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aaronfire
December 6th, 2008, 01:44 PM
Hello everyone :

I have a commodore vic 20 and a votrax type and talk, ever since i played the scott adams text games i have wanted them to talk... i finally score on ebay and have a vic rs232 com port adapter and and the games to play,

i have a straight db 25 cable, and a db 25 null modem cable i have tried both and when the votrax is powered up it says system ready...

i am not sure what the baud should be set at 300 i believe, but when i boot up the game and press v to activate the votrax nothing happens...

is there a program i need to type first to get it to talk? which cable should i be using? and can someone confirm what the baud rate should be set at....

Any help getting these games to talk would be appreated.....

carlsson
December 6th, 2008, 04:52 PM
I've never seen, much less used a Votrax Type N Talk. Does it work from Basic too, that it echos the keystrokes you type or will it only work with particular software, having built in "drivers" to send data on the userport? Perhaps there existed a particular RS232 interface by Votrax to connect it to a VIC or C64, so a generic one is not certain it would work?

Bill_Loguidice
December 7th, 2008, 06:34 AM
I still have not set up my Votrax with any system after all these years, but it's my understanding that without native support for the Type N Talk, you need to be able to issue PRINT commands over the serial port for it to respond to any output. If the Scott Adams games on the VIC 20 (haven't checked mine yet either) don't support print-as-you-go like the Infocom games do on other platforms, then you're probably out of luck completely with them (and on those platforms, the print commands need to be working over the serial port).

What you'll need to ensure is that you have the Type N Talk working with the VIC 20 in the first place through your serial setup, and the best way to do that is through BASIC. If that doesn't work then nothing will work. So that would be your first course of action before anything else.

Here's an online version of the manual in case you don't have the real thing:

http://members.tripod.com/werdav/txtospm1.html

carlsson
December 7th, 2008, 03:51 PM
I like Hypothetical Basic. It makes life so much easier for those of us who live in the land of Actual Basic.

Anyway to open a RS232 connection at 300 baud, 8 bit words and one stop bit your program should look something like this:

10 OPEN 202,2,1,CHR$(6); REM 00000110
20 PRINT#202,"HELLO MY NAME IS VOTRAX"
30 CLOSE 202

The logical channel (202) can be anything from 1 to 255. Channels 1-127 add a CR after each line, channels 128-255 add CR + LF. I don't know if the Votrax would like to get a line feed or not. If it doesn't, you can just as well use channel #2.

The device number (2) is the userport, where the RS232 interface goes.

The secondary address (1), I am not sure about. Some sources says it should always be zero, other say it should be 1. I believe it works the same way as tape files do: 0 if you want to read from a device, 1 if you want to write to a device. Since it is the VIC sending data to the Votrax and not the other way around, a seconary address of 1 should probably be correct.

The control code CHR$(6) represents a binary number %abcdefgh as following:

a = number of stop bits; 0 = one bit, 1 = two bits
bc = word length; 00 = 8 bits, 01 = 7 bits, 10 = 6 bits, 11 = 5 bits
d = not used; always zero?
efgh = baud rate; see below


Bits | Baud rate
0001 | 50 baud
0010 | 75 baud
0011 | 110 baud
0100 | 134.5 baud
0101 | 150 baud
0110 | 300 baud
0111 | 600 baud
1000 | 1200 baud
1001 | 1800 baud
1011 | 2400 baud

All other combinations of the lower four bits are invalid.

Well, this should hopefully get you going somewhere. Since many sources claim the Scott Adams' adventures should work together with the Votrax, I suppose it actually does, just that perhaps some additional measures are required to be taken. In the worst case, I suppose one can open a file to the RS232 and use the CMD command to redirect PRINT output to the device. However it would in worst case lead to no text being displayed on the screen, everything just spoken. Since I've toyed a bit with those adventures before though, I don't think they use the Kernel PRINT routines right away.

Bungo Pony
December 7th, 2008, 04:26 PM
10 OPEN 202,2,1,CHR$(6); REM 00000110
20 PRINT#202,"HELLO MY NAME IS VOTRAX"
30 CLOSE 202

That's how I figured it would work, much like writing anything to a printer which is usually found as device #4, but in this case it's device #202.

aaronfire
December 8th, 2008, 05:23 AM
Hi guys:

I do have a vic rs232 interface, the the manual to the scottadams games says it supports votrax, i am asking when i turn on the vic and votrax, what do i type in? do i just type exactly what you guys wrote and the start the game, and which cable would i use to connect the two, a straight db25, or a null modem db25, please explain step by step on what i should do,....
Also please confirm that it should be set at 300 baud

Thanks and regards: Aaron...

carlsson
December 8th, 2008, 09:48 AM
I'm afraid we know just as little as you do, and try to find clues rather than having the definitive answers. I would try a full connected 25-pin serial cable, whether it is straight or not I've forgotten. The Basic program was meant to test the setup, not to be required to run the specific adventure games.

aaronfire
March 31st, 2009, 06:23 PM
Hello:

what i find is after opening the port and the type sys32592 to start the adventure it does not load, it just says ready, i believe the votrax is set to go but after i open the port how do i get the game to start??????


Last of all, acording to the scott adams adventure manual the votrax is to be set at 1200 baud, i believe the vic 20 is only capable of 300 baud, is this correct, is it not possible to set the votrax to 1200 and have it work...
any help is appreated
Regards: Aaron...

Fallo
March 31st, 2009, 08:49 PM
Last of all, acording to the scott adams adventure manual the votrax is to be set at 1200 baud, i believe the vic 20 is only capable of 300 baud, is this correct, is it not possible to set the votrax to 1200 and have it work...
any help is appreated
Regards: Aaron...

The VIC-20 (and C64) can go up to 2400 bps, but not faster, since they have no hardware UART.