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Thread: QIC Tape Cartridge Tension Band Replacement - Plastibands!

  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    I've had some success in using the 6 inch bands on the DC300 sized carts. But I understand that they're hard to find.
    Not really. In the thread Al linked above I point out that these are called Mobilion bands and are made by Japanese company Nisshinbo. They can be purchased in packs of 135 from Misumi: https://us.misumi-ec.com/vona2/detai...B-15063WA-100G

    Unless of course you really need them to be green. Then it can be hard.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by nikola-wan View Post
    Thanks everyone! I vaguely remembered getting some Plastibands after I posted my question this morning and found them.

    I had ordered the 4 1/2 inch pack on Amazon - and put one on a couple of DC100A tape cartridges I had for a Tektronix 4041 computer.

    Both tapes tried to auto load - but had errors.

    Possibly my Plastibands had aged a bit - I put two together on one tape and it read the file I had written on it 20 years ago! Yippee!

    Does this 4 1/2 inch band work on the DC300 tapes too - or I need a longer band?

    Monty
    Maybe 4 1/2 inch is too long? I used the variety that is approx 3-5/8" or 90 mm when doing DC100, they work fine for me. https://us.misumi-ec.com/vona2/detai...MB-9033TA-100G

  3. #23
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    The wholesale/manufacturer seems to be in Korea.

    As far as colors, take your pick

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattisLind View Post
    Maybe 4 1/2 inch is too long? I used the variety that is approx 3-5/8" or 90 mm when doing DC100, they work fine for me. https://us.misumi-ec.com/vona2/detai...MB-9033TA-100G
    MattisLind,

    I misquoted the tape size - they were 4 1/4" nor 4 1/2"

    My first attempt with simply replacing the 1993 NOS 3M DC100A original drive band with the 4.25" Plastiband was not successful. I had lots of tape shedding after formatting on my Tektronix 4041 and trying to record the System Verification tape files that I had recovered from an original Tektronix factory tape.

    I had almost all the symptoms reported by Curious Marc in his youtube video. I decided to try dehydrating the other four tapes in that box at 135F for two days.

    I've had excellent results from three of those tapes with the 4.25" Plastibands. I haven't had to retension the band, nor have the bands jump off the band rollers.

    The 4041 FORMAT command for a tape writes to the entire tape, then rewinds and creates a directory file at the beginning.
    Then files written to tape verify each 255 byte block after the write - and is pretty hard on the Plastiband for writing all the System Verification files.

    I plan to bake all the DC100 tapes and DC300 tapes from now on.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    The wholesale/manufacturer seems to be in Korea.

    As far as colors, take your pick
    On the plastibands package it says manufactured in Japan. As far as I can see the sizes are not matching: https://82ca6af5-3734-4857-9c65-4aca...98b2ebc1b7.pdf

    There is no 150mm as wide as the one in the Plastibands package I bought.

    Here is a page from Nissihinbo. It seems to be possible to get any colour. My understanding is that these bands are used in women's clothing and then maybe a white or transparent is the best. While when using them as a rubber band replacement then coloured are preferred.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by nikola-wan View Post
    MattisLind,

    I misquoted the tape size - they were 4 1/4" nor 4 1/2"

    My first attempt with simply replacing the 1993 NOS 3M DC100A original drive band with the 4.25" Plastiband was not successful. I had lots of tape shedding after formatting on my Tektronix 4041 and trying to record the System Verification tape files that I had recovered from an original Tektronix factory tape.

    I had almost all the symptoms reported by Curious Marc in his youtube video. I decided to try dehydrating the other four tapes in that box at 135F for two days.

    I've had excellent results from three of those tapes with the 4.25" Plastibands. I haven't had to retension the band, nor have the bands jump off the band rollers.

    The 4041 FORMAT command for a tape writes to the entire tape, then rewinds and creates a directory file at the beginning.
    Then files written to tape verify each 255 byte block after the write - and is pretty hard on the Plastiband for writing all the System Verification files.

    I plan to bake all the DC100 tapes and DC300 tapes from now on.

    I have recovered approx forty TU58 formatted DC100 tapes. Didn't bake them. No shedding. But prior to removing the existing band I heated it with a heatgun set to 100 degrees celsius (at some distance). This causes the surface of the drive belt turn from matte finish to blank and the belt can be removed without damaging the tape. The belt leaves some residue on the tape which I remove carefully with isopropanol, otherwise the tape will stick. Sometime there has been some crystalline powder on the back side of the tape which can cause it to stick. I use the same method here.

    When I applied this method I think I just had one tape had a hard read error. The others were readable just fine.

  7. #27
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    One issue that I've had with the Plastibands (I was the first to suggest them, I believe) is that they're not very well manufactured, so you have to be fairly careful. My method is to stretch one out to about its final length and examine it. If the width of the belt varies; that is, there are wide and narrow spots, I discard it, as it will not function correctly.

    The other issue is that they're not as long lasting as the advertisements would have you believe. They do age, so get your data and forget about reading the cartridge months from now.

    Success with the higher-capacity (e.g. Travan 4, QIC-3090, QIC-3110) can be elusive. The tape is very thin and can be damaged by the drive quite easily.

  8. #28
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    And as an alternative to Plastibands : I just sucessfully read a program from a Tektronix 4052 QIC tape, whereby the broken tensioning belt has been replaced with a 3D printed belt, printed using innoflex flexible filament.
    How well it stands up in time remains to be seen of course...

    Jos

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdreesen View Post
    And as an alternative to Plastibands : I just sucessfully read a program from a Tektronix 4052 QIC tape, whereby the broken tensioning belt has been replaced with a 3D printed belt, printed using innoflex flexible filament.
    How well it stands up in time remains to be seen of course...

    Jos
    Excellent!

    If you share your STL I will try it with Ninjaflex filament

    I'll also try to scale your STL for the smaller 3M tape cartridges for the Tektronix 4041 and other vintage computers like the HP 41.

    I have been using plastibands for the smaller DC100A cartridges - but they don't last in operation but for a couple of weeks.
    In particular, they don't have enough tension as the tape runs to the other end and typically jump off the pulleys

    Monty

  10. #30
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    ...and forget about the 3D printed belts.....

    While it does work for some tapes, there is a failure mode whereby the belt rubs agains itself in the narrow part between the 2 spools : the tape does not move anymore , and drive wheel rubs again the now unmovable cartridge wheel, thereby destroying it.
    Thinner belts are impossible to print. So it is back to the drawing board....

    Wonder if I could use an unflexible belt with an additional mechanical tensioner, as in a bicycle chain...

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