[Color Computer] [coco] The coco cassette

Gene Heskett gene.heskett at verizon.net
Fri Feb 24 19:54:55 EST 2006

On Friday 24 February 2006 19:28, Diego Barizo wrote:
>The first tape I bought after getting my CoCo was a 90 min. one. They
>are supposed to be less reliable than others, but after 22...23....24
>years, it only got a couple of bad spots.
>Most of my friends had Sinclair Spectrum. A real pain to get a game to
> load!
I had nothing but bad luck with the CTR-81/82.  And being an electronics 
type, I came to the conclusion that 99% of the trouble was the DC bias 
used in nearly all those things sold as computer tape recorders by 

Long after I had a hard drive, someone needed a tape copy of something I 
had, so I scrambled around and finally got it to load, taking prolly 10 
times to get a good, it would run load.  I also tried loading it from 
my hifi deck, same story, the signal was so buried in the noise of the 
DC bias that even my ears couldn't convince themselves it was actually 
digital data.

So when I went to make the copy, I unplugged the computer tape and 
plugged the cables into just one channel of a metal tape capable sony 
deck I'd bought (and which I still have, and its STILL a POS in terms 
of audio quality due to induced hum from its power supply in the 
playback, missing its published specs by at least 15 db) loaded a 
freshly wiped with a hand eraser tape, and recorded it on just one 
track, making several copies since it was a 30 minute tape.

Then I hooked up the so-called computer tape again, plugged that tape 
into it, and it would load perfectly everytime unless I turned the 
playback level so low I couldn't hear it.  I mailed it off to whomever 
it was asked for it, along with the admonishion that it was made on my 
hifi deck on only 1 track of the 4 available.  It loaded perfectly for 
him too.

The moral of this is simply that the shack, nor anyone else, could ever 
convince the bean counters to spend another 10 bucks (at retail after 
markup) to put a 100khz power oscillator and a real erase head into one 
of those things.  I think the actual r-p head may have been useable
as is.  This would have reduced the background shot noise by at least 30 
db.  Or to have put a motor control circuit into a better one, either 
would have worked a treat and would have had a lip lock on that data 
market once word spread that hey, here is one that WORKS!.

> Diego 
>George Ramsower wrote:
>> I dimly recall that the coco was famous for being the fastest and
>> most reliable.
>> Once I got a CCR-81, I had very few problems, unless I had a bad
>> tape.
>> I tried several, cheaper tape machines and none worked properly
>> until I finally broke down and bought the CCR-81.
>> I bet a PC sound card would be better than a cassette deck.
>Brought to you by the 6809, the 6803 and their cousins!
>Yahoo! Groups Links

Cheers, Gene
People having trouble with vz bouncing email to me should add the word
'online' between the 'verizon', and the dot which bypasses vz's
stupid bounce rules.  I do use spamassassin too. :-)
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message by Gene Heskett are:
Copyright 2006 by Maurice Eugene Heskett, all rights reserved.

Brought to you by the 6809, the 6803 and their cousins! 
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