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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 7th Feb 2019, 1:22 pm   #1
ricard
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Default Lego tape recorder

I seriously thought there was just some random error when an online auction search engine found 'reel-to-reel tape recorder' in an ad for Lego, but it's true: Lego 10260 is a 1950s North American diner, which has a recording studio on the third floor including a reel-to-reel machine (of course extremely simplified due to the scale involved):


https://www.trustedreviews.com/revie...wn-diner-10260


(click on the appropriate thumbnail under the main image)
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Old 7th Feb 2019, 2:34 pm   #2
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Default Re: Lego tape recorder

I was thinking of doing a block diagram joke.

Lawrence.
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Old 7th Feb 2019, 5:04 pm   #3
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Default Re: Lego tape recorder

Nice one Lawrence. It was only when I read "and a recording studio up top" that I spotted what you meant Ricard, after going through all the thumb nails a few times. £129 a set and for age 16+. Sorry but I never liked this stuff when it was basically just a coloured block. These little figures were in the experimental short films Ch4 got heavily criticised for in the early eighties. Nearly all of those ideas have now been subsumed into advertising.

To me [the Grinch] it's all just another example of "dumbing down" or infantilization like "adult" colouring books, Danny "Dire", Dr Who as a fashion accessory, or over excited University student "adults" dressed as Disney or Harry Potter characters.

At one point [now forgotten] it was Lego v Meccano at Xmas. The difference being that you could make a real [reel] Tape Recorder with Mecanno and some people probably did! They used to sell commercial giant sets to Science Labs that cost a fortune!

I couldn't reach the front door in the pub one night as it was invaded by 6th Form Disney party goers who ignored everyone already there! When I sought to pass through a young woman, quite drunk, patronised me with "seeing as you asked so nicely" [you old git]. She then smiled and said what do you think I am? [meaning the Snow White costume]. I said "An eight year old?" The smile disappeared and I rather regretted it...but not that much really.

Dave W

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Old 7th Feb 2019, 5:31 pm   #4
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Default Re: Lego tape recorder

Quote:
Originally Posted by dave walsh View Post
At one point [now forgotten] it was Lego v Meccano at Xmas. You could make a real [reel] Tape Recorder with Mecanno and some people probably did! They used to sell giant sets to Science Labs that cost a fortune!

Dave W
And then there's FischerTechnik....

You could certainly make a working tape recorder (everything apart from the heads) with that. There were even (long-discontinued, alas) analogue and digital electronics kits.

I have seen photos of a FischerTechnik record player. The only non-standard part was a crystal cartridge.
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Old 7th Feb 2019, 6:40 pm   #5
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Default Re: Lego tape recorder

I got as far as a motor unit and headlights back in the 1970s.
Out of all that only one head light brick remains from my old set.
Meccano made it as far as a belt drive 78 turntable that actually did play a record with a cartridge from a wrecked portable.
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Old 7th Feb 2019, 9:28 pm   #6
Phil G4SPZ
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Default Re: Lego tape recorder

I made several gramophones from Meccano when I was a boy, starting with hand-cranked, briefly dabbling with clockwork (speed control was the problem) and finishing with electric motor drive. I also used this to drive the take-up spool of a toy rim-drive tape recorder to overcome the speed difference between my friend’s machine and mine, which allowed tapesponding.
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Old 8th Feb 2019, 8:29 am   #7
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Default Re: Lego tape recorder

I had a lot of Lego as a kid; including some Technic kits and both 4.5V and later 12V railways.

Probably the most interesting thing I built with Lego and "other things" was a little robot which used two of the 4.5V Lego motors and a control unit with three relays wired up to the user port of my BBC Model B. The computer allowed start/stop of both motors together and reversing of each motor individually, so it could perform halfpenny turns by running one side forwards and the other side backwards.

I wrote a program which just had some DEFPROCs to abstract away all the ugly memory statements for the I/O port routines (setting up the control register to have right pins as outputs and turning them all OFF;setting the correct outputs for each direction of movement, waiting for a specified time period and then back OFF) at high line numbers, and SAVEd it like that. Then I could easily just add a few lines like
Code:
100 PROCsetup: REM initialise user port
110 FOR A%=1 TO 4
120 PROCfwd(200): REM forwards
130 PROCcw(50): REM turn clockwise
140 NEXT A%
150 FOR A%=1 TO 4
160 PROCacw(50): REM turn anticlockwise
170 PROCrev(200): REM go backwards
180 NEXT A%
190 GOTO 110
to make a complete program to do stuff (even writing additional PROCs for complex sequences of moves).

