WAV files not loading on Oric 1

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shoggo147
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WAV files not loading on Oric 1

Post by shoggo147 » Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:23 pm

Hello everyone.

I have collected quite a few old computers over the past few years but have only just acquired my first Oric 1.
All seemed to be well until I tried loading a program. To do this I used Tap2wav to convert some .tap files, then tried loading them directly from my laptop with a lead I already had from my BBC micro, but no joy, just the 'Searching...' message
The lead just has pin 2(ground) & pin3(tape in) connected in the 7-pin DIN plug, at the other end is a standard 3.5mm stereo headphone jack

I fiddled with the volume but it made no difference.

I read here:- http://sourceforge.net/projects/euphori ... %20format/ that standard WAV files are 4.8khz and that the Oric may not like this, so I used a program called GoldWave to convert them to 8khz mono and re-tried but still no joy

I can hear the WAV file emanating from the Oric speaker, so something is getting in there.

I am hoping someone with more experience than me can advise,
Thanks

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Chema
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Re: WAV files not loading on Oric 1

Post by Chema » Wed Apr 15, 2015 11:07 pm

I think this is a bit strange for two reasons. First if enough volume is fed in, then the Searching message should change to Loading, even if there are later errors (provided you did a CLOAD"", with no name inside the quotes).

But the second one is even stranger, because I could swear that no sound should come out from the Oric speaker when loading, though my speaker died long time ago, so I'm not sure. Can someone corroborate this? Are you sure you did not solder the cable to the wrong pin?

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Re: WAV files not loading on Oric 1

Post by Symoon » Wed Apr 15, 2015 11:33 pm

Why bother using another tool to convert your file ?

1- get the latest Tap2wav
2- type: tap2wav -11 -a yourtap.tap yourwav.wav

You should get a 11kHz WAV file that should load fine if your sound link is ok! :P

When using DOS tools, you can simply enter the name (ie TAP2WAV) then ENTER, you will get some explanations.

Code: Select all

Usage: tap2wav [ -8 | -11 ] [ -a ] <.TAP file> <.WAV file>
Options: -8  produces a  8 kHz WAV file
         -11 produces a 11 kHz WAV file  (default is 4800 Hz)
         -a  adds a 1.5 seconds silence at the end of the WAV file, as
             some mp3 players seem to 'eat' the end of the file
(v1.1)
Last edited by Symoon on Wed Apr 15, 2015 11:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: WAV files not loading on Oric 1

Post by Symoon » Wed Apr 15, 2015 11:39 pm

Chema wrote:But the second one is even stranger, because I could swear that no sound should come out from the Oric speaker when loading, though my speaker died long time ago, so I'm not sure. Can someone corroborate this? Are you sure you did not solder the cable to the wrong pin?
I confirm I can hear the loading, very very low, through the speaker!

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Re: WAV files not loading on Oric 1

Post by Godzil » Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:15 am

The Oric Audio part is so well made that we can hear a lot of stuff in the speaker, not only the AY-3-8910 :D

You'll hear the Data and Address bus toggling (mainly DRAM access), you can somewhat hear the tap, but that's true that the Oric is not made for this and that some Oric may not exhibit this problem.

The explaination of this problem is quite simple, there is a Sound_Out pin on the tape connector, and if you look at the schematics it's connected between the PSG and the Audio Amplifier.

As the audio signal comming from the tape is quite strong, it slightly influence the sound_out line and gets amplified, that why we hear it!

By the way, we can also use the SoundOut pin as... a SoundIn :D

But with care, as there is no protection for the PSG, and a too high voltage could break it, but a line compatible entry may work without issue... :D

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Re: WAV files not loading on Oric 1

Post by Chema » Thu Apr 16, 2015 12:22 pm

Ah, maybe I am wrong then... could not remember, but if the tape sound was heard through the speaker, then it must be at very low volume...

Be careful when using the SoundOut as SoundIn :) I did that to amplify my Spectrum games and was quite fun (and stupid). One day I tried to play with the Oric and found out I had no sound through the internal speaker anymore :(

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Re: WAV files not loading on Oric 1

Post by Godzil » Thu Apr 16, 2015 4:04 pm

Chema wrote:Ah, maybe I am wrong then... could not remember, but if the tape sound was heard through the speaker, then it must be at very low volume...
It is really low, and I suspect that some Oric are not prone to this.
Be careful when using the SoundOut as SoundIn :) I did that to amplify my Spectrum games and was quite fun (and stupid). One day I tried to play with the Oric and found out I had no sound through the internal speaker anymore :(
Do you still hear the oric "working" or it is no sound at all? if it is no sound at all, you may have killed the OpAmp because your spectrum output level was too high, but if you still can hear them, the defect is likely more on the AY-3-8910, which will not be good :/

The OpAmp is an easy one to fix

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Re: WAV files not loading on Oric 1

Post by Chema » Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:03 pm

I can hear the Oric buzzing when working, and I can output its sound to external speakers, so the AY seems ok.

