New hardware - Tape reader emulator

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New hardware - Tape reader emulator

Post by Yoruk » Sat Oct 28, 2017 8:12 pm

Hello everybody,

Today I'll talk about a new hardware device for our old computers : a tape-reader emulator, the SD-LEP. This project was created by a french guy initially for the Thomson french serie of computers, but the project works with a wide variety of computers. I tried it with my Dragon 32, it works great.

The concept is to emulate a tape reader (no recording... yet). The data is stored on a simple SD card, but not in the WAV format (too heavy), but in a new coding format : we record the time between two logical states of the sound signal, the result is a very light file that can be analyzed in a very simple way by the arduino (the core of the board).

Features :

-TTL sound output (C64...)
-line sound output with adjustable level (Dragon, TRS 80...)
-the board can handle the motor drive signal from the machine
-the board can be powered with a mobile phone back-up battery
-file selection with a dip switch

You can build the project on a simple prototype board, I also designed a PCB. Here is the schematic :


Nothing hard, the core is a arduino mini pro and a SD reader board. Here is the main project website (in french, sorry) :

To use it with the Dragon, you have to convert the WAV files to the LEP format with a small tool utility (available here).

You can also use WAV files converted from CAS files with the DC-WIN utility.

Here is a picture of my prototype with my Dragon :
DSC_3774.png (1.32 MiB) Viewed 1190 times
With the SpaceWar game :
DSC_3777.png (1.11 MiB) Viewed 1190 times

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