Mike's PBX Cookbook

Meridian Mail tape drives,
and tape compatibility

Meridian Mail uses standard quarter-inch cartridges (QIC). Data is recorded sequentially on multiple tracks. Each track runs from one end of the tape to the other. At the end of the tape, the tape head moves to the next track and the tape direction is reversed.

The following drives are supported:

The Tandberg drives can read and write tapes with a capacity up to 2.5 Gbytes, and are backwards compatible with all existing Meridian Mail tapes. Recommended setup: a Tandberg drive, and Imation "Magnus" 2.5GB (SLR4) tape cartridges.

Tape drivesTape formatsTape mediaTape capacities
Tandberg 4220 and
Tandberg 2500DSE
QIC-24 (Read)
QIC-120
QIC-150/QIC-150
QIC-525
QIC-1000
QIC-2GB/QIC-2GB
DC300XL
DC600
DC6150/DC6250
DC6525
DC9100
Magnus 2.0/Magnus 2.5
40 Mbytes
60 Mbytes
155 Mb/250 Mbytes
525 Mbytes
1 Gbytes
2 Gbytes/2.5 Gbytes
Archive 2150QIC-24 (Read)
QIC-150
DC300XL
DC6150/DC6250
40 Mbytes
155 Mbytes/250 Mbytes

Meridian Mail: Tandberg Drive, cable, and tape
Drive, cable, and tape
Tandberg 4220: Front
Drive Front
Tandberg 4220: Rear
Drive Rear
Meridian Mail Install Tape
Install Tape
SCSI Cable: NTAK30
SCSI Cable

Set the tape drive to SCSI ID 1, and use the lower SCSI connector (marked IN). All drives employ internal terminating resistors.
And remember, tape tensioning, spooling, reading, writing, rewinding, etc, is slooowwwwwwww! Patience, grasshopper!

Drive/head Cleaning

It is recommended to clean the tape heads after a brand-new tape has been used for the first time, and after every eight hours of tape drive operation. If errors occur when reading or writing tapes, it is an indication of either a faulty tape or dirty tape heads.

  1. Press the drive door release button, and remove any tape in the drive.
  2. Carefully blow out any dust with an aerosol air spray (use short bursts).
  3. Load the cleaning cartridge, and close the drive door. The drive will start to spin.
  4. After a few minutes of spooling, press the release button and remove the cartridge.
  5. Wait a couple of minutes for the tape heads to dry before using the drive. Done!
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