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ZX Specrum games from cassettes

Fri May 24, 2013 8:19 am

I have seen a lot people using Raspberry Pi's for emulation of ZX Spectrum from tzx files. I was wondering whether it is possible to connect a Raspberry Pi to a tape drive and to play games from the original cassettes. Does anyone know whether this is possible and if so, how do I do it.

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Re: ZX Specrum games from cassettes

Thu May 30, 2013 4:19 pm

Why on earth would you want to do this!!
I still remember sitting there for half an hour with that irratating modem noise just for the game to fail to load! Lol

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Re: ZX Specrum games from cassettes

Thu May 30, 2013 4:37 pm

No it's not possible, the Pi simply isn't fast enough to decode audio signals and run a fully fledged ZX spectrum emulator at the same time.
Furthermore I don't believe there are any emulators which support real-time use of legacy storage devices (except for maybe a hacked up C64DTV and 1541 floppy drive).

Richard S.

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Re: ZX Specrum games from cassettes

Thu May 30, 2013 4:43 pm

This isn't the normal way to do it!
Normally an emulator doesn't use real tapes, (because most emulators make no attempt to emulate the tape hardware) but instead they use .TAP files, which in essence are files that contain the decoded (audio "decoded" to a digital signal, with software simulated hardware of the target machine) audio from a tape. There are utilities (obviously) to create your own .TAP files from tapes you own, but if you search for utilities like that in this decennial then you will find more links to utilities to convert .TAP files to .WAV (audio files) than the other way around, you can draw your own conclusion from that.

In any case no real tape hardware needs to be built, and tapes are not decoded in real time, instead a recording is made from a tape, and stored to a .WAV (or similar loss less audio format) then the .TAP file is created from the .WAV file using complicated digital signalling processing routines.

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