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TapOric - android TAP player for Oric

Posted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:13 am
by iss
Hello everyone,
I'm glad to share some success with my last project dedicated to Oric: TapOric.
Here are some preliminary screen shots:
TapOric.jpg
Basically it's a TAP player, but it converts data to WAV-like-samples in real-time and sends it trough headset-output to Oric.
Currently working are FAST mode, the faster F16 (c) Symoon mode, and the fastest Tap2CD (c) F.Frances needs some work.
I doubt if someone will need SLOW mode, but I'll add it too just to have complete set.
As you can see on above pictures TapOric parses the tap-files and identifies multi-part content.
It can display Basic listing, later will be implemented hires picture viewer, font viewer and (why not) disassembler :).

I have lot of ideas for more options, but I need to know:
Is there interest if I provide some hardware, so the playback can be automatic - controlled by Oric's relay?

I have already made 2 prototypes - the first is only with passive components, the second has some IC's.
Both don't need additional power supply.

Else, will release the android application for FREE ;).

Re: TapOric - android TAP player for Oric

Posted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:39 am
by coco.oric
Wonderful, Android application for free !
The best solution to play with some games on a real oric without an original tap player

Is it possible to play also a wav file (not converted in tap for protected reasons)

It's a good idea also to have to hardware to control the tap player for loading multi-part software

Good idea and application
Bravo

PS : It could be interesting in defining a new format to include :
- tap format
- cover of the tap
- instructions
- screens tap ...

this format could easily be handled with a modern tap file on pc or phone

Re: TapOric - android TAP player for Oric

Posted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:57 am
by Symoon
iss wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:13 am
Hello everyone,
I'm glad to share some success with my last project dedicated to Oric: TapOric.
Yes!
I have a good feeling about this ;)
Basically it's a TAP player, but it converts data to WAV-like-samples in real-time and sends it trough headset-output to Oric.
Currently working are FAST mode, the faster F16 (c) Symoon mode, and the fastest Tap2CD (c) F.Frances needs some work.
I doubt if someone will need SLOW mode, but I'll add it too just to have complete set.
Yes, slow mode can be fun to demonstrate how a program could take up to 30 minutes, and now 30 seconds ;)
Also, slower modes could be required if one wants to have fun with wireless Bluetooth?

Fastest modes are very sensitive, I hope you won't be limited by playback quality.
I see you made two more options, "Turbo" and "Hyper". Which one is for Tap2CD? Did you make your own turbo speed? ;)
I have lot of ideas for more options, but I need to know:
Is there interest if I provide some hardware, so the playback can be automatic - controlled by Oric's relay?
It could be fun but I understand why you are asking... Not sure it would be worth the effort.
I don't have application ideas right now, apart of course the few programs that auto-stopped the tape player once the demo was loaded - but I never had the right cable to exeperience that, even in the 80's, and I didn't miss it.
The only idea that springs to mind would be an adventure game that would load automatically its Hires screens, assuming TapOric can select the right TAP file according to the requested name in the CLOAD command...

Oh, it's probably in your list already, but an option to disable the program auto-start would be cool. I never thought about that, it could be added to old DOS converters, too.
Else, will release the android application for FREE ;).
\o/ thanks :D
Any chance it runs on my old Android 2.3 phone?

Re: TapOric - android TAP player for Oric

Posted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:01 am
by Chema
This is an extremely cool project! At last someone made it!

Thanks indeed.

What are the problems with tap2cd? In my experience the latest version is very reliable. If you have an Atmos, of course, and if your phone outputs the needed level.

That seems to be the real issue, the maximum volume of the phone may not be enough to feed the Oric with the high pitch sounds produced by tap2cd. I think the problem appears with other fast loaders, such as those for the Spectrum, and there are some small devices available to boost it.

If you want my humble opinion, don't add not really useful options. Keep the app simple and straightforward to use, so it does not use resources and can be easily ported.

Something really useful would be a searchbox which could connect to oric.org, look for the game, download the tap (maybe the inlay or instructions too!) and reproduce it.

That would be a really nice feature!

As soon as it is available and I'm home I'd love to test it!

And thanks for making it free. That is a nice detail :)

Re: TapOric - android TAP player for Oric

Posted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:08 am
by iss
Thanks for feedback, some more details:
- no real problem with Tap2CD - just my limited free time :);
- It's good to have the hardware not only for auto-playback control, but because it filtrates the signal and makes the transfer more reliable. Honestly simple cable works and I don't have problems with any transfer speed even with WiFi turned on. But when looking at signal with oscilloscope there is lot of noise which is "cured" with the filter. Additionally there are some Android requirements about the headset jack which is good to be fulfilled for best results;
- Recording is also planed - with real-time parsing and converting to TAP;
- direct WAV playback is already working - together with the recording it will be possible to parse and convert WAV file to TAP, of course excluding any protected or non standard encoded WAV's.
- enable/disable program auto-start is already done :);
- I'll try to lower the Android version to 2.3;
- DSK will be supported - it will be possible to send file from inside DSK image - not really useful, but the main goal here is to be able to restore DSK image to real floppy;
- there is no problem to add access to online resources - for instance download-and-play from oric.org, browse manuals and screenshots... and (why not) to have access to Internet from Oric ;).

