82176A Mini Data Cassette equivalent?


Do any of you know about any other cassette that can be used instead of the HP 82176A


You could use the virtual Tape drive with EMU41 /EMU71 and store files on a PC.

I'm not aware of any Data Cassette replacement- I suggest some of the previous forum discussions on the topic.


Hi Allen,

EMU41 is fine for storing programmes on pc but one would need a HPIL interface card for the PC and also a PC with ISA bus.


I have 2 HP-IL ISA cards and still have an old computer or two with ISA sockets.

The problem is the software.

1) I thought the original software required a "slow" computer.

2) I don't actually have the old software anyway :-(


Dear Steve,

Use EMU41 software from Jean-Francois Garnier for our existing PC equipment. Than you get a really powerfully system solution. More details about installation and unsig EMU41 you find in my actual 708 page book....

Regards - Christoph Klug


I have a couple of Verbatim brand ones I bought from EduCalc back in the day, and they worked fine. They're 100% compatible with my HP82161A cassette drives. The label on the front of the cassette itself is light blue with silver lettering that says to the left of the window:

and underneath the window says, all in lower case,
mini data cassette
On the top edge are printed numbers in blue ink, possibly serial and lot numbers:
6029 6879
on one and
6035 6879
on the other. Here's what they look like:


(The silver lettering on the blue background is hard to read.)


top edge:


I believe these tapes to be made by the same company that made the HP-label 82176A tapes.

The Date code/Contract number format is the same- I have a lengthy response on this issue somewhere in the archives of the forum, but can't seem to find it google or otherwise.


A question I have concerns the life of these tapes.

As someone who tries to maintain a "working" collection, there are a number of time-related maintenance issues.

Some of those time-related issues are card-reader bearings and pinch rollers, and gummy lubricant on early disk drives.

Another one is the deterioration that may occur of the tape used by the tape drives (and of any pressure pads etc that might be inside the cassette).

Has anyone documented the *inside* of these tapes and looked at replacing the tape with something else?

Replacement could be either new tape (from a cassette, or a DAT or something???)


hi steve; one thing i have learned will be obvious to you: don't leave tapes sitting in the unit. you can always demagnetize the head but you can't put info back on the little directory area. any info is lost that the drive doesn't have a location for, even though the tape is fine.


Hi Steve,

Has anyone documented the *inside* of these tapes and looked at replacing the tape with something else?

I think you may found this interesting.




Thanks. That was *exactly* what I was after.

My concern is that 60min tapes may have tape too thick to fit the required length into the space in the HP cassette. Do you recall if this was an issue?

Another poster in that thread noted that he had written something about replacing the foam pad inside the cassette. Do you know if that is available anywhere?

I am very pleased that the required materials are not terribly exotic :-)


I completed a repair of a faulty 82176A cassette on Wednesday night. The felt pad had fallen off, and the tape would not read. I would alternately get "Medm Error" or "Dev Error" before the repair.

Tony Duell graciously sent me his 82176A repair article from years past, and I used that as a basis for the repair.

I got the case apart, although it would not cleanly split along the seams; the separation departed from the seam on the side of the cassette opposite the tape head. I used a blade to try and split the seams, and realized that the full tape spool was dangerously close to the cassette edge. I may have nicked the clear tape leader that was wound on the outside of the spool when trying to open the tape, but I could not see any damage when I unspooled the leader.

I still had the felt pad, and I scraped the backside with a blade to remove most of the remants of the deteriorated foam, so that I could re-use it. I could not find the foam double stick tape that Tony recommended, but I did find its specifications, and it is 1 mm thick. I had some 3M permanent double stick tape that was 1 mm in thickness, so I used that and stuck the original felt pad to it.

I tried isopropyl to clean the metal spring strip, and had to scrap it with a blade to get it clean.

Once the pad was replaced, and I got the tape back together, it read fine.

I am going to try to repair another one, but this time I am going to try and do it without opening up the tape case.

Does anyone know the thickness of the tape? From what I've read about standard cassettes, the 45 minute and 60 minute tapes are the same thickness, the 90 minute tapes are thinner, and the 120 minute tapes are even a ittle thinner than that. I would like to replace the tape in one of my mini-cassettes to maximize its future life, and tape thickness will be important to match.



If somebody has money to pay the value request is an opportunity.


Edited: 8 Mar 2009, 12:36 p.m.


$650 for 10 old stock tapes, and who knows how they have been stored. They might not even be good any more. Looks like a rip-off to me.


From the seller's feedback one can see, that some time ago he already tried to sell for $650, but he didn't find a buyer. Last time he succeeded, he offered the stuff for $250, still a lot if you don't know what you get, but still within the limits payed for single used tapes on ebay. Let's see whether patience pays ...


This is a good example of what happens when a manufacturer stops producing a dedicated media and remaining supplies are tending to virtually 0.

Why didn't HP use "standard cassettes" for this task? Was it a decision of miniaturisation or was it to earn supplementary $$$ ?


or even a standard mini cassette, the sort that were used for dictating machines and which are still available.

They even *look* similar. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mini_Cassette

Interestingly they say that the lack of a capstan makes them "unsuited to any task other than voice recording".

I'm pretty sure the 82176A doesn't have a capstan, and I'm also pretty sure that this device performs a task other than voice recording.

EDIT: I *know* these are not equivalent. Don't try them -- they don't work.

EDIT2: An answer for your question. These days HP would do it for the money. In those days HP did it to ensure quality and to introduce technical features that made engineering sense.

Edited: 12 Mar 2009, 8:04 p.m.

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