Author Topic: Hi , has anyone ever done the Tape in mod on a CPC 464  (Read 5835 times)

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Offline drbob

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Hi there
I managed to get hold of a CPC 464 last week , (I collect old computers but had never played with an amstrad before!).Had a few problems but managed to get hold of an RGB Scart cable, create an adaptor for a Spectrum +2A psu and unseize up the tape drive (it had 30 years of gunk inside and wasnt moving).I'm trying to add an audio in cable so that I can hook up an mp3 player and bypass the tape drive completely (as even though its moving a bit now I'm guessing its knackered).
I've seen this guide
http://www.cpcwiki.eu/imgs/b/b8/464_Audio_CD_Port.png
but tbh its a little vague for the likes of me (I mean if I;m just sending audio in ,does it not just need the grnd and audio in cables only soldered , and not the 'play on' one .also A pic of the actual points to be soldered whoud help . If I can get it working I'll add them
I also saw this http://amstrad.eu/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=102 , which seems to solder 2 cables straight to the read head.Its in french though so I cant really be 100% whats being soldered to what!
I've a 3.5 mm mono socket (a maplin job), I can nab a stereo one but I reckon it only needs mono!?!?
Thanks for any help in advance!!
ps I've a few videos of what I've been able to do so far on my youtube channel
luasdublin - YouTube

« Last Edit: 20:17, 21 May 12 by drbob »

Offline SyX

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I have attached the tape mod published in the spanish magazine "Amstrad Sinclair Ocio", include a few pictures and looks the same, i hope that it can be helpful.

Offline drbob

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HiSyx  , thanks , thats actually pretty cool :)
 thats actually something slightly different though  , in that its connecting a whole DIN plug which would have been the best way of hooking up an original tape deck in the 80's/90s', as opposed to just patching in an audio in lead.
Thanks again for the doc though , definitely saved for later use!



« Last Edit: 22:50, 21 May 12 by drbob »

Offline SyX

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You are welcome drbob! :D

Offline MacDeath

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Yes, Welcome to you.

Perhaps you could do some proper presentations so we may know where you are from and why/how did you came into CPC... :)



Offline ralferoo

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Personally, I just use a cheap tape adaptor which you can buy on ebay for about £1. It doesn't matter if the motors etc are all broken, you just need the pickup head and opamp to work.

Looking at that picture (http://www.cpcwiki.eu/imgs/b/b8/464_Audio_CD_Port.png), my gut feeling is that it's wrong. I'd have to check but my understanding is that DATA_IN is the record signal, DATA_OUT is the read signal and SOUND_IN is the signal to the speaker. I've not looked at the schematic for a few months though, so I could easily be wrong... :)

Offline drbob

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Hi ralferoo. Yeah I've actually been able to use the tape adaptor to load a game from an mp3 player , but it doesnt sit well in the tape drive , I could drill a tiny hole in the edge of the tape holder but I'd rather not!
Plus I have two CPC 464s at the moment , my other one , the tape drive mechanism is in fairly bad shape, ff and rew dont seem to work too well, and while it will play it sounds very distorted , so I'd say its a motor issue.
My plan is to use the audio in mod on that CPC , (and maybe some more mods later) and keep the other "good" CPC unaltered! I just need to work out what to solder the 3 pins of the headphone jack to!

Thanks MacDeath
I'm from Ireland (Dublin) and I collect old home computers/consoles.Growing up I'd an atari 800xl , then  C64 then megadrive and so on.Some Amstrads where sold over here , but I actually didnt know anyone who had one, I'd seen spectrums before , but Amstrads were pretty exotic , I'd only seen them in action from the  screenshots ('screens taken from various versions')on the back of my C64.I'd tried emulating (I look at old conversions on my youtube channel), but always faniced getting one .I managed to buy one last week fairly cheaply.Of course I had to buy an RGB cable.Then I ended up buying a new psu (I only realised I had the parts to build one using a +2a psu after this!), then it looked like it was dead and had tape issues so the seller sent me out a 2nd one!

Offline ralferoo

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I found the cable can be pushed flat against the "top" of the tape (i.e. where the write protect holes would be), the along the side until the side grips, then over the body of the tape and exit through the azimuth adjust hole.

