What's new
What's new

Punch Tape reading for Siemens 3M

Martin P

Aug 12, 2004
Germany in the middle towards the left
Small but satisfying score today.
I managed to make an old punch tape reader/puncher work and proved its function reading the parameter tape from and FPNC with Siemens 3M.
I need it for a CNC lathe where the parameters were lost, but are inside the electrical cabinet on tape.
I am impressed with the reader/writer. Without a manual it would have been impossible to make it run! Like some buttons need to be pressed in the right sequence or simultaneously. It does have a "reload" function and also can copy tape by reading and punching simultaneously.
Manual is not very simple and many people in the 70ies must have cussed it out.
Terrible video just to show I am not fibbing about my high tech mastery:
This is at 300 baud, but it can go way faster.
Last edited:
Tape run in Mylar will last literally forever if stored carefully.
Some of us learned to program an NC where the input medium was tape....Machines where you had to load the executive off tape....
Cheers Ross
Congrats, that's really an arcane process. I was surprised to learn that tape punches are worth quite a few dollars in working condition. I had a Facit reader/punch that I used to copy my Cincinnati Acramatic control Exec tapes to disk, had to learn a lot about old stuff and interfacing it with new stuff to make it work. It sat unused for a while afterward, then I saw what they were bringing and dug it out to sell. In the meantime some caps and such had failed so it didn't run. Someone here on PM bought it anyway and got it working to serve his needs.
Do you think if I send you the punch tapes that came with my FP4 you could read the content? It seems the L cycles on the floppy I had are errourous and I hope the punch tape still has them in a correct form. or maybe some one else has a backup of a 3M GA4 set of L cycles..?