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Random Art How to Create an AstroBASIC Editable BASIC Listing.
By Adam Trionfo.
February 23, 2019.

This document describes how to create a BASIC listing that can be edited in a plain text editor, and then made into a 300-baud WAV file. It requires some Bally tape archiving tools, a real astrocade and a RAM expansion for the astrocade. The WAV file can then be loaded into Bally BASIC or "AstroBASIC" (by converting it using the 300-baud utility conversion program in the "AstroBASIC" manual).

The article can also be downloaded in its original Word .doc format:
  1. How to Create an AstroBASIC Editable BASIC Listing (doc)
300 BAUD Tools 300 BAUD Tools

     This .zip file contains 3 public domain tools for dealing with Bally Basic / ViperSoft Basic programs:


     KCS allows the user to create binary dumps from wave recordings, and to convert such dumps back to wave. It is a DOS application, programmed in a custom Forth dialect, DX-Forth, but it's author kindly provided Paul Thacker with a version adapted for a Windows Forth interpreter, so both a DOS and a Windows version are available. The Windows executable is much bigger because of the additional runtimes embedded in the executable.

     For converting .prg binary dumps back to wave using KCS, a known-working, though not optimal set of command line switches is:

        KCS -M -L5 -P50

     Refer to the KCS documentation for further details.

By Ronaldo Goulart

     PRG2TXT is a Windows utility for converting binary dumps of Bally Basic / ViperSoft Basic into Unicode text files. By default, it produces an output similar to the regular original listings, and through an optional command line switch, it generates the output file using an alternative syntax, intended to allow the listing to be edited through a regular plain text editor. Such listings can be converted back to binary using TXT2PRG.

By Ronaldo Goulart

     TXT2PRG generates binary files from text listings, which can after be converted to wave for loading into an original Astrocade. In case you are going to edit your own listings or the ones generated using prg2txt, be sure to use the special required syntax. For more information on this, refer to txt2prg.txt

Update: May 6, 2012

     Paul Thacker updated prg2txt and txt2prg to version 1.2. Two features he always wanted have been added: support in txt2prg for bytes in curly braces, and making prg2txt only optionally look for VIPERSoft BASIC keywords.

AstroWAV and Ballybin "AstroWAV" and "BallyBin"
By Bob Colbert

     These two programs allow AstroBASIC and 2000-Baud Bally Arcade/Astrocade tape software to be digitally archived from tape to WAV files for use with your favorite computer or media player. With the help of these two programs, new BASIC software can also be more easily written.

     Most archives contain extensive documentation.
  1. AstroWAV and Ballybin Version Overview
Astrowav and Ballybin Archive Docs "Astrowav" and "Ballybin" Archive Docs
By Adam Trionfo

     "AstroWAV" and "BallyBin" both contain instruction on how to use the programs. These very brief instructions on how to archive 2000-Baud programs may get the user up and running faster.

Bin2BML "Bin2BML"
By Lance Squire

     Bin2BML converts .bin files to .BML files to load on an Astrocade with a RAM expansion. An example called Sample.wav is included. Using this program, the user will finally get to see software run on actual HARDWARE!
  1. Bin2BML Documentation
Casio Utilities

Casio Utilities Documentation
"Casio Utilities" for 300-Baud Tape Archiving
By Marcus von Cube

     This is a very useful tool for cleaning up 300-Baud recordings.

     So, how do you use this program for Astrocade recordings, you may ask? Two utilities are useful for Astrocade recordings--wav2wav, and wav2raw. These should work with any recordings using the Kansas City Standard. wav2wav makes a direct bit-for-bit copy of the original, just cleaned up into square waves so it should load and compress more easily. This is great for keeping exact timing intact. wav2raw is slightly more processed, recovering the data bytes. From this, you can get a .prg/.bin file which could be converted to the actual source code by Ronaldo's tools.

     Here is a direct link to the Casio Tools website. Check there for any possible updates:
     Too much to understand? For more information one how to use these utilities, read Paul Thacker's short tutorial on how to archive 300-baud tapes
  1. Using Casio Utilities for 300-Baud Tape Archiving - By Paul Thacker
Astrowav and Ballybin Archive Docs "Cleaning a RAW Binary (Non-BASIC) WAV file with BallyBin and AstroWAV"
By Adam Trionfo.
July 10, 2018.

These are general instructions on how to clean an Astrocade's RAW 2000-baud binary recording created with the Blue Ram Utility using BallyBin and AstroWAV 2.

I used the tape version of the Blue Ram Utility 3 by Perkins Engineering. I loaded the utility from a WAV file into my Blue Ram 16K unit. In this example, I converted the 2KB Machine Language Manager (MLM) cartridge by Bit Fiddlers to a WAV file that can be loaded with "AstroBASIC."

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