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Wav 2 Cas of Salmon Run


Allan
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Here's Cubbyholes. I don't know how to load it without side A, so I can't verify the image, but the conversion was 100% error-free.

 

Salmon Run would need lots of fixing by hand - the recording has too much changes in speed/pitch to be decoded successfully. If you can, try fast forwarding and rewinding the tape a few times, and then record it again, on a better quality tape deck if possible. The rewinding might loosen the tape enough so that it will be able to maintain consistent speed during the next recording.

 

Also, please increase the volume while recording - the signal level is so low that the A8CAS decoder can't tell the actual signal from the parts that don't contain anything recorded, and I have to fix it manually.

APX_Cubbyholes_B.cas.zip

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Damn. It's even worse than the first time. Have you ever listened to the recording? It would be obvious that it's worthless.

 

Here's a spectrogram of the file:

post-4134-0-57877400-1433869356_thumb.png

It shows that the signal's pitch drops as the recording progresses. This, and the fact that the new recording is ca. 4 seconds longer than the previous one, indicates that your tape player has difficulty spinning the tape with consistent speed. Either its motor is too weak, or the tape's cassette is too tightly assembled and puts too much friction on the spools. Try another tape deck first, one with a stronger motor. If it doesn't help you'll need to dismantle the cassette in order to reduce the friction. There are a few options to try:

1. Loosen the screws that hold the cassette together.

2. Remove the two sheets of plastic ("anti-friction pads") from inside the cassette.

3. Remove the tape from the cassette and place it in another cassette case.

 

This page contains a helpful tutorial.

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  • 2 years later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I am wondering about what is reading these cassettes, the drill to properly wind a a tape isn't just fast forward and rewind...

 

tap the tape firmly

fast forward a bit

take out and tap firmly

fast forward a bit

over and over till the end is reached

flip the tape and do it again...till the end

then rewind

 

tapes get tight spots and loose spots, fast forward and rewind only tightens the tape... if you go through and loosen the tape intermittantly both way and then rewind it makes for more even tension across the tape and prevent stretching. this method also recenters the tape keeping it from dragging on the sides of the case.

 

The player may also need lubing and cleaning... for all these tapes to be in this condition makes the source deck suspect.... so lube clean demagnetize... align... make sure belts are okay, and then play tape re-tension game :)

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Here is another one. APX's Banner Generator.

 

Allan

Errors in the last few seconds/blocks of the WAV. Non-audible but non-loading either. Audio editor shows nothing weird.

There was a near-complete signal dropout in one byte, but I was able to fix it manually. Here's the CAS file.

Banner Generator (1981)(APX)(US)CLOAD+RUNBASIC.zip

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When archiving a bunch of old Atari tapes recently, I had similar warping problems as with that Player Generator of yours. The belts were fine, but the tape deck would simply not be able to maintain tape speed for some reason. It resulted in warped recordings (the more warped the further from the tape's beginning).

 

The tapes in question were apparently stored in a humid environment - some white mould had started to grow on the sides of the tape reels, and the magnetic coating was not holding to the tapes properly, which resulted in quite a lot of brown gunk gathering on the tape head and the rollers.

 

I managed to archive the tapes properly though, inventing a bunch of helpful tricks in the process:

 

1. It helps to loosen the tape by rewinding a few times, although as described by _The Doctor__, simply fast-forwarding and rewinding did not loosen the tapes enough. My take on this problem was to rewind the tape manually with a pencil, from start to end and back again, like 5 times. This loosened the tapes better than rewinding in the deck, and helped in a number of cases.

 

2. Magnetic coating gathering on the tape head and rollers increases friction, so it is mandatory to clean the mechanism properly, and frequently. I used a cotton bud soaked in 90% alcohol. The coating also gathers on the pressure pad; you know, the spring with a cloth that's inside the cassette that pushes the tape to the tape head. A dirty pressure pad adds a lot of friction, so it is critical to clean it as well. Just watch out to not touch the magnetic tape when cleaning it, as the alcohol will destroy the magnetic coating. Simply rewind the tape first, so that only the tape leader is exposed, an you'll be safe. Also, wait for the alcohol to evaporate before playing the tape.

 

3. Cleaning the pressure pad didn't help with some tapes, so I had to reduce the friction by moving the cassette a bit away from the tape head. After inserting the cassette into the deck, I put a few pieces of cardboard in strategic locations so that the tape was shifted away from the tape head. This way, the pressure pad was pushing the tape with less pressure. I had to remove the lid from the deck to be able to put the cardboard inside.

 

4. For some tapes that was not enough though. The cassette case itself was contributing too much friction. I had to dismantle the cassette, remove the top half of the cassette case, insert the opened cassette (without the top half) into the deck, and play the cassette while opened. Now this requires extreme caution, because the pressure pad, rollers, or tape reels can slip and fall off while the cassette is opened; if it happened, the tape would probably get entangled inside the deck and get destroyed. So I had to hold the rollers and tape reels in place with my fingers for the duration of the playback, remembering not to press the fingers too much as it would increase the friction and slow the tape down. Obviously, this trick is only feasible with a deck that holds the cassette horizontally.

 

In the end, combining all these methods helped me rescue all the tapes I had. Maybe it'll help you as well.

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It would seem that developing a utility for recovering of data from cassettes and let others to use it is just a very small first step.

The second step is becoming an expert on tape restoration. The third step is using your own tool to restore the data in an expert manner.

 

What to say, Kr0tki? Amazing job with the A8CAS project and tape restoration in general!

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I always liked this primer for tapes https://www.atarimagazines.com/v1n4/tapetopics.html it explains simplistically most of what we need to know.. and with the frequencies involved... you could make a decoder pretty easily to use with just about any deck and with the components we have today it could correct most tape fluctuations using broader frequency thresholds as stretch lowers the tones and it could possibly switch between turbo modes etc automatically... or even crazier yet someone could come up with their own wafer drive like system for the Atari... the driver/interpreter loading via intial polling as 850 etc.. then switching to tape or wafer mode.. :)

Edited by _The Doctor__
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