[rescue] VS80 DLT tape drive question

Curtis H. Wilbar Jr. rescue at hawkmountain.net
Mon Dec 10 15:54:51 CST 2007

Dan Sikorski wrote:
> Curtis H. Wilbar Jr. wrote:
>> Dan Sikorski wrote:
>>> Curtis H. Wilbar Jr. wrote:
>> what sort of spring ?  if missing, is it likely inside the drive ? !
> The type that would wrap around the hinge portion of the flap.  I would 
> guess that there's a fair chance that it is still on there, and either 
> broken, or just not in the proper position.  It would not be elsewhere 
> inside the drive unless someone removed the flap and it fell off in 
> there.  You can remove the flap my just pushing it into the drive (as a 
> tape would push it in) and flexing the middle of the flap down until it 
> becomes free.  You might risk breaking the flap, but you could figure 
> out if the spring is there or not, and it is usually pretty easy to 
> remove and put that flap back into place.

definately not there.  I took the drive apart (oh boy do I almost regret 
decision... that 50 pin 'pcb' cable ... oh boy... that one wasn't fun.

It is loading/unloading tapes.

>> What failure do you tend to see ?
>> If you have any failed units, do you have a spring/etc you could spare ????
>> I'm quite worried a small metal spring may be inside this thing 
>> somewhere  :-(
> Usually the failure has been with the read/write heads.  The drive will 
> start to get errors reading and writing data on the tape, and before too 
> long it will progress to not being able to read and write data at all.  
> Like i said though, some of these drives are in pretty dusty/dirty/smoky 
> areas, and the failures are about in line with what we have seen from 
> other tape drives in the same environments.  In the case of the one i 
> took apart and was able to repair, iirc, it had a bad tape and removed 
> it from the drive by taking the drive apart, the drive itself didn't 
> even have a problem.
> I think i just pitched one of those drives a couple of weeks ago, so i 
> don't think i do have one.  I can look around some though, and if we 
> have another one come up, I'll let you know.
Let me know if you find one.  In the meantime, I recently removed a broken
hub lock mechanism from one of my son's VHS tapes... so I modified the 
from that (twisted the 'L' 90 degrees).... it works nicely ... but it'd 
like the right
thing.... it's coil diameter was larger than required... so the 'L' 
could possibly
pop off.

My guess is somone may have popped that drive door out loading/unloading
a tape at one point....  I find no evidence of a spring in the 
mechanism... so
hopefully it works good....  I surely wouldn't mind doubling my DLT IV
capacity over my DLT4000 on my new home server.  Although a second
hand SuperDLT or LTO would be much nicer... however I doubt I'll find
a cheap one of those with tapes anytime soon.

-- Curt

>     -Dan
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