Offline MacDeath

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Quote
I'm from Ireland (Dublin)
Quote
but Amstrads were pretty exotic
UK must be a far and strange misterious Country to you... ;D

To be fair, I never saw any Atari 8bit where i grew up here in France... (not see one in real, I knew such stuff existed...)

Saw a pair of speccies and one old C64...
I even had a friend who had a Thomson MO5...

Mostly Amstrads, and 16bits (Amiga/ST/PC) where I lived, in the late 80's.

Offline Badstarr

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With my 464 Plus I soldered my tape in or as I call it, AUX IN direct to the head too. Its easy to do, you just have to make sure that you don't desolder the original connections in the process and make sure you have enough slack in the wiring to allow for the movement for when the transport mechanism moves when you press play. Also make sure that the route your wiring takes doesn't snag on any of moving parts of the cassette unit.
Proud owner of 464 GTM64 6128 GTM65, GX4128 and a 464/6128 Plus Hybrid a 20 year long ambition realised! :-)

Offline drbob

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Re: Hi , has anyone ever done the Tape in mod on a CPC 464
« Reply #10 on: 19:35, 23 May 12 »
hi , thanks to all , I actually managed to get it working , Head phone ring and  tip pins soldered to R/P head + and - its a bit fiddly , its picking up static when contimually ,(might need to shield the cable??  but I've been able to load up ikari warriors just now and it seems ok.I'll put up a video tonight on how it went!
Just need to get the dead space key working now!


Offline Badstarr

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Re: Hi , has anyone ever done the Tape in mod on a CPC 464
« Reply #11 on: 00:20, 24 May 12 »
What does the static sound like? Is it crackling or a constant hum/buzz? Some obvious questions here... did you use a stereo or mono socket? Also did you use the correct polarity when wiring to the socket?
« Last Edit: 00:22, 24 May 12 by Badstarr »
Proud owner of 464 GTM64 6128 GTM65, GX4128 and a 464/6128 Plus Hybrid a 20 year long ambition realised! :-)

Offline drbob

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Re: Hi , has anyone ever done the Tape in mod on a CPC 464
« Reply #12 on: 01:02, 24 May 12 »
hey there ,
It was a constant hum by the way (almost like fuzz on an old tv that isnt tuned in correctly), mono port and as far as I can see polarity was ok..
But! ..I worked out what was wrong!, basically I needed to shield the 2 cables (got a sheath from an old RF cable , desoldered two of the connections , sheathed the cables and resoldered).
Once I did it works fine.
little bit of video here:
'Audio in' mod for Amstrad CPC 464 - YouTube
'Audio in' mod for Amstrad CPC 464 - YouTube
My last problem to resolve now are the dead keys, space , the arrows and one or two of the number pad ones..I'll pop the keyboard out tommorrow and see how corroded it is (probably very!)


Offline Badstarr

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Re: Hi , has anyone ever done the Tape in mod on a CPC 464
« Reply #13 on: 01:19, 24 May 12 »
A good solution! I thought it could be some interference from the monitor coming through so shielding it would work, obviously you have already worked that one out for yourself. Good luck with the rest of the restoration! Oh and be sure to see if Bryce has a MegaFlash still available for sale, it's a great companion for your CPC and some nice people have put BombJack into ROM form that you can play without having to wait for it to load!  ;D
Proud owner of 464 GTM64 6128 GTM65, GX4128 and a 464/6128 Plus Hybrid a 20 year long ambition realised! :-)

Offline Bryce

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Re: Hi , has anyone ever done the Tape in mod on a CPC 464
« Reply #14 on: 22:28, 24 May 12 »
Hi DrBob,
     the Diagram here: http://www.cpcwiki.eu/imgs/b/b8/464_Audio_CD_Port.png is (as Ralferoo correctly spotted) definitely wrong. I thought I had replaced it, but obviously I hadn't, the socket from the MP3 Player should be connected to GND and Data_Out (Out refers to "out" of the tape-drive, not out of the CPC). The Remote connection is only needed if you want the CPC to be able to start/stop the external device (if you are using an old tape player).

Bryce.