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Thread: Paper Tape

  1. #1
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    Default Paper Tape

    Over the past few days I have been making paper tapes of some of the MAINDEC programs to use with my REMEX paper tape reader. I have made each MAINDEC as an individual tape and then spliced them together with some blank tape. I also have my version of XLBAA binary loader as the first tape. This way I can either load the MAINDEC with the binary loader or use the OS/8 ABSLDR program. I found that having just blank tape between the files is a pain. So I removed this and replaced it with tape that has just the sprocket holes. This allows me to advance the tape without stopping at each splice. Since I have very little experience with paper tape and the experience I do have was soooo long ago (I have trouble remembering yesterday, much less 50 years ago), does anyone remember splicing paper tape and how to properly do it? My method and it has only been test a couple times, is to cut the paper on a bias match up the holes and then use super glue to bond them together. Actually this is kind of neat. I have a 7 1/2" reel full of paper tape MAINDEC's. I have written on the paper what file is next, but I have also seen where the file name is punched into the tape and is readable. Looking for how paper tape was used in the past and how I can use it now. Thanks Mike

  2. #2
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    Mike,

    Been following your thread for a while and it looks like you're having a good time with your project. I don't have much to offer but I did find this which may give you some ideas:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=how+...AA71BfPprZjrM:

    Note: I used mylar tape on a Varian 620i which ran the Navy's ALM-106B countermeasures test bench setup back in the early/mid 70's. The next and only other time that I saw paper tape in the wild was on a shipboard government PDP-8 plotter setup. Good luck.
    Surely not everyone was Kung-fu fighting

  3. #3
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    Mike,

    Take a look at:

    https://www.cryptomuseum.com/telex/repair/

    Dave

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_Z View Post
    does anyone remember splicing paper tape and how to properly do it?
    the correct way to do it was with an oversplice punched tape and a straight across cut between the holes
    and splice it on a jig that makes sure the butt splice is straight

    for optical readers, it is critical not to occlude any holes

    here is a splicer that is independent of tape width

    splicer.jpg

  5. #5

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    I used to take two pieces of tape punched on a ASR33 and glue it on both sides of the torn tape. I did have a jig with pins for feed holes but I suspect it could be visually aligned well enough. That was 45 years ago. We punched mylar tape when we needed to use a tape many times.
    Dwight

  6. #6
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    Default

    My PDP8E and REMEX were a part of a machine tool and it did use Mylar tape. I kept a few feet, just because it's neat. I do not have any blank tape and am unsure whether or not the ASR 33 would punch it. I do have the Friden SFD machine that was used to punch the Mylar, but the Friden doesn't use ASCII code. SO, I'm sticking with the paper. Those splicers look interesting. I looked on eBay and they just seem to have film and audio tape splicers. Yet, the paper tape splicer does look easy enough to machine on my own. I may give that a try. All I really need is a way to hold the paper in the proper position while gluing it. My splice is a section of paper tape with a leader on both ends and just sprocket holes in the middle. Then the splice leader fits over the file leader. I can see where a couple of well placed pins would hold the tape via the sprocket holes. I used the super glue because it dries fast. I don't think that the splice tape, that was mentioned is available anymore. I wonder if there would be a better glue for this purpose. Maybe I'll ask on the GreenKeys email if anyone has a splicer etal. Thanks Mike

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_Z View Post
    I'll ask on the GreenKeys email if anyone has a splicer etal. Thanks Mike
    There are no new ones, and the last used one I bought was $150

    Machining a 1" wide channel with a slit for a razor blade with some holes for a few swaged pins wouldn't be a big deal to make

  8. #8

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    https://www.vintagecomputer.net/brow...ead.cfm?id=734
    Created a how to fix papertape thread




    Bill
    Last edited by billdeg; December 17th, 2018 at 05:47 AM.
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  9. #9
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    Well, I had thought that super glue would work holding the paper tape ends together, but it does not. Turns out that Elmers white glue works a lot better. The only problem is that it takes longer to dry. The super glue just let go after twice through the reader. Mike

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_Z View Post
    Well, I had thought that super glue would work holding the paper tape ends together, but it does not. Turns out that Elmers white glue works a lot better. The only problem is that it takes longer to dry. The super glue just let go after twice through the reader. Mike
    Most paper tapes were slightly oiled, which makes long-term repairs problematic. "Way back when", splices would separate into the splice patch and some sticky goo if left long enough. Note that I'm talking mostly about the yellow rolled paper tape as used on the ASR33 and so on - the gray fan-fold tape was either not oiled or had a lot less oil on it. Can you start and stop your punch program for each routine you punch to create a continuous tape instead of splicing?

    Punching Mylar on a regular punch (like in an ASR33) would rapidly wear out the punch pins. This was pretty common knowledge back then - whenever I would call for service on our leased ASR's (from RCA Service Co), they'd ask "You haven't been punching Mylar, have you?" Most of the Mylar tape we used was for things like diagnostics (where they'd live in a field service kit) or for things like boot loaders that were read over and over again.

    The diagonal overlap splice was more common on vertical format unit control tapes, like the IBM 1403 series, the Dataproducts 22xx and B-series*, etc. Those used a 12-channel tape spliced into an endless loop. Depending on the form length, the loop would go around either once per page or be duplicated enough times (several pages) to be long enough to fit in the VFU. Reading was by brushes or optical, as the mechanical lift-pin reader style as used in the ASR would be too slow and generate excessive wear on the tape.

    * Yes, you could order a tape control VFU (TCVFU) on a B300/600/1000 - it was located inside the band area. The DAVFU (direct access - downloaded from the host via control codes) was much more common on those, though. TCVFU was used for people who needed / liked the old method, or for some option combinations that inexplicably didn't support DAVFU. Even more bizarre trivia - the DAVFU on the older 22xx series printers used '181 ALUs and PROMs, while the rest of the printer logic (including TCVFU) was hard-wired logic.

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