cassette interface

Discuss the new Altair 8800 Micro

cassette interface

Postby no0207 » May Mon 05, 2014 1:37 pm

Actually I am just watching out for the next hobby project. On the internet I found this document, which describes a cassette recorder interface for the Altair: ... ssette.pdf

It is from long time ago but as it looks the parts are still available. Honestly, myself I am still somewhat struggeling with a really deep understanding how the thing works... but I think it is doable to put it on either breadboard or a pcb.

Question to Vince: is there a tie-in point on the Altair Micro board where that thing could be connected / and would work with Altair Basic?
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Re: cassette interface

Postby Frotz661 » Jun Mon 30, 2014 12:56 am

I would like this. Vince, please comment!
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Re: cassette interface

Postby maskddingo » Aug Thu 28, 2014 5:46 pm

Interesting. I took a brief look at the document last night (it was late). Thanks for posting it.

What I can tell from the hookup diagram, this might be a device that captures the traffic on the serial port and then is able to 'play it back'. This is not at all unlike the transferring of paper tape programs, only using magnetic tape for the storage medium. If that assumption is true, this device would work when properly connected to the altar micro's serial port as you would a normal serial terminal.

I'm pretty sure only the latest micro's came with the serial port included, but it's not that hard to add that in. I think it's just a max232 and some caps connected to the right pins on the expansion connector.

If it is just a 'bit bucket' that can play back over serial, then it would be compatible with any program that supports a serial terminal if record and play are hit at the right points.

I most likely have these components (or substitutes) on hand, so if I take the time to come back from my recent foray into radio, I might try to whip one up and test some of my theories.
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Re: cassette interface

Postby elchucko » Oct Mon 20, 2014 10:08 am

The last post mentioned a serial connection to the unit. Is this on a pcb? It seems the lastest Micros are shipped with the addition. Are they available?
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Re: cassette interface

Postby wd5gnr » Oct Mon 20, 2014 3:44 pm

I did mine with this:

You can connect to the headers or the "USB" port on the RAM/DSK board. I didn't install the DE9 and wired to a panel mounted DE9 (hard to cut it out nicely but I did ok).

You could also use a TTL to USB connector if you wanted USB but that's hardly period.
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Re: cassette interface

Postby jasonrp7743 » Nov Mon 23, 2015 9:23 pm

I too would like to have a real (not emulated) was to connect a cassette drive. I suspect this would not be best done with the existing serial interface methods, as this is a copy of the same serial connection that is used for the monitor/keyboard(or terminal) connection, and therefore it would clobber the terminal session?

Or, would it simply write any loaded code to the terminal, just as if it were entered by the terminal keyboard? Kind of like the CTRL-F1 capability in the propeller terminal software?

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