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One Step Forward One Step Back

The Bad News
In the last blog I said I was trying some new hardware. It was a nice cheap MP3 player SDcard combo that would've taken the need for some of the libraries out of the Ardui code and freed up memory for conversion on the board.

Unfortunately the MP3 player could not recognise filenames and would not be able to display them on the screen making it difficult to choose what games you wanted to play and making that board a dead end. 


The Good News
Whilst playing with the MP3 player we realised that some games didn't convert properly with cas2wav at any frequency so whereas we thought it may have been a frequency issue it was actually a conversion issue when using players. By adding a couple of seconds silence at the end of each WAV all loading issues have been solved even at higher baud rates so now the only games with issues are bad archives.

The new version of CasTools for MSX games can be found at the following link.

Arduitape CasTools



The Ugly
The Ugly isn't accurate because the next step for Arduitape I'm hoping will be beautiful but it is a major step and a test of my abilities. 

After finding cheap STM32F4 Discovery boards on the internet I'm hoping to convert the project to that board and set of chips. This will be able to do all the conversions for all machines on board without anything having to be done beforehand by the user. It will also mean less construction so it will be much easier to build. 

However the change in code and the coding skills required is ugly.

Also Andrew Beer is still working on the original to see if it is possible to do the conversion on board. The project is still very much alive.


I will keep you all updated

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Introducing the TZXDuino

A Giant Leap For Nerd Kind.
I'm not usually one for silliness but Andrew Beer has been working hard in the background trying to programme the Arduino to play ZX Spectrum .TZX files without the need to convert to a .WAV. Today he has managed to do that with some .TZX files but also with .TAP files as well. The code is still very much in the early stages so the compatibility with.TZX files is still relatively low but in theory all .TAP files should work. I only have 5,246 to test.
What's even better is that the code will work on both the Arduitape and the CASDuino hardware by just uploading the programme to the Nano.

Simply download this file, unzip and load in the Arduino IDE.

How to change Firmware on the Arduitape/TZXDuino/CASDuino.

TZXDuino in the wild

One of the things we've wanted from this project is for people to go out and build their own versions and show us pictures.

Well Piotr Bugaj not only has built his own but 3D printed his own case and designed a Shield for the Nano.
 SMD version.










 Non SMD version
















Piotr has also released the schematic, pcb, and gerber files. They can be downloaded from here.