Re: TapOric - android TAP player for Oric

Posted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:12 am
by kenneth
Wonderful project ! It's a good way to democratize a handy transfer of our favorite games without complex process. Поздравления Iss ! :wink:

Re: TapOric - android TAP player for Oric

Posted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 6:40 am
by Symoon
iss wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:08 am
- I'll try to lower the Android version to 2.3
Well, in case that was a special one for me... My Android 2.3 smartphone just died without warning!
( :cry: )

Re: TapOric - android TAP player for Oric

Posted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:15 am
by iss
Oh, that's pity, Symoon!
Supporting 2.x Android is bit difficult but is no real problem. TapOric is redesigned and I'm preparing the first release...

Re: TapOric - android TAP player for Oric

Posted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:26 am
by nigelr0
This is a good project! Looking forward to trying this out when it's available. I hope being able to record is available particularity for games like The Hobbit for example where you can only save the game to tape. Many thanks for your efforts iss.

Re: TapOric - android TAP player for Oric

Posted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:49 am
by iss
OK guys, thanks for all comments.

TapOric is ready for its first public release.
The UI is redesigned some features will be removed just to focus on the most important - the functionality as player. Recording is not available for now.

Volunteers are needed as beta testers!
The requirements are Android smartphone and simple cable with 3.5mm 4-pole phone jack and 7-pin DIN male connector.
For beta testing 3.5mm 3-pole phone jack and 5-pin DIN connector are OK too.
The wiring is easy but it depends on the model of your android phone!
simple-tap-cable.jpg
I'll attach the TapOric app next weekend in the first post.
Meanwhile any comments and suggestions are welcome!

Re: TapOric - android TAP player for Oric

Posted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 1:34 pm
by Dbug
Congrats :)

I'm not going to test it... because I'm still using a Nokia Symbian phone :D

Re: TapOric - android TAP player for Oric

Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:36 pm
by iss
I'm very happy to present some videos from the tests of TapOric.
Screenshot_20171014_192517.png
On the left is real hardware attached to LCD TV and the smartphone in front captured with normal web camera.
On the right is the screen of the same android phone which I control with TeamViewer.

1. Speed test - loading Basic program in SLOW mode, than the Einstein picture in FAST, F16 and TAP2CD modes:
https://youtu.be/hc2ZWj9XQIQ
2. Loading T-Rex game.
https://youtu.be/gBxS5rrbdYs
3. Playing with Star Wars telnet movie. It's very useful for test of multi part tap-files. Demonstrates manual and auto playback modes.
https://youtu.be/cEt1kjZ8A2c

Re: TapOric - android TAP player for Oric

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:45 am
by iss
... and after the tests - more interesting news ;).
I made a great (for me) discovery which allows to control the automatic playback from TapOric without using the tape relay!
The biggest problem to interface the tape relay is that it normally requires some electronic parts which need additional power and this leads to more and more wire spaghetti ... Recently I succeeded to create 2 types of cables to connect Oric to android phone and control the playback reliably - both don't need extra power supply. If there is interest I will share all technical details and which problems they solve (hm, in CEO-MAG?).
During my tests with TapOric I coincidentally found out a very interesting fact - when Oric starts to load data from tape-in it simultaneously starts to generate permanent and stable signal, with constant frequency, to the tape-out!
For everybody who has an oscilloscope is easy to look at this... for others ... hm, it's easy too - I simply added scope and spectrum analyse views to TapOric 8) !
Screenshot_20171015_031328.png
As you can see when Oric loads data it outputs ~2390 Hz to the tape-out and this signal stops exactly when the loading finishes.
... or with other words we can use this signal just like we use the switching of the tape relay.
But what about the recording ? ... here is video which demonstrates the difference between the detected frequencies when saving and when loading: https://youtu.be/EAknpO4Sk9k
The long story short: TapOric app can understand reliable what you typed on Oric 'CSAVE' or 'CLOAD' and execute the particular action!
So, stay tuned for the official release of TapOric - you need only simple 3 wire cable!

Credits: special thanks to Joseph Fourier for his FFT :lol:.

Re: TapOric - android TAP player for Oric

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:35 am
by Dbug
Nice discovery :)

Re: TapOric - android TAP player for Oric

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:15 am
by Symoon
All this is just great ;)
About the output signal when CLOADing, I noticed it a while ago (contant "beeeeeeeep") but I'm not sure it happened all the time? Maybe I hadn't typed CLOAD"" every time I plugged the calbes. Never thought it could be useful some day ;)

The program looks full of great features.
I'd relly need to focus on finishing the very fast routines ;)
Glad I'm not the only one that still belives in tape signal anymore :))