Speech synthesiser cartridge

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FriedOrange79
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Speech synthesiser cartridge

Postby FriedOrange79 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:16 am

After searching the forums, I came across several old threads where people have talked about speech synthesiser cartridges for the VIC-20. As far as I could tell, nobody ever uploaded any audio or video demonstrating it, so now I have:
https://youtu.be/w9fIe_2RRgg

Audio download (6MB mp3):
https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ag0GQL2cf965jeVaMy-LEfPsTUH53Q

It's the Adman Electronics speech synth cartridge, based on the GI SP0256-AL2 chip:
Image Image Image

Also, I got the manual from here:
https://archive.org/details/VIC-20_Speech_Synthesiser_1982_Adman

Finally, I plan to do a ROM dump of this cartridge as well, but it will be several months before I get the chance to try it.

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akator
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Re: Speech synthesiser cartridge

Postby akator » Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:05 am

I love it! Where can I get one ? :lol:

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orion70
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Re: Speech synthesiser cartridge

Postby orion70 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:46 am

Fantastic piece of hardware! The manual was already scanned by Jogi (thread here), but there's no wiki page yet (if you wish you can write one).
Speech modules are listed here in the "peripherals" wiki page.

I had fun with two of them in the past:

- the Protecto Speakeasy (Denial threads here and here, dedicated page by R. Melick here - scroll about half way down)

- and the underestimated VIC-VODER, which is basically a Raspberry pi enslaved to the good ol' VIC for speech purposes :).

I still have these, and will build their respective wiki pages some time in the future.

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beamrider
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Re: Speech synthesiser cartridge

Postby beamrider » Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:11 am

Vic- voder is very nice but too pricey considering that you can do the same job with a $2 Bluetooth chip and any android tablet or phone.

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Floopy
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Re: Speech synthesiser cartridge

Postby Floopy » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:03 am

I still have no clue what you would do with a speech synthesizer except play with it. Unless you are that much friendless :lol:
-Floopy

norm8332
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Re: Speech synthesiser cartridge

Postby norm8332 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:08 pm

I like it. Didn't know it existed.

I made one of those with the same chip back in the day for the C64 from a design that was in Radio Electronics - Computer Digest (August 1986). Didn't have a ROM though. You had to code to make it speak. It's a cool chip and I had a lot of fun with it. Those chips are a bit expensive now and there are some Chinese fakes out there too.

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orion70
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Re: Speech synthesiser cartridge

Postby orion70 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:01 pm

@floopy - you can play adventures while a strange, monotonous voice uselessly reads them for you :P . Or, you can make your daughter smile while the VIC greets her. Again, you can bully your friends in the forum with the super-rare cart they will never ever have :mrgreen:

eslapion
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Re: Speech synthesiser cartridge

Postby eslapion » Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:34 pm

I had a cartridge like that a few years ago.
No one can do everything. Everyone can do something.


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FriedOrange79
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Re: Speech synthesiser cartridge

Postby FriedOrange79 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:10 pm

Floopy wrote:I still have no clue what you would do with a speech synthesizer except play with it.


It's funny you should say that, since the first page of the owner's manual says: "Enjoy using a fun product and by all means let us know if you develop any innovative applications in the home environment." This thing literally exists because it can :lol:

I think one of its biggest potentials may have been to help the blind use computers, or with edutainment like the Speak & Spell.

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Floopy
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Re: Speech synthesiser cartridge

Postby Floopy » Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:04 pm

Sorry I didn't take the time to read the manual.
Still very funny :lol:
-Floopy

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RobertBe
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Re: Speech synthesiser cartridge

Postby RobertBe » Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:24 am

FriedOrange79 wrote:As far as I could tell, nobody ever uploaded any audio or video demonstrating it...

VIC-VODER videos at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zS-lUBOI9aY (VIC-VODER and Adventure Land)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PJ_fIqM170 (VIC-VODER power on demo)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GlnqiJWPgQ (Robert Bernardo, the VIC-VODER, and The Count)

Truly,
Robert Bernardo
Fresno Commodore User Group
http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network
http://www.sccaners.org

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orion70
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Re: Speech synthesiser cartridge

Postby orion70 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:00 am

FriedOrange79 wrote:I think one of its biggest potentials may have been to help the blind use computers, or with edutainment like the Speak & Spell.

Here's a practical example in the VIC Computing Magazine, Vol 2 No 3 (Feb 1983), Pages 27-28. Online at VIC20 linstings:

"A Talking VIC"
16K expansion, Vox Box (???) speech synthesiser, printer

Word processor for blind people. Also includes a subroutine that can be included in your own programs, to read what is currently displayed on the screen. Controls: follow on-screen prompts.

Talking Typewriter
Talking subroutine

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Radical Brad
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Re: Speech synthesiser cartridge

Postby Radical Brad » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:04 am

I used to have one of those variants for the C64 (Currah version).
It was always great fun making it curse like a New York cabbie.

If anyone want to build one, I will swap an original SPO-256 chip even for a 6560-101.

Brad

norm8332
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Re: Speech synthesiser cartridge

Postby norm8332 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:04 pm

Here is a copy of the magazine with the C64 version I made. It could easily be adapted to the VIC-20 if one wanted to.

Zipped PDF

Radio_Electronics_August_1986.zip
(36.15 MiB) Downloaded 13 times


Link to archived Radio Electronics: https://archive.org/details/radioelectronicsmagazine


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