PDA

View Full Version : Irwin External Tape Drive



Havoc
March 3rd, 2014, 04:42 PM
First I want to say, I collect older PC's so when I run across rare unusual parts I buy them. I ran across a old Irwin SXe external tape drive with controller. The card show a part # of 3102002-C, the drive shows SXE-01 as a model #. I know nothing about this controller or tape drive. Any enlightenment would really be much appreciated.

Havoc

Havoc
March 4th, 2014, 09:14 AM
First I want to say, I collect older PC's so when I run across rare unusual parts I buy them. I ran across a old Irwin SXe external tape drive with controller. The card show a part # of 3102002-C, the drive shows SXE-01 as a model #. I know nothing about this controller or tape drive. Any enlightenment would really be much appreciated.

Havoc

I thought this may help, here our photo's of the Irwin SXe


17604176051760617607

woodchips
March 7th, 2014, 08:45 AM
Hi, what tapes does it use? I used an Irwin tape system for backup for years, from memory it connected to the spare floppy port, DC100 tapes? It is around somewhere but not used for decades.

Chuck(G)
March 7th, 2014, 09:45 AM
Hi, what tapes does it use? I used an Irwin tape system for backup for years, from memory it connected to the spare floppy port, DC100 tapes? It is around somewhere but not used for decades.

DC1000, actually--the minicartridges that work in a 3.5" form factor drive. The "SXE-01" is actually the name of the external box, not the drive it contains (most Irwin drives had a 3-digit model number where the first digit indicated the form factor, the second, the capacity, and the third the transfer speed.) I used a 225 (2 = 3.5" form factor, 2 = 20MB capacity, 5 = 500Kbps speed) for several years and found that when I went back to read the tapes over 20 years later, I could still read every single one successfully.

The card is made to get around the problem that 2 floppy drive systems were very common, so that there was no spare floppy slot with the standard PC AT floppy controller. The card (in addition to providing power for the drive) functioned as a "switch" to allow the drive to work with an already fully-floppy-populated system.

Almost all of Irwin's tape offerings were floppytape; they did make a couple of QIC-02 interface drives also.

Havoc
March 7th, 2014, 10:34 AM
I am a avid Vintage computer collector, I have my own group on Yahoo. So I am excited about anything I find that is unique. I took the external drive housing apart only to find the tape drive itself surrounded by metal shielding. Very well built. I don't want to take the drive apart any further then that if I can help it. On the back of the drive I do see a serial # (0002110) but it does not line up with the #'s you spoke about. However I did find on the inside top cover these #'s (506/2 . 001 maybe E or 8) and the date 8-02-91. I hope that helps. Do you have drivers for your Irwin, I would like to lock it into one of my computers just to see if it works.

Chuck(G)
March 11th, 2014, 09:48 AM
Yes, I do have drivers for the Irwin. I believe that they may even be posted on the net/web somewhere. Look for "EZTape".

Havoc
March 11th, 2014, 10:26 AM
Well I'm not having much luck with my vintage PC'c lately, I looked for EZTape drivers. I found some links that take me to driver Guide, which I wont use any more because of the mandatory file manager they want me to install. Also found another link that down loaded Driver Detective. Which I wont use, besides if I did the drivers I need are not on the machine I'm searching with. Is there a way I can get a link of your drivers?

kb2syd
March 11th, 2014, 10:41 AM
Google.com

irwin EZTAPE

look at link #8, remove readme.txt from the end.

Havoc
March 11th, 2014, 10:51 AM
Thanks, I found what appears to be the complete install, I guess I download all of it?

modem7
March 11th, 2014, 03:48 PM
The place I worked for used to use Irwin tape drives a lot.
I have placed my notes from the time at http://www.minuszerodegrees.net/misc/Irwin%20tape%20drives.pdf

Havoc
March 11th, 2014, 06:10 PM
Thank You, the notes are very helpful. I wonder what size my Irwin SXe-01 is. I guess I will have to run EZINFO to find out. Nothing on the container lets me know what size it is. Nothing on the net tells me what SXe-01 is. Nothing inside the container, other then the #'s I mentioned gives me any clue to what type tape I use for it. I'm just thankful I have the software now and can at least try to play with it.

modem7
March 11th, 2014, 08:43 PM
For the range of Irwin tape drives that I worked with, the model number was at the rear of the drive itself.
An example is shown in one of the four photos at [here (http://www.ebay.com/itm/IRWIN-MAGNETICS-120-TAPE-DRIVE-/150953255370)].

woodchips
March 15th, 2014, 02:38 AM
Yes, you are correct, DC1000 tapes, DC100 were for the HP9845 machines. Found the tapes but not the drive. Think mine was a 125 in a 5.1/4" format case?