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Idler-less Reel-to-Reel Tape Drive

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000015661D
Original Publication Date: 2002-Feb-27
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Our invention eliminates the need for tape-guiding idlers and tape-guiding air-bearings in a tape path. Previous tape paths had to have idlers and/or air-bearings on each side of the I/O transducer to present the proper angle of wrap of the tape across the I/O transducer, as the radii of the tape reels changed due to the shifting of tape from one reel to the other. It should be noted that another name for the I/O transducer is a tape head. The I/O transducer is typically a magnetic transducer. However, I/O transducer could be an optical transducer designed for data communication with optical tape. Our tape path is shown in Figure 1. Tape 20 is passed across I/O transducer 30 by the motion of tape reels 10 and 11. The tape path in Figure 1 is called reel-to-reel because there are no vacuum columns. Also, the tape path in Figure 1 has no idlers or air-bearings. This requires that I/O transducer be articulated to translate in the X-Y plane and rotate about the Z axis to accommodate the changing reel radii of tape reels 10 and 11. Y 20