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Aprules2
April 21st, 2009, 10:28 PM
I finally bought a Commodore C2N,(its white and rectangular I think its a vic one) and a few tapes. But I have no idea how to use it, I tried rewinding the tape and typing load "$" and hitting play but the screen just turns blue and nothing happens. How do I find the file I am supposed to load? I attached a pic of it so you can see, also where do I attach the ground it wont work without it? I have it taped to the metal in the cartridge port. Is it not compatible?

Zeela
April 22nd, 2009, 04:46 AM
Load "$" tries to load the file named "$" from tape... Which you probably don't have on your tape...

Just typing LOAD and hitting enter loads whatever program it finds next on the tape. It will display the name of the program when it finds it.

carlsson
April 22nd, 2009, 05:42 AM
You don't need to connect the ground wire. I'd rather recommend you to cut it off, or tape it somewhere safe along the cable so you don't accidentally short circuit another port on the back of the computer.

And no, there is no such thing as a directory on a tape. You will have to write down the counter position for each program on a piece of paper, and rewind manually to get to that particular program.

Aprules2
April 22nd, 2009, 06:15 AM
For some reason with out the ground connected my tape drive doesnt work. If you hit play rewind or fast forward nothing happnes, then you ground it and it works again.

wiskow
April 22nd, 2009, 07:10 PM
For some reason with out the ground connected my tape drive doesnt work. If you hit play rewind or fast forward nothing happnes, then you ground it and it works again.

That's odd... The ground wire is designed for use with PET computers, and is not required with the VIC-20/C64/C128.

Aprules2
April 22nd, 2009, 08:16 PM
Does that mean my drive is an early drive? or is it just broken?

dave_m
April 22nd, 2009, 08:29 PM
For some reason with out the ground connected my tape drive doesnt work. If you hit play rewind or fast forward nothing happnes, then you ground it and it works again.

Check for an open in the ground return in your cable. When you hook up the chassis ground, you get an alternate return path which may make the motor controls work.

Aprules2
April 23rd, 2009, 06:24 AM
Which pin would be the ground? Is there qa pin out so I can check the whole cable? ALso last night I tried just typing load and hitting play I got the blue screen and nothing else happened and I wound up playing the entire tape. If I put the tape in a normal tape player will I be able to hear anything? Just wondering if there"s anything wrong with the couple tapes I have. It definately recognizes when I hit play though because as soon as I do the screen goes blank.

barythrin
April 23rd, 2009, 06:47 AM
A lot of people play it in an audio tape player and connect it to mic in on their computer and save the data in their favorite sound editor (Audacity (free), etc). You'll probably end up needing to play with your audio volumes though and rerecord the data on a new tape so know what levels are good for restoration.

I imagine the data would sound a lot like putting a data cd in a cd player (done by a friend and I at a young age joking about hearing the source code). *VERY* high pitch garbage that you don't want to hear. Atleast if you're bored turn your volume far down so you don't blow your speakers or eardrums.

But yeah, that'd not a bad way to try it and then check the result in an emulator. You could also get a new tape, write a quick sample basic program (Hello world, etc) and save it to tape and try loading it again. That'll give you a quick test of your Commodore as well as your read/write head on the tape drive.

- John

dave_m
April 23rd, 2009, 07:38 AM
Which pin would be the ground? Is there qa pin out so I can check the whole cable?

See this link on the 6502 website:

http://www.6502.org/users/andre/petindex/imgs/j3+j6.gif

carlsson
April 23rd, 2009, 07:56 AM
The Commodore computers use a two tone system if I recall correctly. One somewhat low frequency and one rather high one. But yes, you would hear a lot of noise if you listen to the tape in a regular tape recorder. Commercial tapes and homemade ones saved with Turbo Tape will sound worse than tapes recorded with the regular (slower) routine.

I don't think a data CD-ROM is at all playable in an audio CD player, but I understand the analogy. You could however imagine loading an executable file as a raw, 16-bit sample into some sound program and listen to what it sounds like. It won't sound anything like the Commodore tapes, but it will be noise and garbage none the less.

tezza
April 24th, 2009, 01:42 AM
That's odd... The ground wire is designed for use with PET computers, and is not required with the VIC-20/C64/C128.

That's interesting. I've always wondered what that wire was for.

Is it compulsory for the PET? I used a Commodore c64 datasette to load in some programs to my PET recently. It didn't have a ground wire hanging off the connector and it seem to work just fine?

Tez

cosam
April 24th, 2009, 01:54 AM
I have a C2N (the old white/cream one) without a separate ground wire and it worked fine on my PET. In fact, I didn't know until this thread popped up that there even was one with a separate ground. What on earth is it for? Maybe the ground is deliberately missing from the connector and you're meant to use the separate wire for some reason?

carlsson
April 24th, 2009, 06:04 AM
I think it is an extra precautionary, to screw the ground wire into the metal chassis on the PET. The cable itself already has signal ground, but you can never get too much GND when you work with the high voltages of ... 5V! :mrgreen:

cosam
April 24th, 2009, 06:54 AM
I guess it's possible that some drives used thinner guage wire and didn't get enough (or reliable enough) grounding through the connector alone. The motor is driven off 9V from the same connector, so I suppose it could have to sink a fair bit of current when fast-forwarding or rewinding. Then again, it'd be a bit odd to sell such a drive with an extra wire instead of just beefing up the one in the connector.

carlsson
April 24th, 2009, 08:53 AM
I believe the original C2N matching the PETs has a rather thick and bulky cable. Out of those I've seen, none has even had the plastic housing around the connector. Just the bare female connector. I can't recall seeing a separate ground wire coming out of the bulky cable.

However the newer style C2N/1530 tape recorders has a much slimmer, more bendable cable. It is possible what you speculate, that its wires are a bit too thin to safely ensure shielding so Commodore added the extra ground wire to be attached to the case on PETs.

The VIC and C64 don't have any good place to attach it to. I don't consider the shielding around the cartridge port a good place, unless you are very careful to solder or glue it stuck. You don't want the wire to come loose and short circuit someting on the cartridge port. Murphy's Law and all that.

tezza
April 24th, 2009, 11:04 AM
The VIC and C64 don't have any good place to attach it to. I don't consider the shielding around the cartridge port a good place, unless you are very careful to solder or glue it stuck. You don't want the wire to come loose and short circuit someting on the cartridge port. Murphy's Law and all that.

I bought a C-64 back in the early 90s and from memory it had one of these extra unshielded ground wires. It often used to bend around and poke into the cartridge port when the datasette was attached. I used to pull it out of there. Your warning is well founded.

Tez

carlsson
April 24th, 2009, 02:02 PM
Even more common it would be to find the wire in the userport next to the cassette port. The userport also has a male card edge connector, even easier to short circuit than the cartridge port on the far end which has a female connector. Actually, I think the userport and cartridge port might get mixed up by some people.

Aprules2
April 25th, 2009, 06:49 AM
I was looking at the link http://www.6502.org/users/andre/petindex/imgs/j3+j6.gif and had a question. If I wanted to test my drive to see if it plays, could I hook the positive from like a set of amplified pc speakers to pin 4 or pin d, then ground out the other wire on the speakers and hear the sound the tape player is sending to the comp? That way I know the wiring and tape player are working?

Aprules2
April 26th, 2009, 08:07 AM
Does anyone know if that will work?

chuckcmagee
April 26th, 2009, 08:45 AM
Sounds good to me. Make sure they are amplified speakers, don't want to put much of an extra load on the output.