Unobtanium obtained!


Jack Rubin
 

 I figure this is worth a new message topic. Today, I finally relocated 3 boxes of HP 80 series and 9825 items that got lost in storage during a move nearly 10 years ago. I haven't even gotten to the 85/87 stuff yet, but the 9825 box included a few data cartridges - three with user data and then:

** 09825-90035 - 9825A System Test Cartridge **

** 09885-90035 - 9825A/B 9885 System Tape Cartridge **

Also included was a 98015-66501 disk alignment fixture for the 9885 drives and a couple of 98032-085 disk interface cables.

I'm pretty sure I got all this stuff from Larry Lehman when he was shutting down Crisis Computers but at the time I was much more interested in the 2100 boxes and just sort of scooped these things up without paying much attention. Until I found them this afternoon, I didn't even remember getting them.

The tapes have been in cool, dry storage since I got them - I've never tried to use them and I certainly won't now!

Who is best qualified to attempt to read these tapes and hopefully image the data on them? I'll pose the same question directly to Al Kossow and Chuck Guzis but if the expertise is here, please let me know.


Jack



Paul Berger
 

Wow nice find those tapes are indeed rare there is no complete copies known to exist.

Paul.


On 2017-02-04 12:22 AM, Jack Rubin wrote:

 I figure this is worth a new message topic. Today, I finally relocated 3 boxes of HP 80 series and 9825 items that got lost in storage during a move nearly 10 years ago. I haven't even gotten to the 85/87 stuff yet, but the 9825 box included a few data cartridges - three with user data and then:

** 09825-90035 - 9825A System Test Cartridge **

** 09885-90035 - 9825A/B 9885 System Tape Cartridge **

Also included was a 98015-66501 disk alignment fixture for the 9885 drives and a couple of 98032-085 disk interface cables.

I'm pretty sure I got all this stuff from Larry Lehman when he was shutting down Crisis Computers but at the time I was much more interested in the 2100 boxes and just sort of scooped these things up without paying much attention. Until I found them this afternoon, I didn't even remember getting them.

The tapes have been in cool, dry storage since I got them - I've never tried to use them and I certainly won't now!

Who is best qualified to attempt to read these tapes and hopefully image the data on them? I'll pose the same question directly to Al Kossow and Chuck Guzis but if the expertise is here, please let me know.


Jack




 


On Feb 3, 2017, at 9:22 PM, Jack Rubin <j@...> wrote:

Who is best qualified to attempt to read these tapes and hopefully image the data on them?

I believe a 9875 should be useable to read the data off these tapes, and I think, also to create new tapes.  There are commands RF (read file), RR (read record), WF (write file), and WR (write record) that allows the transfer of arbitrary data words.  Sounds like incentive for me to get to figuring out the issue with my 9875 next so I can test it.

With a suitable binary program, it may be possible for a 85 A/B to also image these tapes if the tape controller uses the same low level encoding format, but I don’t know the answer to this.


 

Ok, some remarks about restoring tapes and something about the tapes I have.

After a private mail from Jack, I checked my tape inventory.

The tapes I have are :

09915-10014 Tape duplication and eprom programming

09877-10002 9825 B/T tape binary

09825-90036 9825A System test Rev. A, E & F

09885-90035 9885 System Tape Cartridge Rev. F and D

09815-10004 9815 General Utility and Test routines

09831-10004 9831A General Utility Routines

09825-10004 9825A General Utility Routines (Available on the Museum site I believe)

03042-90211 3042A Verification Application

03045-10001/10002 3045A (9825) System Program and Compiler tapes

09835-90041 9835 A/B System Test

09825-12524 9825 Waveform Analysis

And probably some other tapes which I overlooked in the hurry…

 

All those tapes are on my backlog for archiving, but..

Most of the times I only get one chance to read a HP 98200 type of tape.

To understand why I’ll explain the way I read 98200 tapes, the procedure is the following:

 

First I have to open the case and warm the tape to about 50-60C(degrees) so I can remove the drive belt without ripping the magnetic layer of.

The next thing is backing the tape at 60C for 2 or 3 hours, this dehydrates the tape and prevents the magnetic layer coming loose.

Next step is cleaning the tape guiding posts and placing a ‘new’ belt and getting the tape tension right.

After closing the tape I have about 3 or 4 runs to read the tape and copy it to a disc.

It’s mandatory to clean the heads after every run, sometimes I also have to clean the guiding posts in the tape cassette because there is too much tape friction to read the tape.

Friction between the tape and guidance posts can ruin the tape by stretching it too much!

