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HP 7980 (88780) IEEE-488 HP-IB interface, nine track tape drive

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Jay R Bjorklund
Occasional Visitor

HP 7980 (88780) IEEE-488 HP-IB interface, nine track tape drive

I Have an HP9000/835 computer with an HP 7980 nine track tape drive with IEEE-488 HP-IB interface. I am looking for a PC ISA or PCI card and driver(s) and control/command software to be able to couple this tape drive to a windows or linux based PC. I believe there are ISA and PCI cards that will work with HP-IB for this purpose, but the control/command software (Like HP-UX tape1) for either linux, dos or windows is what I have not found????
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David Ruska
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: HP 7980 (88780) IEEE-488 HP-IB interface, nine track tape drive

One alternative to HP-IB/IEEE488 would be to change over to the SCSI interface, where you might be more likely to find tape drivers.

The 7980/88780 supported HP-IB, Pertec, SCSI-SE, and SCSI-Diff interfaces. The SCSI interfaces are narrow SCSI.

Changing interfaces is simple - swap the interface back panel which also holds the interface board. The only thing to watch for is the board needs to have the same series of firmware (ROMs) as the main unit. Old units had 3.XX firmware, whereas newer units had 6.XX firmware. You can check the firmware rev from the front panel.
The journey IS the reward.
David Ruska
Honored Contributor

Re: HP 7980 (88780) IEEE-488 HP-IB interface, nine track tape drive

I didn't answer your original question on an HP-IB card. There aren't many of these available anymore for PCs.

Here's one: http://www.ines.de/gpibpci.htm

Unfortunately you won't find tape drivers (the cards are used primarily for driving test instruments). I've worked with a few folks in the past that actually wrote their own programs (in C) to read old tapes onto their PCs. Maybe one will post a reply here and share their work :-)
The journey IS the reward.