[Coladam] Transferring ADAM tape/disk images to physical media

John Turner gimechip at live.com
Sat Aug 4 15:17:41 CEST 2012

Audio Tapes are still manufactured. You can purchase them in any custom length, color etc. (I googled it back when I first started acquiring my Adam gear) and found many sources for high grade tape. I actually have purchased about 1000 to make DDPs and generally just to goof around with - there's just something about waiting a half hour for my ZX81 to load a program from tape that I seem to enjoy :-) I know - I'm an idiot ....
I have searched in vain to acquire a MegaCopy 3 - I envy you... I wonder if Syd ever realeased the schematics for that sucker -= then I could build me one...

> Date: Sat, 4 Aug 2012 09:06:55 -0400
> From: drushel at apk.net
> To: coladam at adamcon.org
> Subject: Re: [Coladam] Transferring ADAM tape/disk images to physical media
> On Sat, August 4, 2012 12:10 am, Kevin Powers wrote:
> > Couldn't you just put the DDP in a standard tape deck, connect the "LINE
> > OUT" from the tape deck into the "LINE IN" of the PC, and record the sound
> > using any wave audio recording software (e.g., Audacity, which is free)?
>      To duplicate a DDP with a standard dual (audio) tape deck, you must
> (1) drill holes in the DDP shell to fit the alignment pegs in the tape
> deck;
> (2) drill holes in the audio cassette shell to fit the alignment pegs in
> the digital data drive; and
> (3) duplicate both of the DDP, to get both tracks.  I.e., rewind both tapes
> to the beginning, dupe to end; flip both tapes over, dupe to end again.
>      I've done this (long ago, mind you), and it works.  If you wanted to
> get WAV files of a DDP, all you'd have to do is step (1) and then play each
> side of the tape out.  One track would be "backwards" as a linear sound file,
> though.  The DDP drive rewinds bi-directionally, but read/write are only in
> one direction.
>      Coleco were evil and specifically designed the DDP shell to not
> fit into an audio tape deck.  They wanted you to buy pre-formatted DDPs.
> Thus, they did not have to make available an end-user DDP formatting utility
> (ala Disk Manager for 160K floppy disks).  The tape stock in the DDP is
> specifically for digital audio, even though good audio tape stock (Scotch,
> Memorex) works.  Of course, nobody is making even audio cassettes now.
>      I have accumulated somewhere in my pile of ADAM stuff what purports to
> be a true tape formatter (i.e., it doesn't copy the low-level formatting,
> but writes it directly).  I never had a chance to try it out.  There was
> something called a MegaCopy that was sold to do this; this may be what I
> have.  Dale Wick might know more.
>      When I first got the 6801 source for the DDP firmware, I was hoping
> that there was low-level format code in there somewhere; but no.  There is
> probably enough info in the code to figure out how to write a format-capable
> version; however, I think it would have to fit within the internal ROM/EPROM
> address space of the 6801/68701.  I believe that some of the I/O lines needed
> for an external ROM/EPROM (as in the floppy disk board) are used already.
> Check the schematics at
>      http://drushel.cwru.edu/schematics/
> and the 6801 assembly listing at
>      http://drushel.cwru.edu/6801/tape6801.lst.pdf
> The latter is also interesting for the presence of a byte flag DISAB_0 that,
> if set, makes it impossible for the drive to write to block 0 (i.e, the boot
> block).  Thus, you couldn't make your own bootable tape applications.  Extra
> evil.  Fortunately, the flag is not set.
>      *Dr. D.*
> -- 
> Richard F. Drushel, Ph.D.            | "They fell:  for Heaven to them no hope
> Department of Biology                |  imparts / Who hear not for the beating
> Case Western Reserve University      |  of their hearts."
> Cleveland, Ohio  44106-7080  U.S.A.  |         -- Edgar Allan Poe, "Al-Aaraaf"
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