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Voice Box by The Alien Group


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  • 5 months later...

I finally got my voicebox working.


I tried hooking it up to an Atari 800XL, which didn't work. The software would lockup when the box attempted speech. I then tried a couple of different TRANSLATOR disks to make the 800XL act like a 800. That didn't work either.


The keyboard wasn't working on my Atari 800, so I ordered a new mother board from Best Electronics. Once I installed the new motherboard and my Atari 800 was working as it should, I hooked up the Voicebox through a 1050.


With BASIC installed, I ran one of the Voicebox BASIC programs from the disk. This time everything worked. The speech came out through my Commodore 1702 monitor.


I don't know if the Voicebox only works on the 400/800 because of the OS, but I do know that pin 12 on the SIO jack has +12v on the Atari 400/800, but not later models. That might be the difference.



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  • 3 weeks later...

Sorry for the Commodore reference - but there is little to no trace of the sequencer software written for the C64 for the Voice Box (software was by Alien Group) - was simply called "Voice Box Music System" or alternatively "When I'm 64" .. it allowed the sequencing of the three SID channels as well as obviously the speech output from the hardware - does anyone by chance have a copy of this? DESPERATE :|

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  • 3 years later...
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  • 1 year later...

Wow, Ron Kramer, a name from the past.


He ran the Grand Rapids Atari Super Service (G.R.A.S.S.) BBS, and had a considerable software library on it (and a good selection of *cough*copied*cough* games), he was a good friend of the family, and came down during the summer of 1984 and spent a week commandeering my bedroom to copy his entire software library (which at the time was on 54 separate disks, 40 SD, 14 DD), and print labels for them. This was my go-to software library, for years...



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  • 1 month later...

Hello all!


I just managed to pick one up a Voicebox in an auction full of other stuff, but I can't get the thing to talk.


I tried the graciously-provided vb32km.bas from @orpheuswaking which locked up at "PLEASE TEACH ME TO SPEAK" with no sound coming from the device.  Tried the games as well, and those played but with no speech.


I'm running on an 800XL...I've got an 800 and a 130XE I could try as well, but fear is that there's something wrong with the Voicebox itself.  Any thoughts on where I should start as far as debugging this issue?  I'd love to finally hear what my Atari has to say.




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@Fierodoug5 - That was it!!!  Works just fine with my 800!  I see that the original poster actually had the same experience, and I somehow missed that post.


Thanks a lot, man!  I've successfully got the computer I learned to program on as a kid hooked up to a box that can make spew profanity like a drunken robot sailor.  My 8-year-old self is screaming with glee.



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  • 3 weeks later...

Make certain you use the proper driver software as there are two different voice box drivers...

please be certain you get this absolutely correct, if you mix anything up, the voicebox will be ruined, as may your SIO etc..

SIO connector

SIO connector

1 clock in
2 clock out
3 data in
4 gnd
5 data out
6 gnd
7 command
8 motor control
9 proceed
10 +5V/ready
11 audio in
12 +12V (1200XL & 400/800)
13 interrupt


make sure to fix the 5 volt line in a 1200XL with a super low voltage drop diode


12 Volt being added back into SIO for other Atari's is best added with another power supply, again if you get this wrong you cook the Atari.

Some people have wired the power supply directly to the VoiceBox or added a 12 volt SIO cord injector.

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  • 2 years later...

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