[vcf-midatlantic] Paper Tape readers from CNC machines

Bill Degnan billdegnan at gmail.com
Mon May 18 13:32:27 EDT 2020

I have one coming to me in the mail today...FANUC A860 with a
A20B-0004-0270 controller,  so I am right there with you.  I have found
that what you need to dump tapes from one of these is a "behind the tape
reader" (BTR) that attaches to the punch / OUT port of the reader.  You can
buy a used BTR compatible with the reader or create your own with an
arduino.   In my case the DOSTEK-440A appears to be the ticket, but there
are others out there.  New ones are pricey so I can see why people make
them with Arduino's.

Reader --> punch port-->  BTR --> PC RS232 port.

There are a few vendors out there but they're not too helpful to the
vintage computing enthusiast IMHO....so I learned everything I needed to
through a few hours of Google.

DOSTEK is a program that runs on the PC that can manipulate tape images,
but I am sure TeraTerm and a HEX editor would also work.


On Mon, May 18, 2020 at 12:45 PM Jeff G via vcf-midatlantic <
vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:

> Hey all, some of you may have grabbed one (or more) of the paper tape
> readers readily available on ebay that likely have come from CNC machines.
> I was just wondering if anyone has actually made these work?
> It seems many of these have a standard pinout/spec depending on what CNC
> controller they were connected to.I had one I bought some time ago, a
> Sanyo-Denki 2401 model, and it seems this was often used on a Yasnac 2000G
> controller, and has a 40pin ribbon cable connection, whereas others use a
> 50pin ribbon cable (on Fanuc controllers).
> Just wondering if anyone has ever gotten one of these running, or perhaps
> knows anything about them? I spent a couple hours with mine yesterday and
> determined most of the pinout, but I don't know what voltages the power
> input should be.
> I have a bunch of notes and the data side is relatively simple, its the
> control side I'm struggling to sort out.
> Jeff aka Bags

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