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Method for self-loading of single-reel tape cartridges

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000014310D
Original Publication Date: 2000-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-19
Document File: 2 page(s) / 38K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Two fundamental issues with current single-reel tape technology are:

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

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Method for self-loading of single-reel tape cartridges

Two fundamental issues with current single-reel tape technology are:

A. The cost to develop and produce tape loading hardware such as pantacams, motors, lubricants, etc.

B. The reliability of current tape loading schemes/implementations.

By using a simple spring that is allowed to expand along a guided path extending from the supply reel to the take-up reel, tape drive products can eliminate pantacams and associated motors used in loading/unloading tape. The following described implementation results in improved reliability versus current and earlier methods of loading tape from single-reel cartridges.

This concept utilizes the controlled release of a spring, stored within the tape cartridge as the energy supply/force used in moving the tape leader from supply/source reel to the take-up reel during the loading operation; and uses the supply-reel motor to re-tension
the spring during the un-load operation.

The 'spring loading' concept requires that the cartridge media-exit slot/opening be modified to be used to mechanically attach the tape leader when the tape is rewound. It is within this area that the spring will mechanically interface with the 'pin' that acts as the leader element. The cartridge itself provides space for housing the spring. This space is utilized also to provide a race-way for
guiding the spring to the exit slot.

A dual-path slider is incorporated into the cartridge door. Path-A guides the pin to the outer-most end of the door where it is 'stopped'. Path-B guides the pin the/a interface with the race-way. A ratchet mechanism is added to the cartridge door and operates in conjunction with the take-up reel servo motor to release spring force when leader/pin has been completely rewound. Thus allowing the leader to travel to the outer/further-most end of the cartridge-door. Identified as Path-A above. This element of the concept is employed to release tension on the tape (media) contained on the supply-reel. The ratchet is also employed to change the 'mandatory path' for the pin such that when the pin has been re-wound (after cartridge insertion), the pin will follow Path-B defined above.

In its expanded state, the spring is sufficiently long to extend from it's position/area in the cartridge housing to the point within the tape drive where the leader...