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orpheuswaking

Voice Box by The Alien Group

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Hi,

 

I picked up a lot of Atari things this last weekend one of which was the "Voice Box" by "Alien Group"... It came with a tape that has software for 16k machines on one side, and 32k machines on the other... No matter what I do I can't get it to load either side with any of my known working tape decks. If I do Start+Option or just Start it loads until the end of the tape and then just sits there as though nothing happened. With Cload I get error 1 at line 0.

 

I looked for other software online and here and found Voice Box II, that loads but I don't have a manual to figure out how to use it. If you load without basic it just gives you a list of options and sits there. no input is accepted. (I'm wondering if the software does not work with the unit I have)...

 

Therefore does anyone have a working ATR or CAS of the Voice Box software, and also a scan of the manual? Or at least some info on how to use this unit.

 

Thanks

 

Simon

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I just did a search for Alien voice and got this:

 

http://www.atariage....arch_filter_app[forums]=1

 

and this is the atr for the Voice box II:

 

http://www.atariage....tach&tid=144728

 

icon_twisted.gif

 

Your first link does not work... And as stated I already have the ATR for voice box II... However it just loads to a screen and sits there, I can't get it to accept any input... I need a manual or something to figure it out (that is if that software works with the original device)...

 

I appreciate the help though :)

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Maybe try Translator, since it is so old.

 

Can you run wav2cas on it?

wav2cas is here: http://home.planet.nl/~ernest/atarixle.html

 

If it isn't corrupt then we can examine the cas image for ideas.

 

If corrupt maybe it can be repaired, as there are 2 copies, probably similar.

 

I would like to add emulation of the Voice Box to Atari800 at some point but I need the software for this so it would be useful to have.

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I've tried it on a 400 an 800 with and without basic as well as a 800XL and a 130XE... I'm guessing the tape is bad :( but I could try wav2cas

 

I think it may have multiple programs on the tape though, That's why having the manual would help (of course that the only thing NOT in the boxes)

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It seems most of the tape did not convert well with wav2cas. Most blocks were bad.

 

I read that Phaeron, author of Altirra, suggested using a bandpass filter from 1KHz to 7KHz in Audacity to clean up a recording before using wav2cas. Also Altirra has its own algorithm for reading wav files, so you could try loading it with Altirra.

 

Just possibly there is some issue with the recording beyond the tape being bad. Perhaps clipping or low volume. Maybe check in Audacity if the waveform looks good.

 

It is a Basic program. There are some additional segments after the main program. I think this is for a Dictionary.

 

Possibly we could recover the essential logic for accessing the device despite the corruption of the Basic file but this is difficult because of the large amount of damage.

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VoiceBox.zip

 

Wav2Cas files

 

try the following with your tape:

 

- ENTER "C:"

 

- RUN "C:"

 

- LOAD "C:" (Can't remember for sure but I think this expects long record gaps versus short record games for CLOAD).

 

 

Did you try a head cleaning cassette?

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VoiceBox.zip

 

Wav2Cas files

 

try the following with your tape:

 

- ENTER "C:"

 

- RUN "C:"

 

- LOAD "C:" (Can't remember for sure but I think this expects long record gaps versus short record games for CLOAD).

 

 

Did you try a head cleaning cassette?

 

Head cleaning was the first thing I did... Tried all possible permutations of loading the software... I think I've exhausted all possibilities and the voice box will sit on the shelf looking cool but ultimately doing nothing... I think my best option is if someone comes up with a disk image of the original software, which I am very surprised is not available on the many archive sites out there... Either that or figure out how to operate the VBII software and see if it can be made to work with this iteration of the hardware...

 

In the meantime I think I'll start messing around with S.A.M

 

I'll bump this occasionally to request if anyone has an ATR or CAS of the original software, and just as importantly the Manual!

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Do you have APE?

 

If you do, setup a printer such that it captures to a window so you can cut/paste and post the data here.

