This repository contains microcontroller program source code and circuit schematics for building the parts for an open hardware and FLOSS based compact cassette player/recorder.
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open system compact cassette

The open system compact cassette project aims to provide microcontroller program source code and circuit schematics for building an open hardware and free libre open source software (FLOSS) based compact cassette player/recorder.

The plan is to develop different modules for a cassette drive (motor control unit, data encoding/decoding unit, amplifier unit etc.) that can be combined as needed. Some simle cassette drives may not need a module to control drive mechanics while others will definetly need such a module to be able to load a cassette.

This repository contains different schematics for modules that can be used to build a compact cassette player/recorder. Certain drive functions are handled by microcontroller programs whose source code is also provided.

There are also some GNURadio experiments to test improvements to analog compact cassette playback using software and to test storing digital data on compact cassettes. The experiments are placed in the folder "gnuradio-experiments".

Repository structure

The unobvious folder names and their content:

  • common: Files shared in several software or hardware modules.
  • doc: Documentation
  • drive-circuits: Schematics for circuits that are specific to certain cassette drives
  • drive-unit: hard- and software for a cassette drive unit module
  • motor-unit: hard- and software for a cassette drive motor unit module
  • oscc-modem: A modulator/demodulator software for digital data on cassettes
  • tools: Various tools related to cassettes and cassette drives

Randomly answered questions (RAQ)

Why build new hardware for compact cassettes?

In short:

  1. To be able to replace parts from old cassette hardware when they cannot play cassettes (accurately) anymore.
  2. Modern microcontroller hardware could lead to improvements in cassette recording/playback: flutter/faulty belt correction, automatic speed calibration (tracking), ...
  3. To be able to store digital music or data on compact cassettes.
  4. Cassettes are having sort of a comeback (sales are going up in recent years) but good new hardware isn't easy to find.
  5. (insert your reason here)