The DC100 tape format and drive was developed by Hewlett-Packard and introduced as a data storage mechanism for the HP-9825 programmable calculator. The DC100 tape cartridge was a scaled-down version of the DC300 cartridge pioneered by 3M, and represents an early version of what is now referred to as the QIC Mini Cartridge
The DC100 tape is based on the 1972 patent number U.S. Patent 3,692,255.
|Native capacity||210 kB||2.9 MB|
|Max speed||650 B/s|
|Tape length||140 ft (42.7 m)||400 ft (91.5 m)|
|Tape width||0.150 in (3.81 mm)||0.25 in (6.35 mm)|
|Data density||1600 bpi|
3M manufacturing secrets.
- Base plate flatness.
- Guide posts (essentially the 5 "axles" in the cartridge) into the base plate with sufficient perpendicularity.
- Guide-post surface finish. Too rough, abraded the back of the tape. Too smooth, tape adheres to the guide through stiction, which causes speed flutter on the tape. The right surface treatment was found to be lapidary tumbler, a recipe of abrasive and burnishing compound.
- Guide-post perpendicularity had to be right to avoid differential tension on the tape. In the sever case contact between tape and head was lost. The two most critical guide posts in the manufacture fixture, the hub bearing or axle posts, had to be perpendicular to within approximately 1/3° degrees.
- Cartridge’s internal plastic drive belt (critical).
HP improvements on the 3M design;
- Tape tension is controlled primarily by friction in two rollers that the belt loops around. 3M controlled belt-roller friction (and hence the tape tension) with a very precise amount of STP lubricant on the bearing surfaces. A better design was to use large axles and Teflon-filled plastic for the bearing rollers, which eliminated the need for lubrication.
- Minimum tape tension at the head was increased, the drive force to spin the drive puck was less however.
- Optical sensing of cartridge in and write protect.
- DC200 tape cartridge used a thinner tape to increase the amount of data over DC100.
QIC minicartridges evolved its capacity from 250 kByte, 40, 80, 120, to a final 250 MByte. QIC-3230 tapes have a 20 Gbyte maximum.
- Quarter-inch cartridge (QIC)
- Compact Cassette - Same width as DC100
- HP 2644A - Introduced with DC100
- HP 9800 series - Computers used with DC-series tape
- hp9825.com - The Story of DC100
- hp9825.com - Picture of DC100 drive
- hp9845.net - Tutorial on Saving Tapes
- "United states patent, Von Behren, Belt driven tape cartridge" (PDF). 100614 hp9845.net
- "Tutorial on Saving Tapes". 100614 hp9845.net
- "DC100 Tape". 100614 hp9825.com