Anyone know of a UK source of 1" paper tape - the 8 hole punch tape variety?
I have managed to resurrect a paper tape punch and reader on my vintage CNC
wire edm machine and would like to secure some boxes of tape. I doubt anyone
makes it any more so what have you tucked away in your garage / loft / cubbyhole?
Punched paper tape was used up till recently in the commercial
printing of 35mm movie film. The grading instructions were generated
by the grader before printing and were stored on paper tape which was
read by the printer controls as the printing was done. It is
probably still being done that way, but I've been retired from the
film lab business for almost two years so things could have changed in
that time. :-)
Reminds me of a minor archiving problem we had back in the days when
we used this stuff for real live process control systems...the
listings amd the source (paper) tapes of each system we sold were
archived in cardboard boxes in a corner of the factory. One of our
customers managed to lose all of his system master tapes & asked us
for a duplicate set; the project manager unearthed the archive box to
find that the archive for that system had been converted into nest
material by a family of rats...
I'm roasting a pig the first saturday in August. It'll be the 17th
pig I've roasted. I've had folks from France get off the plane, drive
up here, eat pig, drink beer, and camp out. I'll reserve some lawn
chairs for you and a camp site. How many in your party?
I wonder though how much it would cost to ship it to you? I wonder
if book rate would work. The tape is the good stuff. Oiled so that it
punches well and doesn't wear out the punches so fast. I only have one
machine left that used to read paper tape but it has been converted
with a tape reader emulator for direct hookup to a computer for a long
Probably around the same time I had the task of getting Mobil's control
system back on line at their Coryton refinery in Essex. The Burroughs 2 mB
dick had crashed and a total re-load was required. Only problem was there
was no image, only the original Fortran source code on paper tape. I worked
out later that we loaded 14.2 MILES of paper tape that night, just to
generate 2 mB of machine code !!!!!!
We had a machine of this vintage in a toolroom I ran many years ago.
When we went over to PC based CAM we installed a BTR (behind tape
reader) which can have a serial link directly to a PC so does away
with tape. I noticed that GNT list these on their web site, might be
worth looking in to. Cutting speed will be much lower than more
modern machines, but as you just walk away and leave it to do its
thing that isn't an issue -better to be cautious than risk it snapping
5 minutes after you walk out of the door to leave it cutting all
night, I swear they know when you are looking and only snap when you
In my first job after leaving school we had paper tape readers for
some large flame cutting machines. All the Master tapes with
important info on for archiving were always punched on mylar tape
instead of paper tape. Paper tape stretches, tears, gets wet, and
generally doesn't last very well. Funny, every time night shift had a
job they didn't like the paper tape got torn so they couldn't do that
job -had to be done the next day when I was back at work to punch a
At least if using paper tape you'll never have to buy another box of
The chads from paper tape are actually quite dangerous if airborne. They can
and do get into the lungs and fester. Oddly enough I'm negotiating with GNT
over a BTR at the moment ! Slowly getting them to think hobby budget not
large scale production!
If it is any help, I am in Pittsburgh next week and happy to put it in
my luggage for the return trip.
Probably cheaper posting internal to US and internal to UK than
Contact me off list if you want to proceed. I fly out Sunday, back the
That is extremely kind, but by means of a contact on another forum I have
cornered the world supply of 1" paper tape - I think I have something
between 70 -100 rolls which probably will last me my lifetime!
Dare I ask how the Disco is progressing?