Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Lastic

Dimension X by Americana load error from tape

Recommended Posts

So I've been intrigued by cassettes , up to 2001 I used to still buy and listen to audio tapes .

 

My first recollection of loading tapes on a computer came from my first machine - the Adam .

 

Thus I've bought a XC12 from Fred_M for my 130XE and have been buying special games on tape whenever I find them cheap on eBay (mostly for the soundtracks or graphics) .

 

I just found Dimension X by Americana in a nearby town on a 2ndhand local website.

Drove over there , picked it up and came home like a kid on Christmas Eve.

 

The logo screen loads after like 1 minute and then the tape continues but ends with a *** LOAD ERROR *** try other side which I've tried also numerous times.

 

I was under the assumption that this is a dual track release where I would hear music during the loading but none of that.

 

Could the XC12 be the one to blame or should I just call it a day and shelf the tape ?

Edited by Lastic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the load error occurs always at the same place (use counter to verify that) then there is a defect on the tape.

 

If the errors are random, then it can be the data recorder. In that case, get a blank tape and check if the recorder can read its own recording. CSAVE and CLOAD a BASIC program for example.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You did hold down OPTION to disable basic didn't you?

 

As for music, very few titles actually had music I'm sad to say...Americana were the budget line iirc...Anything like music might be removed to save duplicating costs if it ever had music...

 

EDIT: Just tried an Americana tape on Altirra with and without Basic and they both load, obviously unless an item says it wants BASIC then always disable BASIC

Edited by Mclaneinc
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few tapes I acquired lately barely load a few blocks before failing, you can literally hear the audio fading in and out, due to demagnetization I guess. They were loose, and who knows, were probably stored next to a speaker for 35 years lol.

 

Recording a small basic program to a new tape seemed to work OK in that case.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think it is the XC12 :grin: :grin: (just a joke, if the XC12 is faulty, we will find a solution)

 

Try to fast forward and rewind the tape multiple times. Also check if the pad behind the tape (how do you call that spongy thing in the middle of the cassette behind the tape in English) is still okay and moves forwards and backwards.

 

You have probaby also tested the back side of the side? The game is recorded on both sides.

 

A lot of tapes (especially the budget tapes from the UK) are of a low quality. I am rpeserving a lot of tapes and a lot of times the old tapes don't load very well. If you listen to the tape on a regular cassette decks and you hear drop outs, then the tape is the problem.

 

AFAIK the Americana cassettes don't have dual audio.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

pencil wind and rewind party! magic marker wind and rewind if pencil/pen are ware too small for you.

a clean cassette head always helps as well.

If tape is marginal make sure it is first or only one in sio chain...

 

There is more than one load method for tapes, sometimes if one fails try the other...

 

If using and XE do the self test go to keyboard and make sure all three keys register together at the same time... START SELECT OPTION. I've seen where the mylar has gotten sketchy and one or key is fine, two keys at same time fluctuate and 3 keys at once fails. ALL should be able to register at the same time!

Edited by _The Doctor__
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think it is the XC12 :grin: :grin: (just a joke, if the XC12 is faulty, we will find a solution)

 

Try to fast forward and rewind the tape multiple times. Also check if the pad behind the tape (how do you call that spongy thing in the middle of the cassette behind the tape in English) is still okay and moves forwards and backwards.

 

You have probaby also tested the back side of the side? The game is recorded on both sides.

 

A lot of tapes (especially the budget tapes from the UK) are of a low quality. I am rpeserving a lot of tapes and a lot of times the old tapes don't load very well. If you listen to the tape on a regular cassette decks and you hear drop outs, then the tape is the problem.

 

AFAIK the Americana cassettes don't have dual audio.

 

 

Thanks everybody for the suggestions.

 

I did power on my 130XE with START+ OPTION pressed.

 

Also have tried the other side and rewinding the tape to both sides a few times.

 

The XC12 works perfect with all other titles I acquired in the past week , Extiraptor , Warhawk , Druid .

 

Might check the tape on a audio tapedeck just to know what the levels are.

 

Well if this isn't the dual track release then I will just shelf the tape and continue on the lookout for a cheap dual track release.

