Digital Tape Deck

discuss both original and modern hardware for the bbc micro/electron
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rmbrowngr
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Digital Tape Deck

Post by rmbrowngr » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:40 pm

I came across this YouTube video https://youtu.be/DoMxl_RqQlQ which talks about digital tape decks for Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum. The tapes are stored in image files on SD cards and are “played” back as audio to the computers through their cassette ports. The Commodore model also supports recording. Nice piece of kit for those with lots of tape images.

BTW, There is a mention of Acorn but not any links to actual equipment.
Richard B
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Re: Digital Tape Deck

Post by CMcDougall » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:15 pm

get the app TapDancer on your old android 20p scrap value mobile phone, sorted 8)
ImageImageImage

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Re: Digital Tape Deck

Post by steve3000 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:04 pm

This does the business: http://playuef.8bitkick.cc

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Re: Digital Tape Deck

Post by mr-macrisc » Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:48 am

Any media player with headphone socket should do it, phones also have a mic input via same 3.5mm socket so all should be able to record as well.

What I always wondered is how tolerant to speed it was. ie would it still load OK if audio file run 10% faster or 20%???

Just need a 3.5mm trrs wired to dual 3.5mm sockets to use normal cable from computer

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Re: Digital Tape Deck

Post by scruss » Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:09 pm

rmbrowngr wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:40 pm
BTW, There is a mention of Acorn but not any links to actual equipment.
That would be the TZXDuino. The original work of adding UEF support was described here.

The hardware's as cheap as chips. The one with Acorn support doesn't record: it's playback only. The Tapuino for the C= machines does record in full dig-the-slowness mode.

Most home computer tape hardware was self-clocking within limits, so some of these Arduino-based tape emulators can tweak the speed upwards a bit. To get real improvements you need a speed loader, though.

MP3 players are okay, but are often nowhere near loud enough for our hearing-impaired elderly home micros. There's a procedure you can do with a stereo wav file and a battery-powered player that may be helpful for some machines.

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Re: Digital Tape Deck

Post by 1024MAK » Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:40 pm

It not that they were hearing-impaired, but rather, the “shoebox” tape recorders back then had earphone outputs that could be LOUD compared to the modern audio headphone outputs...

On a lot of 1980s computers, it is possible to alter the input sensitivity, but it does mean modifications internally. So it is often far easier to use a cheap amplifier with a LOUD headphone output.

Mark

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Re: Digital Tape Deck

Post by rmbrowngr » Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:01 pm

Been think about possible fast loading of tape images and remembered that the GoSDC has this ability, but on the Electron requires a modified OS and doesn’t support recording\writing.
Richard B
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Re: Digital Tape Deck

Post by daveejhitchins » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:21 am

The MRB supports the GoSDC's ROM e.g. You can add extra switching to the MRB and reprogram the ROM to add John Kortink's OS that supports what you want :D

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Re: Digital Tape Deck

Post by MartinB » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:50 am

:-





I'm so tedious.... :lol:

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Re: Digital Tape Deck

Post by rcmolina » Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:27 pm

@rmbrowngr, with maxduino firmware it's possible to load ultimate games on bbcmicro. :D
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Re: Digital Tape Deck

Post by rcmolina » Sat Feb 16, 2019 5:36 am

@rmbrowngr, forgot helpful information .. There is a cheap version available at Antonio Villena's store webpage:

https://www.antoniovillena.es/store/pro ... -tzxduino/

Ps. He has also a little addon board for 2,5" rem jack
Last edited by rcmolina on Sat Feb 16, 2019 5:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Digital Tape Deck

Post by rmbrowngr » Sat Feb 16, 2019 8:00 am

rcmolina wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 5:36 am
@rmbrowngr, forgot helpful information .. There is a cheap version available at Antonio Villena's store webpage:

https://www.antoniovillena.es/store/pro ... -tzxduino/

Ps. He has also a little addon board for 2,5" rem jack
Nice little product. BTW, I’m an Electron owner. I keep playing with the idea of getting a Beeb, but I really don’t want to pay more than a 100 Euros. All the refurbished Beebs are much more than this.
Richard B
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Re: Digital Tape Deck

Post by rcmolina » Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:05 pm

@rmbrowngr, good luck! hope you can find one cheap BEEB soon but it will be difficult , I got mine on ebay for 200 euros from ebay Netherlands with microsd interface one year ago.

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Re: Digital Tape Deck

Post by beatkamp » Mon Aug 26, 2019 10:08 pm

I had a heck of a time getting TZXDUINO to work with the downloaded UEF files. These came as a ZIP with a UEF and a TXT file inside from Stairway.

The player would stop immediately when trying to play this file.

Well then I read UNZIP again... tada! It works now. This was a comment somewhere here that helped me.

The UEF was zipped inside of a ZIP. I had to rename the unzipped *.UEF as *.ZIP and unzip again, rename the result to *.UEF

Most all of you know this, but I sure didn't.

Coming from the Atom world, I always enjoyed when a dev made a cassette bumper. Happy to see this stuff on the BEEB.
The tape versions of games are different.

So much fun!

