > you own a pair over vernier calipers and know how to use them, could you
    > be so kind and measure the outside diameter of the rubber pinch roller?
    > I found a guy on line who rebuilds these rollers with a superior rubber
    > compound and would like to send him the original OD specs.
    > Thanks in advance!!
    > Kurt


    O.K. You don't mention the preferred units, so I'll give both
    sets likely to be useful:

    0.046"
    12.35mm

    Of course, a truly precision measurement is difficult with it
    mounted in the drive, as it is difficult to get the calipers in without
    having an angle -- and the rubber roller compresses slightly too. But
    these figures should be close enough. If real precision were needed, I
    would have to disassemble it and to use a micrometer with good feel in
    the measurement. But -- there is a button-head Allen screw on the back
    of the swinging base to allow adjustment for proper pressure against the
    roller in the cartridge, so I think that what I have given you should be
    sufficient.

    FWIW There is one of these drives on eBay -- auction #160167282627,
    but it is opening at $99.99 (with 5 days 1 hour left) so it
    all depends on how much the rebuild of the roller may cost.

    > p.s.: to reply directly please remove the fruit from my reply email address.


    I prefer to reply in the newsgroup where the question was asked,
    so others can comment if I have made a mistake.

    Good Luck,
    DoN.

    --
    Email: | Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564
    (too) near Washington D.C. | http://www.d-and-d.com/dnichols/DoN.html
    --- Black Holes are where God is dividing by zero ---

  3. Re: Help with an old ailing Sun Archive QIC-150 tape drive

    Thanks for your time Don! BTW, you are off by a factor of 10 Im sure
    you meant .460". Someone else sent me another measurement, albeit much
    more crude yours at .5". He used an adjustable wrench and then measured
    its gap with a scale. Creative, but gives me a good ballpark. I'm a
    mechanical engineer, so I can get a bit anal about measurement. Although
    I think .500 +/- .040 should be acceptable In case anyone is
    wondering, the guy I'm going to send this too is at:
    http://www.terrysrubberrollers.com/
    Apparently he wants $35 to apply the rubber roller to my existing
    pulley/roller. So far I haven't found a used one anywhere this cheap.
    Plus, all the ones out there are going to be pretty old too, and
    probably will suffer from the same symptom eventually. I think Id rather
    have a custom one made that will last for some years.

    Kurt


    DoN. Nichols wrote:
    > According to Kurt Nowak :
    >> Hi all,
    >>
    >> I recently had a need to break out my Sun Archive QIC-150 tape drive
    >> (Sun P/N 370-1218-04) to read some old archives, and had the misfortune
    >> of discovering that the pinch roller has turned to a sticky black goo!
    >> Anyone else ever had this problem? Ive been reading up on this
    >> phenomenon and apparently its not so uncommon on older equipment. Is
    >> there anyone out there who still has a working one or these? If so and
    >> you own a pair over vernier calipers and know how to use them, could you
    >> be so kind and measure the outside diameter of the rubber pinch roller?
    >> I found a guy on line who rebuilds these rollers with a superior rubber
    >> compound and would like to send him the original OD specs.
    >> Thanks in advance!!
    >> Kurt

    >
    > O.K. You don't mention the preferred units, so I'll give both
    > sets likely to be useful:
    >
    > 0.046"
    > 12.35mm
    >
    > Of course, a truly precision measurement is difficult with it
    > mounted in the drive, as it is difficult to get the calipers in without
    > having an angle -- and the rubber roller compresses slightly too. But
    > these figures should be close enough. If real precision were needed, I
    > would have to disassemble it and to use a micrometer with good feel in
    > the measurement. But -- there is a button-head Allen screw on the back
    > of the swinging base to allow adjustment for proper pressure against the
    > roller in the cartridge, so I think that what I have given you should be
    > sufficient.
    >
    > FWIW There is one of these drives on eBay -- auction #160167282627,
    > but it is opening at $99.99 (with 5 days 1 hour left) so it
    > all depends on how much the rebuild of the roller may cost.
    >
    >> p.s.: to reply directly please remove the fruit from my reply email address.

    >
    > I prefer to reply in the newsgroup where the question was asked,
    > so others can comment if I have made a mistake.
    >
    > Good Luck,
    > DoN.
    >





  4. Re: Help with an old ailing Sun Archive QIC-150 tape drive

    According to Kurt Nowak :
    > Thanks for your time Don! BTW, you are off by a factor of 10 Im sure
    > you meant .460".


