TU58 DECtape II

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TU58 drive (in standalone case)
Manufacturer: DEC
Drive Controller(s): built in
Interface Type: asynchronous serial line or parallel
Media: DECtape II
Tape density: 800 bpi
Tape speed: 30 ips (read/write)
60 ips (search)
Size: 5.2"H x 13.6"D x 19"W
Weight: 20 lbs

The TU58 DECtape II magnetic tape drive used the DECtape-II cartridge, which could hold 256KB. A TU58 unit contained one or two drives, but with two, only one could be operated at a time. It was available in both a standalone case (suitable for desktop usage, or mounting in a 19" rack), or as a bare unit (for mounting in some other unit, such as a PDP-11/44); in either, it required an external source of power (an optional power supply was available with the standalone case).

The unit included control electronics, including a microprocessor and firmware; two versions of the control electronics were available. One (the TU58-XB, DEC part number 54-13489) provided an asynchronous serial line interface, for connection to the host computer via a standard serial line device controller; the other (the TU58-XC, part number 54-13491) provided a parallel interface. The former supported both RS-232 and RS-422; the baud rate could be set from 8.4 Kbaud to 150 baud by configuration jumpers.

Average access time using random access was 9.3 seconds; maximum was 28. Data was verified by a checksum on each record.

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