QIC Restoration...
#1
QIC Restoration...
Back in the mid to late 80’s I did discrete event simulation work and the software we used was hosted on an IRIS workstation. I’m guessing that it was a 3000 series machine. When I left that position in 1990, I copied some things that I had written, some video recordings (the software we used had visualization capability) and other items that I don’t remember these days to a 1/4” tape cartridge, a Dysan 516. Reading through a label, it looks like 655ft and 1600bpi. I tried some tape restoration companies here in the US, but none had the appropriate tape drive. What's on the QIC is either a direct copy or tar was used. This isn’t a professional deal; it is sentimental as I am retired.

Anyway, does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions as to how I can get this tape read and copied to another media?

Thanks!
flatlander_48
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09-30-2018, 07:36 PM
#2
RE: QIC Restoration...
I'd love to help, but I'm over in the UK, I am sure I have a drive in the loft, but it's in a box somewhere at the moment.

If all else fails chap and you have no luck, get back to me, but I'm sure someone will help over your side of the pond.

Hey Ho Pip And Dandy!!!!!

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uunix
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09-30-2018, 07:57 PM
#3
RE: QIC Restoration...
QIC tape units don't age very well. There is a chance it can eat your tape if you have a unit which is not correctly maintained.
I also have a QIC-150 in my Crimson, but haven't dared to use it.
dexter1
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09-30-2018, 07:59 PM
#4
RE: QIC Restoration...
(09-30-2018, 07:59 PM)dexter1 Wrote:  QIC tape units don't age very well. There is a chance it can eat your tape if you have a unit which is not correctly maintained.
I also have a QIC-150 in my Crimson, but haven't dared to use it.

Indeed, and now thinking about it, I's sure I have a drive in one of the lunchbox sun sized expansion packs. I also have a load of tapes that could be tested. I wouldn't be surprised though if the rubber bushes had melted into 'glue'.

Hey Ho Pip And Dandy!!!!!

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uunix
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09-30-2018, 08:21 PM
#5
RE: QIC Restoration...
       
As for my QIC, it has always been stored in its case. It looks pretty good from what I can tell externally. I don't think it has experienced any high temperatures, but I can't say for sure.




SGI Iris user; late 80's/early 90's; AutoSumulations AutoMod discrete event simulation software

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flatlander_48
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09-30-2018, 09:19 PM
#6
RE: QIC Restoration...
(09-30-2018, 07:59 PM)dexter1 Wrote:  QIC tape units don't age very well. There is a chance it can eat your tape if you have a unit which is not correctly maintained.
I also have a QIC-150 in my Crimson, but haven't dared to use it.

The problem is the rubber pinch roller which transports the tapes. On the IRIS 4D systems the QIC drive can be pulled from the system easily, then you can inspect the condition of the pinch roller. If you touch it and it deforms or has the consistency of chewing gum it's dead.

The tapes themselves are pretty durable. I copied all my QIC tapes to disk a couple of years ago and all but one read back fine. A tape from the IRIS 3K days is probably QIC24, but a QIC150 drive should be able to read those.
jan-jaap
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10-01-2018, 08:45 AM
#7
RE: QIC Restoration...
(10-01-2018, 08:45 AM)jan-jaap Wrote:  The tapes themselves are pretty durable. I copied all my QIC tapes to disk a couple of years ago and all but one read back fine. A tape from the IRIS 3K days is probably QIC24, but a QIC150 drive should be able to read those.

The tape path has some fairly small radius bends, so I would wonder if those might be a problem after sitting so long. However, on the plus side, the straight runs seem to still be tensioned. There is no drooping. I tried to post photos, but they didn't show up. Without checking, I assume there is a minimum post requirement...




SGI Iris user; late 80's/early 90's; AutoSumulations AutoMod discrete event simulation software

Current Hardware:
i7 Hackintosh, 9.7 iPad Pro, HP Windows Laptop

History Since 1970:
IBM System 360, IBM 4300, DEC System 10, DEC VAX 750, DEC VAX 785, DEC LSI-11, SGI Iris 3xxx, various PC's, Apple IIci
flatlander_48
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10-01-2018, 09:02 PM
#8
RE: QIC Restoration...
(10-01-2018, 08:45 AM)jan-jaap Wrote:  The tapes themselves are pretty durable. I copied all my QIC tapes to disk a couple of years ago and all but one read back fine. A tape from the IRIS 3K days is probably QIC24, but a QIC150 drive should be able to read those.

The tapes can go bad though. They have a rubber band inside that tends to perish after a while. See this video for a few tips on restoring the tapes. You can take bands from "new old stock" tapes, or boil the existing bands. Not to mention the very old tapes can contract "sticky shed syndrome" (just like audio reel-to-reel tape tends to), where the metal oxide flakes off the tape substrate. Then you've got to bake the tapes, and hope you can get the data off before they fully degrade.

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(This post was last modified: 10-02-2018, 12:31 AM by thunderbird32.)
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10-01-2018, 09:44 PM
#9
RE: QIC Restoration...
(10-01-2018, 09:44 PM)thunderbird32 Wrote:  The tapes can go bad though. They have a rubber band inside that tends to perish after a while. See this video for a few tips on restoring the tapes. You can take bands from "new old stock" tapes, or boil the existing bands. Not to mention the very old tapes can contract "sticky shed syndrome" (just like audio reel-to-reel tape tends to), where the metal oxide flakes off the tape substrate. Then you've got to bake the tapes, and hope you can get the data off before they fully degrade.

The link doesn't go anywhere. Is this how it should look?

https//youtu.be/VhKRSB_uwos




SGI Iris user; late 80's/early 90's; AutoSumulations AutoMod discrete event simulation software

Current Hardware:
i7 Hackintosh, 9.7 iPad Pro, HP Windows Laptop

History Since 1970:
IBM System 360, IBM 4300, DEC System 10, DEC VAX 750, DEC VAX 785, DEC LSI-11, SGI Iris 3xxx, various PC's, Apple IIci
flatlander_48
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10-01-2018, 09:48 PM
#10
RE: QIC Restoration...
Yup, thanks. There was a space at the beginning, and apparently the message board software got confused.

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10-02-2018, 12:32 AM


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