    Yes! Did I actually do that? IIRC, it was actually 0.486" not
    0.460" -- but close enough, given that adjustment screw. I apparently
    both added a leading zero, and dropped a digit later. :-) It is a good
    thing that I also typed in the metric measurements, so I can recover the
    original measurement.

    > Someone else sent me another measurement, albeit much
    > more crude yours at .5". He used an adjustable wrench and then measured
    > its gap with a scale. Creative, but gives me a good ballpark.


    Agreed.

    > I'm a
    > mechanical engineer, so I can get a bit anal about measurement.


    I understand that. These days, I am a hobby machinist, so I can
    be similar. FWIW, what I used was a digital caliper, and took advantage
    of the mode switch to get the alternate reading -- with the head locked
    before the switch.

    > Although
    > I think .500 +/- .040 should be acceptable In case anyone is
    > wondering, the guy I'm going to send this too is at:
    > http://www.terrysrubberrollers.com/


    That may prove useful someday. (I actually could have used him
    with my first digital cassette recorder which I interfaced to my Altair
    680b all those years ago. Both pinch rollers went gummy about the same
    time -- and the only replacement from Ampex was gummy in its sealed
    baggie. :-(

    > Apparently he wants $35 to apply the rubber roller to my existing
    > pulley/roller.


    Not bad.

    > So far I haven't found a used one anywhere this cheap.


    You could at a hamfest -- but this is the wrong time of the year
    for a hamfest. :-) (The next one which I know of is the Vienna
    Winterfest in February -- after that, it is a wait until we get to hot
    weather again.)

    > Plus, all the ones out there are going to be pretty old too, and
    > probably will suffer from the same symptom eventually. I think Id rather
    > have a custom one made that will last for some years.


    I have three or four of them -- all still with good rubber in
    the pinch rollers.

    Please let us know how the rebuild works out.

    Best of luck,
    DoN.
    --
    Email: | Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564
    (too) near Washington D.C. | http://www.d-and-d.com/dnichols/DoN.html
    --- Black Holes are where God is dividing by zero ---

  5. Re: Help with an old ailing Sun Archive QIC-150 tape drive

    On 2007-10-12, Kurt Nowak wrote:
    > Thanks for your time Don! BTW, you are off by a factor of 10 Im sure
    > you meant .460". Someone else sent me another measurement, albeit much
    > more crude yours at .5". He used an adjustable wrench and then measured
    > its gap with a scale. Creative, but gives me a good ballpark. I'm a
    > mechanical engineer, so I can get a bit anal about measurement. Although
    > I think .500 +/- .040 should be acceptable In case anyone is
    > wondering, the guy I'm going to send this too is at:
    > http://www.terrysrubberrollers.com/
    > Apparently he wants $35 to apply the rubber roller to my existing
    > pulley/roller. So far I haven't found a used one anywhere this cheap.


    Somewhat irritatingly, I gave a DC6150 drive away for nothing about a month ago.
    You might want to post on the Bedford (UK) Freecycle group on the offchance that
    the guy who has it doesn't want it (I "bundled" it up with a 4mm DAT that he did
    want).

    --
    "Religion poisons everything."
    [email me at huge {at} huge (dot) org uk]

  6. Re: Help with an old ailing Sun Archive QIC-150 tape drive

    Thanks again Don! Funny thing. Today I realized that my Dads old Apollo
    machines also used the Archive drives - however a 60MB version. I opened
    one up, gently touched whereupon it smushed like a warm piece of gum. I
    opened up the other one and luckily it was hard and intact! I measured
    the roller at .487! - .001 off from your latest posting! I think I am
    now satified. Anyway, I made some pictures of my situation for the guy
    who will be making the new roller and posted them here:
    http://www.sunzoo.org/Sun_QIC-150_Pi...nch-Roller.htm
    Thanks for all your help!
    Kurt


    DoN. Nichols wrote:
    > According to Kurt Nowak :
    >> Thanks for your time Don! BTW, you are off by a factor of 10 Im sure
    >> you meant .460".

    >
    > Yes! Did I actually do that? IIRC, it was actually 0.486" not
    > 0.460" -- but close enough, given that adjustment screw. I apparently
    > both added a leading zero, and dropped a digit later. :-) It is a good
    > thing that I also typed in the metric measurements, so I can recover the
    > original measurement.
    >
    >> Someone else sent me another measurement, albeit much
    >> more crude yours at .5". He used an adjustable wrench and then measured
    >> its gap with a scale. Creative, but gives me a good ballpark.

