Iain Metcalf


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C64 Tape to Tape Backup Board

Iain Metcalf
from Durham United Kingdom
in C64 Hardware
on January 25, 2017

So the main item in this picture is a Tape to Tape Board for the Commodore 64 Games. This was faulty when I got it back, my mum said all the tracks had gone green so she cleaned it up, I didn't think to much of it, however when I turned my C64 on with it connected it was blowing the internal fuse.

I needed it last week and started thinking that my 85 C64 was just fine where it as stored so this should be ok also. Then it dawned on me, green tracks, the copper that is under the solder lanes had oxidised. So a quick desolder of the components and then resoldering then and redoing the tracks and now I have a fully working board again!

A lot of people used to just use a twin cassette player but the issues with that was they were often to quiet or the alignment was off for computer games so stuff either didn't work or at least didn't work well and could end up crashing more than loading.

So there were many variations of this board, Datel did one that looked really professional (they did the Action Replay cartridges as an example). This one was done by a small local electronics store at the time, probably looked at said Datel one and made their own and knocked them out cheaper.

So you connected a tape deck to the left, a tape deck to the right, plugged it into the tape port on the C64 and powered the machine on. Put master tape in left side and blank in right and with the use of this board you could clone the tapes. With it being digital the copies were perfect and worked every time (provided you used decent media)

The tape adapter in the pic I connect to my PC and use Audiotap to play the tape files, that goes into the left tape deck coming from the backup board (I do have to take the drawer off the deck) and then a blank in right and I can record perfect copies of tape games onto new cassettes or rewrite ones that can be going a bit funny. Chuck Rock there I believe was never released on tape and it shown up on Games that weren't last week hence my personal mission to get it onto tape, great stuff that it works!

Previously I was running out to the Mic In on my stereo but that isn't working as well as it used to and I had spent a day and a half trying to get it to work so the board again is definitely a better way of doing it.

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