Improving Timex/Sinclair Tape Loading

Discussions about Sinclair ZX80 and ZX81 Hardware
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mrtinb
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Re: Improving Timex/Sinclair Tape Loading

Post by mrtinb » Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:32 pm

If you make a small board the OSHpark is extremly cheap. If your board is a little bigger PCBshopper will find the cheapest board shipped to your country.
Martin
ZX81, Lambda 8300, Commodore 64, Mac G4 Cube

Lardo Boffin
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Re: Improving Timex/Sinclair Tape Loading

Post by Lardo Boffin » Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:08 pm

Thanks Ian!

It all looks good to me! Once I have finished my other project (striping a zeddy to the PCB and rebuilding from scratch) I will start on this one.

I have a load of tapes that won’t load and at least this should help with knowing whether they are beyond redemption or just being a bit difficult.

Lardo
ZX81 iss 1 (bugged ROM, kludge fix, normal, kit)
Iss 3 with ZXVid, another in nearly perfect box
TS 1000 iss 3, ZXPand AY, ZX8-CCB & ZX-KDLX
TS 1500
TS 2000
Spectrum 16k (iss 1 s/n 1499)
Spectrum 48k
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sirmorris
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Re: Improving Timex/Sinclair Tape Loading

Post by sirmorris » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:00 am

If a copy of the original PCB layout is available I don't mind making a couple of boards. If, say, 3 or more people want one then I agree with mrtinb that getting a few manufactured professionally is a great idea.

*edit* I see the pdf in the first post but the layout is only usable with great effort as the scan is wonky. There is a schematic though, and an hour in eagle should see a usable board. I can't spare the time to do this at the moment though, but if anyone has already done this...
--=== ZXpand+ ... A more moderner all-in-one upgrade solution for ZX81 ===--
* SD/MMC storage * 32K Hires-capable RAM * AY sound chip * Joystick port * Serial *
* BASIC enhancements - plug & play * Reset button * Auto-boot facility *

Lardo Boffin
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Re: Improving Timex/Sinclair Tape Loading

Post by Lardo Boffin » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:26 am

I would def buy a professional board!
ZX81 iss 1 (bugged ROM, kludge fix, normal, kit)
Iss 3 with ZXVid, another in nearly perfect box
TS 1000 iss 3, ZXPand AY, ZX8-CCB & ZX-KDLX
TS 1500
TS 2000
Spectrum 16k (iss 1 s/n 1499)
Spectrum 48k
Toastrack + DIVMMC future

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Dim_75
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Re: Improving Timex/Sinclair Tape Loading

Post by Dim_75 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:14 pm

Thanks for the info mrtinb, those sites are very interesting , the price seems ok for my (ours ?) small needs.

and yes sirmorris, it could be a good idea, i 'll be on the list too.

The layout needed can be done with the freeware/open source solutions listed on the sites mentionned by mrtinb ? Eagle is one of them ?
If so i can download the application and try to do something with it this week end.
But it will be my first try so i'll put the result here to have your advice, if it can be use or not.
It's never too late to learn new things ;)

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gammaray
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Re: Improving Timex/Sinclair Tape Loading

Post by gammaray » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:36 pm

Im in! That is three, get busy! Did I type that out loud? :?
If a copy of the original PCB layout is available I don't mind making a couple of boards.
By the way, "couple" does sometimes mean few instead of two so I perceive the three of us will be getting a whole board and not two-thirds as the math might imply. ;)
Finish what you start. Truth is over the mountaintop or six feet under.
4 x TS1000, 2 x TS1500 , 2 x timex 2040 printer, 1/2 x timex 2020 cassette deck, ZXPAND, ZeddyNET, ZXBlast..., unfinished Spectrum...

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TMAOne
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Re: Improving Timex/Sinclair Tape Loading

Post by TMAOne » Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:54 am

I'm gratified that my little "tape cleanup box" may have a litter of cousins soon. I might even spring for one of the circuit boards myself. Since the only "expensive" (not really) component is the silver-mica capacitor, and I have a spare, it would be fun to build one on a proper board.

In 1983 I was poor and there was no eBay, so I ignorantly tried substituting every part I thought might work for the "unattainable" silver-mica capacitor. As you might suspect, nothing worked. So the output to my 2nd "slave" recorder never worked. Finally in recent years I looked up the part again on eBay, and bought a pair of them for a few measly dollars. Now the whole device finally works as advertised.

Ian

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mrtinb
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Re: Improving Timex/Sinclair Tape Loading

Post by mrtinb » Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:14 am

Dim_75 wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:14 pm
The layout needed can be done with the freeware/open source solutions listed on the sites mentionned by mrtinb ?
My first PCB was created with Fritzing which has a very low learning curve. My current projects are made with the online tool EasyEDA, so I'm not bound to a particular computer.
Dim_75 wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:14 pm
Eagle is one of them ?
I have not tried Eagle but I avoided it as I'm a beginner.
Martin
ZX81, Lambda 8300, Commodore 64, Mac G4 Cube

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1024MAK
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Re: Improving Timex/Sinclair Tape Loading

Post by 1024MAK » Sat Oct 07, 2017 11:21 am

Dim_75 wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:14 pm
The layout needed can be done with the freeware/open source solutions listed on the sites mentionned by mrtinb ? Eagle is one of them ?
Eagle is a commercial software package, but a version that can be used can be downloaded and used for free. It's not hard to produce schematics in it. I have not used it to produce a PCB, but plenty of other hobbyists have. The main restriction with the free version, is that the size of the board that can be produced is limited.

KiCad is I believe the most popular open source package ;)

Wikipedia has this comparison page.

Mark

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Dim_75
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Re: Improving Timex/Sinclair Tape Loading

Post by Dim_75 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:11 am

Well i tryed to make something with KiCad as my try with Eagle was not productive.

After some hours i was able to do the schematic as it seems to be necessery before makink any drawing of the pcb, but... it still have some errors when i try to validate the schematics.
Here i still have 3 errors (the green arrows) :
3 Debugging errors.JPG
3 Debugging errors.JPG (88.17 KiB) Viewed 112 times
I put the KiCad projet files in the zip :
ZX-CleanLoad.zip
(8.19 KiB) Downloaded 10 times
As it is the first time i use this kind of programm i may have forget something or misunderstood the manual.
Any of you familiar with KiCad can have a look ?

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