 

Then try this to give a listing of the first block:

 

10 OPEN #1,4,128,"C:"

20 OPEN #2,8,0,"P:"

30 DIM D(128):FOR A=1 TO 128:GET #1,D:D(A)=D:NEXT A

40 CLOSE #1

50 FOR A=1 TO 128:? #2;D(A);

60 NEXT A:CLOSE #2

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If you can upload the .wav files you made for use with wav2cas to Megaupload or some such place I will try to use Audacity or Altirra to improve the recovery of data.

 

I have figured out how the Voice Box II works and I think it can be emulated in Atari800.

 

The Voice Box II program will freeze when run in Atari800 unless the Voice Box II device is responding correctly. If it fails to work with the Voice Box I then it may be that the protocol is different.

 

The Voice Box II is not an intelligent device that obeys the Atari SIO protocol. Data is simply sent over the serial line and decoded by a shift register. I believe the cassette motor line is used to signal that the Voice Box II should respond to serial data. The SIO /COMMAND line is not used. The Votrax SC-01 busy status is read using the SKSTAT bit that reads data directly from the SIO bus.

 

Both the Voice Box I and II use a simple BASIC program as the interface.

 

The Voice Box I cassette should be loaded from BASIC with CLOAD.

 

Here are some strings from the Voice Box I images:

 

(The word "data" occurs as part of the .cas file format and should be ignored)

16k

 

 

FUJI
baud
data
LIMI
data
16K CASSUTTE 13MAY82-1
data}
DOUTPUT SUBR
Auu6
data
data
FLOATING CODE
=data
data{
wr'S
data
Bdata
VOCABULARY
Muu6
ZSTOPEH3E
data
H2EH1PA0AH2AWL(
==bUH3AE1A_2UH2UHL
bDTA2A1ZHI3I
eebAHAEUHO2O1IUU1T
!HEREHE1AWMNBVZLKJHG
data
FDSAPO
UYTREW.
HEXCODE)Y
BCHSUVcopqrx~DEFGIJKPQTW
bdnstuvwyz{|}LMNORXYZ[\]^_`e[
A]data
RUnplug your program recorder. Plug in the 
tmH-5
\ Tu]
@the  volume
on your t.6data
v. and hit 
Type P*V to see
data
owgls
     *C for 
onsonants
     *D to save 
ictZ
     *S tO 
ee dic|ionary
     *M to s
data
ee spare 
emory
     *I more 
nstructions
     *L thts 
ist of optX
[email protected]>1 to save 
data
   H
@         
or 2
  H
@recall it
or 2
YEHS MAHSTR*(
data
jJjjA!=9
@SPELLING CODES---
[email protected]
Y     AY    AM
data
   A
D     AE1   AE
P  P
!d   AH1   AH
LL    AW2   AW1   AW
b    E
NL2data
IST  EH3   EH2   EH1   EH
N     I3    I2    I1    I
!dY  AH1Y  AHY
LD    O2    O1    O
data
K    OO1   OO
    IU    u1    U
NCLE   WH3   UHM
U!b   UH
    Y1    Y
AND    
data
]ILP
NO SOUND STOP  .  PA0 PA1
=9M=9
9QM,2
AG     B    
   PAI
    Dldata
#)UDGE   DJP
Y    BU
ER  DT
AST    F    
   
ET      G
ELLO   H    
   TRIC
   K
AT    P
data
M    
   SU
     N
THI
  NG   
   PA
    S
D    ER   
   
ED      R
OP    SH   
   
AP P
data
IN    TH   
   
IS   THV
#YAN   [email protected]   
iURE   ZH
OO     Z
data
6aIt
-?:C:
,<C:
,<B:
,<C:
,<C:
o226
,&C:
,%^data
,&C:
[email protected] RB(
[email protected] DO THIS? 
data
[email protected]
Rdata
NEW ENTRY
Ndata
data
data
6aD7
data
,.>:@:
data
data
data
1<M"I.
data
data
>}Position the |ape to the start ofP
[email protected]
data
ctionary, [email protected] D 
4 If you  prefer to use the  phonetic  codes, type \Y
$press the PLAY button
data
and h-
data
[email protected]
dataz
tdata
L    Unplug the VOICE BO
, plug in the program recorder, position the tape to
Jwh,W
@want the di
data
@recorded  Press REC and Play and hit 
-P:B:
B:xdata
Jd1-
adata
1-P:B:
@5data
%CP 
data
3B1#
PRINT DI
%]SE 
1 TO 
@RESTA
T DISPLAY
@Pvdata
hdata
data
DEMO
}First type in a word:
CAUGHT
C-H-U-G-H-T
data
Nothing like it !
Type in phonetic spelling:
KAWT
Sounds good.
Now ente
data
r it in the dictionary:
KAWT=CAUGHT
KAWT
To enter a prefix:
UHN= UNE
data
   
