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Reel tape 7980s

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Occasional Visitor

Reel tape 7980s

I have an old HP 7980s, I receive I/O errors when I try to read the tape. While writing to the unit it displays writing and reading messages and I receive a record count, but I can't read(verify) the data.

I also have a dual density on the panel...This unit worked until we powered it down...

Can anyone provide any insight of the problem or tell me where to get a manual for it
Rothery Harris
Trusted Contributor

Re: Reel tape 7980s

Dear Deborah,

There are several things which could be causing you problems. The HP7980 is basically very reliable.

1)Clean the tape read/write head with a lint-free swab and some isopropyl alcohol. Also clean any guide rollers.

2)There is a 'wellness' test which can be run from the front panel. Its under the diagnostics/service selection.

3)The other popular fix was to re-calibrate the read preamps. You need a known good scratch tape for this. I recommend one that is of good quality and has been used a few times. There is a calibration selection from the front panel. I will try and look up the sequences. Unfortunately there are no manuals around.

It was rare for any other faults to be found on these units apart from some early models experience read/write head faults.


Honored Contributor

Re: Reel tape 7980s


Rothery's advice is correct. I'll provide some additional detail.

1) Definately clean the head. If you have not been cleaning the head regularly, it can become stained from normal use.

2) The wellness test is Test #2. You should load a scratch tape first.

3) The Read Channel Gain Calibration is test 99. You should load a good, representitive scratch tape first. The test will ask for the density (1600 PE or 6250 GCR) and whether to 'SAVE' the results after the test is complete.
The journey IS the reward.
Occasional Advisor

Re: Reel tape 7980s

Dear Deborah, Your hp7980 magnetic tape driver support 800 NRZI density setting? It is so crucial for me..And Do You know any type of addresses that can bought HP7980 mag. tape reader unit which support 800 NRZI density?
Thanks in advance.