Memodyne M80 Digital Cassette Recorder

jwsmobile jws at
Tue May 10 01:12:52 CDT 2016

On 5/9/2016 10:23 PM, Chuck Guzis wrote:
> On 05/09/2016 01:33 PM, Sean Caron wrote:
>> I found some interesting information about it in the Appendices of
>> this technical report:
>> Apparently the product was used in several documented data
>> acquisition applications over the course of the early '80s.
> If you were around in, say, 1975, this box would be no mystery at all.
> "Glass TTYs" were getting cheaper than the mechanical sort and used less
> paper.  The problem was what to do about the paper tape thing.
> That's where these boxes came in.  You hooked them inline between your
> terminal and its host (could be a modem, or a computer or a leased line)
> and instead of paper tape, you could use Philips audio cassettes, which
> held quite a bit.
> I used a two-deck Techtran model that could go to 9600 bps.  One deck
> was read/write, the other was read-only.  You could, via control codes,
> perform copying and editing between the two decks--you could even search
> for a (short) string.  The mechanism was two-track (clock+data).  You
> could purchase data casettes that were better suited to saturation
> recording than the audio sort.
> CNC gear up through the 1980s often had cassette decks or paper tape
> readers, as did large embroidery machines.  Eventually, these were
> replaced by boxes with floppy drives, which today, are still around, but
> with floppy emulators in place of floppy drives.
> That the Memodyne was intended to be hooked between a terminal and a
> host is witnessed by the two connectors--one DB25F and one DB25M on the
> back panel.
> Really, it's just that simple.
> --Chuck
I have a couple of Columbia Data Products boxes which recorded to DC-300 
type QIC tapes.  They could both record and play back at up to 38k, 
IIRC.  This is the same outfit that also made an early IBM PC compatible 
system.  The really nifty thing about the BIOS on the CDP was that it 
had a binary debugger integrated into the BIOS so you could enable and 
use a keyboard break to stop the machine in its tracks running 
anywhere.  But I digress.

The thing that struck me about the above units was that it mentions that 
the tapes recorded were compatible with the TI printing terminals.  IIRc 
there was a Silent 700 that had cassettes?  Or was it the KSR version of 
the 800 dot matrix TI printers?

Nifty units

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