The 8-Track Sound Project
Tape Player Identification

This page may help you identify the tape player used in some arcade games of the 60's and 70's.  Some games used a modified consumer tape player, and others had tape cartridge built specifically for the game.  Midway, for example, had at least four different tape players in its gun games alone - and they are generally not interchangeable. 

This page is part of my 8-track Sound Project.  Click on one of the buttons in the column to the left to get around the different areas of the project and this website.  The information below will hopefully make it possible to identify tape players of unknown heritage, and to verify that the correct player is installed in a particular game.

If you have any comments, corrections or additional information that you would like to contribute, please let me know

Click on any of the pictures for a larger view

Jump to:
Mayfair Midway 4-channel Midway 3-channel
Midway 2-channel
Midway 1-channel Sega 2-Channel
PlayTape
Cousino " Tape Cart

8-Track Players

These 8-track players fall into two categories: modified consumer players and special-purpose players.  Modified consumer players were hard-wired for power connections and may have additional wiring to bring out the amplified audio output.  Many Midway games used a custom-designed tape player built around a standard 8-track cartridge.  However, there is little commonality in the tape track layout.  Different Midway games put audio on one, two, three, or four channels, and each of these players was subtly different.  Anything that played more than two channels needed a second playback head, for example.  

Some games had optional 8-track players that simply provided background sound effects or music.  Other sound effects, such as gunshots, were created by separate transistorized circuit boards.  In these cases, the 8-track player was often a consumer model that was slightly modified to obtain its power from the game.  In these cases, the tape deck is fairly easy to replace with another home player if the original is missing.

 

 Mayfair Modified Consumer Player

wild_deck.JPG (482317 bytes)

As used in Midway's Wild Kingdom gun game
Part Number ?
Cartridge type 8-Track
Channels used 1
Heads 1
Connectors 2-pin locking plug for AC power
3-pin locking plug for audio out
Notes Modified consumer player.  Manual switch to select among tracks 1-4.
Drive belt You can now purchase new drive belts for this tape player from Pinball Pal.

 

 Midway 4-channel Player

hh_deck.JPG (234339 bytes)

As used in Midway's Haunted House and Sportsman 
gun game
Part Number 52-013
Cartridge type 8-Track
Channels used 4
Heads 2
Connectors 2-pin locking plug for AC power
9-pin PCB edge connector for audio out
Notes Dedicated 8-track player.  Two stereo playback heads and four-channel amplifier permit four simultaneous audio outputs 
Drive belt You can now purchase new drive belts for this tape player from Pinball Pal.
 Additional Images

hh_heads.JPG (412565 bytes)
Note two playback heads, offset vertically

hh_pcb1.JPG (424116 bytes)
Four-channel amplifier, inside tape player

hh_pcb2.JPG (433823 bytes)
Amplifier part number: PC553-797

 

 Midway 3-channel Player

gang_deck.JPG (240161 bytes)

As used in Midway's GangBusters gun game
Part Number ?
Cartridge type 8-Track
Channels used 3
Heads 2
Connectors 2-pin locking plug for AC power
9-pin PCB edge connector for audio out
Notes Dedicated 8-track player.  Two stereo playback heads and three-channel amplifier permit three simultaneous audio outputs
Drive belt You can now purchase new drive belts for this tape player from Pinball Pal.
 Additional Images

gang_heads.JPG (500697 bytes)
Note two playback heads, offset vertically

gang_pcb1.JPG (460987 bytes)
Three-channel amplifier, inside tape player

gang_pcb2.JPG (449863 bytes)
Amplifier part number: PC553-907

 

 Midway 2-channel Player

pirate_deck.JPG (259951 bytes)

As used in Midway's Twin Pirate gun game
Part Number 52-016
Cartridge type 8-Track
Channels used 2
Heads 1
Connectors 2-pin locking plug for AC power
9-pin PCB edge connector for audio out
Notes Dedicated 8-track player.  Single stereo playback heads and two-channel amplifier permit two simultaneous audio outputs
Drive belt You can now purchase new drive belts for this tape player from Pinball Pal.
 Additional Images

pirate_heads.JPG (424136 bytes)
Note single playback head

pirate_pcb1.JPG (462840 bytes)
Two-channel amplifier, inside tape player

pirate_pcb2.JPG (512815 bytes)
Amplifier part number: PC569-923

pirate2.gif (16167 bytes)
Exploded view of tape deck assembly
Click on picture for larger view
Click here for PDF version

 

 Midway 1-channel Player

dune_deck.jpg (534894 bytes)

As used in Midway's Dune Buggy driving game
Part Number ?
Cartridge type 8-Track
Channels used 1
Heads 1
Connectors 2-pin locking plug for AC power
9-pin PCB edge connector for amplified audio out
Notes Dedicated 8-track player.  Single stereo playback head feeds single-channel preamp and audio amplifier.  Volume control through cut-out on left side.
Drive belt You can now purchase new drive belts for this tape player from Pinball Pal.
 Additional Images

dune_label.jpg (313140 bytes)
Label on front

dune_pcb1.jpg (1496410 bytes)
PCB with mono audio amplifier

dune_pcb2.jpg (717711 bytes)
Amplifier PCB part number: 552-917

 

 Sega 2-Channel Player

SegaGRAND-NATIONAL-tape-player1.JPG (304588 bytes)

As used in Grand National horse racing game
Part Number ?
Cartridge type 8-Track
Channels used 2
Heads 1
Connectors ?
Notes Dedicated 8-track player.  Looks like audio amplifier is attached to the outside of the player.
 Additional Images

SegaGRAND-NATIONAL-tape.JPG (311625 bytes)
Tape

SegaGRAND-NATIONAL-tape-player2.JPG (305037 bytes)
Tape player and amplifier

 

 

Other Tape Formats

Some games used tape cartridge formats other than 8-tracks.  One was a short-lived consumer format called PlayTape, that preceded 8-tracks and was apparently even less popular.  Drivemaster is the only game that I know of that used this tape format.  Some fortune tellers and puppet games used a special 1/4 inch tape cartridge and dedicated player.  See below for some examples.

 

 Modified Model 1604 Consumer PlayTape Player

drivemaster_deck.JPG (444070 bytes)

As used in Drivemaster driving game
Cartridge type PlayTape
Channels used 1
Heads 1
Connectors 1/8 inch phone jack for audio output
Discrete wires for power and deck control
Notes Modified consumer player.  Manual switch to select between tracks 1 and 2.
Drive belt You can now purchase new drive belts for this tape player from Pinball Pal.
 Additional Images

playtape_cart.JPG (524503 bytes)
Typical PlayTape cartridge

 

 Cousino Inch Proprietary Cartridge

peppy_cart.JPG (528183 bytes)
Cousino audio cartridge


Cousino tape cartridge player

 

As used in Peppy The Clown, Zoltan Fortuneteller
Cartridge type Cousino Electronics Proprietary
Channels used 1
Heads 1
Connectors Varies
Notes Endless loop inch tape cartridge, sometimes with multiple conductive tape segments.  The length of the audio program between the conductive tape segments determines the time duration of each play of the game.  Some games sense the silent space between plays to start and stop the tape.

Jump to:
Mayfair Midway 4-channel Midway 3-channel
Midway 2-channel
Midway 1-channel Sega 2-Channel
PlayTape
Cousino " Tape Cart

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