Space
To enter a suffixN
4d	.
I1NG=ING_
      +data
Underline
I1NG
$Use / to raise pitch, \ to lower it:
LAH.../LAH.../LAH...\LAH...\\LAH
{data
WORD LENGTH   NO.OF WORDS
Hdata
    
Maximum 255 words of one len
data
gth.
You have used 
% of total 
emory.
B:"data
LAST LINE
a..(
data
>:F:
LAST LINE
a..(
HO"E=
data
data
q6UU
VQ(E"
[email protected] IGHTFOURCOMEAPE  AREArE 
TO ERVEWHATREADTHIRDREDELVETIMEWANTTHISTHATWEREONCEDONETIONTHEYENCEOVE  BY ANCE
data
EASEENGVEb
@CLES
EVERAST
ATEDIRSTMUCHMO
ENIONIRE  ONEABLEQUIEABBIPETEHEAVTHEMICESARI FIESTYPEEDITARGEGIVEOUNDBAREALUE
PPEDER
data
EDAWAYAUSEVIEWMADEOULDINTOSIVEUNITEH3EH2EH1PA0AH2AW1AH1OO1UH3AE1AW2UH2UH1THVPA1 EAIDEICEIFEINE
@ALKYOUTWOTOOIVEASEITEUREARE
data
ANDOF O)Q(
e!=]9=]
^ ALLAYSLE WASCE  BYOUTWHOHADE
ADOARALWBER"@ECOESSEASRAYINDMAYSCHOONEATCIRAFRQPSPT*
data
CECEIMEMONEIBEUALAL ANyUSEUMEEXCWAYED TE
POSECIVDOWOUPIEFIGNCCEIREDT(SbZHI3I2I1CHS$u==
eebAHAEUHO2O1IUU1THEREHE1AWI QUCKENWRYA"data
EEEXIXUNARLLA
ITTWHELPHOTAUUYEGETCYPPESADEFEAANAMATMYEMUMMMURFFRRMNBVZLKJHGFDSAPOIUYTREW.XC12345678901
datap
Mdata
[email protected]~l
Mtz,i
data
UU~:
data
kDEFGIJK
PQTWabdnstuvwyz{|}
k]kLMNORXY
Z[\]^_`efghijklmC
data
Vq=V
$?_C
Jk]kLMNORXY
Z[\}^_`[email protected]
data

 

 

 

32k

 

 

FUJI
baud
data
7HUU
U4[4SjHX
B"YaHHX
XCON
XPNO
XPNS
VIieJHVT
-YHXAV
data
}data
data
data
16JUL82-3 RANDOM SENT.32K
TMM6
data
data
udata
OUTPUT SUBR
4data
data
FLOATING AODE
data
data
Rdata
hH)?
hdata
QOdata
data
data
<[data
?data
TOCABULARY
data~
ZSTOPEH3EH2EH1PA0AH2 *
[email protected]!CHSHNGOOAYY1AHA"UHO2O1IUU1t
:data
HE1AWMNBVZFKJHGFDSAPOIUYTREW.
XCODES
@ABCHSUVcopqrx~DEFGI
KPQTWabdnstutwyz{|}LMNORXYZ[\]^_`efg
data
hhjklmC
@the program recordgr. Plug in the VOICE BOX.
 Turn up the volume of you\data
r t.v.
#Hit 
when you have done this.
*data
Type  *V to see 
owels
   
