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Richard H.

AtariVox rev2

Add Vectrex support to the AtariVox?  

106 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you like to see Vectrex support added to the AtariVox?

    • Yes
      74
    • No
      3
    • Don't care either way
      29


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SpeakJets don't need programmed, they need a signal sent to them to set their baud rate.

 

For them to work on Atari and Vectrex, a programmable interface controller, or PIC, does need to be programmed with the logic to switch things around so it's an AtariVox or a VecVox or a VecVoice, plus it sends the start up speech (I think). The original AtariVox "sings" the word AtariVox, AtariVox+ just speaks AtariVox in a lower tone.

 

I'm glad Magnetvision (sp?) gave another deal on a bulk order!

BIG difference between "around $40" and "around $80" for an AtariVox+ especially when Flash Carts range $70-$130! :D

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Here is my SpeakJet baud rate setter.

It needs 5v, like an Atari power supply thru that 5V regulator.

And a momentary switch.

Plug in a SpeakJet, plug in the power supply.

Push the button and the LED will blink.

SpeakJet is then ready for AtariVox+!

 

I do not have a PIC programmer to send code to the AtariVox+ PIC.

 

med_gallery_29575_733_537907.jpg

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The startup speech is also what gets programmed into the Speakjet. I have two configurations on file, one for Atarivox+ (which has a more naturalistic cadence vs. the original AtariVox) and one for GoldenAx's internal hardcoded AtariVox units for the anniversary 7800s that only ever shipped to a handful of people (as far as I know). The 7800 units are the ones that sing "dit dit dit dit dit dit dit dit, Have you played Atari todaaaaay."

 

 

 

 

The programming which is also being mentioned is the actual Speakjet firmware which is burned into whatever that chip actually is. It's not a totally custom chip the way the Votrax or TI chips were. It's some sort of programmable microcontroller that simulates what those types of chips did with discrete hardware.

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The 7800 units are the ones that sing "dit dit dit dit dit dit dit dit, Have you played Atari todaaaaay."

Anybody got a soundbyte of that jingle? :D

 

 

 

The programming which is also being mentioned is the actual Speakjet firmware which is burned into whatever that chip actually is. It's not a totally custom chip the way the Votrax or TI chips were. It's some sort of programmable microcontroller that simulates what those types of chips did with discrete hardware.

So, nobody even knows what type of micro is inside the Speakjet? :ponder:

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Anybody got a soundbyte of that jingle? :D

 

So, nobody even knows what type of micro is inside the Speakjet? :ponder:

 

 

Even if we knew what it was, we'd still need the firmware and I don't think it's possible to read the low-level firmware out. I think it's a write-only mechanism.

 

It's not a problem right now since we're getting a more than fair discount. We're on the cusp of ordering 250 and this time around I've gotta imagine that will satisfy all present and future demand.

Edited by mos6507
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So, nobody even knows what type of micro is inside the Speakjet?

 

It's a Microchip PIC. One of the 18F series.

 

Obviously, the read protect fuse is activated (so the code cannot be read off the chip)

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You'd have to decap it and then use uv-light on the fuses/locks (and only those) to be able to read it back.
There are people working with these things, it's probably cheaper just to buy them were they are made.

Some early versions of PIC processors could be unlocked with special tricks, who knows if the first generations of SpeakJets were vulnerable...

 

Here's some guys that seem to know what they're doing.
http://blog.ioactive.com/2007_10_01_archive.html

Edited by e5frog

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You'd have to decap it and then use uv-light on the fuses/locks (and only those) to be able to read it back.

There are people working with these things, it's probably cheaper just to buy them were they are made.

 

Some early versions of PIC processors could be unlocked with special tricks, who knows if the first generations of SpeakJets were vulnerable...

 

Here's some guys that seem to know what they're doing.

http://blog.ioactive.com/2007_10_01_archive.html

There's got to be a way to disassemble the code. The chip can read itself, doesn't it?

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There's got to be a way to disassemble the code. The chip can read itself, doesn't it?

 

Either the read protect needs to be disabled so it could be read out the ordinary way (could be done on earlier PIC chips with some techniques involving over voltage on some pin etc - and also by decapping and manually reset the read protect fuse with a thin stream of uv light or similar) or you somehow have to upload code to it that outputs the present code to some pins. Can a pic be erased/reprogrammed partially? I'm pretty sure they can be erased and reprogrammed as a normal PIC, I built my own VecVox and I took the opportunity to plug it into the programmer to identify (and I of course tried reading it as well), don't recall the exact model. You'd need at least two of these for code upload and dump as it might overwrite original code some code is needed to jump to that position at startup, that will overwrite a few bytes of original code as well (2-3?).

 

It would be a fun hack to do but I'm sure it's a lot less waste of time to just buy the originals. ;-)

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Necrobump!

 

Was there any progress on analyzing the chips? If yes, there would be a chance to add SpeakJet emulation to Stella.

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I couldn't find a sticker anywhere so I made one to attach to the AtariVox+ to show the dip switch settings:

 

post-42281-0-61103900-1519777313.png

 

If you print it out to about 1.25 inches wide it fits nicely inside the AtariVox or on the back:

 

post-42281-0-42819400-1519777415_thumb.png

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KylJoy, that's a great idea, a sticker with the dip-switch settings for the inside (or bottom) of the case. Do you mind if I use this for the AtariVoxes i'm selling in the store? I'd likely stick it on the top inside of the case so people will see it when opening the AtariVox.

 

..Al

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No problem! I always forget the settings and have to scour the web for them. LOL

 

I actually got the idea from somewhere in this thread. I just wasn't able to find an example for printing so I made one.

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No problem! I always forget the settings and have to scour the web for them. LOL

 

I actually got the idea from somewhere in this thread. I just wasn't able to find an example for printing so I made one.

 

Awesome, thanks! I'll print a few sheets (I have glossy, full-sheet label paper for oddball stuff like this) and will cut out a whole bunch of them. :)

 

..Al

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Yeap I made nearly the exact same thing and printed it out and attached it to the inside of my Avox+ about 2 years ago I think? Like you said I could never remember what was what and I was always switching back between the vectrex and atarivox options.

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On 6/18/2019 at 11:45 PM, pedalpowered said:

Is the AtariVox+ going to be instock again, or have they sold out for foreseeable future?

I personally know the creator has redesigned it. Redesigned hardware usually gets made and sold, I just don’t know when. 

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That's great news! So, Richard (I assume) is already on it. I had noticed there were some issue with the AtariVox+ that were being investigated, and MissCommand seemed to find the source for the main issue being the PIC, but there was still an issue for her with Speak & Spell after removing the PIC. I hope that Speak & Spell will work with the new unit, as well. Perhaps no one else was having a problem with that cart and it was just a problem with her unit.

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I would like to know when the AtariVox+ might be available again. I just got a Vectrex and want it to talk to me.

Thanks and best wishes,

Joe

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