Cassette Media revisited

From: chris <>
Date: Fri May 16 22:24:00 2003

Well... audio tapes don't work as a substitute for a D/CAS cassette. At
least not with my TEAC drive.

First attempt, drive takes the tape, but starts blinking the access light
as soon as the drive is locked, never tries to do anything with it,
software says "No Media".

After a quick 2nd look at the transport, I see a small finger sensor
looking for that notch. 30 seconds later with my pocket knife, my audio
tape has the notch.

2nd attempt, drive sees the tape, software reports "Busy" as the drive
spins the tape to the end, clacks to the end and tries to spin some more,
then gives up, rewinds a bit and stops. Software reports "Hardware Error".

My guess is, it is looking for some kind of end of tape marker. I tried
both clear leader and leaderless tape, neither worked. I also tried a
higher grade tape (Type II, 630 oersteds or whatever that word is). I
don't know if the end of tape is a specific magnetic marker like a
format, or what. Winding the tape to the end in a tape deck and putting
back in the drive causes it to rewind the whole tape until it clacks at
the end again. So it is definitly trying to rewind to the start of the
tape and is simply never seeing that it is at the end.

It is possible that the drive is broken, but since it is seen by
Retrospect on the Mac, and gives status updates as it goes, and the
transport does its thing... I tend to think the drive is fine and I just
can't use an audio tape.

So... does anyone know a supplier of these tapes? I haven't been able to
turn up anyone that actually sells them anymore. A few people on this
list offered to try to locate a spare tape for me for testing... but I'm
not going to ask anyone to go thru that effort if I can't get a regular
supply of tapes anyway.

The drive is a TEAC MT-2ST/N50. The following appear to be compatible
tapes: MaynStream 20; Teac CT500 D/CAS; Verbatim ST500; Teac CT-600H;
Verbatim ST600; Maxell CS-600HD; MaynStream 60; Teac CT-600N; Maxell
CS-600XD; Verbatim ST600XD; MaynStream 150.

All in all, it probably isn't worth much more effort. Its only a 150 MB
drive anyway. So for normal use, there isn't much I can do with it (at
least not when I deal with the cost ratio of Zip disks or CD-R's).

Received on Fri May 16 2003 - 22:24:00 BST

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