Home IT News Nina Kalinina and Atsuko Go Again to Fundamentals to Construct Magnetic Tapes and Floppies From Scratch

Nina Kalinina and Atsuko Go Again to Fundamentals to Construct Magnetic Tapes and Floppies From Scratch

Nina Kalinina and Atsuko Go Again to Fundamentals to Construct Magnetic Tapes and Floppies From Scratch


Self-described “blended media artificer” Nina Kalinina and Atsuko have gone again to first rules to constructed magnetic storage tape able to recording recognizable audio — and just lately expanded the mission to incorporate a home-brew 5.25″ floppy disk.

“We have made magnetic tape at house, and it (type of) works,” Kalinina explains of the mission. “The very first magnetic tapes used iron, which was changed with iron rust Fe3O4 for Magnetophon, and shortly after changed with one other iron rust, Fe2O3. The tape medium itself, because the 50s or so, was based mostly on 3M Scotch product, however earlier than that it was simply paper and glue. I wish to experiment with each, however I am going to begin with the less complicated one: Scotch tape, 1/4 inch.”

Sticky tape and iron rust are all you have to make a purposeful magnetic tape for analog or digital knowledge, this mission proves. (📹: Nina Kalinina)

Magnetic storage was a breakthrough for the computing trade, changing low-density punch-tape and awkward punch-card stacks with easily-portable and comparatively high-capacity magnetic tapes — and even permitting the tape to be erased and rewritten. The expertise was additionally quickly adopted by the music trade, with Sony’s cassette-tape-playing Walkman one of the vital iconic merchandise in historical past.

Whether or not used for analogue audio or digital laptop knowledge, although, the tape itself is identical: a strip of versatile materials coated in iron oxide, the magnetic properties of which may be flipped on demand and browse again later. To begin, Kalinina and Atsuko took a easy strip of Scotch tape — versatile and already coated on one aspect with adhesive — and utilized grains of metallic iron. When this did not work, experiment two used iron powder — however that did not work both.

The ensuing tape efficiently shops and performs again audio, although the standard does undergo. (📹: Nina Kalinina)

“What’s much less magnetic then iron however nonetheless have considerably comparable properties? Rust,” Kalinina writes. “Maybe that was the explanation why Magnetophon used it? Making use of Fe2O3 to scotch and paper tape. It’s actually nice rust, and the floor appears good. It appears JUST like a retailer purchased tape. But it surely does not work?!”

The seventh prototype used a mix of Fe2O3 and metallic iron powder, and was the primary to efficiently report audio. The eighth prototype, although, noticed the Fe2O3 heated to be able to rework it from alpha-Fe2O3 to gamma-Fe2O3 — altering the crystalline construction and getting it nearer to the fabric utilized in business tapes. “it’s totally loud, however it has plenty of giant grains of the magnetic materials that end in plenty of added noise,” Kalinina notes. “Wanting on the fractions, Atsuko realized that there is plenty of iron-looking grains in there. We in all probability overheated the fabric. If we will determine make the particles finer, that would assist, too.”

What actually labored, although, was swapping out Fe2O3 for Fe3O4 — often called black iron oxide, or Mars Black. “[This] really resulted in an excellent tape,” Kalinina says, earlier than admitting that “cleansing up the Fe3O4 — black pigment — from all around the desk was not enjoyable.” Successful with audio then led to a “enjoyable lunch break mission”: taking the identical black iron oxide and making use of it to a circle of adhesive paper to create a DIY single-sided 5.25″ floppy disk.

Sadly, whereas the prototype disk could possibly be accessed in a floppy drive and even interacted with on a magnetic foundation, it proved too unreliable to retailer knowledge. “It [was] shedding like loopy,” Kalinina explains. “That’s the most certainly purpose why the information was so noisy, and the extra we tried to do something with it, the more serious outcomes had been. We have to invent a solution to cowl the floor of the DIY floppy to guard it from shedding. [The] plan? Experiment with varnish covers (perhaps even nail varnish will work).”

Extra particulars on the mission can be found on Kalinina’s Mastodon thread.



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