@for 
onsonants
      *- to slow down tZ,
     *+ t7data
o speed it up
     *D to save 
ictionar|
     *FP
%@talkin[2acR
     *T full screen of 
data
  *S tO 
ee dictionary
[email protected] see spare 
emory
     *R 
andom
     *I more 
nstruc:Z
data
     *L this 
ist of options
     YOUR PHRASE>1 to save it
                 
or 2
data
call it
$$$z
PLEASE TEACH ME TO SPEP)(
----PHONETIC SPELL
data
ING CO
ES---
VOWELS SHORT---------------LONG
Y     AY    A2    A1    A
D     AE1   AE
P    
data
AH2   
H1   AH
LL    AW0   AW
     E1    E
!f   R%
!b   EH
N     I3  8data
%b    I
!dY  AH1Y  AHY
LD    O2    O1    O
K    OO1   OO
    IU    U1 
data
  U
NCLE   UH3   UH2   UH1   UH
eb    Y
  L
IN     W
NSM=U9
@STOP  .  
data
PA0 PA1
CONSGNANTS
AG     B    
   PAI
    D
MPR	
)UDGP
)@  
   BU
ER  DT
Edata}
@   
   
ET      G
ELLO   @P
Y    TRIC
   K
\PR	
5AT     M    
MU9    @9,;
data
    S
D    ER   
   
ED      R
OP    ST
Y    
AP      T
IN    TH   
   
Q!Y,@
%%(?data
AN     V    
   A
URE   ZH
-?:C:
data
,<B:
,<C:
,<C:
,<C:
,<C:
,&C:
Y&ik
data
,&C:
"DO YOU REALLY WANT TO DO THIS? Y/N
-Fhdata
data
NEW ENTRY
Hd*k
data}
h$('
data
ldata
[email protected]
%(data
F:GP"	
,.>:F:
,.>:@:
d"k	t
[data
Jdata
"+:3Bcr!
9data
0&Cv	t
qdata
data
UU~R
data
H}Posithon tape over the dictionary and type "`z
@type P for phonetics  
data}
Press PLAY anYB
data
Jdata|
Z A)
J%[email protected]
7bdata
QPosit
on the tape for rEcording the dictionary, press REC and PLAY and Zdata
hit 
-P:B:
data
-P:B:
,'5data
data
data
PRINT DYCT.
%USE 
1 TO [email protected]([email protected] DISPLAY
data
[email protected]
data
DEMO
}Fir
data
st t/
@in a word:
CAUGHT
C-A-U-G-H-T
Nothing like it !
JQ	=
Type 
n phonet
data
KAWT
Sounds [
Now enter it in the dictionary:
KAWT=CAUGH
data
KDKAWT
To enteb ` prefix:
KtUHN= UN
   
Space
U$data
To enter a suffix:
$&uzING_
       
UnderlZU,
DI1NG
data
$Use / to r`ise pitch, \ to lower 4KY
LAH.../LAH.../LAH...\LAH...\\LAH
data
* rA
Eu&data
WORD LENGTH   NO.OF WORDS
vdata
    
