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unhuman

NEW Cassette Recorders!

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It would be interesting to know what the output level on the audio out jack is.  Many recorders these days limit the audio levels to "protect your hearing", which makes them useless for TI use.  On the other hand, if the audio output is not attenuated, at that price, it may be better than an old over-priced FleaBay unit with questionable serviceability.

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Posted (edited)

No tape counter though.  I bought one at my local walmart last year. I didn't notice the lack of a tape counter until I got home. I returned it.  Since then I have been buying any tape recorder I find at flea-markets and thrift stores.  I have a nice collection now! 🙂

Edited by DavidC
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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, unhuman said:

Walmart has this: https://www.walmart.com/ip/onn-Cassette-Recorder/649832148

 

Seems like there might be folks here that might like...

 

I know nothing about this item.

 

I have that exact recorder.

I can confirm that it "Just works."

 

It lacks a program counter. Only problem it has.

 

It can be managed somewhat by embedding the cassette index program at the very start of the tape, followed by the index used by the program.  It (the indexer) basically advances the tape using fixed RTC clock interval times. You can use it to advance the tape to such an index position before saving a program to the cassette.   You just have to mentally keep track that when it tells you to rewind the tape, it *REALLY* means, "Rewind the tape, play through the cassette indexer and the index, then press the pause key."

 

Really, the Onn recorder is quite servicable, and inexpensive. Lack of program counter is a PITA, but can be managed with the tape index program. 

 

I really should consider revisiting the tape index program at some point; I have some ideas on how to improve its functionality.

 

 

Edited by wierd_w
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Nice to know the audio.on this one us adequate.  Thanks.

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I went ahead and grabbed one since having a mechanism produced in this decade, let alone this century, could come in handy.

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I have a few old "data cassettes" of 10 minutes per side. Save a single program with a backup copy or two per side. Wonder if those are still available?

 

Back when I first got my Timex, I got in the habit of adding a voice intro for each SAVE. At the end of saving I'd say "That was..., Next is..." and start another SAVE after that. I could also add any needed instructions or requirements. Back when my brother and I got to clowning around writing really dumb programs, the comments got pretty hilarious and fun to listen to decades later.

 

Being thrifty, I'd fill a whole 90-minute or whatever tape almost completely before flipping it over to the other side and some sort of index was definitely needed. I kept a handwritten note tucked inside the tape's case which included the counter index.

 

If I changed decks and the counter no longer matched, I found I could fast-play the tape by fudging how far down I pushed the deck's play and/or FF buttons. Just keep the head lightly touching the tape to allow the reels to spin. I also unplugged the output line to enable the player's speaker. When I'd hear the start or end tone and chipmunk speech, I knew about where I was and could switch to play to hear my spoken "index."

 

The Timex had the option to include the program's name when saving. Usually you would just type SAVE "" but you could also  type SAVE "TEST" or whatever valid filename you'd choose. Instead of LOAD "" you would LOAD "TEST" and the Timex would listen to the start of each saved file for the one with the matching name. It might mean a long wait as playback dragged on during the search, but the system did work.

 

 

 

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For the TI and the FINDEX program, I was contemplating hard-coding the time duration appropriate to automatically skip the indexer and the index, before then counting for the Nth index location, along with automatically seeking past the indexer position and to the index, when asking to load or save the index.

 

Other useful features I think would be nice to have:  Index value indicating program size-- EG, "small", "Medium", and "large".  (0-8k, 8k-16k, and 16k-32k) This would allow the indexer to know how large a given index is (with some acceptable chunkiness).  Additionally, stored variable in the index indicating cassette type/length, with appropriate increases in total indexes for long tapes, or tapes with lots of small programs.

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On 5/30/2020 at 10:19 AM, Ed in SoDak said:

I have a few old "data cassettes" of 10 minutes per side. Save a single program with a backup copy or two per side. Wonder if those are still available?

 

There is a place that sells "audio grade" tapes << HERE >> the only problem is you have to buy in quantities of 100.

