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TRS 80 cassette recorders

abruno17

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I started this on a Facebook group but I thought I should expand this topic on this forum. Is there any evidence to support that Tandy specific “data cassette recorders” work better with TRS 80’s in terms of liading software compared to regular cassette recorders?
 

ngtwolf

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I started this on a Facebook group but I thought I should expand this topic on this forum. Is there any evidence to support that Tandy specific “data cassette recorders” work better with TRS 80’s in terms of liading software compared to regular cassette recorders?

I've not seen that was the case, but I guess it's possible that the cassette player was specifically set with the proper audio playback that the computer was expecting. That said, I can't see why any other device couldn't be adjusted to work just as well. In fact, i've loaded cassettes with my cellphone through the cassette cable. It's all about making sure you have the volume correct and may take a few shots to get it perfect (it'll work if it's not perfect, but it could potentially error out on occasion). Also, if your tape player puts out a lot of line noise, that could be an issue as well.
 

MikeS

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I started this on a Facebook group but I thought I should expand this topic on this forum. Is there any evidence to support that Tandy specific “data cassette recorders” work better with TRS 80’s in terms of liading software compared to regular cassette recorders?

Two points: a preset playback level that really simplified things, and the ability to monitor sound through the speaker even though the cable was plugged into the earphone jack.

And a counter of course.
 

abruno17

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So which Tandy data-corder is better? The CCR 81, 82, 83 or the CTR 80? Another thought would it be cool if someone developed an app that could load cassette files and would emulate the functions of a computer data corder?
 

krebizfan

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So which Tandy data-corder is better? The CCR 81, 82, 83 or the CTR 80? Another thought would it be cool if someone developed an app that could load cassette files and would emulate the functions of a computer data corder?

The magazines had some notes on the early releases. The CTR 80 manufactured before Feb 1979 needed a repair. The CCR 81 wouldn't play sound while saving a file without a modification. The CCR 82 had what was becoming standard in computer cassette decks: a dedicated monitor button to permit listening to all the recording and reading. Tandy never sold a cassette deck with the ability to automatically skip files which was the other improvement for cassette decks aimed at computer use. Don't forget: there was also a CTR 41 available with the initial Model 1 that had no amenities at all and needed careful volume adjustment.
 

VERAULT

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I dont know if they are "better" per se, but I use my CCR-81 TRS-80 cassette recorder to make all my audio files, even for commodore equipment. I remember when I bought it from someone selling their deceased brothers collection. I didn't have alot of money at the time because we only negotiated the price of a couple of TRS-80's; but when I got there he sprung a whole trailers' worth of other stuff on me and I didn't have any other cash. Dont you hate that tactic?! Anyway this guy was a shrewd stickler and wouldnt budge on most prices. I remember he had another trs-80 tape deck with a db25 port on it, anyone familiar with that model?
 

vwestlife

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The Tandy CCR-83 was Radio Shack's last model of computer cassette recorder, sold from 1990 to 1992. Nothing special about it, other than its late date of production.

ccr-83.jpg
 

krebizfan

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Is the CCR 83 any good I understand it’s quite rare.

Not sure it is that rare. Cloud9 had been selling unused CCR 83s for about a decade after Tandy stopped selling computers. I think it had the bad luck to be manufactured just about the time the market for cassettes dwindled in the US.

Seems to be a good model but not so much better than the others that it is a must.
 

ngtwolf

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Well, just because they were sitting in a warehouse without buyers doesn't mean they're not rarer than the others. They were probably the same stock listed but with few sales (because people were no longer buying cassette desks or TRS-80's here). It's definitely less common that the 80 & 81 models, and it's hard to gauge the 82 model since that was more specific to the Coco's (smaller size) and those coco3 owners buy up anything at any price. :)
 

abruno17

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Well, just because they were sitting in a warehouse without buyers doesn't mean they're not rarer than the others. They were probably the same stock listed but with few sales (because people were no longer buying cassette desks or TRS-80's here). It's definitely less common that the 80 & 81 models, and it's hard to gauge the 82 model since that was more specific to the Coco's (smaller size) and those coco3 owners buy up anything at any price. :)

So I'm assuming that the early ctr cassette recorders are inferior to the latter ccr cassette recorders
 

krebizfan

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The important issue is finding a working cassette recorder. Having to clean the heads and replace the belt takes up time that could be spent experimenting with cassettes.

There were some vocal CoCo users who had bad experiences with the ccr 82 so almost all models have some reported issues. Note that magazine articles offer suggestions for correcting the lack of audio monitoring on saves with the 81 (its one drawback) and correcting the ground loop on the 41 (removing noise and thus improving readability of tapes).
 

abruno17

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The important issue is finding a working cassette recorder. Having to clean the heads and replace the belt takes up time that could be spent experimenting with cassettes.

There were some vocal CoCo users who had bad experiences with the ccr 82 so almost all models have some reported issues. Note that magazine articles offer suggestions for correcting the lack of audio monitoring on saves with the 81 (its one drawback) and correcting the ground loop on the 41 (removing noise and thus improving readability of tapes).

What magazine are we talking about?
 

ngtwolf

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So I'm assuming that the early ctr cassette recorders are inferior to the latter ccr cassette recorders

No idea on that. Maybe at one point it mattered, now it doesn't really. At this point it's more about which one looks best sitting on your desk as a prop with the correct computer. If you want to actually load tapes, I'd just use a mp3 player, computer or cellphone with an audio jack vs dealing with tapes at all.
 

vwestlife

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Radio Shack sold shoebox-style cassette recorders right up until they went bankrupt a few years ago that will work perfectly fine for loading and saving computer data. No need to use an old one, unless you just want to have a matching TRS-80 or Tandy recorder.

5b8f2e7bec5de784416e3a99f20a3835.jpg
 

DeltaDon

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I'll jump in here with an interesting cassette issue that was addressed in my Quest Super Elf (RCA 1802 CPU) instruction manual. They built an inverter into the cassette input circuit in case the user's cassette recorder inverted the audio output. It was a try and see if the recorder worked or needed the extra inverter method of getting the cassette system up and working. Of course you still needed the volume set to a reasonable level for good results. My own R.S. cassette player used with this single board computer needed the inverter IIRC.
 
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