Dual-sided read/write head for the CDC6600 memory platters

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A read/write head for storing and retrieving information on the large (66 cm diameter) memory platters used on the CDC 6600 computer at CRNL.  A retiree, who worked on the CDC 6600, remembers the storage memory operation as follows:

“The disc platters were mounted on two spindles, each spindle had two groups of 16 platters and, during operation, would be rotating at 1800 rpm.  The read/write heads floated between the platters, such that one read/write head was able to read the surface above it, and below it.” 

The double-sided readers, with an overall length of 27 cm and a width of 5.5 cm, have a thickness of only 1.5 cm.  The disc-contacting heads, which could access six tracks on the platter at a time, were mounted on pivots to allow for imperfections in the disc surfaces.  Input/output of data was via a separate, 16-pin, connector for each surface.


CDC computers; digital computer; storage devices
Associated artifacts:
See artifact 2018-021 (the disc platters)
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