    >
    > Agreed.
    >
    >> I'm a
    >> mechanical engineer, so I can get a bit anal about measurement.

    >
    > I understand that. These days, I am a hobby machinist, so I can
    > be similar. FWIW, what I used was a digital caliper, and took advantage
    > of the mode switch to get the alternate reading -- with the head locked
    > before the switch.
    >
    >> Although
    >> I think .500 +/- .040 should be acceptable In case anyone is
    >> wondering, the guy I'm going to send this too is at:
    >> http://www.terrysrubberrollers.com/

    >
    > That may prove useful someday. (I actually could have used him
    > with my first digital cassette recorder which I interfaced to my Altair
    > 680b all those years ago. Both pinch rollers went gummy about the same
    > time -- and the only replacement from Ampex was gummy in its sealed
    > baggie. :-(
    >
    >> Apparently he wants $35 to apply the rubber roller to my existing
    >> pulley/roller.

    >
    > Not bad.
    >
    >> So far I haven't found a used one anywhere this cheap.

    >
    > You could at a hamfest -- but this is the wrong time of the year
    > for a hamfest. :-) (The next one which I know of is the Vienna
    > Winterfest in February -- after that, it is a wait until we get to hot
    > weather again.)
    >
    >> Plus, all the ones out there are going to be pretty old too, and
    >> probably will suffer from the same symptom eventually. I think Id rather
    >> have a custom one made that will last for some years.

    >
    > I have three or four of them -- all still with good rubber in
    > the pinch rollers.
    >
    > Please let us know how the rebuild works out.
    >
    > Best of luck,
    > DoN.


  7. Re: Help with an old ailing Sun Archive QIC-150 tape drive

    Amazing what these Archive drives go for on Ebay! I think that they are
    starting to become somewhat of a rarity these days. Just a few years
    back I would see tons of them at the electronics swap meets.

    Huge wrote:
    > On 2007-10-12, Kurt Nowak wrote:
    >> Thanks for your time Don! BTW, you are off by a factor of 10 Im sure
    >> you meant .460". Someone else sent me another measurement, albeit much
    >> more crude yours at .5". He used an adjustable wrench and then measured
    >> its gap with a scale. Creative, but gives me a good ballpark. I'm a
    >> mechanical engineer, so I can get a bit anal about measurement. Although
    >> I think .500 +/- .040 should be acceptable In case anyone is
    >> wondering, the guy I'm going to send this too is at:
    >> http://www.terrysrubberrollers.com/
    >> Apparently he wants $35 to apply the rubber roller to my existing
    >> pulley/roller. So far I haven't found a used one anywhere this cheap.

    >
    > Somewhat irritatingly, I gave a DC6150 drive away for nothing about a month ago.
    > You might want to post on the Bedford (UK) Freecycle group on the offchance that
    > the guy who has it doesn't want it (I "bundled" it up with a 4mm DAT that he did
    > want).
    >


  8. Re: Help with an old ailing Sun Archive QIC-150 tape drive

    According to Kurt Nowak :
    > Thanks again Don! Funny thing. Today I realized that my Dads old Apollo
    > machines also used the Archive drives - however a 60MB version.


    Yep -- that would match with the early Sun-3 machines, IIRC.

    > I opened
    > one up, gently touched whereupon it smushed like a warm piece of gum. I
    > opened up the other one and luckily it was hard and intact!


    Great!

    > I measured
    > the roller at .487! - .001 off from your latest posting!


    That sounds close enough for a rubber pinch roller with a screw
    for adjusting the pressure.

    > I think I am
    > now satified. Anyway, I made some pictures of my situation for the guy
    > who will be making the new roller and posted them here:
    > http://www.sunzoo.org/Sun_QIC-150_Pi...nch-Roller.htm


    Great!

    I presume that you will have new rollers made for at least two,
    and perhaps all three, machines.

    I wonder what exposure starts the transition to gum? Perhaps an
    alcohol used to clean the rollers at sometime in the past?

    > Thanks for all your help!


    You're welcome.

    Best of luck,
    DoN.
    --
    Email: | Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564
    (too) near Washington D.C. | http://www.d-and-d.com/dnichols/DoN.html
    --- Black Holes are where God is dividing by zero ---

  9. Re: Help with an old ailing Sun Archive QIC-150 tape drive

    DoN. Nichols wrote:
    > According to Kurt Nowak :
    >> Thanks for your time Don! BTW, you are off by a factor of 10 Im sure
    >> you meant .460".