Maximu
255 wopds of one length.
data
have u
% of total memory.
H!TT(
L}   Position the tape over 
data
@ words file, press PLAY a[
@u8]N;
F!""
data
7data~
}To change the wor
data
C   Conjunctions
A   Articles
AJ   KU
bves
B=	N   Nouns
[email protected],Object
PNS Procdata
nouns,Subject
VI  Verbs,Intransitive
VT  Verbs,Tra~sitive
AV  Adverbs
To speak a sentence
data
R   To repeat it
8"""(
*F  To return to phonetics
="!!(
S   ToPV
@words on tape
B"!!(
M   To get this menu ba
data
@Zdata
data
data
data
dRk9?P
h$  
data
|$%GI
)kAt!
c"!t
data
data
}Co~junctions8
}Articles:
data
}Adjectives:
}^ou
data
PSj4d
}Pronouns,objY
6*data
}Pronouns,subject:
}Verbs,intransitive:
data
}Verbs,transitive:
}Ad
data
verbs:
X/$$
|data
e/''(
 Plug in the program recorder.
g/__(
WPosition the tape to where you waot thGdata
UU~,
@stored,press REC and PLAY then hit 
igb^""
fdata
Tdata
data
$Use c:
%@controls to change words.
""B=
You are allowed three lines.
1FC(
;Hit 
on an empty 
data
line to go back to random sentences.
,,<@:
,,-data
G100
data
,.>:
data
K[data
data
?data
data
data
iBdata
data
ALTHOUGHPLEASANTCOMPUTECREATEDSIDErEDCLOTHESDELIVERTWENTYELEVENMINUTESECONDACTIONRATIONEFFECTCREATER
ETURN
NOUGHANSWERTHREESEVE
data
U*NEIGHT HAVEBREAKEVERYWHEPETHERE ONE THESEEQUALAUGHTCEIVEWASTEWHOSEPROVEOTH
ERWHOLEALICELOVESATINGUSINGTOTALCAUSENOUGHTOU
Q%=9Q
data
HEIRMEA'
T*[email protected] I
HTFOURCOMEAPE  A
EARE 
TO ERVEWHATREADJ*%"I
9QQ!%MQ!
Q%=9Q!
@ BY ANCE
data
EASEENGLNTLECLE CLES
EVERASUQ(U
*%5EjU
!5=Y
9%=y%I
@ ONEABLEQUIEABBIPG
EHEAVTHEMICESARI FIESTYPEEDITARGEGIVEOUNDBAREALUE
PPEDER
data
EDAWAYAUSEVIEwMADEOULDINTOSIVEUNITEH3EH2EH1PA0AH2AW1AH1OO1UH3AE1AW2UH2uH1THV
A1 EAIDEICEIFEINE
IPE A ALKYOUTW'
^data
ANDOF OREAY  ISAVEBUTASsATEDAYHOWN
WDO ALLAYSLE WASCE  BYOUTWHOHADE
ADOARALWBED I ECKESSEASRAYINDMAYSCHOONEATCIRAFTEAMAGEACTGAYU
data
CECEIMEMOGQ)TT*1
[email protected] TE
POSECIVDOWOUPIEFIGNCCEIREDTA2A1ZHDS%%bCHSHNGOOAYY1AHAEUHO2O1IUU1THEREHE1AWI QUCKESJ
Ddata
EEEXIXUNARLLA
ITTWHELPHOTAUUYEGETCYPPESADEFEAANAMATMYE&USSS**
J%j9	Yi1-)!
A=%UeQI
]\XC12345678901
data
data
data
data
[email protected]~l
data
data
kDEFGIJK
PQTWabdnstuvwyz{|}
k}kLMNORXY
Z[\]^_`efghijklmC
data
$?_C
k]kLMNORXY
Z[\]^_`2
pdata
data
ANDBUTIFWHENALTHOUGH.\BUTIF/
MYYOURHISATHETHISTHAT./A
BIGSMALLDUMBCL(UJj%
!QeM]
COMPUTERRABBIT
data
[email protected]
HIMHERITYOUMETERRYJEAN
SHEITSRU
GROWSCOMESSLEEPSSHOUTS
SITC ONREMEidata
MBERSEATSLOVESHATES
EASILYNEVERSOONCRAZILYQUICKLYQUIETLYNOISILY
ETER
GROWSCOMESSLEEPSSHOUTS
[email protected]
data

 

 

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Some Success.

 

I was finally able to load the tape into the 800 and then list it back to an ATR in DOS... Examining the tape I can see where it has some kinks and I'm not sure how many more loads I'll get from it. I WAS able to load the dictionary on the 32k side, but not the 16k side... However as this data is loaded in by the main program I was unable to just make a listing of it.

 

Here is the ATR with both the 16k and 32k main program. Obviously if I ever get the dictionary (and a third set of data on the 32k side) to convert to .CAS I'll be able to run the entire thing from the 800 via APE.

