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Alien Voice Box II


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#26 fibrewire OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 29, 2014 1:21 PM

This one ends in 15 minutes! Anyone know how often these show up?

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/191223131127

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#27 Allan ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 29, 2014 1:36 PM

Not to often. They are pretty rare.

 

Allan



#28 ndary OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 9, 2017 3:35 AM

does any one knows if the standard 9VDC power supply of the ATARI 2600 can fit into the voice box to power it on when using it with a 800XL computer?

 

Nir



#29 Allan ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 9, 2017 7:36 AM

Doesn't this get it's power from the SIO?

 

Allan



#30 ndary OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 9, 2017 7:52 AM

The XL line does not provide 12vdc on the SIO port like the old ATARI 800

 

So there is a DC jack on the unit and it says on the Addendum to Instruction note that you need an AC adapter with output of 9 and 12v DC at 20ma negative ground, and you need to plug this adapter into the mini-jack on the VOICE-BOX II unit.

 

Nir



#31 ndary OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 9, 2017 7:56 AM

the Question is if they write negative ground do they mean center negative? if so the ATARI 2600 will not work as it center positive

 

Nir



#32 mytekcontrols OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 9, 2017 8:31 AM

the Question is if they write negative ground do they mean center negative? if so the ATARI 2600 will not work as it center positive
 
Nir


I would interpret it exactly as written, that the ground side of the system is at the negative potential same as the Atari. So for a coaxial power connection that would mean the center pin is normally the positive connection. And if this thing originally derived 12 VDC from the SIO jack, it would have absolutely been required to share the same ground as the 400/800. Of course that is simply my way of interpreting it, and should be verified.

- Michael

Edited by mytekcontrols, Fri Jun 9, 2017 8:32 AM.


#33 ndary OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:38 AM

Thank you Michael,

 

i opened the VoiceBox unit and confirmed that the standard ATARI 2600 power supply can power the device and make it work on an 800XL unit



#34 Brentarian OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:46 PM

Has anybody ever attempted to duplicate the VoiceBox? They are sure hard to come by on EBay these days.

#35 Bill Lange OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 4, 2017 10:01 PM

Can you tell a Voice Box I from a Voice Box II from looking at it? 

 

Obviously there are some that have Red lettering and others that have Green lettering. Some have knobs, but some do not. From Nir's description, it sound like some have a power jack to power it so that it will work with the 800XL.

 

I have a green labeled unit with a knob and no power jack. It works with the 800, but not with the 800XL. 

 

Do some VB2 units have a power jack and some do not?

 

So colors, knobs and power jacks, whats what?

 

Mine came with paperwork dated July '82. No markings on board. I believe it to be an early prototype VB1 sent from Alien Group in Manhattan with handwritten instructions to the cassette/disk duplication company "Custom Dup" in California..

 

 

photo 4.JPG

 

 

photo 5.JPG

 

Bill


Edited by Bill Lange, Mon Dec 4, 2017 10:27 PM.


#36 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 4, 2017 10:24 PM

Bill and I have been talking about this offline, and I have only questions, no answers.

 

I have two units, one with a knob and one without. (Both green text, no power supply jack.)

 

IMG_9049.JPG

 

Innards. Notice top (knobless) is 12/82, and says AVB-2. Bottom (knob) is (no month) 82. So I THINK top is VB II and bottom is VB I.

 

IMG_9050.JPG

 

Here's the other side of the top, knobless one:

 

IMG_9052.JPG

 

And the other side of the bottom, knob one:

 

IMG_9051.JPG



#37 AtariGeezer OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 4, 2017 10:28 PM

VoiceBox2.jpg

 

Type II with part numbers pn chips.

 



#38 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 4, 2017 10:48 PM

OK! I've learned that my knob one is definitely a VB1. It works with the VB1 software that Bill put on Internet Archive. (https://archive.org/...roupVoiceBoxOne) But my knobless one does not work with it.

