Recreate the Votrax Type & Talk?

Modding and Technical Issues

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Vic20-Ian
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Postby Vic20-Ian » Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:36 pm

rmelick wrote:
Vic20-Ian wrote:Cool - two Votrax emulators in one day - and 2 videos, Jeff will be chuffed seeing the number of times he has posted asking for it ;-)


Vic20-Ian, a *BIG* thank you to you as well. Without you it would not have been possible. The answer was here all along in the forum. Thank you for doing the research and helping to resolve the issue. I truly appreciate it.

Commodore's misprint in the manual really caused a lot of head-scratching. I didn't even know the VIC-20 was capable of 2400 baud. There is a lot of confusion about that factoid as well.

To all the Dad(s) out there -- or in whatever way you may serve as a father-figure to others -- Happy Father's Day!

Rick



Thank you - I am glad to see it working, now I need to look at why i didn't think to suggest to do a baud rate test earlier.

I was remembering back to old 300/75 baud acoustic coupler modems and about to suggest changing the duplex or stop bits to see if that would correct the strange characters you were getting.

All that 8N1, 7E1, 7E0 was a vague memory, I remember seeing such garbage correcting to English before by doing this.

I forgot the baud rate difference would have a similar effect - I guess it is like sampling any signal at the wrong frequency.

I wonder if a fixed string from the cartridge read at the wrong baud rate will give consistent garbage Petscii - Eslapion might find that interesting too ;-)

In the end the Commodore 1200 Baud statement was the real cause of the issues here

I am glad we all solved it.
Vic20-Ian

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Vic20-Ian
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Postby Vic20-Ian » Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:38 pm

Z0rb wrote:Also the raspberry pi solution is a great one since your not having to deal with chips, reset lines and amplifiers. I think in the end that is the route to go for the hobbyist solution. The voice also sounds less robotic.

In the end I just wanted to prove that the Little Speakjet Could :D


It should sound More Robotic and 1980s ;-)

"Space CahDett hah hah hah"
Vic20-Ian



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Z0rb
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Yet another improvement

Postby Z0rb » Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:57 pm

I got the power supply a little more stable and attempted to get some flow control with the Vic. I am hooking the pin that goes high when speaking is taking place and hooking it up to CTS. I am still getting a few words at the end cut off at times. I will have to work on this, but other then that it is speaking in all it's robotic glory.

Enjoy
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rORB7LeL5KE

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Jeff-20
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Postby Jeff-20 » Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:34 am

Vic20-Ian wrote:Please record samples for Jeff!

Yes, please! :D
High Scores, Links, and Jeff's Basic Games page.

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rmelick
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Postby rmelick » Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:04 am

Jeff-20 wrote:
Vic20-Ian wrote:Please record samples for Jeff!

Yes, please! :D


Consolidating the links collected so far:
http://youtu.be/zS-lUBOI9aY
http://youtu.be/wQrmqna934Q
http://youtu.be/rORB7LeL5KE
Rick

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orion70
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Postby orion70 » Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:06 am

I read everything in your draft site about the VIC-VODER, and really can't wait to have one! :D

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rmelick
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VIC-VODER now shipping!

Postby rmelick » Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:46 pm

orion70 wrote:Ok Rick, thank you for your explanation. Now I can get most fof the stuff that's going on with your experiments. I'll follow their evolution with interest .
BTW... Will all this ever give a commercial product, i.e. something I will surely buy? :o


VIC-VODER is a new voice synthesizer for the Commodore VIC-20 / 64 / 128 featuring some of the latest advancements in speech technology, with a tip-of-the-hat to the first speech synthesizer demo in San Francisco from Bell Telephone Labs in 1939. The system is available to order right now.

VIC-VODER features an all-in-one design that simply plugs into the User Port to produce quality text-to-speech (English). Talking is as simple as a PRINT statement. A built-in amplifier and speaker complete the entire package. The system works with Scott Adams adventure games on VIC-20. The architecture is "open," which makes it a terrific platform for the development community. You can upgrade your system as new features become available in the months and years ahead.

Click here for VIC-VODER product specifications and sales information: http://goo.gl/nx64h

On the web site you can read all about it. There are links to the Owner's Manual, an audio sample, product photos, two YouTube videos, various procedures, a FAQ, as well as a link to a new user group. There is even enough information there for you to build a unit of your own design, if you like the approach taken to solve the problem.

I'll keep building them as a service, so long as there is interest. It is kind of interesting to note that this $99.95 unit would have cost $39.00 back in 1981. That would have made it smaller, faster, cheaper and better than anything on the market back in the day. So, I guess 100 is the new 40. :)

They are kind of a pain in the butt to put together, so I also have a new appreciation for the home-brew / maker community and the sacrifices people make to bring a vision to light, like Mega-Cart, which is a heck of a lot more complicated than this thing! :)
Rick

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akator
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Re: VIC-VODER now shipping!

Postby akator » Mon Jun 24, 2013 10:13 pm

rmelick wrote:VIC-VODER is a new voice synthesizer for the Commodore VIC-20 / 64 / 128 featuring some of the latest advancements in speech technology, with a tip-of-the-hat to the first speech synthesizer demo in San Francisco from Bell Telephone Labs in 1939. The system is available to order right now.


