Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Found a CE disk cartridge on ebay which is very helpful for disk drive restoration

Restoring and maintaining the disk drives in the 1130 system includes a need to align the head position in the drive to maximize the ability read cartridges written on other drives and the converse for reading mine on other systems.

IBM produced a small number of disk cartridges that had a precisely recorded signal on specific tracks that would be used by the CE to align all disk drive heads. This serves as a reference standard for alignment, a standardized measuring point. The cartridge had a red cover, to visually distinguish this special cartridge from all the ordinary ones.

Red cover marking a CE cartridge
Finding ordinary 2315 disk cartridges is hard enough, although I was very fortunate to pick up several dozen as part of my 1130 system, but the CE cartridge was a tool that was kept in the IBM branch office, not owned by the user of the system. That makes it quite difficult to obtain.

Official CE cartridge, underside of cart at cooling air door
This morning, while I was on the eBay site, I happened to be looking at the vintage computer category for IBM 1130 related items and up popped a listing for an IBM 1130 CE Cartridge. It had a buy it now price, so I did. It looks very clean and the seller will be packing it in molded foam which should provide more protection during shipment.

Looks quite clean in the pictures

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