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Did Astrocade have port for plugging in cassette recorder?


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I've spent my whole life believing all Astrocades came with the ability to plug in a cassette tape drive, and that, along with the BASIC programming cartridge, is what enabled enthusiasts to keep the system alive, and make new games for it, after it was discontinued.

However, I was just perusing the Wikipedia page for Astrocade, and it seemed to imply the cassette tape port was only added if you got some kind of computer expansion module that sat underneath your Astrocade.

I suspect this is not true, and just an example of a Wikipedia page not being clearly written.

What say you?

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IIRC, the Astrocade didn't have a native cassette interface: it had to be added via a separate unit, which may be what the Wikipedia article refers to, along with the original BASIC cart which had no interface.  Alternatively, you could use the later version of the BASIC cart that had a built-in audio cassette interface. 

Edited by krslam
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7 hours ago, FlightSuit said:

the Wikipedia page for Astrocade [...] seemed to imply the cassette tape port was only added if you got some kind of computer expansion module that sat underneath your Astrocade.

 

I haven't re-read the Wikipedia page for the Astrocade, but without referring to it, I can confirm that the Bally Arcade/Astrocade does not include a cassette tape port.  The originally version of Bally BASIC, released in about September 1978, the one without the built-in tape interface, requires an external tape interface.  This interface loads a BASIC program at 300-BAUD.  The 300-baud interface plugged into joystick port 3 and the light-pen port.  Examples of the interface are on this page:

 

https://ballyalley.com/pics/hardware_pics/audio_interface/audio_interface.html

 

In 1981, Bally BASIC was revised and re-released on a cartridge that included its own cassette tape interface.  This interface loaded programs at 2000-BAUD.  The 300-baud interface wasn't required to use this revised version of Bally BASIC, which is now usually referred to as AstroBASIC or Astrovision BASIC.

 

Adam

 

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