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Apple 2e and reel to reel


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Well, the IIe doesn't have any kind of special control jack for the cassette interface, so you should hypothetically be able to use any audio source that can both record and play back, reel-to-reel included. From what I read, the highest frequency part of the signal is only ~2.2 KHz, so 7.5 IPS should be more than responsive enough for accurate capture, and you could probably go slower.

Edited by commodorejohn
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I used a reel-to-real on a Tandy color computer once, I certainly can't think of any reason why it wouldn't work for an Apple IIe. As already noted the interface was already designed to handle pretty poor frequency response and a decent reel-to-reel recorder should actually be better in that area than the portable cassette decks it was meant for. If we're talking analog recorders really the only thing I can imagine that might pose a problem is something like the Philips Mini Cassette (*not* Olympus MicroCassette) or other strictly dictation-focused tape machine* that doesn't reliably control the tape speed.

 

*(I vaguely recall there were some cheap dictation/phone answering machines that used reel-driven vs. capstan driven tape mechanisms with normal compact cassettes, but you're almost certainly not going to have something like that lying around.)

 

Might have problems with an 8-Track recorder, I suppose, they're prone to inter-track bleed.

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I think the biggest problem with an 8-track recorder would be the lack of an easily-definable "beginning" to declare as time mark 0. With other tape types, you just rewind until you're at the beginning. With 8-Track''s "infinite loop" mechanism (however appropriate for Apple,) you would have to manually play until you reached the auto-track-switch mark.

 

The other negative is that you couldn't use too long a program, as you'd be resurrected to the length of a single track.

 

But, if you had a mono-capable 8-Traxk recorder, you'd have the benefit of being able to use all 8 tracks!

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It would actually have been sort of awesome if they had made a teeny tiny open-reel deck you could play the tapes on directly. I mean, it'd still be utterly pointless, but awesome nonetheless. You could mount one on the wall of your Barbie Dream Home!

Edited by Gorgonops
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The speed of cassette tape and the speed of reel to reel are different, the reel to reel is faster for a higher frequency response (bandwidth). So pulling out the tape of the cassette and put it on the reel to reel, it will be played faster on the reel to reel, making it impossible for the Apple II to listen to it.

 

Also, reel to reel take is wider, because the heads is larger and if you are lucky, you would be able to listen to one track of a cassette tape (which has 2 for mono or 4 for stereo). If you're lucky. Chances are, the head will pick up the whole tape as a single track, and... it won't load.

 

As for cool? I would not know. Like I tell these kids with their rice burning Honda they had souped up, "If you want to impress me - crash it."

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The speed of cassette tape and the speed of reel to reel are different, the reel to reel is faster for a higher frequency response (bandwidth). So pulling out the tape of the cassette and put it on the reel to reel, it will be played faster on the reel to reel, making it impossible for the Apple II to listen to it.

 

Uhm, what? I don't believe anyone was proposing doing that. The discussion above about "reel to reel cassettes" concerns a silly novelty product TEAC marketed in the 90's consisting of a compact cassette with removable tape reels that when separated from the carriers look like tiny reel-to-reel spools, including cute little round boxes. There was no claim of compatibility between that system and standard quarter-inch reel players.

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Well... guess you could make one.  How difficult would it be to to just dismantle an old tape player, 3D print a frame, and reassemble it? :)

 

It might look more authentic to use the guts of a Microcassette recorder. It'd be a lot of work, since you'd have to re-position the spool drive (which would mean having to make a new back plate and adding idler gears or belts to the mechanism to spread it out), but the smaller capstan/head assembly would be more to scale with that on a standard 1/4" deck.

 

But, yeah, with the price of the O'Casse tapes that high you might as well 3D print your own miniature spools and wind them with bulk 0.15" tape.

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Uhm, what? I don't believe anyone was proposing doing that. The discussion above about "reel to reel cassettes" concerns a silly novelty product TEAC marketed in the 90's consisting of a compact cassette with removable tape reels that when separated from the carriers look like tiny reel-to-reel spools, including cute little round boxes. There was no claim of compatibility between that system and standard quarter-inch reel players.

 

Sorry for the confusion then.

 

TEAC was not the only one to have this. TDK and Panasonic cassettes had them as well. In a regular cassette tape there was a Mylar/graphite sheet between the roll of tape and the outside case so the tape can slide inside the case without binding or wearing. These "reel to reel" cassettes did away with the mylar sheet for the two spinning reels. But as good as the idea was, it was too expensive, in terms of 1980s technology.

 

People were already paying $12 a cassette for high response Chromium/Iron Metal tapes. No one was going to pay for more to see the reels spin which did not add to the sound's fidelity, which on most tape decks, can not been seen except for a tiny sliver between the spindles and rolls.

 

I bought $1 cassettes from NYC's China Town, and they are still good to this day. Most have my Commodore Pet, Vic 20 and C64 software library still in tact.

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