Digital Cassette tapes


Can you use something else in them?

The manual states: "HP Mini Data Cassettes are special, high-quality digital cassettes. Other casettes may not provide adequate reliability for storing and retrieving information..."

This sounds like HP-speak for "These casettes are the same mechanically as something else that is cheaper on the market, but we want you to use ours"

Are these the same as any other mini cassette? Especially those that go into (say) dictaphone machines?



Standard Dictophone microcassettes won't work in the digital cassette drive. They are too small. The cassettes used in the digital cassette drive have a slightly, and I'm not sure if they are sold for use in other devices that are available today.



The HP mini data cassettes differ further from the microrecorder type. Besides from some subtle notches in the cassette body, there are two mirrors that redirect a beam of light from the hp82161A through the tape and back into the 82161A; when the transparent leader shows up at the end and beginning of the tape, the beam passes through and reaches a photodetector and the drive knows that the tape is fully wound.

If you can, get a hp9114. They are more reliable than the hp82161 and finding media is no problem, at least not yet. The original lead-acid batteries for it are discontinued, but there are replacements that fit.


Steve- I certainly hope you are correct. That phrase does suggest there is an alternate. I just obtained an HP IL player with one cassette. I noted the cassette inserts single sided only when it appeared there was a bad patch near the tape's end and tried to flip it. The -dir- funtion worked most of the time, but as the data was not usable to me I sought to initialize the tape to write new data. The tape appears to go all through its sequence, but right at the end, there's a -medm err- or -drive err-, suggesting the tape is bad. So I'll second your query for a substitute.


steve; in march 2000 jim carter (now) at interfab still had cassettes. cheap too. thats or (949)582-2631. if theres none left; reinhard howel is going to get some data off a tape of mine someday and put it on another that i can read. if he sends them both back (i didnt ask him to) you can have the old one and should be able to re-"newm" it and use it.



If you have not already checked, Jim Carter does indeed have spare mini cassettes, apparently in some quantity, and they're quite inexpensive.

Good luck.


Yep, I'm following up on the Jim Carter route

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