 

I'm guessing the Synapse tape release is the one with the audio track ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, so the other tapes loaded fine with the XC12 :) Great! I tested the recorder before I shipped it to you ;)

 

If you are looking for cheap dual audio tapes you can look for the red small Atari UK cassette tape releases. They are not hard to find and quite cheap. Invitation to programming and The lone Raider do have dual audio.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

start with option held at power on (no carts) followed by return,

pencil/marker hand wind and rewind.

as I stated, if marginal, a clean head and being 1st or all by itself on SIO chain may help...

XC-12 sometimes a stack of quarters on the left hand front side of cassette door can help. ;)

Edited by _The Doctor__

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And a miracle has happened.

 

The XC12 is the only current device on the SIO port, booting with START and OPTION pressed on my 130XE.

 

I started it again , had a tape load failure at counter position 104 , did a FFW then RW to the beginning and started again.

 

This time (the 6th time or so I tried today) it continued and tadaah :

 

post-64282-0-16351200-1543516705_thumb.jpg

 

But the goal was to get the dual track version which sadly isn't this one but hey at least it works ,another one for the collection.

Edited by Lastic
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

start with option held at power on (no carts) followed by return,

pencil/marker hand wind and rewind.

as I stated, if marginal, a clean head and being 1st or all by itself on SIO chain may help...

XC-12 sometimes a stack of quarters on the left hand front side of cassette door can help. ;)

I used to put a couple or heavy shoes on top of the cassette door of my XC-12 for some complicated tapes... circa '89-90' maybe...

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad it worked, the notion it was Freds player he sent never crossed my mind as I know Freds a super duper bloke who checks his gear and its top notch, lovely guy too..

 

As said before, budget titles tend to be as fred said, on really cheap tape and as basic in game as possible so fancy audio stuff gets removed if it was ever there, for proper versions it worth looking for the thread on here that lists most if not all items that have audio tracks, try a search with "tapes with audio tracks" or the like. You can then zero in on the proper versions you want OR use the fact that many have been archived and made in to images that could be transferred back to a decent tape or just heard in things like Altirra depending on your nostalgic feel :)

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In this day and age where everything is rushed and has to be instant , I find it quite relaxing to sit back staring at a loading screen whilst the tape chirps away, waiting for the intro music or intro screen.

 

I can load this all way faster using Altirra , XEX loads from UNOcart or AVGcart or even ATR using SIO2SD or Sdrive2 but it reminds me how I painfully downloaded Wing Commander II for PC from a

US BBS for hours (16K baud), then had to UNARJ the split files to 3 1/2 inch disks only to have a CRC check on the last disk.

At around 2 in the morning I had formatted another disk, restarted the unarchiving , completed the installation and finally saw the intro screen, listening to the music on headphones since my parents were asleep in the room aside.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just ried my own advice and went searching for a list of software that loaded music etc on tape as it loaded or used it as narration etc and I was not very lucky, I found mentions of so Dorsett stuff etc and a few individual bits but not the thread I was sure was out there with a list of games that had the above and a pointer to an archive with them..

 

Pointers to Atarimania's ftp are no use as AFAIK its not open to look at as a normal user and stuff that gets uploaded may not make it actually on to a page to be downloaded depending on what it is..

 

I found some MP3's of the tunes but thought there was a set of loadable progs via Altirra etc

 

Just me?

 

Thought so :)

 

I'll get back in my box :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At atariwiki.org several cassette tapes with audio tracks (mainly serious software) can be downloaded as wav or flac-files. A.o. the 2 red Atari UK releases I mentioned in an earlier post.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of Atari's early cassette programs, such as States and capitals, Hangman, and Kingdom, use the duel track system while loading the game to brief the player on the games concept and play music.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll take a swing over those ways folks...Thanks...I have after a good collection search got some of the Dorett or whatever they were called ones which I've picked up from threads but hoped for a nice big juicy bundle...

 

Yes, I'm getting a bit lazy :)

Edited by Mclaneinc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Already recorded: *

- States and capitals (older Atari Inc. and newer Atari UK were identical! side a+b program & narration)

- An invitation to programming (Atari Inc. and Atari UK were identical! side a+b program & narration)

- Sammy the sea serpent (side A program + narration, side B program only)

- The Lone Raider (multi-stage program from Atari UK 1985 contains program+music, but there was also an older single-stage version from 1983, most likely from Atari Inc., which I don't have, not sure if it also contains music...)

