So I found a 9-track reel-to-reel tape drive on eBay that looked like it was in working and beautiful condition. It’s a Kennedy 9800 with the reels arranged horizontally so it doesn’t take up half an equipment rack. I’d like to use it with a PDP-8/e system emulated via SimH running on a Beaglebone Black, so I’ll need to build a controller for it.

The Beaglebone Black has two independent, real-time CPU cores called PRUs that could totally control this tape drive. Developing for those seems a pretty specialized process so I’m opting to build a USB controller that presents a SCSI Sequential Access Device, using SCSI Stream Commands.



2 Replies to “Kennedy 9800”

  1. I am in the process of getting one of these (Kennedy 9832). But I could not recognize what kind of interface does it have and what kind of cables does it need to be connected to a PC? If you could enlighten me about that that would be most appreciated. You can also email me. Thanks in advance.



    1. Hi Arda,

      This tape drive does not contain any interface logic – you’ll have to find an interface unit (Pertec or other) that provides a SCSI interface or something like that. I intend to make a USB interface using custom microcontroller code that I will post here but who knows when that will be!


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