    >
    > Yes! Did I actually do that? IIRC, it was actually 0.486" not
    > 0.460" -- but close enough, given that adjustment screw. I apparently
    > both added a leading zero, and dropped a digit later. :-) It is a good
    > thing that I also typed in the metric measurements, so I can recover the
    > original measurement.
    >
    >> Someone else sent me another measurement, albeit much
    >> more crude yours at .5". He used an adjustable wrench and then measured
    >> its gap with a scale. Creative, but gives me a good ballpark.

    >
    > Agreed.
    >
    >> I'm a
    >> mechanical engineer, so I can get a bit anal about measurement.

    >
    > I understand that. These days, I am a hobby machinist, so I can
    > be similar. FWIW, what I used was a digital caliper, and took advantage
    > of the mode switch to get the alternate reading -- with the head locked
    > before the switch.
    >
    >> Although
    >> I think .500 +/- .040 should be acceptable In case anyone is
    >> wondering, the guy I'm going to send this too is at:
    >> http://www.terrysrubberrollers.com/

    >
    > That may prove useful someday. (I actually could have used him
    > with my first digital cassette recorder which I interfaced to my Altair
    > 680b all those years ago. Both pinch rollers went gummy about the same
    > time -- and the only replacement from Ampex was gummy in its sealed
    > baggie. :-(
    >
    >> Apparently he wants $35 to apply the rubber roller to my existing
    >> pulley/roller.

    >
    > Not bad.
    >
    >> So far I haven't found a used one anywhere this cheap.

    >
    > You could at a hamfest -- but this is the wrong time of the year
    > for a hamfest. :-) (The next one which I know of is the Vienna
    > Winterfest in February -- after that, it is a wait until we get to hot
    > weather again.)
    >
    >> Plus, all the ones out there are going to be pretty old too, and
    >> probably will suffer from the same symptom eventually. I think Id rather
    >> have a custom one made that will last for some years.

    >
    > I have three or four of them -- all still with good rubber in
    > the pinch rollers.
    >
    > Please let us know how the rebuild works out.
    >
    > Best of luck,
    > DoN.


    I got the roller back today. He did a very nice job! My QIC-150 drive
    works as good as new! I highly recommend paying the $40 for the peace of
    mind that this drive will last for many more years and wont gobble up a
    vintage SunOS tape.
    /Kurt

  10. Re: Help with an old ailing Sun Archive QIC-150 tape drive

    According to Kurt Nowak :

    [ ... ]


    [ ... ]

    > > Please let us know how the rebuild works out.


    [ ... ]

    > I got the roller back today. He did a very nice job! My QIC-150 drive
    > works as good as new! I highly recommend paying the $40 for the peace of
    > mind that this drive will last for many more years and wont gobble up a
    > vintage SunOS tape.


    Great!

    BTW Do you know about the tprobe program? It is open source, and
    it will make an image of an entire Sun install tape, and then
    build new install tapes from that image. A good thing to make
    images of all the install tapes you have, and keep them plus
    the source and object code on a CD-ROM against future need.

    after all -- even if the pinch roller is good, that does not
    mean that the tape will remain readable. I've got quite a few
    old install tapes which I can't fully read.

    Good Luck,
    DoN.
    --
    Email: | Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564
    (too) near Washington D.C. | http://www.d-and-d.com/dnichols/DoN.html
    --- Black Holes are where God is dividing by zero ---

  11. Re: Help with an old ailing Sun Archive QIC-150 tape drive

    DoN. Nichols wrote:
    > According to Kurt Nowak :
    >
    > [ ... ]
    >
    >
    > [ ... ]
    >
    >>> Please let us know how the rebuild works out.

    >
    > [ ... ]
    >
    >> I got the roller back today. He did a very nice job! My QIC-150 drive
    >> works as good as new! I highly recommend paying the $40 for the peace of
    >> mind that this drive will last for many more years and wont gobble up a
    >> vintage SunOS tape.

    >
    > Great!
    >
    > BTW Do you know about the tprobe program? It is open source, and
    > it will make an image of an entire Sun install tape, and then
    > build new install tapes from that image. A good thing to make
    > images of all the install tapes you have, and keep them plus
    > the source and object code on a CD-ROM against future need.
    >
    > after all -- even if the pinch roller is good, that does not
    > mean that the tape will remain readable. I've got quite a few
    > old install tapes which I can't fully read.
    >
    > Good Luck,
    > DoN.

