Posted on June 30, 2019
Sharp MZ700 Tape alternative
Here it is at last. For several months I’ve been working on a project to replace the tape deck in a Sharp MZ700 with something digital that can play MZ700 games and app from wav file format located on an SD card versus loading it up using a 35+-year-old cassette tape. I call it MZuiTape. Initially, I started developing my own solution based on an Arduino Zero called DigiWavuino (search for it on YouTube or Github) but then I started working with the ArduiTape project developed by Duncan Edwards. I’d purchased a few of these devices from Duncan and noticed if wav files formatted at 22khz would load on the MZ700 using the external audio jacks. Traditionally the MZ700 games and apps are stored in MZF file format. I stumbled across a MZF2WAV converter (dos command) . I worked with the developer of MZF2WAV to modernise it a bit with a GUI and he added a feature to allow for wav files to be created at 22khz. We call this MZF2WAVGUI and you’ll find a nice video showing that tool >HERE< > To use the MZuiTape device you will need to use MZF2WAVGUI to convert MZF files to 22Khz wav files.
So back to my journey. After cracking what needed to be done with the files I had to tasks left: Develop my own ArduiTape PCB that would be compatible with the MZ700 and design a 3D printed case that would replace the tape deck and home my device. After a lot of wasted plastic, I got the case right and a bit of trial and error on the PCB and managed to get a working solution.
I’m going to sell this device as a kit with 2 options:
- Just the PCB and components but no case . I have opened sourced the case on Thingiverse (click HERE) so you can print one yourself.
- The complete kit.
Fitting will be easy. You just plug the ribbon cable into the socket for the tape deck. Note: be very careful as I couldn’t find exactly the same plug so I’m using a standard 9pin JST plug. Still works perfectly but always be careful you don’t bend any pins.
You still have to use the external audio jack for the audio. Audio doesn’t travel through the ribbon cable. This has a very nice advantage. If you still need to record anything from you MZ700 you will need a conventional tape deck. The way I have plumbed in the audio means you can just unplug the MZuiTape and plugin a normal tape unit to do the record.
So you want one? There are buy options CLICK HERE
Also instructions for the kit and the 3D part CLICK HERE