 

voicebox.ATR

 

And yes I finally got some speech from the unit :)

 

 

16k Data WAV (I ran it through WAV2CAS but loading it from APE gives an error from the main program)

 

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=Y6STFYGX

 

32k Data WAV (I ran it through WAV2CAS but loading it from APE gives an error from the main program), It appears that this may have two sets of data as there is a small break in audio near the end.

 

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=D4GN4G0B

Edited by orpheuswaking

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I recovered the data files.

Attached is 32kfix.cas which is the 32k data file with dictionary and random words list.

The 16k tape has the same dictionary but doesn't use the words file.

Also included is voicebox_d.atr which contains a disk version of the program.

The modified basic program is vb32km.bas

I just changed OPEN #1,4/8,0,"C" to use D:DICT and D:WORDS after copying them over to disk.

The text in the Basic program that refers to the cassette is unchanged and should be ignored.

 

The Voice Box I driver code uses a 6502 bit-banging routine to access the device, but the Voice Box II code uses the POKEY SIO shift register. Seems that they may not have been compatible. The Voice Box II appears to use the SIO clock line to set the voice's frequency. The Voice Box I doesn't seem to be capable of this. Both of them can set the Votrax sc-01 intonation bits, which is more than the Atari 1400XL can do.

voicebox_fixed.zip

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I recovered the data files.

Attached is 32kfix.cas which is the 32k data file with dictionary and random words list.

The 16k tape has the same dictionary but doesn't use the words file.

Also included is voicebox_d.atr which contains a disk version of the program.

The modified basic program is vb32km.bas

I just changed OPEN #1,4/8,0,"C" to use D:DICT and D:WORDS after copying them over to disk.

The text in the Basic program that refers to the cassette is unchanged and should be ignored.

 

The Voice Box I driver code uses a 6502 bit-banging routine to access the device, but the Voice Box II code uses the POKEY SIO shift register. Seems that they may not have been compatible. The Voice Box II appears to use the SIO clock line to set the voice's frequency. The Voice Box I doesn't seem to be capable of this. Both of them can set the Votrax sc-01 intonation bits, which is more than the Atari 1400XL can do.

 

That's great, I have no idea what to do to change things from cassette to disk so having this as a disk version and the dictionary/random word list converted is amazing...

 

Thank you so much... I'll give it a whirl tonight.

 

:)

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To resurrect this thread: There's a Voice Box up on eBay: eBay Auction -- Item Number: 2714481036321?ff3=2&pub=5574883395&toolid=10001&campid=5336500554&customid=&item=271448103632&mpt=[CACHEBUSTER]

 

I picked up this item on eBay. I was actually interested in it because of the images of the documentation. There are four pages of hand written documentation dated mid July 1982. There are also 10 pages of typed documentation.

 

The date and the contents of the documentation makes me think that this is a really early The Alien Group Voice Box I for the Atari. It looks to be a package of hardware, software, documentation and handwritten notes for a disk and/or cassette duplicating company to manufacture the disks/cassettes for The Alien Group.

 

I'm going to work on getting the information scanned and typed up to share with the community.

 

Bill

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I picked up this item on eBay. I was actually interested in it because of the images of the documentation. There are four pages of hand written documentation dated mid July 1982. There are also 10 pages of typed documentation.

 

The date and the contents of the documentation makes me think that this is a really early The Alien Group Voice Box I for the Atari. It looks to be a package of hardware, software, documentation and handwritten notes for a disk and/or cassette duplicating company to manufacture the disks/cassettes for The Alien Group.

 

I'm going to work on getting the information scanned and typed up to share with the community.

 

Bill

WOW!! I was watching that but once it hit $70 I was out. It went pretty high. I didn't even catch that it was possible in-house model.

 

Thanks for scanning the notes.

 

Allan

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Here is the second part of the documentation that came with the Voice Box. These look like some of the original typed pages for the manual. There are ten pages of yellowing crinkly paper. I'm going to put these in some paper protectors and see if I can flatten them out.

 

Next up, I'll open up the actual Voice Box unit and see what is inside this particular model.

 

Bill

 

 

Atari_Alien_Group_Voice_Box_Manual.pdf

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Excellent! Is that the same speech chip used (planned I guess) for the 1450 line?

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