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 Post subject: Re: Arduino Projects!
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:27 am 
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Those are outrageously cool products.

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 Post subject: Re: Arduino Projects! [Abandoned Speech Synth Project]
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:26 pm 
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Since I have some great microchips in storage, I thought I'd give the Arduino a chance with my SPO256A-AL2 speech synthesizer IC. I had assembled and programmed a speech module based on this chip in the 80s, to interface with my Commodore 64 computer.

Conceptually, the circuit and programming are straightforward: control eight data lines and three control lines to put out a digital byte for the allophone you want the chip to synthesize, stringing together the appropriate allophones to say the words or phrases you want. The chip will produce a low-tech robotic voice, like you'd hear on cheap answering machines of years past.

I breadboarded the circuit as outlined in the chip's application data and checked it several times. I worked up some rudimentary code to see if the chip was at least working. First, I found out that the mini amplifier from Radio Shack was very flaky; the sound would cut out if it was tilted ever so slightly. Finally though, after a few iterations of the code, the chip said something! I wasn't trying to program this, but the chip said "ow!" Then it buzzed continuously. I then hooked the output to the aux input on my PC. With some more tries at different code, it said "ow," "ow," "ow," over and over. Sometimes though I got no sound or a continuous hiss, until I repowered the Arduino and speech chip.

The buzzing brought back a recollection of some trouble I had the last time I tried to resurrect this chip years ago; I had it in a working state, but sometimes it would unexpectedly go to the buzz. It seems I maybe grounded some unused pins through a high value resistor or something at the time to correct this.

Anyway, after playing with this for quite a few hours yesterday, I decided I had to clear my breadboard for other experiments. Also, it would take a while for me to write or find suitable programming code. I don't know what practical use I'd have for this if I got it to work well and reliably, other than the learning benefit and as a possible springboard for others trying a similar project. It would be a nice thing for a robot build I suppose, but there are newer and better methods for speech out there as well.

I took some pictures of the proto-build just in case I want to return to it. If anyone here thinks there is value in picking up this project again, let me know and we can maybe collaborate to get it working, though other Arduino projects are probably going to take priority.


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 Post subject: Re: Arduino Projects!
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:28 am 
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Location: Brooklyn Park, MN (EN35ic)
Now that's something I'd enjoy: a little box with a button, that goes "ow ow ow" <bzzzt> <burp> "ow"... I'd annoy people with that all day!

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 Post subject: Re: Arduino Projects! [Abandoned Speech Synth Project]
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:38 pm 
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wammie wrote:
Since I have some great microchips in storage, I thought I'd give the Arduino a chance with my SPO256A-AL2 speech synthesizer IC... If anyone here thinks there is value in picking up this project again, let me know and we can maybe collaborate to get it working, though other Arduino projects are probably going to take priority.
Well, I found some recordings of this speech synth's output. Yes, that's how I remember it sounded. Pretty horrible, so I doubt I'll pursue this project again!

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 Post subject: Re: Arduino Projects! [Abandoned Speech Synth Project]
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 3:04 pm 
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wammie wrote:
wammie wrote:
Since I have some great microchips in storage, I thought I'd give the Arduino a chance with my SPO256A-AL2 speech synthesizer IC... If anyone here thinks there is value in picking up this project again, let me know and we can maybe collaborate to get it working, though other Arduino projects are probably going to take priority.
Well, I found some recordings of this speech synth's output. Yes, that's how I remember it sounded. Pretty horrible, so I doubt I'll pursue this project again!


Not horrible at all, sounds really cool! Maybe I have a somewhat different perspective...noise is life...

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 Post subject: Re: Arduino Projects!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 9:57 am 
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wondering if anyone here has hooked up their arduino to the web?


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 Post subject: Re: Arduino Projects!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 11:08 am 
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bobble wrote:
wondering if anyone here has hooked up their arduino to the web?
Sure, I imagine a lot people have. Projects that come to mind are web interface for home control or surveillance, web-based camera control, web-based robot control, and interactive art creation. Personally, I'm just getting started with the system so I haven't done anything like this yet.

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 Post subject: Re: Arduino Projects!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 6:56 pm 
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bobble wrote:
wondering if anyone here has hooked up their arduino to the web?


I have, a little bit- as a client, not a server.

I wanted to have it snoop out real-time bus info. For reasons I never ascertained, I could get it to fetch Google's homepage and some other stuff, but never the bus info.

I have a Pachube account for remote contact with the Arduino, but I haven't done much with that. I was greatly dissatisfied with their explanatory data- I didn't feel like it was at all well done.

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