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Re: WAV files not loading on Oric 1

Post by Godzil » Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:42 pm

Chema wrote:I can hear the Oric buzzing when working, and I can output its sound to external speakers, so the AY seems ok.
Ho, that would mean that the fix would be easy :)

If you ear it buzzing that mean the OpAmp somewhat work, if the SoundOut work, that a good point!

You should check R33 before everything else

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Re: WAV files not loading on Oric 1

Post by Chema » Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:22 pm

Will have sometime to get my hands dirty and see if I can fix it. I thought it was a problem of the speaker itself, but maybe you're right and it is another thing. I will check that resistor.

Anyway we are getting too off-topic. When I have time to test, I will open a new thread and ask for your help :)

Thanks!

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Re: WAV files not loading on Oric 1

Post by shoggo147 » Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:37 pm

Hi there,

Thanks for the advice Symoon
I did notice tap2wav can directly create 11khz files using the -11 option but I could not find a version with this option that worked on 64-bit PCs. There is a 64bit version here:- http://www.jammarcade.net/downloads-3/ but it does not seem to have the 11khz option. I also tried Tape2Wav from World of Spectrum, but that does not allow command line operation with the -11 option.
So I am going to try Tap2cd which does work with 64bit and see if I have any more success with this. Does anyone know what frequency files this program creates?
I have checked and double checked my lead and it is definitely wired correctly.

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Re: WAV files not loading on Oric 1

Post by Chema » Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:58 pm

Tap2cd mmultiplies the loading speed x10 but it does have more loading problems than usual wavs. Also beware it only works for Atmos (ROM1.1).

You can download Oricium http://oricium.defence-force.org which includes an already converted wav file (with tap2cd) and some hints about how to load it. It has been tested in several machines and conditions. If it does not load correctly, at least you should see the loading message.

Skooldaze was also distributed with fast wav version. You can download it from oric.org

Tell us if you see any changes with those.

Edit: I feel a bit stupid. The title of this thread clearly says you have an Oric-1. I guess it was too late at night when I posted... Unless you have updated it to a 1.1 rom, fast loads from tap2cd won't work. However the message should still change from Searching to Loading because the first bytes are stored at normal speed.
Last edited by Chema on Fri Apr 17, 2015 8:03 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: WAV files not loading on Oric 1

Post by Symoon » Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:36 pm

Euphoric tools page (made by Euphoric's author, and including Tap2wav) is now there:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/euphorictools/

They are compiled in 32bits so should work with recent Windows versions (even 64bits).
Click on "browse all files" on the right to see all the tools.

Enjoy ;)

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Re: WAV files not loading on Oric 1

Post by shoggo147 » Sat Apr 18, 2015 3:03 pm

Thanks for your help so far.

I downloaded tap2wav from the Euphoric page, as suggested by Symoon, which worked fine on my 64-bit PC, then converted some TAP files using the -11 option and voila my Oric said 'Searching..' then 'Loading..'
I managed to fully load Hopper and Hunchback but they still did not load 100% correctly. For example Hopper runs but there is a chain of 'X' characters after the snake in the middle, which stops you getting past and there is a row of logs missing at the top.
Hopper_running.jpg
Hopper Running
Higher volume settings seemed the most successful.
I am using Windows media player to play back the WAV file,are there some optimum settings for this or is there a better program to use to ensure the wav gets played back without any distortion?

I also have some problems tuning the Oric as you can see from my image. I presume this is down to using an LCD TV rather than a CRT
I did try adjusting the two screws underneath with limited success.
I have seen a number of mods for the ZX Spectrum to bypass the UHF tuner and send composite directly to the output
like the one here:- http://brianhoskins.uk/spectrumcompositemod/
I presume this mod would also work on the Oric?

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Re: WAV files not loading on Oric 1

Post by iss » Sat Apr 18, 2015 8:38 pm

If there is no particular reason to use UHF output or the composite video mod,
I highly recommend to use RBG to SCART - it's simply the best and easy to build.
Else, more info about one possible solution for composite video mod you can find in this post.

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