Using QIC-36 and QIC-02 tape drive bus systems with GNU/Linux and NetBSD


This page describes my experience with QIC-36 hardware on a 80368/80387 ISA machine running GNU/Linux 2.0 and QIC-02 hardware on dual Pentium PCI/EISA machines running GNU/Linux 2.4 and NetBSD 2.0.

QIC-36 and QIC-02 are bus systems - like ATA for hard disks - but for tape drives. It is important to distinguish that QIC-36/QIC-02 is NOT a tape format like QIC-24 or QIC-150. QIC-36/QIC-02 supports up to 4 drives on a single 50Pin cable (without any twisted wires). The cable has edge connectors for the tape drives and an IDC connector for the host adapter.
Attention: The cable connection on the host adapter looks exactly like an 8Bit SCSI connection but is electrically incompatible!

Difference between QIC-36 and QIC-02

QIC-36 is the older technology. QIC-02 is newer and the controller is a bit more intelligent. Technical documents are hard to find so I don't know the exact differences. I have not verified it, but QIC-36 and QIC-02 should not be compatible even though they use the same physical connections (cables and connectors). Remember that the host adapter nevertheless can have the same programming interface.

Below are links to manuals that contain some protocol information. Please tell me if you know documents with more technical details (and where to get them for free).


Here are some documents about Wangtek hardware:

I have played with the following hardware components. If the name of the device is a link, you can get information about the device by klicking on it.



The installation of the PC36 was no problem irrespective the fact that this huge board needs a full length ISA slot. But my 80386 machine has more than enough such slots.

The installation of the PC02 into the Pentium PCI/EISA bus machine was a problem because I have no EISA config file for the card. For testing I inserted the board without running the ECU. It worked anyhow but one have to carefully check for ressource conflicts by hand whenever touching the system. This breaks the EISA autoconfiguration and ressource checking philosophy (and we do not want that). Therefore I have written an EISA config file for the Wangtek PC02 and now the ECU know about the ressources and can print this nice switch and jumper setting pictures for you.


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