9-track tapes, 1/2", 6250bpi. At 6250bpi, a 2400 foot tape like the
one on the left can hold about 170MB. The latch on the plastic
protective cover is also used to hang tapes from a rack. The cover is
removed before mounting the tape. 9-track tapes were in use from
the mid-1960s through the 1990s, when cartridge tapes became popular.
These particular tapes were used with HP3000 systems, circa 1987.
DECtape in case
DECtape and case
DECtape was introduced in 1963 by Digital Equipment Corporation,
and was used on many of their PDP series computers, from the
PDP-6 to the PDP-15. The tape was 3/4" wide, with a 3-7/8"
diameter reel, and was formatted into blocks. A tape could
hold 184K 12-bit words, or 144K 18-bit words. Date was written
redundantly across the tape, so data reliability was high.
IBM 3850 tape cartridge
In 1974, IBM introduced the 3850 MSS (Mass Storage System), which
used a number of small cartridges (1-7/8"x3-1/2") to store data. Each
cartridge held 770 inches of 2-3/4" wide magnetic tape which would
store 50MB of data. Two such cartridges would hold the image of an
entire 3336 disk pack. The cartridges were stored in a honeycomb
array, and a robotic mechanism was used to load and unload the
cartridges. Columbia University has a page
with pictures and information for the 3850.
DC600A Cartridge tape
QIC 24 (Quarter Inch Cartridge) DC600A cartridge tape, 60MB capacity.
The tape is written in 9 tracks, in linear serpentine format.
Measures 5-7/8" x 3-7/8" x 5/8". Circa 1983.
DC6150 Cartridge tape
QIC 150 (Quarter Inch Cartridge) DC6150 cartridge tape, 150MB capacity.
The tape is written in 15 tracks, in linear serpentine format.
Measures 5-7/8" x 3-7/8" x 5/8". Circa 1991.
IBM 3490E tape cartridge
IBM 3490E tape cartridge, 800MB native capacity or 2.4GB
compressed, introduced in 1991. The tape is 1/2" wide, and is
written in a 36-track serpentine longitudinal format.
DDS2 tape cartridge
DDS2 (Digital Data Storage) tape cartridge, 2GB native capacity or 4GB
compressed, introduced in 1993. The tape is 3.81mm wide, and is
written in a helical scan format. The cartridge measures 73mm by 54mm
DLT IV tape cartridge
DLT (Digital Linear Tape) IV tape cartridge, either 20GB, 35GB or 40GB
capacity, depending on which tape drive is used (DLT4000/DLT7000/DLT8000).
introduced in 1994. The tape is 1/2" wide, and is
written in a linear serpentine recording format. The cartridge
measures 105.79mm by 105.41mm by 25.40mm.
Travan TR-1 tape cartridge
Travan TR-1, introduced in 1995. The tape is 8mm wide, and is
written in QIC-80 format.
IBM MLR3-25GB tape cartridge
IBM MLR3-25GB, introduced in 1997. The tape is 1/4" wide, and can
store 25GB natively or 50GB compressed. It is commonly used on
AS400 systems with a model 6384 tape drives.
Return to the Storage Media page.
Return to the Old Technology Collection page.
Last updated on
Friday, September 23, 2016