First - project logs shortcuts:
2. Concept design - schematics and discussion - short system description;
3. Pertec interface schematic - big pain for the eyes;
4. Arduino Mega 2560 central processing unit - prototype failure;
5. PCB - First prototype - failure;
6. Experimenting with VHS 1/2" tape (I) - 5 km (16404 ft) instead of 2600 ft! Cool!
7. Second prototype experimental schematics - don't try this at home, it's not final
8. The motherboard (1) - the anticipation of many sleepless nights;
9. The motherboard (2) - this is for people who enjoy pain;
10. It's alive! ALIVE! - the magic is flowing;
11. Jack in the Box - system installed inside a 4U rack-mounted enclosure and some experimental graphics using a HP1662 logic analyzer;
12. Pertec interface signals explained - some kind of ancient digital zoo;
13. The RAM Buffer and some software-related details. Bad luck, it took me a whole month to make rambuffer work as a big file;
14. Project published on Hackaday Blog - thank you.
15 Becoming "HOST": read data from the tape, storing data on uSD, write data to the tape - struggling with SIMH .TAP format implementation. BEER SHORTAGE IN TOWN, UNABLE TO PROPERLY COOL MY CPU!!!!
16. (Stuck at 14 for the moment due to the lack of good beer) becoming "DRIVE": sending/receiving data to/from the mainframe.
Here are all the previous steps:
 acquired a 9 track tape drive;
 recovered a communist-era Digital Alpha Numeric Terminal vt100-compatible;
 found an old mainframe and brought it home part by part. Also communist clone;
 acquired the second tape drive - power supply broken;
 Restoration project started
First step - getting the tape drive working.
This project aims to build an interface between modern and old tech. In order to get the monster working I need whatever data I can get: operating system, backup tapes, software, floppy disks, anything.
Industrial 9 track Tape Drives talk Pertec and this is the interface I am going to focus for now. So these are the functions:
1. PERTEC (9 track tape physical drive) to MicroSD Card (host microcontroller) converter - read/write data from/to tape;
2. PERTEC Drive Emulator (micro-controlled sd-card) to Mainframe (host) - acting as a genuine 9 track tape drive peripheral;
3. PERTEC (9 track tape physical drive) to SCSI (host) Converter - some people decide these devices should cost a ton of money and I want to have some fun by telling a little bit of their secrets;
4. 9 Track Tape-based USB Drive - a big, huge, mega useless mass storage USB.... wooden-stab or stick - just for fun.
My English is not too good due to the lack of good quality beer in my city, but you will get the idea:
PCB and experiments will come later.
In the mean time I'm getting my brain cooked at http://bitsavers.org/components/ while reading tons of documentation about anything related.