 

On the other hand, the knob one doesn't work with the VBII disks. The knobless one does. It's a VB2.

 

So I don't know if ALL VB2s lack a knob, but mine does.

 

—Kevin



#39 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 4, 2017 10:48 PM

(All of this so I can record a special intro for the podcast for my interview with the Alien Group founder. :)



#40 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 5, 2017 3:03 AM

Has anybody ever attempted to duplicate the VoiceBox? They are sure hard to come by on EBay these days.


Would-be be hard af al. The real issue is the speech chip which is very rare and thuis expensive.

#41 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 5, 2017 4:28 AM

Let’s try that again with English dictionary:

Wouldn’t be hard at all to recreate. The real issue is the SC-01-A speech chip which is very rare and thus expensive.

#42 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 6, 2017 3:46 AM

I know that GORF etc that uses that chip have had it emulated but I'm not sure if its samples or actual chip emulation...

 

Will dig out my MAME HD and check...

 

EDIT: Can't find any samples so I presume its emulated, i wonder if Avery would consider an emulated device?

 

I know its not like having the real thing but its a nice 2nd best if he was interested..


Edited by Mclaneinc, Wed Dec 6, 2017 3:49 AM.


#43 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 6, 2017 11:17 AM

Emulation for sure, this is Ana analogue chip.

Expensive but someone should offer one to the decap-Gods.... ;)

Lots of info here: http://www.redcedar.com/sc01.htm

#44 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 6, 2017 11:38 AM

Someone should also program the Atari Voicebox to produce the original speech with Q*bert....it's easy most of it is random stuff being send to it anyway :)

I'd also love "Hello, I'm turned on" ;)

#45 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 7, 2017 2:44 AM

No one ask which situation he wants that at :)

 

I wonder if the full chip has been emulated in MAME or just the bits that make the phrases used in Q'bert...



#46 Brentarian OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 7, 2017 6:15 AM

I wonder if the full chip has been emulated in MAME or just the bits that make the phrases used in Q'bert...

mamedev.org says it is partially emulated:

"MAME 0.181 also marks the debut of Votrax SC-01 emulation in MAME, based on reverse-engineering die photographs. The digital section should be pretty much perfect, although there are still some issues in the analog section (plosives dont sound quite right). Overall, its a huge improvement in Votrax speech synthesis emulation, and a great leap forward in our understanding of how the hardware works. It also means speech samples are no longer required for a number of games."

#47 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 7, 2017 7:28 AM

Jrok’s Mylstar board also produces the (Q*bert) voice.....but I can’t find how he did it. I asked him about it.....must be emulation.



#48 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 7, 2017 12:15 PM

leave the flash socketed, they wear out more often than you think!



#49 Level42 OFFLINE  

Level42

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Posted Thu Dec 7, 2017 3:33 PM

No one ask which situation he wants that at :)
 

LOL......I completely restored an empty Q*bert cabinet about 3 years ago......when you turn on the power of a Q*bert cab it actually says that in the familiar Q*bert voice. This also kind of undermines the myth that the programmers didn't get the speech chip to say anything reasonable......the quiberish speech of Q*bert was deliberate....

https://youtu.be/g7agkJ7oC4E

I read a lot about speech chips in my arcade collecting days and these things are some amazing technology. They actually recreate mathematically the characteristics of all human (mostly English) sounds that people can make.

Somethings I will never understand, like how the Atari guys managed to get a speech chip actually sound like Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker and even R2D2 (Star Wars arcade machine)......because....they sound like samples....and yet they're not. Different speech chip I know....but it is some amazing stuff these brilliant people created and it is sadly a "lost craft" because of other technologies surpassing it....


Oh....and Wouldn't it be cool if your A8 said "Hello, I'm turned on" every time you power it up ? 😂😂😂😂

Edited by Level42, Thu Dec 7, 2017 3:39 PM.


#50 scotty OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 8, 2017 1:33 AM

Couldn't someone recreate one of these with either FPGA or a Raspberry pi?  They can do everything else.






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