    Great point Don! Thanks for the info. I will make that a project this
    weekend! I have some vintage Apollo tapes that I want to preserve as well.

  12. Re: Help with an old ailing Sun Archive QIC-150 tape drive

    DoN. Nichols wrote:
    > According to Kurt Nowak :
    >
    > [ ... ]
    >
    >
    > [ ... ]
    >
    >>> Please let us know how the rebuild works out.

    >
    > [ ... ]
    >
    >> I got the roller back today. He did a very nice job! My QIC-150 drive
    >> works as good as new! I highly recommend paying the $40 for the peace of
    >> mind that this drive will last for many more years and wont gobble up a
    >> vintage SunOS tape.

    >
    > Great!
    >
    > BTW Do you know about the tprobe program? It is open source, and
    > it will make an image of an entire Sun install tape, and then
    > build new install tapes from that image. A good thing to make
    > images of all the install tapes you have, and keep them plus
    > the source and object code on a CD-ROM against future need.
    >
    > after all -- even if the pinch roller is good, that does not
    > mean that the tape will remain readable. I've got quite a few
    > old install tapes which I can't fully read.
    >
    > Good Luck,
    > DoN.


    Don,
    I downloaded/compiled tprobe, but the man page doesnt say anything about
    how to make an image of a tape. It only explains how to copy from tape
    to tape. I would actually like to make images of my old install tapes.
    Any hints?
    Kurt

  13. Re: Help with an old ailing Sun Archive QIC-150 tape drive

    According to Kurt Nowak :
    > DoN. Nichols wrote:


    [ ... ]

    > > BTW Do you know about the tprobe program? It is open source, and
    > > it will make an image of an entire Sun install tape, and then
    > > build new install tapes from that image. A good thing to make
    > > images of all the install tapes you have, and keep them plus
    > > the source and object code on a CD-ROM against future need.
    > >
    > > after all -- even if the pinch roller is good, that does not
    > > mean that the tape will remain readable. I've got quite a few
    > > old install tapes which I can't fully read.
    > >
    > > Good Luck,
    > > DoN.

    >
    > Don,
    > I downloaded/compiled tprobe, but the man page doesnt say anything about
    > how to make an image of a tape. It only explains how to copy from tape
    > to tape. I would actually like to make images of my old install tapes.
    > Any hints?


    Look at the synopsis in the manual (assuming that you have the
    same version that I have):


    ================================================== ====================
    SYNOPSIS
    tprobe [-b n] /dev/NRTD

    tprobe [-b n] -r /dev/NRTD0 | tprobe [-b n] -w /dev/NRTD1

    [host] tprobe [-b n] -r /dev/NRTD0 |
    [host] tprobe [-b n] -w /dev/NRTD1

    o ``/dev/NRTDn'' is typically the "no-rewind-on-close"
    tape device [See OPERATING NOTES]

    o ``host'' is the system-dependent clause signifying
    remote tape operation [See OPERATING NOTES]

    ================================================== ====================

    Note that the second and third versions are piping the output
    from one instance of tprobe to the input of another (one running with
    the "-r" (read) option, and the other running with the "-w" (write)
    option. Instead of using the pipeline, simply redirect the output of
    the first (the one running with the "-r" option) into a file. Then, at
    any time in the future, you can feed that file into the standard input
    of a second instance of the same program running with the "-w" option
    instead.

    What I would do is to save the executable, the source (in case
    you change hardware platforms), and the image files to a CD-ROM or if
    necessary a DVD-ROM for future use for recovery.

    To find the version, try "tprobe -v" (which turns out to be an
    illegal option) and you will get something like this:

    ================================================== ====================
    tprobe: illegal option -- v
    usage: tprobe [-b N] [-r] tapedev [ | tprobe [-b N] -w tapedev ]
    where: -b sets buffer size to N (overriding the default 65536)
    -r specifies "this" process to be the tape reader
    -w designates "this" process to be a tape writer
    tprobe V1.0, 12-Feb-1992, Thad Floryan [ thad@btr.com ]
    ================================================== ====================

    with the last line giving the version.

    Enjoy,
    DoN.
    --
    Email: | Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564
    (too) near Washington D.C. | http://www.d-and-d.com/dnichols/DoN.html
    --- Black Holes are where God is dividing by zero ---

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