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SUCCESS
February 13th, 2010, 02:46 PM
Hi people,

Have anyone heard about a datasette interface for the C64 that allowed you to use a standard tape recorder.

Yesterday, I co-worker give me one of this. It was produced locally when the C64 fever started. It plugs in the cass port and has three wires to connect to speaker/remote(pause)/microphone.
I have several old school recorders. I tried with a National Panasonic 421 (pretty good quality), but cannot get a program loaded, even after several azimuth adjusts.
At first, I though that this arrangement would improve the performance of the well known CBM datarecorders and its clones(regarding to faulty loads and unajusted azimuth) ...

Then, I see a similar idea comming from GE with a computer recorder using a separate box for the interface. The recorder looks like a tape shoe box recorder. The interface (called IFM) converts audio to ATARI o CBM signals ...
Some people told me that this datarecorder was the best ever produced ...

Are this solutions better than the custom CBM recorders. ?

Thanks for reading

Pedro.

Bungo Pony
February 14th, 2010, 07:32 AM
Loading software on a standard (shoebox) tape recorder can be a trying experience. You need to have the volume at a certain level, the tone control (if any) at a certain level, and the only way to get them adjusted properly is trial and error.

If you really want to make sure the interface is working, write yourself a small program to test it out:

10 REM THIS IS A TEST
20 REM TO SEE IF THIS WORKS
30 END

Save it on the tape recorder, and then try successfully loading it back. You may get a successful load, but there may be errors in the program (that means you're getting close!) Once you've verified that the interface works, THEN adjust the azimuth with a pre-recorded Commodore program cassette and do trial-and-error loads to get programs loading error-free.

As far as this interface vs a real Datasette, I'd pick the Datasette drive. No fiddling with knobs. However, if you want real control over how your program loads (which may be useful when copying cassettes in dual cassette recorders or off the internet) the interface may be quite useful.

carlsson
February 14th, 2010, 08:23 AM
The 3rd party interfaces were never common, but did exist in small numbers over here. There even was DIY descriptions in books and magazines for those who didn't want to shell out what a C2N cost. I once tried to build one myself, but failed terribly.

I doubt you would get much benefit from using a real Datasette, these were mainly cost saving solutions for people who already had a good tape recorder but didn't want to buy a special Commodore one.

SUCCESS
February 15th, 2010, 07:39 AM
If you really want to make sure the interface is working, write yourself a small program to test it out:

10 REM THIS IS A TEST
20 REM TO SEE IF THIS WORKS
30 END

Save it on the tape recorder, and then try successfully loading it back. Yo

That's a good one

I opened the interface circuit .. and looks very poor quality, one IC (cannot tell what IC isit because its number was "erased"), four resistors and only one cap.

But there are people who is selling an audio interface to hook-up an MP3 player or CD playar to the cass port rigth know. The seller claims that once it's well adjusted, it works near perfect. No trying to replace the custom CBM solution, but trying to broaden the options, since 5 1/4 disk are difficult to find (working), and I don't like PC servers at all.