I’ve used this procedure to recover information from about  10 tapes, 80% of the time it worked..

I used the same procedure for DC600 (9144/45 tapes) to recover HP-UX files.

One last remark after the tapes have cooled down from the oven you will have about one or two days before the tapes will degrade and become sticky and flaky again.

A second run in the oven doesn’t work in most cases, so it’s a one-time right case.

 

-Rik

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Van: VintHPcom@groups.io [mailto:VintHPcom@groups.io] Namens Craig Ruff
Verzonden: zaterdag 4 februari 2017 14:40
Aan: Vin
tHPcom@groups.io
Onderwerp: Re: [VintHPcom] Unobtanium obtained!

 

 

On Feb 3, 2017, at 9:22 PM, Jack Rubin <j@...> wrote:

 

Who is best qualified to attempt to read these tapes and hopefully image the data on them?

 

I believe a 9875 should be useable to read the data off these tapes, and I think, also to create new tapes.  There are commands RF (read file), RR (read record), WF (write file), and WR (write record) that allows the transfer of arbitrary data words.  Sounds like incentive for me to get to figuring out the issue with my 9875 next so I can test it.

 

With a suitable binary program, it may be possible for a 85 A/B to also image these tapes if the tape controller uses the same low level encoding format, but I don’t know the answer to this.


 

Awesome discovery. This group is making great progress. With Paul's Flex Disc ROM reverse engineering, you could just copy it to a 9895 8" disk, and with Ansgar Kueckes HPDIR transfer the image back to my (not so) modern PC dedicated to do just that. Actually scratch that, since you can emulate a 9895 with Ansgar HPDRIVE, I could just hook that up to the 9825 and dump it straight to the PC! That should be very straightforward. I'd have to build the ROM first (I intend to make a PCB when I get a chance). And get a lot of practice to get really good at reading DC 100's in my restored tape drive following Rik's advice. So this would take a while.

I have ton's of rather new DC2000 that I can steal the bands from, and quite a few old DC100 to practice read (maybe 15 or so). I also just received my plastibands, but was disappointed at how stretchy and sticky they felt, I am not holding my breath for these. I'll try them out just for kicks. Lots of practice coming up.

I am also going to splurge on some Kathana's for good measure, so I have a set of known good tapes. 

Jack, you mention Larry Lehman, who was based in San Jose, CA, close to where I live. I have quite a few parts from him - like most of the local HP collectors. Are you local to me in the San Francisco Bay area by any chance?


 

Rik, thanks so much for the detailed instructions. I am just at the step where I need to do just that, try to read old DC100 tapes.


Jack Rubin
 

Marc (and everyone else),

Yes, we live in exciting times! :>)

I'm about to rebuild my HP85 tape drive capstans for DC100 tapes; I don't have the resources for the full DC2000 conversion. Hopefully, DC100 cassettes with new belts will be a little more robust but I just got my plastibands yesterday and I have the same concerns that you do though I've yet to actually crack a cassette and try one. If nothing else, at least the cassettes will be more colorful with bright pink and green drive belts. I'll be looking forward to hearing about your results.

From Rik's early results, it seems that rebuilding the drives for the 9825 drives will be a bit more challenging to retrofit for DC2000 tapes so hopefully the DC100 fix will provide at least an interim solution.

Unfortunately, I'm not in the Bay area though I used to visit Larry on business trips to the coast. I live near Chicago and got a brief chance to say hello to you at VCF-Midwest last year though you were probably too deep in Jay West's system to remember! I'm planning a return to VCF-West later this year so we should be able to meet then.

Jack



 

Actually, I just stuck a DC2000 in an unmodified 9825 tape drive , and to my surprise it worked a little bit. The tape fit nicely, transport seemed to work fine, it rewound on the correct reel. I tried to initialize a few files, sometimes I could read the entire "catalog" back, sometimes I had errors. I don't know if it's my drive or if I need to make a write current modification for the new tape like I did on the HP 85. I suspect it's the latter, so that would next step. Anyhow I thought it was encouraging.

Marc 


 

On Wed, Feb 8, 2017 at 08:01 am, Jack Rubin wrote:
 I live near Chicago and got a brief chance to say hello to you at VCF-Midwest last year though you were probably too deep in Jay West's system to remember! 

 Yes, this was my first VCF and I was a bit overwhelmed, not knowing anyone really. I came primarily to meet Jay and learn more about his experience with restoring HP 1000's. I learned more than I hoped for as we (that is, mostly Jay) powered up and succesfully debugged a 1000-E right at the show! When is the show this year?