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Re: Digital Tape Deck

Post by vanekp » Wed Aug 28, 2019 10:07 am

TZXDUINO will only work with UEF files and does not support the hq.UEF format, its suppose to be upgraded but who knows when, and also think the UEF files need to be unzipped and the unzipped version renamed to .UEF to work.
as already suggested by others PlayUEF (http://www.8bitkick.cc/playuef.html) works 100% with all uef images.
Last edited by vanekp on Wed Aug 28, 2019 10:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Digital Tape Deck

Post by rcmolina » Sun Oct 06, 2019 4:33 pm

@vanekp , I forgot to metion that Maxduino supports protected hq.uef from version 1.48, that was 4 months ago. :D
There are a lot of videos in youtube desmostrating the new feature, "almost" as playuef does.


https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0L03I ... tW7MuhF--g
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-mXd5vaFJw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2ATo4hDF8o
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUFfAAIRHsk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZQr8Xdor-w


Regards,

-

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Re: Digital Tape Deck

Post by vanekp » Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:58 pm

oh thanks must see how I go about updating mine then, not sure which version I have, must check that 1st.
mine is a TZXDuino ver 1.11 based on nano 3
ahhh there is a updater here for it https://github.com/rickyelqasem/TZXDuino-Uploader
updated to ver 1.14.1
Peter.

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vanekp
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Re: Digital Tape Deck

Post by vanekp » Sun Oct 06, 2019 10:38 pm

hmmm new version 1.14 does not seem to support chunk Chunk &0104 - defined tape format data block :-
// UEF chunks
#define ID0000 0x0000
#define ID0100 0x0100
#define ID0110 0x0110
#define ID0111 0x0111
#define ID0112 0x0112
#define ID0116 0x0116
#define IDCHUNKEOF 0xffff

so protected or special block UEF's still will not work with TZXDuino.
Peter.

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Re: Digital Tape Deck

Post by rcmolina » Mon Oct 07, 2019 2:08 pm

@vanekp, as I stated, you must check maxduino firmware...

Last version:
https://github.com/rcmolina/maxduino

V1.48:
https://github.com/rcmolina/MaxDuino_BE ... uino_v1.48

Happy testing,

Rafael Molina

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vanekp
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Re: Digital Tape Deck

Post by vanekp » Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:50 pm

okay thanks, that would explain why it still does not work only that that was the latest update i could find for the TZXDuino as I see this update is for a maxduino and have no idea if
1. that will work with a TZXDuino ?
2. how do I then update a TZXDuino with this update?
As the one I used has a special program that you use to update my unit.
Peter.

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Re: Digital Tape Deck

Post by rcmolina » Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:03 pm

@vanekp,

Q1. that will work with a TZXDuino ?
Maxduino is full compatible with TZXduino and CASduino, it combines both of them in the same limited space. You can flash back and forward your firmware with Arduino IDE (version 1.8.4 recommended) without harming your device. Remember to configure your screen options and features in userconfig.h. Forgot some parameters? Reflash it again.. Userconfig.h allows to tune your supported capacity, activate/deactivate features until you fill confortable in your limited arduino space.

Nowdays inspiration goes beyond, retrofitting arduino nano chip with new arduino nano every (chip ATMega4809 instead of ATMega328) is posible to add more capacity and bring new features (see youtube videos). Also new board arduino mega with extra capacity will be supported hopefully in next version thanks to maxduino team member merlinkv. New supporting platforms on the way.

The key point is you must select your platform+port in your arduino ide, your sketch will compile according to this configuration.


Q2. how do I then update a TZXDuino with this update?
Back to basics ... Download your arduino ide and libraries, check this blog: https://tzxduino.wordpress.com/tzxduino/
Email me :D


Ps. Remember this is an opensource project, so testing is part of the game. In case of problems, do not hesitate to reach me at rcmolina@gmail.com

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Re: Digital Tape Deck

Post by vanekp » Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:39 pm

Thanks for the advice/info, not having programed a nano before so I was a bit nervous to do it as I bought the unit ready made and did not want to destroy it.
It was important to use the arduino ver 1.8.4, as the latest version gives an error message when you try to program the unit.
I assume its normal that this one gives a warning message about low memory, but it all seems to work trying it on a couple of protected uef files.
TZXduino.png
Thanks again rcmolina
Peter.

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Re: Digital Tape Deck

Post by scruss » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:12 pm

Yes, the low memory warning comes up with any sketch that's beyond a trivial size. Best ignored.

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Re: Digital Tape Deck

Post by vanekp » Fri Apr 24, 2020 9:24 pm

Chunks 104 and 111 are well supported. Check my videos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZQr8Xdor-w&t=7s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPxpDbPDWVE

Regarding protected files, just notice parity is not well preserved in uef files and must be inverted in menu options(TSXCzxpUEFSW). This is automatically done in emulators, but here you need to configure it.
Thanks that fixed the loading problems with hq.uef's that use parity.
Peter.

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Re: Digital Tape Deck

Post by vanekp » Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:19 pm

I take it MaxDuino does not support 300 baud for the BBC it assumes everything is 1200
looking at the github page I could not find any support for Chunk &0113 - change of baud rate in the code
and take it there are no plans to support it.
Peter.

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