But by this time I was a teenager. And somehow, money issues always got in the way of adding the originally-planned extra relays and sensors; there always seemed to be other, more important stuff to buy.
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Old 8th Feb 2019, 1:53 pm   #8
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Default Re: Lego tape recorder

One of my designs. A tape recorder would be dead easy in ye olde Lego System as long as you didn't expect it to work or even have something that looks like tape threaded through it. It's animals and people that really strain the imagination to build.
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Old 9th Feb 2019, 10:48 am   #9
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Default Re: Lego tape recorder

When I see Sue's beautiful creation above it brings back memories of my own Lego age when I was young as the 1960s turned into the 1970s. There is a consistent chunkiness of the media (the actual pieces) which inspires in a way that modern day Lego with its enormous variety of pieces and colours does not.

Trying to remain on topic here without going too philosophical, the thing that strikes me about 'classic Lego' is the simplicity of the pieces, belying the underlaying complexity of actually manufacturing plastic components which not only have to fit together in a number of ways, but also have to maintain a consistent production quality so that all pieces to in fact fit together in a consistent way.

Going back to my favorite reel-to-reel period, roughly 1955 to 1965, there is parallel in that again there is a simplicity for the user belying an underlying technical complexity. In the 1950s, just the fact that it was possible to record sound onto a ribbon of plastic was fascination in itself which still follows me. Today of course, if an average consumer wants to record something, there are numerous apps and applications which can record anything from a simple voice memo to a 48 track composition at the touch of a button (and at virtually no cost too), losing the fascination for the actual record-reproduce process.

I haven't been seriously into Lego since my childhood days, but I do remember actually starting to build something which looked like a tape recorder in the early 70s; I remember that there weren't any reasonably round flat pieces that I could have made reel holders with. It never got much further than that, and a bit into the 70s I lost interest in modeling things in Lego, going over to model trains instead, and economy permitted the purchase of "real" tape recorders, which were to be had second hand for next to nothing in those days as cassettes were in and reel-to-reels out.
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Old 9th Feb 2019, 12:04 pm   #10
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Default Re: Lego tape recorder

Well I have to say, despite my earlier comments, that there is something about the minimalist clean lines of the Sue Butcher design that works perfectly.

I've written [yet again] about coincidence this week [ie Marconi mentioned on the TV while I was typing it] but how about this? Opening today's Guardian I discard the sports section and this reveals the letters page. [There has been a recent article about people resorting to DIY Dentistry in response to lack of access to treatment!]

Under "Tooth decay and the time to finally Lego" [oh dear!] is a letter about problems in a Dental Tech Workshop resulting in a patient's False Teeth being delayed. The Dentist hopes he hasn't been inconvenienced? "Not at all-I've been using these said the patient, producing a full set of dentures made from Lego Bricks and Plastic Padding. They even contained two or three windows."


Dave
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Old 9th Feb 2019, 2:43 pm   #11
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Default Re: Lego tape recorder

when I was 7 or 8 I would build tv sets from LEGO, making the shape of the tube, little blocks for the valves and raid my mums knitting wool for the wires. This was in the 50's so very basic LEGO sets and nowhere near the variety of shaped bricks there are now. But hey it kept me entertained

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Old 9th Feb 2019, 4:24 pm   #12
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Default Re: Lego tape recorder

That's a beautifully neat radio, Sue. It could also pass for a factory building, complete with chimney!
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Old 21st Mar 2019, 1:56 am   #13
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Default Re: Lego tape recorder

Thanks. I stick strictly to Sixties Lego parts because it's a challenge, and the results do have that classic Lego "chunkiness". I made a model of a hedgehog a few years ago; one of my friends said "That looks nothing like a hedgehog", and another, who's a sculptor, really liked it. But then I found a large Meccano set, and that was that for a while! Now I'm thinking that a working dial mechanism would be very easy in Meccano.
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