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Flexible-Flange Tape Cartridge for the IBM 3490 Tape Subsystem

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000110770D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-26
Document File: 4 page(s) / 82K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Albrecht, TR: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

The standard 3490 cartridge wraps the tape onto a flanged hub, so that the distance between the upper and lower flanges determines the precision with which the tape is wound onto the spool. Disclosed here is a novel cartridge design which is capable of reducing the stagger between wraps down to the slitting tolerance of the tape itself. This improvement is achieved by replacing the rigid flanges of the hubs with spring-loaded flexible flanges. Better winding of the spool results in closer tracking of the read/write head to the data track, particularly after long periods of cartridge storage. The design is compatible with the 3490 Tape Drive and is particularly useful when high rewind speeds or very thin tape is used.

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Flexible-Flange Tape Cartridge for the IBM 3490 Tape Subsystem

      The standard 3490 cartridge wraps the tape onto a flanged hub,
so that the distance between the upper and lower flanges determines
the precision with which the tape is wound onto the spool.  Disclosed
here is a novel cartridge design which is capable of reducing the
stagger between wraps down to the slitting tolerance of the tape
itself.  This improvement is achieved by replacing the rigid flanges
of the hubs with spring-loaded flexible flanges.  Better winding of
the spool results in closer tracking of the read/write head to the
data track, particularly after long periods of cartridge storage.
The design is compatible with the 3490 Tape Drive and is particularly
useful when high rewind speeds or very thin tape is used.

      Fig. 1a shows the design of the flexible-flange cartridge.  A
thin disk of Mylar* or other suitable pliant material is installed
flush against the tape stack.  Outside of the Mylar disk is a star
spring made of 5-millimeter-thick stainless steel shim stock.  This
spring delivers a loading force against the Mylar and therefore
against the edges of the tape, guiding it onto the stack.  This
flexible flange is attached to the hub and therefore rotates with the
spool.

Fig. 2a.  Profilometer trace of standard 3490 cartridge after high
speed rewind.  Vertical scale  300,000 A.

      The Mylar/stainless assembly is lifted away from the tape edge,
however, at the tange...