Care and Handling of the
IBM Magnetic Tape Cartridge
Every carton of
cartridges shipped from IBM contains 30
cartridges and 60 labels: 30 customer labels and
30 volume/serial number labels. Each row of 10
cartridges, within the carton, is sealed in
plastic to protect the cartridges from
contamination during shipment (see Figure 2).
2. Tape Cartridge Packaging
or an incorrect environment can damage the
magnetic tape or the cartridges. See
"Damaged Cartridges" on page 6 for
information about damaged cartridges. To avoid
damage to your tape cartridge and to ensure
continued high reliability on your subsystem:
- Do not carry
cartridges loosely in a box or basket.
The leader blocks can catch on other
cartridges and be unlatched. If the
leader block is not correctly latched
into the cartridge, loading errors can
- Leave the
cartridges in their protective wrapping
until you use them. When unpacking new
cartridges, remove the protective
wrapping in your computer room or your
library area. Use the tear-string to
remove the protective wrapping; do not
use a sharp instrument to remove the
wrapping because doing so can damage the
Inspect each cartridge to ensure that the
leader block is correctly latched. If not, push the
leader block toward the cartridge until
it catches in the latch.
- Before using
the cartridges, condition them to the
normal operating environment for at least
following is a description of the
magnetic tape properties that are
required for satisfactory operation with
an IBM tape drive.
Essential for IBM Tape Drive Use
properties have been established as the result of
tape testing. Future testing may show that
changes to these requirements are necessary. If
so, IBM may revise any of the following
requirements without notice.
The tape shall
consist of a base material (oriented polyethylene
terephthalate film or its equivalent) coated on
one side with a flexible layer of ferromagnetic
material dispersed in a suitable binder. The back
surface of the tape can also be coated.
physical interruption in the tape such as that
produced by tape splicing or perforations.
shall be no discontinuities.
across the tape from tape-edge to tape-edge when
the tape is under less than 0.28 newton (1.0
width of the tape must be 12.650 ± 0.025 mm
(0.498 ± 0.001 in.).
Coating (Peel) Adhesion
force required to peel the coating from the
surface of the tape.
force required to peel the coating from the tape
substrate base must be greater than or equal to
0.12 newton per mm (0.35 pound-force per 0.5
in.) of tape width.
- Use a tape
sample that is approximately 380 mm (15
- Scribe a line
through the coating across the width of
the tape sample.
- Attach one
end of the tape (approximately 125 mm [5
in.] long) to a smooth metal plate, using
a double-coated, pressure-sensitive tape
between the tape and the plate.
- Use a
universal testing machine that records
force versus displacement, and attach the
metal plate and the free end of the tape
sample between the jaws.
- Set the jaws
with an initial separation of
approximately 250 mm (10 in.), such that
when the jaws are separated, the tape is
peeled from the plate at an angle of
1800, beginning at the scribed line.
performance, use IBM tape cartridges with IBM
tape subsystems. Tape cartridges from other
suppliers are acceptable if they meet the
specifications described in Tape and Cartridge
Requirements for the IBM 3480 Tape Drive.
If the use of
non-IBM cartridges causes machine damage,
repeated machine service calls, or parts
replacement (other than that caused from normal
wear), IBM will charge the customer for the time
and material of all required service and parts.
Cleaning a Cartridge
Damaged or dirty
cartridges can reduce subsystem reliability and
cause the loss of recorded data. If dirt appears
on the cartridge, wipe the outside surfaces with
a lint-free cloth (part 2108930) that has been
lightly moistened with IBM cleaning fluid (part
8493001) or its equivalent.
Warning: Do not
allow anything wet, including the cleaning fluid,
to contact the tape.
Make sure all
cartridge surfaces are dry and the leader block
is snapped into place before loading the
cartridges are shipped and stored on their sides,
you can lay the cartridges flat temporarily while
moving them. The bottom of each cartridge has two
raised areas that fit into the indented label
area on the top of another cartridge. This
construction helps prevent the cartridges from
sliding while moving them.
Do not stack more
than six cartridges.
The cost of a tape
cartridge is low compared to the cost of damage
to tape drives and possible loss of recorded
data. Therefore, check the cartridge for damage
before using it in the tape drive. A good
practice is to copy essential records and keep
them in a secure storage area.
continued use of your cartridges and subsystem:
- Do not open
the cartridge case at any time. The upper
and lower parts of the case are welded;
separating them destroys the usefulness
of the cartridge.
- Do not load a
damaged cartridge into a tape drive.
During an emergency, if you need to
recover data from a damaged cartridge,
call your service representative. (IBM
will charge the customer for the time and
materials used during the service call).
identifies the parts of a cartridge that might
become damaged. Examples of cartridge damage
include the following:
- The tape was
wound completely out of the cartridge
onto the machine reel and then reattached
to the cartridge reel by the service
representative. This repair is temporary
and permits the cartridge to be loaded
one time so that the data can be copied
to a replacement cartridge.
- The cartridge
case is cracked or broken.
- The leader
block is broken.
- The leader
block latch is broken.
file-protect selector is damaged.
- The cartridge
case contains any liquid. The cartridge
has any other obvious damage.
4. Cartridge Parts. The leader
block is shown unlatched with a length of
tape extending from the cartridge for
illustration purposes only. The leader
block should not be unlatched from the
can recover data from a cartridge that has a
detached leader block, using the materials in the
IBM Leader Block Repair Kit (part 4780625}. Your
National Distribution Division representative can
tell you how to get the kit.
leader block is a temporary repair only. After
you recover the data, store it on a different
cartridge. If the damaged cartridge is within
warranty, it can be returned to IBM. Otherwise,
throw away the cartridge.
Cartridge Quality and
The IBM tape
cartridge provides high performance and
reliability with the IBM 3480 Magnetic Tape
Subsystem when the cartridge is properly handled
and stored. As discussed earlier, repeated
handling or inadvertent mishandling can damage
the physical parts of the cartridge and make it
unsuitable for use.
The magnetic tape
inside the cartridge is made of the most durable
materials available. However, the tape does wear
after repeated cycles in the tape drive.
Eventually, such wear can cause an increase in
We recommend that
you keep the following supplies on hand to
maintain your cartridges.
- Leader Block
Repair Kit, part 4780625, or equivalent
cloth, part 2108930, or equivalent
- IBM Tape
Cleaning Fluid, part 8493001, or