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Pertec ISA interface card

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    Originally posted by Gerardcjat View Post
    I also remember from CCTECH that : "Dec TZ88N-TA SCSI standalone tape drive" may be of interest.
    But watch carefully, it is an **N** suffix, and I remembered that there is something "special" for this "N", is not it ??
    There is one around $100 on Ebay BUT in Bratislava ( Beside that, seller seems "OK" )

    I also saw an TZ86, in New jersey, $150 if I remember correctly, but not sure what interface type ...
    Yeah, just tooking for something to read TK50/TK70 cartridges. TZ87 seems to be the last of the TK50/70 compatibles--the "N" versions are not. There's a good deal on a TZ87, but in Israel (!). You can tell by the drive--the compatible drives have LED indicators on the front for TK50 and TK70 mode.

    I'll have a look at the others suggestions.


      $54 Computer Logics Limited PCTD16 REV B-3 Controller Card

      I hope this helps some one


        Thanks guy .... I got it.
        Hope I will use it before the end of this year
        Thanks again


          I finally managed to score a Qualstar 1052, but without a controller.

          Anyone have one for sale/trade? (ISA, PCI, S-100 all good)
          Wanted: PDP-8/f panel, 16 Sector RK05 packs, VT100, Altair 8800 CPU card, KD11-A, KE8E (M8340 M8341), memory for 11/40.
          Available for trade: AlphaStation DS10, DS15, IBM 5150, XT, Intel MDS 230, MOS KIM-1, Many PC parts from the 5150 era onwards, DEC Storageworks HDDs, misc DIP ICs, OMNIBUS/UNIBUS/QBUS cards, 6502/8080/85/86/88/Z80 CPUs, Misc radio valves (vacuum tubes), C64, Amiga 1200, Sinclair ZX Spectrum/+/QL.


            Hi all,
            I am the half-happy owner of a Qualstar 1052: I have found a Catamount ATC-16 card but don't have the right cable (have one for the Tx-8 / TXi-16 though)

            I have also found a PCTD III, but still no cable.
            I have searched pretty much everywhere to find some wiring diagrams to alter my cable or build a custom one, but no luck.
            Even the Catamount documentation mentioned in this forum doesn't include any electrical diagram.

            It would be GREAT if anyone who has any wiring scheme for the above two cards would share it, thanks.


            PS I have found the wiring scheme for the Overland cards, but of course this is of no use for me.


              If the Catamount uses a 62-position D-sub connector, it quite likely is the same as the Overland/Chi cards.


                Hello Antonio,

                I have not answered your P.M. !! Shame on me !
                Point is : I DO NOT have cable schematics.
                - I DO have a cable that I can point to point trace, but I am not positive on what that cable it is for !!
                - Qualstar 1052 on one side for sure, but on the other side ??

                I will check tomorrow, and anyway, will "extract" the cable pinning.
                OF course, Chuck(G) is probably right in his assumption ( as usual )


                  Thanks Chuck,

                  Yes, it does have the same D-Sub 62 but I want to be reasonably sure the wiring is the same before I attempt.

                  It would be very helpful if anyone who has the ATC-8 or ATC-16 could please check if the pinout is the same of the TX/Overland as described in this table:

                  Thanks a lot!

                  @ Gerard: No bother, I thought you were busy looking for that diagram!
                  However, if you have never hooked up your unit to any controller, checking the pinout of your cable (for ATC? PCTD? TX?) would be useless.
                  Last edited by DoubleD; January 30, 2016, 02:22 PM. Reason: Adding answer to Gerard


                    If it helps, I've used that chart to wire up a cable between a PCTD-16 controller and a Fujitsu 2444 drive; it works just fine. You can double-check by seeing if the pins labeled "GND" in the chart are signal grounds on the controller that you have.



                      It's been almost seven years and this thread is still going.
                      [Need something to waste time on? Click here to visit my YouTube channel CelGenStudios]
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                      = Excellent space heater


                        Chuck, looks like you are right!
                        Thanks a million, hope to test the whole thing next weekend.


                          Originally posted by NeXT View Post

                          It's been almost seven years and this thread is still going.
                          "Listen, and understand! That Thread is out there! It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead!!"

                          And you can only blame yourself for this! LOL


                            Hi there, I'm happy to see this thread still alive

                            Here at "Museo dell'Informatica Funzionante" Computer Museum in Palazzolo Acreide, ITALY (, we're trying to hack our QUALSTAR 1052 tape drive, to read raw data from it. We need this to recover some old computer tapes coming from a poland system (MERA-400,

                            We have an IBM 9348 drive but is only 1600/3200, this tapes are 800 BPI starting block, and data is at 1600, so our IBM drive can't read the data part, because the header is 800 bpi and give an error.

                            Obviously, we got the qualstar drive without any PERTEC interface board We only have his cable with that weird 3 row cannon.

                            So we took a look on schematics, and saw so many points from where we can maybe read some raw data.

                            We hooked an Arduino Mega, trying to read data from ENV, ZCD or other parts of the board - using RSTR (TP5) as a strobe, while the tape moves using the test mode (switch 1 on, others off). We have a tape written at 1600 BPI with a known pattern, but all we can read seem to be garbage - I think we can't find a good read strobe. We also don't have signals / data on J2 connector - reading there can be useful but nothing happens; when we read data on ENV connector (directly on the output of the LM319 line) we have data flowing also thru the "OUTREG" chips, but nothing on J2 (e.g. no IRSTR on pin 34).

                            It seem that, being in "test mode", the tape is not putting any data on J2 connector.

                            Any idea about how to read stuff, or about how to "fool" the drive forcing it to put data on J2 connector?

                            Any help is appreciated



                              Originally posted by asbesto View Post
                              trying to read data from ENV, ZCD or other parts of the board - using RSTR (TP5) as a strobe
                              There won't be a single strobe to read all nine channels as raw flux transitions. You will need to digitize the channels and do phase decoding on each channel individually in software since there can be skew between tracks either on the original tape, or in the head stack.


                                OK for the raw flux transitions - I can understand that I need to digitize and decode them - but doesn't the tape circuit do this? Can't I tap somewhere to read the decoded data directly? I mean, those data are fed to the PC interface, so somewhere they are in that circuit - can't we read them?

                                We spot TTL data on the output registers U40, U41, U42... they seem decoded, aren't they?