Getting BASIC programs from cassette tape to digital files?

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imacken
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Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:41 pm

Getting BASIC programs from cassette tape to digital files?

Post by imacken » Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:46 pm

A friend of mine has a suite of programs he wrote for the ZX81 a number of years ago, and he would now like to get the code onto his PC (with my help).
How can we do this?
Any help would be much appreciated.
Thanks.

sirmorris
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Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 5:45 pm

Re: Getting BASIC programs from cassette tape to digital fil

Post by sirmorris » Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:17 pm

Hi and welcome to the forum!

Personally I start with digitising the tape. Spend as much effort as you can in this step as a good quality result here will make your task easier. Once you have a good clear recording - or as clear as you can make it - then you can start.

If you have a WAV file then you can try to load it in EO or some other emulator. File -> Open Tape then LOAD"".

If this doesn't work then you can try tweaking the levels using Tools -> WAV Loader.

There is a cool tool you can use which lives here. I've had some success with this tool but recently things haven't gone so well, I don't know why - perhaps a java update - but I can't load WAVs :(

If none of these work then you need to listen to the program with your ears. It won't be pleasant but you can get a feel for where or what the problem may be. If you have a lot of drop-outs (places where the volume level of the signal is very low) then you're in for a tough ride. You need to be able to reconstruct the bits if possible, which isn't as hard as it seems if you understand how the signal is stored on tape.

If the signal is essentially there but sounds muffled or noisy then you can try low-pass filtering the data in a package such as audacity. Then try the loading etc again.

There are plenty of posts on the forum describing techniques used when grabbing old tapes - spend some time looking, you may find something useful also.

HTH

C

Bill H
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Re: Getting BASIC programs from cassette tape to digital fil

Post by Bill H » Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:54 am

Before loading onto a PC would it not be helpful to make sure it loads on a Zx81 - that way you arn't chasing your tail when they may not be good?

Bill H

kumbah
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Re: Getting BASIC programs from cassette tape to digital fil

Post by kumbah » Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:56 pm

Hi there, I am curious if the original poster had gotten their tapes loaded or saved yet?
Are they still on this board?

I have a possible solution that doesn't require "audio digitization".

It involves a simple device, I am no longer using, that still works.

It works thru your printer port and uses a DOS-based program to capture
the incoming data from your tape recorder and writes it to a P file.

If they are interested, or anyone else might be, I may put the device on
eBay or offer it at low cost to another party.

It's not being used, so if someone else can make use of it, that's a win-win
for everyone ... take care, and happy computing ! :)

- Robert

RWAP
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Re: Getting BASIC programs from cassette tape to digital fil

Post by RWAP » Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:10 am

Unfortunately, the original poster has not been back on the site (well not logged in) since he posted the question!

Your device sounds interesting - when you say it connects to a printer port - you mean a parallel port on a PC I presume - there are not many PCs with a parallel port nowadays - although you can use a USB to parallel port convertor - it may not work with that...

kumbah
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Re: Getting BASIC programs from cassette tape to digital fil

Post by kumbah » Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:28 am

Too bad we can't reach them somehow ... and yes, that ... parallel printer port.

Now I'm wondering if it wasn't a serial port, but fairly sure parallel, since it plugs
into the same port my yellow Lap-Link cable goes.

There's still quite a few older PCs out there, or I am hoping there is, I still maintain
a few of my own, so as to not lose some precious functions related to my copy of
Xtender (although I have DOS Box on almost everything) and other DOs goodies.

Maybe I should fix up a few others and put them on eBay? :)

RWAP
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Re: Getting BASIC programs from cassette tape to digital fil

Post by RWAP » Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:06 pm

LapLink cables normally connect to the 25 Pin serial port... I can't remember how many pins in a parallel port.

I have emailed the original poster, so we shall see.

kumbah
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Re: Getting BASIC programs from cassette tape to digital fil

Post by kumbah » Sun Feb 16, 2014 3:44 am

Okay - that's cool - thanks ! :)

25 pins for both the "older" style serial (now 9-pin) or USB, (4-pin) - but USB ports are
(probably) "too new" to cope with the "printer port tape interface" I have.

I doubt it would work thru a USB adapter, but an old school laptop or mini-tower
with a printer port would cope just fine. I hope they are still around! :)

Speaking of "projects", I have an idea ... should I write to you on RWAP about it?

Robert

RWAP
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Re: Getting BASIC programs from cassette tape to digital fil

Post by RWAP » Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:52 am

Yes - please email me directly via rich AT rwapservices.co.uk about any new potential projects if you would rather not discuss it openly on the forum at the moment :)

RWAP
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Re: Getting BASIC programs from cassette tape to digital fil

Post by RWAP » Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:54 am

Please also remember that if you have a ZXpand, you can use the Tape Scrape utility -

www.sinclairzxworld.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=467

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