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Thread: The Binatone Data Corder

  1. #1
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    Default The Binatone Data Corder

    Being an American fascinated by British computing their are certain things that I find hard to track down on my side of the pond. I noticed a weird looking cassette recorder from an old Dixons ad. It was a cassette recorder made by a company called "Binatone". As far as I can tell it was only sold in England and it was for the Commodore VIC 20, Commodore 64, and the ZX Spectrum. (Being that the Commodore version had the traditional Commodore interface). It was a rather attractive design in my opinion. It was an upright boxy design. I know that their were other companies who used this upright design but it was mainly Japanese companies and Phillips for MSX and NEC PC computers. An example would be the Sony Bitcorder of which I think is also an attractive design. My question to both Spectrum Users and Commodore Users, 1. Did you own a Binatone Data Recorder? 2. Was it any good? And I have a follow up question just for Spectrum users, what cassette recorder do you recommend using for a ZX Spectrum. Was their a particular brand and model that maybe Sir Clive or any Spectrum Users Magazines recommended?
    Thank you!mY5wjj-DPYyX6aolOr_EC0Q.jpg

  2. #2

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    Hello Abruno17, Brit here.

    You seem to have been met with awed silence on this subject.

    Although I was in on the height of the UK home computer boom and still have my original ZX81 and Spectrum computers to prove it, I can't say I ever came across one of those Binatone units. 'Binatone' was a 'Badger', an outfit which didn't really make anything for themselves but just sought out products from wherever they could be found and put the 'Binatone' brand on them. Their name went on everything from clock radios to portable TVs to wired and cordless telephones to radio cassette recorders and cassette recorders. They also put their brand on several CB radios made for the UK market around 1981 / 1982 - one model in particular, sourced from a Japanese manufacturer, is still quite highly regarded even now. In spite of all this, and in spite of the fact that I actually worked in a Radio, TV and computer shop for several years in the late seventies / early eighties, I never did see one of the tape units you are interested in.

    Sinclair never did market or recommend any specific cassette recorders for use with their computers, unlike, say, Acorn who produced a matching tape unit for their BBC computer series. Later developments of the Spectrum incorporated a tape unit into the machine itself, in similar fashion to the Amstrad CPC series. I personally always used a sturdy old National Panasonic 'shoebox' (flat rectangular form factor) with my Sinclair machines. It was old enough to have an all - metal chassis and it worked really well with the Sinclair machines. Still does, actually.

  3. #3

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    A number of companies made similar generic devices, mostly with audio ports instead of specific computer interfaces.

    https://www.msx.org/wiki/JVC/Victor_HC-R105
    https://www.msx.org/wiki/Philips_NMS_1515

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