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100 would be a lifetime supply of tape! Even several people's in a group buy. When I ran short of blanks, I'd just reuse one of my old "road-music" album/mix cassettes. I think I have about a shoebox full for my Timex and another for the TI99. 

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Speaking of cassette tapes... I found something in a box today while looking for something else...

Found!.thumb.PNG.404720a7e80787c7d33c8e903f486e43.PNG

 

I think I'll hook up the old program recorder in the next few days and see if this tape still has any viable data on it.   If it does, should I upload em?

 

 

 

 

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I got this tape player today and it works great. I play the wav file on the PC with the PC coupled to the tape player with a tape adapter. TI reads the file every time. The only thing is no counter as previously mentioned.

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I don't know if this is the right thread but it seemed appropriate.

My second channel is focused on audio (Mostly from Japan).  Recently both TDK and Maxell have released new cassette tapes so I jsu had to check them out.  Are they Chinese type 0 quality or are they actually any good?

 

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1 hour ago, Yakumo1975 said:

I don't know if this is the right thread but it seemed appropriate.

My second channel is focused on audio (Mostly from Japan).  Recently both TDK and Maxell have released new cassette tapes so I jsu had to check them out.  Are they Chinese type 0 quality or are they actually any good?

 

Well?

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I dunno.  The only "new" cassette media I have seen in stores in my area are the Onn walmart rebranded C-90s.  They seem to work, but the quality is questionable.  I have noticed that they stretch after just a few rewinds, so I think that data storage/audio fidelity is not really their design.  I would love to see metallic tape on the market again, but good luck with that.

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28 minutes ago, wierd_w said:

I dunno.  The only "new" cassette media I have seen in stores in my area are the Onn walmart rebranded C-90s.  They seem to work, but the quality is questionable.  I have noticed that they stretch after just a few rewinds, so I think that data storage/audio fidelity is not really their design.  I would love to see metallic tape on the market again, but good luck with that.

Metallic tape may be good for durability, but the lack of a high bias in standard audio recording equipment (i.e. our program recorders) will result in long-term degradation of the recording.  Similar to recording on HD floppy media with a DD drive.

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Posted (edited)

I dont mean Ferro or Chrome (types II and III), I mean the Metal-Biased type IV cassettes.

 

Those have high durability, high bias, and a preserved midrange.  They are however, hard on read heads.  Given that you can get a replacement recorder for 15$ though, (thanks walmart!)

 

They were costly/difficult to produce, so I SERIOUSLY doubt you will find new ones on the market, just NOS.

Edited by wierd_w

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I recently bought a new Maxell tape of course it was made in Indonesia. I have not tried it yet but it seems good.

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On 6/7/2020 at 12:58 PM, wierd_w said:

I dunno.  The only "new" cassette media I have seen in stores in my area are the Onn walmart rebranded C-90s.  They seem to work, but the quality is questionable.  I have noticed that they stretch after just a few rewinds, so I think that data storage/audio fidelity is not really their design.  I would love to see metallic tape on the market again, but good luck with that.

Sadly metal tape will never be produced again.  same with type II.  It's really sad.

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On 6/9/2020 at 8:06 AM, Yakumo1975 said:

Sadly metal tape will never be produced again.  same with type II.  It's really sad.

Glad I picked up a few extras when I did!  :grin:

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How much for one the one 60 minute tape? (assuming it's metal and assuming you would sell)  If so, do you take PayPal?  It might be nice to have a least one reliable tape for my TI that could last te rest of my lifetime.

 

I have no clue what this one is...

Unknown.thumb.JPG.c0bb7a08aac9880bf4f4a24cc42b08a3.JPG

 

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On 6/10/2020 at 12:07 AM, save2600 said:

Glad I picked up a few extras when I did!  :grin:

 

tapes.thumb.jpg.070366ac843858fc7d485826a7abdb63.jpg
 

(not for sale at this time, sorry!)

holly >>>  That's a lot of good tape.  Hope you are storing them in a nice dry place.

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