This Wangco Model 10 tape drive was initially delivered in November of 1973 with the Nova 840 system and remains installed there.
It's a nine track device and reads/writes data at 800 bpi (bits per inch) using the NRZI (Non Return to Zero Indiscriminate) recording system.
The drive is a start/stop device and controls tape motion through the use of a single capstan. The tape is wrapped 180 degrees around said capstan and is held by friction alone (no vacuum). Slack and reel inertia are compensated by mechanical tape loops using 4 tension and 4 static rollers. Reel servos are controlled by optical feedback from the tensioning arms. The capstan is commanded from the host computer to move tape forward or backward. Tape speed for read/write is 45 inches per second in either direction.
Data and control communications with the host computer pass through an
adaptor before being applied to the tape drive. The adaptor and host
controller are capable of controlling eight drives, all of which may be in
motion but only one can be executing data transfers at any single point