Fork me on GitHub

TK50 controls and possible errors

load/unload button

in   - loads the tape (10-15 seconds)
out  - rewinds and unloads the tape

cartridge release handle

up   - lets you insert a tape or
       remove a tape after rewind and unload operations are completed
down - locks tape in operating position

TK50 lights

green  red    function
off    off    no power to tape drive
on     off    it is safe to move the cartridge release handle. power is present.
off    on     do not move the cartridge release handle. one of following is in effect:
              - power up test is occurring
              - cartridge is inserted but handle is still up
              - tape is loading or unloading
              - tape is stopped
on     on     tape loaded successfully
flash  on     tape is in motion (except rewind) and read/write commands are
              being processed. irregular flashing of green light means that
              tape calibration is occurring (first use of tape).
flash  flash
slow   slow   tape is rewinding
off    flash
       fast   tape or drive fault exists.

TK50 possible errors

Date: Sat, 04 Oct 1997 19:35:25 -0400
From: "David M. Heller" 
To: port-vax@NetBSD.ORG
Subject: Re: blinking tk50 -> dead??

Bruce Lane wrote:
> >Date: Fri, 3 Oct 1997 11:55:52 -0400
> >X-Sender:
> >To: "J. Buck Caldwell" 
> >From: David Bobart 
> >Subject: Re: blinking tk50 -> dead??
> >Cc:
> >Sender: port-vax-owner@NetBSD.ORG
> >Delivered-To: port-vax@NetBSD.ORG
> >
> >>Are you brave? TK50's have a common failing - the metal fish tape leader
> >>used to grab and feed the tape in the cartridge. If you are comfortable
> >>with it, take the metal cage off the top of the drive, then check to
> >>make sure the fish tape is hooked onto both the reel and a standoff
> >>where the head of the tape would be. That's the only thing I've ever
> >>seen that caused the quickflash.
>         Believe it or not, there's something else; dirty heads. I had the
> quickflash problem with two TK50's in my own MicroVAXen. I carefully
> removed the shell and the head guard, swabbed the head with 93% isopropyl
> alcohol (available at any drug store), dried it, swabbed the head guard as
> well, and put the whole mess back together.
>         No problems since! It started working right away, and my read errors
> vanished into the mist.
> -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
> Bruce Lane, Sysop,  The Dragon's Cave BBS (Fidonet 1:343/272)
  Yes, dirty heads can cause that problem, but be careful: too much alcohol
 will cause the heads to fall apart! The heads are just glued together
 very cheaply. This has happened to me. Another thing to watch for is
 bad tapes.