Famicom Data Recorder
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Famicom Data Recorder HVC-008 is a compact cassette data interface for the Family Computer.
Manufactured by Matsushita/Panasonic for Nintendo, the Drive was released in 1984 only in Japan as an addition to the Family BASIC Keyboard to save data from BASIC programs created by users. Also, Castle Excellent, Excitebike, Mach Rider and Wrecking Crew can use this device in order to save tracks/stages created by users. The drive uses standard Compact Cassette tapes.
The drive was needed due to the high cost of storing data by battery backup; the high cost of production also led Nintendo to create the Famicom Disk System. While ASCII Corporation created the Turbo File, an external battery-backed RAM-disk for storing game positions.
Operation and use
The Data recorder was powered either by a 6 volt adapter or 4 AA batteries. The recorder could be used as a conventional sound recorder, and included a built in microphone in the bottom left hand corner of the unit. The recorder has mono sound output from a built in speaker on the top of the unit. A convenient volume control is accessible on the left hand side.
The recorder has two data ports that use a conventional 3.5mm mono phone connector. The port on the left hand side is labeled "ear" and "load". The port on the right is labeled as "Mic" and "Save". When used as a data storage device the Phone cables connected to the corresponding Write and Save ports on the Family BASIC keyboard.
The Data recorder set included an instruction manual, a data cable, a Nintendo-branded Compact cassette, a 6 volt AC adapter and a carry handle that extends from the front bezel.
The Data Recorder did not suffer the same problems that relegated other first party Nintendo peripherals to the sidelines. This recorder is perhaps the only first party Nintendo peripheral that functions outside of its intended purpose as a game save device and could be operated without ever owning a Famicom. However it became obscure with low sales and virtually unknown outside of Japan.
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