Has anyone embarked on the challenge of converting a DAT Tapes to MP3 or WAV?

My father-in-laws DAT player has pretty much died and a replacement options are limited.
I have done a bit of research and it look to be DDS Backup drive can handle the same tapes as long as it has audio mode enabled in the firm ware. (This mainly allows dubbing at 4x real time). As he has 100's of them this would be a time saver.
I am aware some sony and conner dds drive have the required features but were is the best to get one? I'm wary of ebay given the quality and high probability of a dud turning up.

Does anyone have a similar setup working?