@David: Actually, this would make a great project for your PICAXE -- you wouldn't need multiple LEDs -- just one light source underneath the tape and then a bunch of photo-diodes on top.
Re having to file down large photodiodes, you could always stagger them like:
Such that diodes 0,2,4,6 were reading one row of holes while diodes 1,3,5,7 were reading the adjacent row -- then when you progress the the next row you can assemble the data from the previous row... if you see what I mean.
You wouldn't need a motor -- you could just pull the tape through by hand.
So, when do you think you will have this built? LOL
@Max....even if your KSR33 does not carriage return and line feed, it should be able to read the tape and send the codes out on the RS-232 line to a PC which can then record them. However, depending on the state of your KSR, banging the print carriage against the end of the line might do some damage....I doubt it though, they were pretty rugged beasts.
Alternatively you could get 9 IR leds and 9 IR photodiodes and make your own reader, You will note that the feed holes are smaller than the data holes, this is so the position detecting photodiode will not sense the hole until it the data holes are well and truly aligned...like this
Sorry...tried to post a nice graphic but it would not do it.....
You'd have to get a small MCU to read the 8 data lines when the feed hole is detected, and then send it off in serial form to a PC. You'd also have to make up a guide to keep the paper tape straight as it passed your detector.
I could whip something like this up with a PICAXE but I don't have any paper tape. It also strikes me that you may have to find very small LEDs / diodes or file down some 3mm ones to fit......
BTW if the tape is only a few feet long you could read it manually. I have a graphic with the codes but no doubt that would not post here either....