Retro Cassette recorders

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richmond62
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Retro Cassette recorders

Post by richmond62 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:51 pm

Having bought myself a Model B I'm on the lookout to buy a bog-basic cassette recorder: preferably with jack-plug sockets for microphone, earplug and remote-control..

Any advice / recommendations would be great.

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Lardo Boffin
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Re: Retro Cassette recorders

Post by Lardo Boffin » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:00 pm

I have two cassette players:-

An Acorn ANF03
A Ferguson 3T07

I also have a standard Beeb to mic / ear cable as well as a DIN to DIN (having the tape stop and go again is still very cool).

I have found that some games only load via the DIN cable and some by the mic / ear cable! So I guess a selection of players and cables may help.
BBC model B 32k issue 4, 16k sideways RAM, Watford 12 ROM board, Viglen twin 40/80 5.25" discs, Acorn 6502 coproc
BBC model B 32k issue 7, turboMMC, Opus Challenger 3 512k, Pi 3 coproc
BBC Master, Datacentre + HDD, pi co-proc

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richmond62
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Re: Retro Cassette recorders

Post by richmond62 » Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:47 am

At the moment I only have a DIN to ear+mic+controller cable.

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danielj
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Re: Retro Cassette recorders

Post by danielj » Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:21 am

http://www.argos.co.uk/product/5740413

Brand new with ear, mic and rem connectors.

d.

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jonb
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Re: Retro Cassette recorders

Post by jonb » Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:44 am

..and a USB plug...? Gosh.

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Lardo Boffin
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Re: Retro Cassette recorders

Post by Lardo Boffin » Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:59 am

Blimey. I wonder if this will work better with my ZX81 than my rather old cassette players? My zeddy is extremely fussy and a new player may well have better quality playback.
BBC model B 32k issue 4, 16k sideways RAM, Watford 12 ROM board, Viglen twin 40/80 5.25" discs, Acorn 6502 coproc
BBC model B 32k issue 7, turboMMC, Opus Challenger 3 512k, Pi 3 coproc
BBC Master, Datacentre + HDD, pi co-proc

dominicbeesley
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Re: Retro Cassette recorders

Post by dominicbeesley » Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:47 am

I found that most players could be coaxed into working so long as they output a sufficient (not too loud though) level.

The main things that caused one player to work and another not were dirty or mis-aligned tape heads. Some q-tips, a bottle of IPA (iso-propyl-alochol, not the horrid over flavoured hipster beer) and a small screwdriver help. Also, some of the commercial games were copied on badly misaligned machines so tweaking the heads often had to be done on a tape-by-tape basis. I used to just align by ear, twiddle the heads for maximum "brightness" of sound, an even slightly mis aligned head will sound muffled. I had a few games for the Spectrum that I copied onto new tapes as they were so far out from new....

Also, usually things like Dolby and CrO2 don't help unless the commercial tapes are specifically marked for these and should be left switched to bog-standard. However if you're recording your own then CrO2 (Dolby doesn't help) can help but be sure to mark which tapes you recorded with it switched on.

Plugging into different outputs and faffing with the tone control can help but until you've cleaned and tweaked the heads you're platting the proverbial.

D

Note: it's worth keeping a "reference" tape, preferably a proper alignment tape, to put your heads back to after tweaking for a particular difficult to load game, otherwise like my adolescent self, you will end up with a lot of self-recorded tapes that are also mis-aligned!

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grobda
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Re: Retro Cassette recorders

Post by grobda » Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:16 am

richmond62 wrote:Any advice / recommendations would be great.
use anything other than a tape recorder for data storage.

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Re: Retro Cassette recorders

Post by dominicbeesley » Mon Sep 04, 2017 2:45 pm

Tapes aren't a bad storage medium, if a little fiddly. I have plenty of 35+ year old tapes that were carried around in damp school bags, knocked around, partially demagnetised but still I can get information off them. The cheaper tapes seem to survive the best. Though the ICL mainframe boot up tapes my dad used to chuck out at work seem to have lasted the best even though they are supposed to not work properly on normal casette players - they were awful at recording music.

Most of the discs (5.25") from that era if I'm lucky will read once or twice before shedding their coating.

CD ROMs from the early-mid 1990's are hit and miss and prone to handling damage. My backups on Syquest are no good since the drive packed in.

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richmond62
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Re: Retro Cassette recorders

Post by richmond62 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:14 am

I've got a pile of cassette tapes still in their cellophane doings: I shall make double backups :D

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richmond62
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Re: Retro Cassette recorders

Post by richmond62 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 4:51 pm

I wonder if that Argis cassette recorder has a microphone socket?

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MartinB
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Re: Retro Cassette recorders

Post by MartinB » Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:32 pm

It has according to the picture in the manual.....
cassette.JPG
manual.pdf
(7.59 MiB) Downloaded 17 times

crj
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Re: Retro Cassette recorders

Post by crj » Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:02 pm

Hmm. Now I'm kinda tempted to rig up:
  • Raspberry Pi
  • USB audio adapter
  • Homebrew 2-pin 0.1" header to 2.5mm socket lead
  • BBC Micro cassette breakout lead
  • A bit of software on the Pi
Though that would be pretty perverse given all the much better ways of getting data in and out!

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richmond62
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Re: Retro Cassette recorders

Post by richmond62 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:07 pm

use anything other than a tape recorder for data storage
I'm not looking for long-term data storage (i.e. storage that should last about 2 weeks),
so cassette tapes do the trick.

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rmbrowngr
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Re: Retro Cassette recorders

Post by rmbrowngr » Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:21 pm

If you are looking for a retro tape deck Amazon have a couple and you can probably buy tapes through them as well. For leads you can pickup from eBay. I did this.
Richard B

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Elminster
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Re: Retro Cassette recorders

Post by Elminster » Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:08 pm

I am sort of Retro I am using my Sharp cassasste 'walkman' from the late 80s (had Amiga by then), but seems to work much better than the couple year older data recorders I got form ebay from the early 80's.

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