TU80 Tape Transport

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TU80 drive
Manufacturer: DEC (vendor)
CDC (contractor)
Drive Controller(s): TU80K (or other Pertec controllers certified for the TU80)
Interface Type: Pertec tape interface
Media: standard half-inch tape
10-1/2" reel, 2,400 ft. maximum
Tape density: 1600 bpi
Capacity: 40 Mbytes (maximum)
Tape speed: 100 inch/sec (high-speed streaming)
25 inch/sec (low-speed streaming or start/stop)
Data rate: 160 Kbyte/s (high-speed streaming)
40 Kbyte/s (other modes)
Rewind time: 150 secs (nominal)
Power consumption: 300 VA (standby, loaded)
550 VA (max, start/stop)
Size: 41.5"H x 21.5"W x 30"D
Weight: 280 lbs
Year Introduced: 1983

The TU80 Tape Transport was a manually-loaded mid-range nine-track, streaming, ANSI-standard magnetic tape drive sold by DEC for the PDP-11 and VAX computers. Its recording density of 1600 bpi used PE encoding, and it used the Pertec tape interface.

It was manufactured for DEC by Computer Peripherals, Inc. (CPI) of Morristown, Pennsylvania. CPI was a subsidiary of Control Data Corporation (CDC), which, besides being a computer manufacturer themselves, also provided peripherals and storage components for other vendors.

The TU80 appears to have been controlled by a Motorola 6802 processor, a variant of the 6800 with 128 bytes of internal RAM and an internal clock oscillator. There were also five 6821 Parallel Interface Adapter chips for interfacing to the various parts of the bus and operator panel etc. The firmware was stored in an 8KB ROM chip.

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