Tandy Radio Shack Computer Cassette Recorder (TRS CCR)

This page is dedicated as a repository of information related to the Tandy Computer Cassette Recorder (CCR) devices. These CCRs could also be used on many non-Tandy systems (e.g. various Apple and IBM systems) or used as standalone audio recorders (such as nature sounds, voice dictation, interviews). But these CCR’s also included specific features to ensure they were suitable for digital data storage with Tandy systems (aspects like the tape index counter, ALC circuit logic, REMote control support, and automatic shut-off).


PART 1: Introduction

PART 2: Comparison of the types of Tandy cassette deck models

PART 3: Types of PCs that used tapes to store data via a 5-pin DIN connector interface

PART 4: Belt Repair Notes (with photos of internals)

PART 5: Example Usage of Cassette (and Smartphone)

PART 6: Other tidbits, specifications, references


  • All Tandy CCR models can work with an AC-DC adapter that is 6V, 2.1mm tip, “center negative” polarity
  • Radio Shack standard DC adapter part number is 273-1454

From the original Color Computer Operation Manual (here):

DestinyHunter (32KB game developed in 2021 that can be loaded from tape)

IBM 5100 (from year 1975)

IBM 5110 (from year 1978)

IBM PC 5150 (from year 1981)

About the Author

Thanks for viewing! Please leave any comment related to the Tandy CCR (such as good alternative devices, which models you used, what systems you used them with, what types of data or programs you stored on tape, or any tidbit of CCR knowledge not covered here).

9 thoughts on “Tandy Radio Shack Computer Cassette Recorder (TRS CCR)

  1. Hi Steve, please my I reproduce your article in December 2021 edition of TRS8BIT? (with full accreditation to both you and your site). Thanks – Dusty Miller

    1. Yes, both in full or partial as needed. It is still a work in progress, so there will be some on-going incremental additions. I recently ordered a good conditioned CoCo1, which I hope to verify that my repaired CCR-82’s work with that (and I also plan to experiment with using a smartphone with the CoCo1 — it works fine on my IBM 5150, so I hope it will also work with the Coco).

  2. Do you know where to get replacement playback/record heads in particular for the CCR-82?
    I have one that does not produce any playback ( I have another that does ).
    I’ve looked at it under an oscilloscope and found that there is no input going into the upc1350C amp IC.
    I’ve replaced various other components including the belts and a gear so mechanically it looks fine.

    1. Sorry, I do not. There is an active ColorComputer Discord community (CoCo Discord) that might know, I’ve relayed your question there. This is the smaller CCR-82 unit, yes? I replaced the belts on two of these CCR-82’s but never got them to work reliably. I did have one back in the mid 1980s that I used very much. Will relay back if those guys have any ideas.

    2. One suggestion:
      “He should probably put his scope directly on the playback head and see if there’s any signal there when a tape with audio is playing. It’s pretty rare that a playback head would go bad.”

      note: this is using an AUDIO tape, just to see if the head itself is working.

  3. Great info. Since you seem to be a completist, I’d point out that the CCR-82 started out with Radio Shack TRS-80 branding in RSC-12 (late 1984, labeled 1985), only later switching to the Tandy branding. I seem to also recall the CCR-81 also being offered later with Tandy branding but I can’t find evidence of that. So if you’re really driven to get a complete set, you still need to get the gray CCR-81 (to match the “gray era” TRS-80s), the Tandy-branded CCR-81 (to match the “Tandy era” CoCos and the Model 4D), and the Radio Shack branded CCR-82 (the best visual match for the Model 100 and the MC-10).

  4. Some quibbles re your summary chart in Part 2:

    1. Your use of an “x” to indicate “yes” is confusing, because “x” often means “no”, especially (but not always) when “yes” is indicated by a check mark like this: ✓. So I would either use ✓ and X, or better yet “yes” and “no”.

    2. Your use of “n/a” to indicate “no” is also confusing. Perhaps you meant “not available” but in fact it means “not applicable”. In other words, in the CCR-82 listing’s info about an AC adapter, a reader might not merely conclude that the CCR-82 came without an AC adapter but in fact might well incorrectly conclude that the CCR-82 could not even use an AC adapter that had been separately procured.

    3. When you say “Built in 120V AC adapter” that’s not quite right. None of the tape recorders came with a BUILT-IN adapter. Instead, they either came with an AC adapter INCLUDED, or not. The AC adapter was a separate physical object that you would attach to the recorder via a wire. So you should change that to read “Included 120V AC Adapter” and then have the rest of the row read “Yes” or “No”.

    1. Thanks, you were quite right about the confusion! I’ve updated the table as you’ve recommended.

      Also, I actually didn’t realize the difference between Tandy vs RS tags. I noticed it across models, but wasn’t aware they differed within a model depending on year of release.

      Mostly this started based on a discussion on whether the CCR-83 was the “best” just by virtue of being the newest of the models. There was no clear answer on that, and to me newer isn’t always better. The CCR-83 may be newer components (i.e. generally less “miles” on the read/write head), but it has no feature that makes it otherwise better than the other models (and there are aspects of the older models that I do like better).

      Thanks for taking the time to make some helpful feedback!! Appreciate it.

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