HP41 82161A HPIL tape drive emulator based on PIL-Box interface and a Arduino Mega board Wolfram Perrey | This is an HPIL 82161A tape drive emulator connected to a HP41, operating a CAT instruction to show the content of one specific 128k tape container. The actual capability of the drive is:- It simulates two different tape drives at the same time- It contains a basic printer emulation on the TFT display (Still very basic)- Capable to control the virtual exchange of tape cartridges (LIF files) by programmable custom HP41 instructions- Capable to hold the whole available LIF File library from the HP LIF Project in a single drive.- Capable to manage 2GB for LIF containers, means all around of 2.097.152 KB in binary. Divided by 128k for each tape it could store and handle of about 16.384 virtual tapes cartridges on a single cheap 2GB SD card.Power consumption: The actual power requirement of the drive is around 200mA. In this example video the whole drive emulator is powered from a cheap Chinese power bank with a capacity of 3700mAh. This permits a operation autonomy of around 18h. This autonomy could be greatly expanded by implementing a standby power mode.Operation Speed: The read and write speed can not be compared to the original drive. The seek operation on a LIF container stored on the SD card takes some fractions of ms compared to some seconds or minutes of spooling and searching on the original tape drive. Such a behavior is something disturbing when You are accommodated to the behavior of the poriginal tape drive. Since the emulator drive is capable to handles all operation request and the data transfer in fractions of time compared to the relatively slow HP41 master, the calculator remains in this data transfer configuration as the bottleneck.The operation reliability of the drive emulator is something completely extraordinary since I never faced any data loss or corruption during many many data operations. The reliability of the semiconductor based storage method is not comparable to the weakness of a magnetic tape storage. How it works:For the physical layer interface I made the use of a home build PIL-Box interface from J-F Garnier (http://www.jeffcalc.hp41.eu/hpil/index.html) This PIL-Box interface was build as an Arduino head PCB to stack it on top of the Arduino Mega controller. On top of the PIL-Box hat is placed a chinese TFT display board as a basic data interface and the paperless printer emulation. This display board also provide the SD Card interface for data storage. From the SW side on the Arduino runs a ported version of Christoph Giesselink the Windows Ilper SW. (https://hp.giesselink.com/hpil.htm)You can manipulate the whole drive by HP41 commands, eg. mount lif container as tape medias, create, delete and so on. The whole thing simulate a HP9114B disk drive and a HP82162A Thermal Printer in once and give some additional features like a high precision DS 3231 RTC clock. I'v done it while I was not happy enough to get original an working tape and printer devices. But I didnt start from zero while there is just the PIL BOX HW available and a other smart guy has just nicely ported the ilper SW to run on the Arduino that I only modified and expanded for some extra features.