Kennedy 9800

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.





  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.



    • 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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