How to listen to audio using your Commodore C1530 datasette, and why.
Please read through the whole post, as there are some things in the end, you might want to start with.
If you’ve ever had the doubt whether there was audio or data on a casette tape, and you’ve only had your Commodore computer and a datasette, and of course a computer to work with. This might come in handy for you.
First of all, you’ll need some kind of connector for the equipment you want to use. I’m using a standard 3,5mm minijack connector. Stereo/mono doesn’t matter as there’s only one channel. If you have a stereo connector, make sure you use the left channel then. You can use the cable from a cheap set of earpieces, one item less to solder.
This is not a stand alone solution, you need to supply power to the datasette, this can come from the Commodore computer, or a stable power supply.
Beware, you might have a different version than this. This one I have here use a Goldstar Lm324, it’s a quad-amp chip. The schematic isn’t precisely the same as the model, but it’s close enough.
Basically you just attach the cable to the output of one of the amps. On the shcematic below I’ve marked Pin 1 and “Pin 7” well actually it’s the output going to the Commodore computer, but I call it pin 7 here. I’ve taken Pin 1 instead of Pin 7 as the voltage level is alittle less there. On the output of Pin 7 you get around 3v peak-to-peak, and you get around 2v peak to peak on pin 1. the normal input of a soundcard is around 1v peak to peak. So just make sure that the input volume is way down.
Sorry for the image quality. I’ve added a small extension cord to the left channel of the audio cable. It’s the green one you can see in the middle of the pcb, soldered to Pin 1 of the goldstar lm324 amp chip.
This is a real easy hack to do, you only need to know how to solder, and have access to a solder of course.
I haven’t tried transfering data from tape to PC into a tap file using this method, but it might be doable. If anyone tries this, I’d love to hear about it.
Disclaimer: if this doesn’t work for you, or if you destroy your hardware, don’t blame me.