TAPES UNDER CONTROL
ONE OF the major omissions of the Spectrum design was its inability to control external devices such as a tape cassette deck. The Tape Controller from Ness Micro Systems remedies the failing and also provides an in-built BEEP amplifier.
The controller is housed in a small black box which can be placed alongside the computer and has leads to the EAR and MIC sockets of the tape deck and Spectrum. Another lead connects to the Spectrum power socket, and two more leads connect to the remote sockets on two tape decks.
If you do not want to use two separate decks for loading and saving, a connector is provided to join both leads to one deck. On the front of the controller are two switches. One controls whether the unit is to be used as a tape controller or as an amplifier. The other has three positions; up and down are used to load and save programs - without the need to remove leads as is normally the case; in the middle position the controller will control the cassette motor of the relevant deck by detecting a pre-set BEEP frequency. Also provided is a volume control and two LEDs which show how the unit is set up.
Inside the case are two tone-decoding circuits, one for LOAD and one for SAVE, which are pre-set to respond to different BEEP frequencies, Those pre-sets can be changed if more than one controller is being used. Each decoder controls a relay, toggling it on and off as required, so that only one can be on at any time.
Priced at £19.95, or £16.95 in kit Form, both plus £1.50 p&p, the controller represents good value.
Ness Micro Systems, 100 Drakies Avenue, Inverness IV2 3SD.