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Vintage Tape (Audio), Cassette, Wire and Magnetic Disc Recorders and Players Open-reel tape recorders, cassette recorders, 8-track players etc.

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Old 13th Apr 2017, 12:00 pm   #1
jpkosonen
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Default Tandberg 3000X

I have a Tandberg 3000X reel-to-reel tapedeck. I am trying to digitalize my tapes using a U-Control UCA202 interface and Audacity program. I cannot get a signal through to the computer (with Win 10 or Windows Vista). The headphone signal is OK through the interface and the connection cable works fine for the normal output to my stereo system. My "original ?" connection cable has four RCA plugs (supposedly for 4-channel output?). Therefore, for mono recordings I get the output from only one plug. I have also tried another cable (two-channel) and there the mono recording has been combined to both right and left channels.

Is it possible that I don't have the correct copying cable? According to the manual the cable "should be purchased separately". Forty years ago there was no need to copy the tapes so I doubt that the cable I have now was included in the purchase of the recorder. If so, is it possible to get that special copying cable DIN 5- pin /RCA plugs or somehow by-pass this problem?
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Old 13th Apr 2017, 9:11 pm   #2
julie_m
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Default Re: Tandberg 3000X

I'm assuming it's a stereo tape deck with a 5-pin DIN socket. Looking at your audio interface in another browser tab, I see it has two RCA sockets for input. Now, if you have a cable with four RCA plugs to a 5-pin DIN plug, two of the plugs will be the left and right inputs, and two will be the left and right outputs. You will be able to work out which output is which by playing a tape with different programmes on tracks 1 and 3, or just very good stereo separation. And you can ignore the inputs anyway -- at least until you are finished with listening to your tapes, and want to record something else over them .....

If you have a tape with different mono programmes on tracks 1 and 3, then you can record them together as a single stereo track and then split it into two mono tracks (if your recording software does not let you do this, Audacity does, and it is free and Open Source; I can talk you through the steps if needs be).

If the recorder is mono, it may well only be putting out a signal on one of the plugs. In this case, then you will need to get a coupler or "gender bender" for joining together 2 RCA plugs, a Y-adaptor with two sockets and one plug, and a pair of RCA to RCA leads. Use the coupler to connect the plug with the signal coming out of it to the Y-adaptor, and so split the signal between the two inputs which you will need to connect with the RCA leads. That way, you can record a mono signal as though it were stereo.

If the recorder is multi-speed and your tapes were recorded at low speed, then you could play them back at high speed, taking half the time, and slow them back down to normal in software taking less than that. You will also be halving the maximum recordable frequency, but in practice there will be little or no content above about 10 kHz, which would give 20 kHz when played at double speed -- still within half the sampling rate (22050 Hz with 44k1 for CD, 24000 Hz with 48k). Listen to the results; and if you are not entirely happy, redo at normal speed.

Try a known good source into the audio interface, if possible, and make sure you really can record a signal on your computer. The volume control may affect the signal going into the computer, not just the headphones. Also, it may have an additional, software input gain control in your settings somewhere -- see your documentation for details.
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Old 14th Apr 2017, 9:38 am   #3
barretter
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Default Re: Tandberg 3000X

Are you sure it's not the interface between the UCA202 and the Audacity program? I recently copied some tapes using a UCA222 into my Dell laptop, which does not have a stereo microphone input, and found that Audacity does not recognise the USB input if you open Audacity first and then insert the USB plug. The USB plug has to be inserted first and then when you open Audacity you have to choose "USB microphone" before you can start recording.
If you do have a stereo microphone input on your computer and the appropriate cable you can record direct to Audacity without using the Behringer widget.
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Old 14th Apr 2017, 5:31 pm   #4
jpkosonen
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Default Re: Tandberg 3000X

Thanks Julie,
Putting out the signal from the tape deck; You are right. I have tested the output to my strereo system (Onkyo) and it works as you have described. The signals can also verified with a volt-meter for each plug.

I still cannot get the signal through to the computer. I dont understand your comment "try a known good source into the audio interface". UCA202 with Audacity has been recommended by Behringer and several others. I have also tried the tricks presented in the excellent Audacity Help section for connections and increased the volume where possible.

The UCA202 has a USB input connection. I have also found a line input in my Fujitsu Amilo (with Vista). No signal through using either one and the computer does not recognize the UCA interface (which should be compatible with Windows Vista). A straight line output from the tape deck is not available which limits the possibilities.

I return to my question on the DIN 5-pin "Radio output" of Tandberg. Is there some basic difference in the output signal between the ordinary playback cable and the copying cable that Tandberg claims to be needed for copying the tapes? For playback the output is 0,75V for a 400HZ/0dB signal.

Could the headphones output from the deck be used somehow as a last resort ?
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Old 15th Apr 2017, 1:06 pm   #5
barretter
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Default Re: Tandberg 3000X

There is no special Tandberg copying cable. All you need is a normal 5-pin DIN plug to 4 phono plugs cable (as in the attachment). Determine which are the out-put phono plugs (probably black = right and yellow = left) and connect to the input of the Behringer UCA202.
Insert the Behringer's USB plug into the laptop before you open Audacity. Open Audacity and you will then see a choice of microphone inputs. Choose the one that has USB audio in it (see attachment). Set the microphone level, start the tape and press the red record button in Audacity.
I have a Tandberg 3000x and a Behringer UCA222 (which is the same as the 202 ; in fact mine says UCA202 on the back) and I have had no problem in making a recording (see attachment).
If this don't work I can only assume there is something wrong with the Audacity download
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Old 18th Apr 2017, 8:38 am   #6
ricard
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Default Re: Tandberg 3000X

Looking at the schematics (http://sportsbil.com/tandberg/3000x-s.pdf), the headphone output is actually wired in parallel with the radio output so it shouldn't matter which one you use. (These particular schematics are for the US version of the machine which has Phono rather than DIN connectors).

Remember too that on the Tandbergs, when you only press one of the tape playback buttons, the corresponding channel (L or R) is sent to both the L and R outputs.

Regarding special cables, when copying between two decks, a DIN cable with the record and playback signals swapped over would be needed, in contrast to connecting to a radio or amplifier where a straight through cable is used. So the "special" cable designed for tape copy is just a signal routing thing and has nothing to do with the signals themselves. In the OP's case, once you have the two playback and to record signals available on separate connectors you have got all you need.
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Old 18th Apr 2017, 5:44 pm   #7
barretter
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Default Re: Tandberg 3000X

Actually the Tandberg 3000X has a switch which allows you to choose between stereo, left channel and right channel outputs but that wasn't the OP's problem. As he seems to have lost interest I presume he has discovered that you have to connect the Behringer UCA202's USB plug to the laptop before opening Audacity (otherwise Audacity will not "see" it).
The reason I have to use the Behringer UCA202/222 is that the only line socket on my Dell laptop is meant for the kind of combined headphones/microphone device that people use for Skype. The plug for these devices has three sections (2 for the headphones and 1 for the microphone) so the normal 2-phono plugs-to-mini-jack plug won't work in this socket. The only possibility is to digitise the signal before you connect to the laptop via a USB socket. Hence the need for the Behringer device. I believe the line socket on the OP's Fujitsu laptop is the same as the Dell's, which explains why his attempt to use it failed.
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 8:20 am   #8
jpkosonen
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Default Re: Tandberg 3000X

Thank you all. Excellent useful guidelines received. The connection works now as intended. The matter is closed
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