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Help using an cassette tape


TheWriter
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I'm new to this site, and just getting reacquainted with the TI-994a. Back when they were new, I wrote a program and saved it to an audio tape. It was a pretty cool Craps game from what I remember and it worked great a few decades ago. I recently plugged back in the old TI - and found the old tape, but I've run into a few problems. I've been looking through some posts here that suggest various things to try, but I'm hoping for some easy step-by-step directions because I'm not as technical as I was back in the day. I can't figure out MESS, and while I think I've made a WAV file - no idea what to do with it next to convert it or do anything with it.

1) I try playing the tape on my TI-994a with a walkman I found in a drawer. That's not working... and it seems from this site that it's because the player is "too new." Is that right - and what do I need to look for in a proper tape player that will be compatible with this tape, and my TI-994a?

2) I'd love to be able to convert the program from the TI to something that can work on a "modern" PC. Is there a way to convert the program? What programs and processes do I need to do?

Help!

Thanks in advance!

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For your first question: yes, I did a lengthy investigation into this issue, which you've apparently read. The basic summary is that TI cut corners with the cassette cable.

 

If your walkman has a microphone-in jack, plug the TI microphone plug into it. That gives the TI and the walkman a common ground. That might make it work immediately.

 

If you're comfortable with soldering, open up the TI console, cut the trace that goes to pin 9 on the cassette port, and connect it to ground. That's a permanent fix, but depends on whatever you've hooked into the TI to be able to handle a grounded audio-out ring connection. Nearly everything made since the mid-nineties should work okay.

 

Or if you're the handy type, build an interface box per my writeup at https://www.disavowed.jp/index.php?/archives/14-Why-wont-the-TI-994A-cassette-port-work-with-my-PC-sound-out-port-Heres-why-....html

 

Omega might post a YouTube video saying all you need to do is run it through amplified speakers. What the video doesn't mention is that his TI was grounded through the PEB (the wall wart is *not* grounded), and trying it without the PEB connected failed very loudly.

 

Someone else might tell you that you must use the line-out instead of the headphone jack (ignoring that you're using a walkman). Ignore them. Your main problem is ground continuity. Fix that, and worry about the volume after that's done.

 

For your second question: if you have a WAV file, compress it and post it. You can use CS1er or Tape994a to convert it yourself, but both programs are quirky and expect the WAV to be in a certain format. If you post it, others can use other non-user-friendly tools to try to decode it.

Edited by ckoba
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Omega might post a YouTube video saying all you need to do is run it through amplified speakers. What the video doesn't mention is that his TI was grounded through the PEB (the wall wart is *not* grounded), and trying it without the PEB connected failed very loudly.

 

 

Chris, you might have me confused with someone else because I doubt l will ever make a video about the cassette port, and up to this point in time, even with my failing memory, I don't believe I ever have. Also, your combined use of possible future and past tense has me mystified as well.

 

It's true many modern pieces of modern pieces of equipment attenuate output via a fixed resistor, jumping it (essentially to chassis ground) does fix the issue in *SOME* equipment. I remember once doing that with an old Uniden BC200 XLT I once had for an external speaker.

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I'm new to this site, and just getting reacquainted with the TI-994a. Back when they were new, I wrote a program and saved it to an audio tape. It was a pretty cool Craps game from what I remember and it worked great a few decades ago. I recently plugged back in the old TI - and found the old tape, but I've run into a few problems. I've been looking through some posts here that suggest various things to try, but I'm hoping for some easy step-by-step directions because I'm not as technical as I was back in the day. I can't figure out MESS, and while I think I've made a WAV file - no idea what to do with it next to convert it or do anything with it.

 

1) I try playing the tape on my TI-994a with a walkman I found in a drawer. That's not working... and it seems from this site that it's because the player is "too new." Is that right - and what do I need to look for in a proper tape player that will be compatible with this tape, and my TI-994a?

 

2) I'd love to be able to convert the program from the TI to something that can work on a "modern" PC. Is there a way to convert the program? What programs and processes do I need to do?

 

Help!

 

Thanks in advance!

 

or hit ebay. There's always cassette interfaces for the TI on ebay.

 

I have also been told these MP3 players work, but I have never tried it.

 

HERE

Edited by Cschneider
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Chris, you might have me confused with someone else because I doubt l will ever make a video about the cassette port, and up to this point in time, even with my failing memory, I don't believe I ever have. Also, your combined use of possible future and past tense has me mystified as well.

 

It's true many modern pieces of modern pieces of equipment attenuate output via a fixed resistor, jumping it (essentially to chassis ground) does fix the issue in *SOME* equipment. I remember once doing that with an old Uniden BC200 XLT I once had for an external speaker.

 

Omega, I'm deeply sorry -- I had you confused with Opry99er. I was working from memory, and for some reason I thought it was you. Please accept my apologies; I will double-check my references in the future.

 

(The language that I speak at home nowadays doesn't have what would rationally be called a "future tense", and that does leak into my English sometimes. Sorry about that)

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or hit ebay. There's always cassette interfaces for the TI on ebay.

 

I have also been told these MP3 players work, but I have never tried it.

 

HERE

 

Yeah, that's what I did initially. Without rehashing the original thread, the problem is partially in the console (doesn't ground the sleeve of the audio-in jack) and partially in the cable (shorts one of the channels to the sleeve on the audio-in jack). Combining the two leads to decidedly odd behavior, depending on what's being used for an audio source.

 

I reckon the best "right thing to do" is to build a cable / interface box. Failing that, getting a cable off of eBay, cutting off the audio-in jack, soldering a new stereo (three-conductor) 3.5mm male plug with audio to tip and ring and pin 9 connected to sleeve, and making sure the microphone jack is plugged into the audio source, would be an adequate substitute (as long as you keep the mike plug plugged).

 

If the audio source doesn't have a mike-in (I suspect the original poster's Walkman might not), the redneck solution would be to solder a wire from the bottom of the mike sleeve to the bottom of the audio sleeve. That'd get things grounded right, but it's very far from an ideal (or even clean) solution.

 

Seriously, he shouldn't be swapping out hardware until he makes sure that he's got ground continuity between console and playback device. After doing that, sure, but before doing that it's just random voodoo.

Edited by ckoba
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I can't figure out MESS, and while I think I've made a WAV file - no idea what to do with it next to convert it or do anything with it.

 

Maybe if you tell me how far you got I can give some advice?

 

You can mount the wav file in MESS like this:

 

 

mess ti99_4a -cass1 mywavefile.wav

 

or you can use the on-screen menu (File manager -> Cassette), but it depends on what data you actually have on the wav file. Is it a TI BASIC program?

 

Or you send me the wav file and I try to read it.

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