Abit KN8 Ultra
4 x 512 Corsair PC-3200 2-3-3-6
Sunbeamtech Nuuo 550 Watt PSU
M-Audio Audiophile 2496 recording sound card
Silverstone TJ-05 Case
Before installing the Plus Deck 2, you need to free up a 5 1/4" external drive bay and also a PCI slot. The connection card does not connect to a PCI slot on your motherboard; it just needs to exit through a PCI opening. Turn off your computer and unplug it. Slide the deck into place and use the included screws if your case is not tool less.
Connect the included 20-pin cable to the deck along with a 4-pin Molex for power. Insert the connection card into a PCI space and connect the other end of the 20-pin cable.
Then, take the blue 1/8" stereo cable, plug one end into the blue connector on the connection card, and the other end into the "line in" on your sound card. I'm going to have to do something a little different, since my recording sound card uses RCA connectors.
If you desire, you can also connect your mic to the deck, which will give you a mic connection in the front of your system. Also, if you normally connect headphones directly to your sound card, you can connect the third cable to the output connector on your sound card, which will give you a headphone connection up front. Finally, connect the serial cable from the connection card to the serial port on your motherboard (the 15-pin port on your motherboard that you probably never use). This must be connected for the software to work. Now turn the system back on; the deck is ready for operation. I happened to have an old Muddy Waters cassette handy so I will be testing the deck with that cassette tape.
After years of listening to MP3s and .WAV files, it is kind of nice to listen to good 'ol analog recordings, complete with clicks, pops, etc.
Now it's time to install the Plus Deck 2 software. I already have two digital recording programs installed on my computer and was happy to find this one didn't cause any conflicts.
Something that I didn't think about earlier, you may have to go into your BIOS and enable the serial port. I forgot to do this at first and got an error when I opened the Plus Deck software. Actually, I tried several times and it didn't work. I decided to go to Abit's website and see if I could find anything on it. Sure enough, the latest BIOS update corrects a problem where the serial and parallel ports may not work. So, I flashed the BIOS, reset everything and tried again. You must have the serial cable plugged in when you boot for the software to work.
Now that's more like it. You can control the tape deck from your computer screen. Move ahead as we test out the software.