"Help me hookup" Dick Smith VZ200 ~ Cassette Tape

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"Help me hookup" Dick Smith VZ200 ~ Cassette Tape

Postby techexpress on Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:08 am

Hello Vintage Computing Enthusiasts,

With some time now available to enjoy I am wanting to load software onto the 1983 Dick Smith VZ200. I've "invested" in a Sanyo Portable Cassette Recorder ( Sanyo Model M2522 - Reminiscent of the tape players used with my Sinclair spectrum in around 1986 )

I am uncertain about the type of 3.5mm audio cable to employ. The VZ200 has the 3.5mm female socket labeled "TAPE". I suspect that if I employ a STEREO male 3.5mm to male 3.5mm male as used for modern Computer to Monitor cables this will not work.

Image

Is anyone able to offer some advise or previous experiences on the correct cable, a cable wiring diagram or some solution.

I have also yet to try the .wav file output through line out on the PC into the VZ as again, am lacking confidence regarding the cable.

Many thanks

Kirk
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Re: "Help me hookup" Dick Smith VZ200 ~ Cassette Tape

Postby Gibsaw on Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:49 am

If you can find out for certain that the deck is mono, then get mono, but otherwise a Stereo 3.5mm jack - 3.5mm jack cable is going to be your safest option and you probably have one of those lying around from an old set of computer speakers or something like that.

Stereo is normally "common" on the sleeve with left/right on the ring and tip. If you plug a mono jack into a stereo output, you're shorting a channel. If you plug a stereo into mono, it'll usually work, unless the connectors don't line up. I don't know if that cassette deck is stereo or not, and not working is a much better option than shorting a channel.
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Re: "Help me hookup" Dick Smith VZ200 ~ Cassette Tape

Postby SeanKennedy on Wed Aug 26, 2015 11:13 am

I'd hazard a guess that the VZ end is a stereo plug, connecting to two mono 3.5mm ones for the tape deck. Common ground, and trial and error to find the mic/speaker lines. The remote on the tape deck was usually connected to a switch n the mic to start and stop recording.
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Re: "Help me hookup" Dick Smith VZ200 ~ Cassette Tape

Postby techexpress on Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:01 am

Thanks Gibsaw & SeanKennedy, I think this will be a bit trial and error. The cassette is certainly mono. I will document once successfull. I am pretty sure based on the schematic that YES, the socket on the VZ200 is Stereo to accommodate tape in and tape out. I'll drag the mr`s to Jaycar to buy some solder bucket phonos and play (She loves Jaycar) . Will try the output from the vz 1st first to reduce risk of shorting. Thanks again. :wink:
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Re: "Help me hookup" Dick Smith VZ200 ~ Cassette Tape

Postby kevman3d on Sat Sep 12, 2015 7:18 pm

You can produce a "stereo to two mono" cable with an old 3.5mm to stereo RCA cable that you'd usually use with your sound card to plug to speakers. Usually there's bound to be a few laying around the house if you've had a few PCs over the years (I found at least one in a box). I needed a cable for my MP3 to Speccy - Just bought a couple of RCA female to 3.5 mono and viole... Stereo to 2 mono in no time. :)

Jaycar sell them for $1.95 each, so should be pretty easy/cheap to set up.

http://www.jaycar.com.au/Sight-%26-Sound---Home/AV-Leads-%26-Adaptors/Audio/3-5mm-Mono-Plug-to-RCA-Socket-Adaptor/p/PA3500
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Re: "Help me hookup" Dick Smith VZ200 ~ Cassette Tape

Postby techexpress on Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:16 am

kevman3d wrote:You can produce a "stereo to two mono" cable with an old 3.5mm to stereo RCA cable that you'd usually use with your sound card to plug to speakers. Usually there's bound to be a few laying around the house if you've had a few PCs over the years (I found at least one in a box). I needed a cable for my MP3 to Speccy - Just bought a couple of RCA female to 3.5 mono and viole... Stereo to 2 mono in no time. :)

Jaycar sell them for $1.95 each, so should be pretty easy/cheap to set up.

http://www.jaycar.com.au/Sight-%26-Sound---Home/AV-Leads-%26-Adaptors/Audio/3-5mm-Mono-Plug-to-RCA-Socket-Adaptor/p/PA3500


Thanks kevman3d!,

Great help! I purchased the RCA to 3.5mm Mono adapters, Downloaded Audacity and some .WAV program files and cobbled together the output from the computer...

The result was flaky but functional. By flaky I mean the Gain and Volume has to be "just-so", On a side note... The Dick Smith VZ200 has a lot of green!

Image

I can now document and re-create a more polished original looking tape cable being able to diagnose the sleeve, ring and tip functions and hook into my Sanyo Tape Player. The ultimate goal will be to recreate a number of "close as possible" to retail cassette tapes with liners and instructions that can be presented with the system as a whole bundle.

Many thanks to all for help.
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