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Talker/80 - New Voice Synthesizer in the Making

Talker/80 - New Voice Synthesizer in the Making

  • Add speaker + amplifier to board - for cassette output sound + speak

    Votes: 9 69.2%
  • Add more features - for example, PCM sound, Real Time Clock, ...

    Votes: 4 30.8%
  • Make it a cartridge that plugs into a back plane extender board

    Votes: 2 15.4%
  • Make it compatible with the Model 3 / Model 4

    Votes: 12 92.3%
  • Make a case / enclosure for it (3D printed)

    Votes: 6 46.2%

  • Total voters
    13

LambdaMikel

Experienced Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
260
@Alphasite, how did it work out for you?

At all - there is still one available. After that, it probably doesn't make sense to make more (for Ebay), but you can always contact me if you would like to get one (-> PM).
 

dittman

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2017
Messages
662
Location
Plano, TX
@Alphasite, how did it work out for you?

At all - there is still one available. After that, it probably doesn't make sense to make more (for Ebay), but you can always contact me if you would like to get one (-> PM).

I have not been able to try it yet, hopefully this week.
 

Avia

Experienced Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Messages
194
Location
Saint Augustine, FL
Just a quick shout out to Michael and his Talker/80 for the M1. The product is great and his after sale support is excellent. Given the rarity of the original RS device and the astronomical prices when one does come up (not to mention possible reliability after all these years), I never thought I would hear my M1 speak.

A product this cool deserves a neat set of clothes. Having a 14 year with a 3D printer was all that was needed.

Overall I am very impressed with the Talker/80 - a great addition to the M1 ensemble.

Cary

Talker80sm.jpg
 

LambdaMikel

Experienced Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
260
That's a really neat looking set of clothes, Cary and son! Very nice, great work! The silver color matches perfectly with the Model 1 I suppose - would be nice to see a picture of it with the Model 1 together.

Thanks a lot for the enthusiasm and kind words. As discussed, I'll mention your son's great case on the Talker/80 Github.
 

johndias

Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2020
Messages
14
Location
Baton Rouge, LA
I'm interested in the M3/4 in kit form, I would actually enjoy putting it together. I see you only have M1 kits listed currently. I don't mind placing a pre-order if that helps fund you better.
 

LambdaMikel

Experienced Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
260
We DIY hardware hackers love the old GALs - Talker/80 uses 2 of them for address decoding and databus latch / tristate buffer.

Now, to all DIY Talker/80 builders - beware of FAKE COUNTERFEIT GALS on eBay from China! I just got a bunch of GAL22V10B's for cheap - and they are fake. Both my programmers fail to verify, even though all other stages (blank, erase, program) go through.

Even visually it is pretty clear that they are fake... just look at them. The first / top one in the picture is real - GAL22V10D. A real GAL22V10B looks similar. And then, below are the fake ones. Even that Lattice Logo looks fake.

So, careful when you get them from eBay! There are more and more fake chips. I had that before. Fake SP0256AL2s....


IMG_20200917_200244 (Small).jpg
IMG_20200917_200250 (Small).jpg
 
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Joe Zwerko

Experienced Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2009
Messages
125
Another note on programming GALs: the best software for generating the JEDEC programming files, ispLEVER Classic from Lattice, was free for many years. Starting this year it's about $600 for a one-year license. No new version, just a new fee. What a dirty trick.

ispLEVER Classic includes real logic synthesis. The main alternative, WinCUPL, is far more primitive, and it's not useful for Lattice devices except GALs.

Anyone want a lot of ispLSI CPLDs for cheap?
 

LambdaMikel

Experienced Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
260
Uhh, bummer! Understandable that you are getting rid of them.

I am still using WinCUPL for the old GALs - I don't think they will try to get cash for a 20 year old program :cool:
At least that's my hope...

Btw, @JoeZwerko, do you have an explanation how it is so easy for counterfeit chips to fool programmers into "OK"? (Only verify fails) Is that just a line / signal being pulled low (constantly)?
 

Joe Zwerko

Experienced Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2009
Messages
125
The ispLSI are great chips, but of limited usefulness now since they only support 5 volts.

A good question would be whether the GALs are being correctly programmed or not. Maybe put one on a breadboard and see if it does the desired function.

I use a completely different programming device that what your photo shows... can you read the fuses into a buffer and see whether it resembles what is expected? I built a GAL programmer years ago, and the "read"/"verify" process was pretty straightforward.

I guess the answer is "no"... I have no explanation.

I'm not anxious to find out whether WinCUPL supports some of the more unusual GAL devices I have, like the 20RA10 and the 6002B.
 

LambdaMikel

Experienced Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
260
The ispLSI are great chips, but of limited usefulness now since they only support 5 volts.

A good question would be whether the GALs are being correctly programmed or not. Maybe put one on a breadboard and see if it does the desired function

Yes, I could do that and put one into Talker/80, but I am already certain that it will fail. I did read out the programmed GAL into a file, compared it to the original, and it was all garbage.

EDIT: Did that. Programmed U1 as the address decoder for Talker/80 Model 1, powered it up. Random characters, no boot. Shut it down quickly (don't want to short out the expansion port...) So, doesn't work. Clearly as fake as it gets.
 
Last edited:

LambdaMikel

Experienced Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
260
Here is another good one - "AN EXCLUSIVE RADIO SHACK SERVICE"

https://www.ebay.com/itm/GI-SP0256A...623796?hash=item5da9f8f574:g:tYIAAOSwm0JYDX2X

That cries fake to me as well.

If you are looking into loosing money big time, you can also get one here I guess; highly suspicious of these.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/SP0256A-AL...113195?hash=item365890b7ab:g:sR4AAOSwo-5eJXIp

I bought a couple of SP0256AL2 speech synth chips over the years, and all the new and shiny looking ones (and the Microchip ones) were fake.

This one is legit:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-GI...336675?hash=item3fd53abf23:g:No8AAOSw4wZeAPN5
 

gsksv

New Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2020
Messages
4
@LambdaMikel - apparently, I'm very late to the game. If you have any plans to make more TALKER/80s either in the Mod1 or Mod3/4 variety, I'd be interested in either (or both).
 

LambdaMikel

Experienced Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
260
Sorry for the delay, I haven't been here in a while.
If this is you, Gary, then I believe you have been helped in the meantime - thanks to Pete for establishing the contact.
Else, please drop me a PM, but at that point I only have Model III / 4 PCBs left.
 
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