C64 Standard Tape Interface

This is an interface which lets you connect your C64 to ANY standard Tape Player instead of the custom made C1531 device, which can be hard to get today. Also it means you can connect your C64 to any PC with a sound card and let the PC act as a Tape Player with a perfectly clear sound - so there are no Load errors possible.

If you do this then you have a few programs which can play some standard C64 files like PRG, T64, P00 (these all contain single files) or TAP (which can contain recordings of original C64 games). By doing this you can convert your PC into a huge file-server for your C64.

I am only providing the schematics for the interface. It is simple enough to wire it on an experimental board so I am not providing the board schematics.
All parts are available in any electronic shop and you can choose a different inverter or the OP, if you can't get the ones I used (just ask for a compatible one).
The only problem is to get the plug that plugs into the C2N port of the C64. I have used a plug salvaged from a dead C1531 casette recorder. If you cannot find one then you can either make one your own (might be hard to make a good one) or just solder the wires to the motherboard of the C64.

The operation of the interface is very simple. The input is first amplified and filtered by the OP (you can also tweak this with the first resistor a little).
Then it goes through a simple A/D convertor which consists of two invertors and this goes to the input of the C64.
The Green LED (2) is on when there is a signal (and it flashes a bit if you load stuff to it).
The Red LED (1) is on when the C64 turns the MOTOR of the C1531 ON - it expects the casette player to load. When it is OFF then you should stop transmitting data. This LED is there because you must stop the tape when it goes out !

If you decide to make this interface then I cannot be held responsible for any damage it could cause to your equipment or C64 - you do it at your own risk. The interface works fine with a few C64 I own. First try LOW volume levels or you might damage it !

Here is the link to the schematics : Schematics

Tools to use with the interface:

If you would like to use your PC to play .TAP files through the soundblaster and this interface to your C64 then you can use my utility 64TapVoc which can do that. If you don't have a soundblaster compatible sound card then you can use the same utility to convert the .TAP file to .VOC format. You can use MediaPlayer or some other VOC player to playback the resulting VOC file through your soundcard to the C64 or Tape recorder.
On some soundcards you will need to use the command line option /revers to get a proper output !

If you want to play .PRG, .T64 or .P00 files to the interface then you can use the WAV-PRG program by Fabrizio Gennari which works in the Windows/Linux environment and is VERY user-friendly. It can also use the Standard C64 Loader or the Turbo Tape 64 variant and much more ! Link: WAV-PRG Homepage.

Another tool, which I cannot find a link for on the internet, is the TapWav tool by Luigi Di Fraia. There are no emails/links in the readme so I have no idea how I got it or where its homepage is at. This tool can convert the TAP files to .WAV format. This files are similar to .VOC files and can then be replayed to the interface with any Sound Player on your soundcard.

If you would like to contact me then you can email me at : tomcat@sgn.net.

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