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Cassette Recorder alternative - ChickenMan - 09-06-2021

I bought an electronic Cassette Recorder recently via eBay and thought I had better test it out.  The unit uses a SD card for file storage and is intended for TAP file playback for the ZX Spectrum but the designer/seller (from Russia) assured me it can play normal WAV files as well.  Cost was about $80 all up.

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Power requirements is 5v to 12v, and ended up using a 5v 0.7w power pack from the junk box which works well.  Added a few Microbee WAV files to the 8gb SD card I had and connected it all up to my PC85.  First issue found was the audio IN and OUT sockets are not marked, so was a bit of trial and error but audio out ended up being the one closest to the bottom of the unit.  Second issue was that the outlet is stereo and the mono plug on the Microbee lead didnt seam to get any signal.  So used a male stereo to female mono adapter and that solved that problem.  The SD card needs to be FAT32 formatted also.

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Another problem found was that some WAV files would not 100% load, it would load to about 99% and stop.  It appears the unit sends the WAV file in discrete chunks, of unknown size, so for those files I just copied approx 1 sec of the normal 1.2khz lead in to the end of the file and that solved the problem. Tried 300 baud and 1200 baud square wave converted files and original sine wav files and all that I tried loaded in error free as expected.

So I found it to be an easy to use alternative to bulky tapes and an original cassette player. I even tried it on my 56k Microbee and was able to load files in via the Monitor with no issues also.  One thing I didnt try was saving a file, as I have no intention of ever doing that.