AMPEX MM1200 UPGRADES
During the late 90’s and into 2000 and beyond, RTZ® manufactured upgrade reproduce and record electronics for Ampex machines. These cards were also used in the smaller AG440 machines and were a popular upgrade for two track machines.
RTZ upgrade electronics significantly improved the audio quality of these machines and raised the bar on some of the best sounding analog tape recorders ever produced.
The DTC-1200 digital transport controller completely replaces the original Ampex transport controller and provides full servo loop control of the transport reel motors as well as real-time constant tension control. A few wiring modifications are required in the MM1200 control card bay to use this new controller, however the original Ampex transport control card can still be used afterward if ever needed for some reason.
The DTC-1200 is designed around a Texas Instruments 32-Bit Tiva M4 ARM microcontroller especially designed for real-time motion control systems and applications. A scalable real-time operating system provides true preemptive multi-threading processing. This allows the DTC firmware to run many tasks for the servo control loop and system communications.
The STC-1200 replaces the original Ampex search-to-cue/timer-counter card and greatly expands the functionality of the machine completely via software. This card uses an even more powerful Tiva ARM M4 processor that supports a number of communication interfaces as well as providing tape counter and multi-point auto-locator services.
The STC-1200 provides complete communications interfaces for RS-232, RS-422, Ethernet and basic MIDI MMC. The Ethernet interface currently provides a web server interface for system monitoring and configuration. The SD card interface provides file storage capabilities. Future enhancements will allow system event logging and machine hours usage. A battery backed time-of-day clock is also provided.
The MIDI interface provide basic Midi Machine Control (MMC) functions for transport control. Future software updates will greatly enhance the functionality of the STC-1200 and DRC-1200 features. The powerful 32-bit Tiva ARM processor has plenty of room for future enhancements.
The STC-1200 also supports our full featured TCP/IP network-based software remote. The STC and DRCWIN communicate via Ethernet on your local network. This allows DRCWIN to provide high speed streaming tape time and status info to the DRCWIN software application.
DRCWIN also offer additional support for auto-punch and auto-loop mode. We plan to offer the DCS-1200 digital channel switching hardware board in the future. The DCS-1200 will replace the original wired remote and allows DRCWIN to fully control all track assignment and control functions of the machine. Complete software control of the machine will soon be possible!
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Currently the DRCWIN client software only runs on Windows 10 based computers. It runs as a high-performance light weight native mode C++ based application using DirectX 2D for all graphics on Windows 10. This gives the best performance possible and makes DRCWIN a very responsive application.