SUMMARY: Hooking up a CIPHER 9track to SparcStation

From: Guntram Wolski (seidc!
Date: Tue Nov 19 1991 - 22:06:55 CST

Quite a while ago I sent out a request on how to make a CIPHER drive
work off of the SCSI port of a SparcStation (see my original post

The answer for me was to call CIPHER at 800-4CIPHER and talk to one of
their technical support folks - Larry Allison. I had to leave a
message and Larry called me back about 2 hours later. He was quite
patient and clearly explained the situation. I had their standard
firmware in my drive and to make it work on the SUNS you need a
different version. The part numbers I was given are:


It should cost ~$315. You can (supposedly - I haven't done it yet)
call parts at 800-537-2248 and order them. Of course there is an
adapter on the back of the drive to make it talk SCSI. You can sort
of get the drive to sometimes work with the firmware I have, but
it is intermittant).

The new firmware will make the drive look somewhat like the HP that
SUN has support for in their driver list. /dev/rst9 is 1600bpi,
/dev/rst17 is 3200bpi, while /dev/rst25 is 6250bpi. Tech support said
/dev/rst25 is some sort of compression mode on the HP, but CIPHER just
uses it to support the 6250bpi. There is no 800bpi (normally
/dev/rst1) since CIPHER's drive doesn't support it.

Thanks go to (Mark Wiederspahn)
who sort of started me in the right direction (you forgot the '4' in
CIPHER's phone number Mark! :-).

Original posting:

> I have obtained a 1/2" Tape Drive that I would like to attach
> to my SS1+. The drive is a Cipher Drive Model M990116-01-0100U with
> a SCSI adapter on the back. I hang it off of the SCSI port of the
> SS1+ (after the proper cabling conversion) and gave it a SCSI address
> of 5. probe-scsi command tells me it is:
> Target 5
> Unit 0 Removable Tape Qualifier 45 NCR H6210-STD1-03-46F880
> and the normal boot up sequence identifies it as:
> NCR H621 Product 0-STD1-03-46F880
> I seem to be able to write to it as /dev/rst9 (and it switches to
> 1600 bpi) and /dev/rst17 (at 3200 bpi). Accessing as /dev/rst1 gives
> tar a write error: I/O error and trying /dev/rst25 with the 'mt'
> command gives me: "no tape loaded or drive offline", even though I
> just successfully accessed it with one of the two previous devices.
> Why not 6250 bpi?

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