 

Some of the recordings (music only) can be found here: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/186110-cassettes-that-play-sound-while-they-load/page-3

 

next: *

- Introduction to Graphics (Atari Inc., side a+b program & narration)

- Introduction to Sound (Atari Inc., side a+b program & narration)

 

* The tapes that contain program + narration on one side (or both sides) often load the program first, then the narration begins and every now and then a small pulse / beep from the tape can be heard that tells the program to go to the next part; I can easily save the Basic program onto diskette, but have no programming skills to alter the program, so that it goes to the next part after a while (for...next loops, but where in the program?) or goes to the next part after a key press. Just take a look at the intro of Sammy the sea serpent at youtube, the gfx you see on the screen is one Basic program (the first program on tape side A) that simply jumps from one part to the next using these pulses/beeps from the tape...

 

 

no sound/music/narration:

 

- Joystick Sketchpad (I only have the tape by Atari Inc. without any manual or tape inlay and had absolutely no clue what to do with these programs; thanks to atarimania's PDF manual I now know, that these programs are for the 1020 printer/plotter and since I do not have any printer for my real A8, I cannot use them; I simply saved all programs onto diskette with a C/D copy program, will try to create the bootable DOS disk-version with load+save feature now, as explained in the manual; not sure if I want to make Tapedeck=>Mini-Disk=>CD=>WAV recordings of these short programs...)

 

- Scram (by Atari Inc., tape side A contains a 16k version, with the Atari Fuji logo as the loader program, then the main program splitted into two parts; tape side B contains a 24k version, with the Atari Fuji logo as the loader program and the main program as one part; I could only get the 24k version to load fine from disk, think the 16k version part one has some special tape-loading statement as a Poke or ML-string "hidden" for my eyes in the program, which I could not find nor change to make it work from diskette...)

 

Atm I have the music/narration and/or program recordings on Mini-Disc, have to edit and cut them, then copy them onto CD and finally convert them into WAV (and the music maybe also into MP3)...

Edited by CharlieChaplin
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Already recorded: *

- An invitation to programming (Atari Inc. and Atari UK were identical! side a+b program & narration)

- The Lone Raider (multi-stage program from Atari UK 1985 contains program+music, but there was also an older single-stage version from 1983, most likely from Atari Inc., which I don't have, not sure if it also contains music...)

 

 

I am nitpicking now ;)

 

The Atari UK 1985 tape of An invitation to programming is not completely identical ;) In the first lesson the copyright date has been changed to 1985 ;-)

 

An_Invitation_To_Programming_UK85_Screen

 

The Lone raider tapes of 1983 and 1985 are afaik identical indeed and both have the dual soundtrack. Flac and cas files of both versions can be found here: https://atariwiki.org/wiki/Wiki.jsp?page=The%20Lone%20Raider

Edited by Fred_M

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow overwhelmed with all this info .

 

I found some more in various topics , Yoomp , Train from the newer releases , BlueMax, some PDI releases .

 

Yesterday I received LA S.W.A.T , Universal Hero and Red Max on tape, think I might need a cure for a growing addiction :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow overwhelmed with all this info .

 

I found some more in various topics , Yoomp , Train from the newer releases , BlueMax, some PDI releases .

 

Yesterday I received LA S.W.A.T , Universal Hero and Red Max on tape, think I might need a cure for a growing addiction :)

The best cure is buying a tape deck, mastering either a8cas or Turgen System and trying to make your own tapes. This will teach you how the floppy disks are hundred times better things to waste time with :-)

 

Reminds me that I should prepare a digital download of Train 2 dual track tape. Any suggestions for good free railroad-like music? ...Now you are loading Train 2... a game by BAHA Software...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone got the lone raider tapes on the wiki site to work?

 

I have no tape deck so I use Altirra which is pretty decent :) but no matter what I do system wise I don't get either tape to work, tape 83 bugs out straight away and 85 loads so far and then says reload it in the software..ie its died...

 

Other tape versions of the same game I have work fine?

 

Paul..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just tested the 83 one. The intro tone is a bit too short. When I pause loading a few seconds in Altirra during the start, the image loads fine.

 

I will adjust the two files on Atariwiki and re-upload them later this afternoon ;)

 

Thanks for testing it. Strange enough the image loads fine when the c:acceleration in enabled, but when it is turned off (to hear the music) there is indeed a load error.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The C: acceleration might result in ignoring cerain errors. You can also try the atari800-a8cas emulator for comparison.

 

Altirra is now pretty good at cassette emulation, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...