TU20 Tape Transport

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TU20 drive in rack
Tape speed: 45 ips (Forward/Reverse)
160 ips max (Rewind)
Size: 22"W x 27"D x 69"H (in cabinet)
Weight: 600 lbs (ditto)

The TU20 was a magnetic tape drive from DEC; it required a controller to connect to its host machine. The transport section was OEMed from the DATAMEC division of Hewlett-Packard. It was used with the PDP-8 (with the TC58 Tape Control Unit), PDP-9 (with the TC59 Tape Control Unit), the PDP-15 (ditto), and the PDP-10 (with the TM10 Magnetic Tape Control).

It could store 5-23 Mbytes on a 2400' 0.5" wide magnetic tape carried on a standard 10-1/2" reel. The basic TU20 supported 7-track operation at 200, 556, and 800 BPI; the TU20A was the 9-track at 800 bpi version.

The tape transport utilizes a single pinch roller capstan, with (somewhat unusual horizontal) vacuum columns. The TU20 drive contains a fair amount of electronics, in the form of FLIP CHIP modules in a 19" wide wire-wrap backplane (mounted horizontally in the base of the cabinet).

External links