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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    2

    PTAP2DXF - make paper tapes without a punch

    G'day all,
    This is my first post on IndustryArena, please be kind
    I've written a small open source command line utlity called PTAP2DXF that makes paper tapes without using a tape punch.
    Rather, it generates DXFs for cutting workable 8-level, 5-level and other-level paper tapes using a normal home CNC craft stencil cutting machine, the sort that is generally used for making Xmas and Birthday cards.

    It's mostly directed towards vintage computer enthusiasts who might have a paper tape reader but not a punch, but maybe someone here could find it intreresting.

    You can find it on Github at https://github.com/1944GPW/ptap2dxf

    I've written a 26-page illustrated user manual PDF for it which is in the Documentation folder.
    https://github.com/1944GPW/ptap2dxf/...anual_v1.0.pdf

    For Windows users, I've put a precompiled PTAP2DXF.EXE executable there, if you're not fussed on building it yourself.
    I'ts written in portable C# on .NET Core so it is buildable and runnable on Linux and Mac as well.
    If you try it I'd be interested in any comments, bug reports and so on.
    Thanks and regards,

    Steve Malikoff.
    Brisbane, Oz

  2. #2
    Registered
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    722

    Re: PTAP2DXF - make paper tapes without a punch

    I am impressed, and wonder why......not a negative wonder .....
    I ran parts with 1" analog mag tape, miles of punched paper and mylar, learned ro read BCD and fix tapes
    Yeah we made parts that went into space that way.
    Been doing this too long

  3. #3
    Registered
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    488

    Re: PTAP2DXF - make paper tapes without a punch

    WOW!!!

    I was going to say "get a hobby" but you have one.

    Now I feel bad throwing away that old tape reader / punch on the Tree CNC machine I rebuilt a few years back.

    Great work.

  4. #4
    Registered
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    722

    Re: PTAP2DXF - make paper tapes without a punch

    Tape length and misreads were the bane of tape,
    imagine 4 spindles 4 parts and a read error. oohhhh s**t
    yes that happened. .
    Clean the reader every shift. Tension arms stretching mylar tapes.
    One job 20 tapes. normal stuff
    We switched to 1/2" mag tape cassettes and 7" floppy's with BCL for B-1 at Rock-et-well.

    Thank goodness for read reliability and unlimited tape length.
    Been doing this too long

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    2
    Thanks for your comments guys, I appreciate it.
    The reason I wrote the program came about when my wife bought the little CNC craft cutter to make cards and decorations on. I saw it in a different light, rather as a way to make engine and transmission gaskets and marking stencils for my WWII vehicle restoration hobby. These turned out excellently.

    Not having a currently working punch for my vintage computers (I have an ASR33 teletype to be worked on someday) I was intrigued to find out the limits of the cutter's resolution so I ran tests on cutting the sprocket and data holes in tape and to my surprise it was no problem at all, and it grew from there.

    I'm about to start on the option to make 80-column IBM punched cards... not that I have a card reader, but mostly for fun

    Steve.

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