Artifact Details


Automated Tape Library - retrieval mechanism

Catalog Number



Physical object



Place Manufactured

Boulder, CO


overall: 73 in x 29 1/2 in x 28 in


This object is the tape retrieval mechanism for the LLNL Automated Tape Library. It consists of a small platform which rides on curved nylon rollers along the lower rail (object 102733744). A motor drives the platform from side to side along the lower rail. An 8-inch wide flexible flat cable connects the platform to the main boxes.

Attached to the platform is a square steel column with rubber rollers at the top which guide it along the upper rail (object 102733745). A collar surrounds the column and holds the tape holder mechanism. The collar is connected to the platform with a 4-inch wide flat flexible cable. A motor on the platform drives a toothed belt which moves the collar up and down.

The tape holder mechanism has a cage which contains a curved chuck which uses vacuum to hold on to a mag tape. The chuck reaches out of the cage, grabs a tape, and pulls it back into the cage. The cage can rotate around the column so that it can access tapes on either side of the main boxes.

A set of 4 optical sensors are attached to the platform. The sensors straddle tracks in the main boxes. Cutouts in the tracks encode the position, which can be read by the optical sensors.


Memory & storage/tape

Lot Number