KCS Mix Tape - Kansas City Standard Decoder Kit

KCS Mix Tape - Kansas City Standard Decoder Kit

Build your own Kansas City Standard decoder, aka the KCS Mix Tape. The Kansas City Standard (KCS) was a popular data storage protocol back in the 70s & 80s. It was developed in the early days of home computing as a way to store programs and data on inexpensive cassette tapes and operates at a SCREEEEAMING 300 bits per second! (Please note: 300 bps is really not that fast guys.)

The kit contains all the components you need to build the decoder covered in "The Curious Place" videos on YouTube and should take a few hours to solder all the components.

Once you've built the decoder, you can use it to load programs and data from cassette tapes onto your 6502 computer, or anything else compatible with the (74HC) logic levels. This is a great way to play around with the early days of home computing, and it's also a fun and rewarding project for anyone interested in electronics.

8-bit parallel data out
Serial data out
A few test points for exploration
LEDs showing current data being decoded
M3-sized mounting holes
5v logic levels, compatible with many circuits
An awesome PCB design

The PCB and all electrical components

Power Supply
W65C22 VIA
Stand-off pegs, screws or mounting hardware.
Audio Cable
Cassette Tapes

TUNING: After assembly, the KCS clock needs to be tuned by adjusting the trim resistor. The easiest way is to play a Hexadecimal 0x55 through the circuit and adjust the clock until the LEDs show On/Off/On/Off... etc... The intro video explains this process.