Virtual Tape Recorder

Using a computer to act as a simple audio source in place of a tape player is common. Can work really well, even when recording. The problem is that there is only EAR and MIC connections. Audio goes in or out and that’s it. No PCs support a REMOTE input, meaning that for certain machines, such as the Oric or BBC, there is no way to pause playback or recording, automatically from these machines.

The basic circuit is as follows:

A simple pull-down resistor clamps the digital input pin to ground until the remote shorts to 5v

The Arduino presents itself as a serial device at 9600 baud

It responds with the following:

IN: ?


Provider: Retro Ginger
Website :
Device  : Tape REMOTE interface
Version : 0.1

IN: !


ON (or OFF)

So it is possible to query the device and to query the current status of the remote.

Desktop app

The current desktop app can be seen here in development:

When complete it will be able to playback and record a WAV file with remote function, hopefully really easily.

Because the adaptor is a simple serial device the intention is that it will be easy to port to other systems such as Mac and Linux.

Perhaps there will be a simple command-line version of this also.

Stay tuned for more…

So the overall layout would be:

Next step

The UI has been improved and playback now working as expected:

It is getting there. You can check it out on my channel:

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