Front of TU56 DECtape drive. The numbered rotary switch in the middle of each drive selects drive number. Up to eight drives can be controlled by one controller. The Left rocker switch write protects the tape. The middle rocker switch move the tape when in local mode. The right rocker switch allows computer control in top position, disables drive in middle, and local operation in bottom position.
The drive states is indicated on lighted indicators. They are somewhat dimmer in the picture than they actually look. I had to replace the bulbs in the indicators since all the bulbs were burnt out. I was unable to purchase identical parts so they may look slightly different. Most of the bulbs on the PDP-8 were easily replaced but these are soldered on assemblies
Forward tape motion is from left reel to right reel. The tape floats on an air layer during movement to reduce head wear. The head is the silver block in the middle of the tape path
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