Completely awesome. I saw that on eBay in the last few days and desperately wanted one, glad to know it is from someone reliable :)

If only I had the cash right now... maybe in September. Thank you for recreating/creating an excellent VIC accessory.

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RobertBe
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Re: VIC-VODER now shipping!

Postby RobertBe » Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:08 am

rmelick wrote:VIC-VODER is a new voice synthesizer for the Commodore VIC-20 / 64 / 128 featuring some of the latest advancements in speech technology, with a tip-of-the-hat to the first speech synthesizer demo in San Francisco from Bell Telephone Labs in 1939. The system is available to order right now.

Congratulations on the completion of your product! I will order one on Friday.

Pay day,
Robert Bernardo
Fresno Commodore User Group
http://videocam.net.au/fcug
July 27-28 Commodore Vegas Expo v9 -
http://www.portcommodore.com/commvex

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RobertBe
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Postby RobertBe » Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:30 am

VIC-VODER ordered!

Looking forward to receiving it,
Robert Bernardo
Fresno Commodore User Group
http://videocam.net.au/fcug
July 27-28 Commodore Vegas Expo v9 -
http://www.portcommodore.com/commvex

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RobertBe
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Re: VIC-VODER now shipping!

Postby RobertBe » Sun Jun 30, 2013 1:46 pm

As I wait for the VIC-VODER to come in the mail, I might as well comment...
rmelick wrote:...I also have a new appreciation for the home-brew / maker community and the sacrifices people make to bring a vision to light...

It took a lot of planning, ordering parts, and getting the parts assembled to make the Sound Ultimate Xpander 6400 (SUX 6400) audio digitizer. I always think that one day its software, Digimaster, will one day be converted to run on the Plua/4 and the VIC-20.

Truly,
Robert Bernardo
Fresno Commodore User Group
http://videocam.net.au/fcug
July 27-28 Commodore Vegas Expo v9 -
http://www.portcommodore.com/commvex

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RobertBe
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Postby RobertBe » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:16 pm

VIC-VODER received! It came today very well-packed in a bright, white shipping box prominently labeled, "VIC-VODER".

Since I am away from home right now, I will pull out a VIC-20 out of storage here in order to try it out.

Ah, the smell of fresh hardware, :)
Robert Bernardo
Fresno Commodore User Group
http://videocam.net.au/fcug
July 27-28 Commodore Vegas Expo v9 -
http://www.portcommodore.com/commvex

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rhurst
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Postby rhurst » Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:31 pm

RobertBe wrote:VIC-VODER received!

Green with jealousy, but enjoy! :twisted:

Just no time to play right now, but I will make the time to read your review in the next Commodore Free Magazine. :wink:
Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced. See also magic.

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RobertBe
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Postby RobertBe » Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:24 pm

rhurst wrote:Green with jealousy, but enjoy!

But you can order one, too. :)
...I will make the time to read your review in the next Commodore Free Magazine.

Heh, that depends if editor Nigel accepts my article. ;) In the meantime, I've posted VIC-VODER photos at

http://retro-link.blogspot.com/2013/07/ ... views.html

Truly,
Robert Bernardo
Fresno Commodore User Group
http://videocam.net.au/fcug
July 27-28 Commodore Vegas Expo v9 -
http://www.portcommodore.com/commvex

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rmelick
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rough treatment in shipping

Postby rmelick » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:24 pm

For the sake of transparency, I need to report that a potential power issue arose from rough treatment during shipping. I am working with each of the first four customers individually to remedy the situation as conveniently as possible, but it does require a little effort on the part of the customer.

As a courtesy, I am throwing in a 2-year warranty extension along with my apologies for any inconvenience this may cause. (75% of the first customers were international customers.) I want you to be happy and have confidence in your purchase. A special "Thank You" to the four VIC-VODER early adopters! I want to recognize and appreciate you!!

The next batch of five (Hardware Revision #1) are being prepared and will be offered through the same sales channels as before as soon as they are ready:
1) PM or email requesting to be invoiced
2) "Buy Now" on the VIC-VODER home page: http://goo.gl/nx64h
3) eBay "Buy It Now" auction format

Hardware Revision #1 includes the following changes:
1) As mentioned, an issue of rough handling during shipment resulting in lost power has been identified and corrected in this version. Also, the previous shipping container (recycled MacBook Pro box) contributed to the problem and has been discontinued as well.
2) The "system ready" LED is being moved 90-degrees to the right, inside edge of the unit to ease visibility.
3) The volume control is being relocated closer to the computer (on the same side as before) to allow for the use of an internal, pre-fab, "wiring harness," that decreases the build time per unit.
4) Adding optional 2-year warranty ($30) thanks to build quality improvements from the "wiring harness."
5) Serial numbers are being simplified to the short number printed on the warranty decal.
6) Adding special "Bill Me Later" financing options from PayPal based on customer feedback.
7) International orders will continue to ship First-Class Mail, but orders within the USA will now ship Priority Mail.

Thank you for your continued interest in VIC-VODER. I will proceed until there is no longer any interest in owning this speech synthesizer.
Rick


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