Making a TRS-80 Cassette Interface Cable

The TRS-80 Cassette Interface Cable is comprised of 4 main parts: 5 Pin Male DIN Plug, 2.5mm Male Mono Phono Plug (for the remote control), two 3.2mm Male Mono Phono Plugs (for the data), and Wire.

Notes:

  • The real DIN Pinouts are (clockwise with the indentation at the 12 O’Clock) Pins 3, 5, 2, 4, 1 (so the 3 O’Clock pin is 3, and the 9 O’Clock pin is 1). I am below going to just go clockwise.
  • One 3.2mm plug will be for data OUT and one will be for data IN. The 2.5mm is for REMOTE. I will use that to designate between them.

Steps:

  • Buy the parts, including a 6 lead cable.
  • Cut the cable to your desired length
  • Solder one wire to each of the 5 DIN plug pins.
  • Going clockwise (i.e., starting at the pin at 3 O’Clock) solder the wire from pin 1 to the center post of the REMOTE plug
  • Solder the wire from pin 2 to the center post of the DATA OUT plug
  • Make a split of the wire from pin 3 (i.e., the pin at 6 O’Clock) so you have 2 ends. Solder each split to the extended post of both DATA plugs.
  • Note: By now you should have the center post of the REMOTE plug, both posts on the DATA OUT plug, and the extended post on the DATA IN plug already connected.
  • Solder the wire from pin 4 to the center post of the DATA IN plug.
  • Solder the wire from pin 5 (i.e., the pin at 9 O’Clock) to the extended post on the REMOTE plug.

Verify:

  • If you followed the above instructions correctly, the wiring should be:
Clockwise
Pin #
Plug Position
1 (3 O’Clock) Remote (2.5mm) Center
2 Data Out Center
3 (6 O’Clock) One per Data Plug Outer
4 Data In Center
5 (9 O’Clock) Remote Outer

Using a PC In Lieu of a Cassette Recorder

Knut Roll-Lund has written a utility called PlayCAS which allows for the use of a PC as a cassette player for a TRS-80 Model I/III/4 Level I and II.

You simply connect your TRS-80 cassette input to your PC soundcard (if using a standard TRS-80 cable plug the plug that normally goes into the ‘Ear’ output of a CCR-8x into the PC’s headphone jack). When you then run the PLAYCAS utility, you can CLOAD (or SYSTEM) on the TRS-80 and feed it an emulated CAS file.

PLAYCAS supports 250 Baud (Level I), 500 Baud (Level II), and 1500 Baud (Model III) and supports SYSTEM (Machine Language), CLOAD/CSAVE (Level II BASIC), EDTASM (Editor Assembler), and Level I BASIC and Machine Language.

PLAYCAS v1.2 (2012) can be downloaded here

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