Sunday, 17 June 2012

Homebrew Timed Taping

In about 1991, I bought a dictaphone from Argos. Before that, I bought a 'clock radio' which is a clock combined with a radio, so you could set a timer and wake up to Radio 2.

I had a bit of an inventive spirit. I was visiting a relative at about 6PM and going home about 10PM. But Dragnet was on Radio 2 at about 8PM.

My solution, though slightly heavy-handed, was to take apart the clock radio.

Now, I noticed that the radio had a power wire, so when the clock hit a certain time, the power went to it and it played out of the speaker.

So, given all that, there was only one thing I needed to do...

Well, I hit the record button on the dictaphone, then I connected the radio's power wires to that dictaphone, and connected the speaker output to the dictaphone's line input.

The idea was simple: The clock part of the machine would trigger the dictaphone to come on, and tape all that came out of the radio's speaker output. When done, it would cut off the power and the dictaphone would cease recording!

It worked! I could now record Dragnet while being away from the dictaphone.