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Thread: Something Different - DECTalk DTC03

  1. #1
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    Default Something Different - DECTalk DTC03

    So, as if I needed more toys, I decided to get myself a DTC03 DECTalk card to mess with over the Christmas holiday. The card usually fits in a card cage that provides some power and brings out some connections. I plan to make my own little power supply / enclosure and grab the RS232 and audio out from the cardedge connector. The card has not arrived yet, but I would like to like to find the print set in advance, if possible. So, would anyone have the DTC03 print set? I have searched the internet long and hard, to no avail. Plenty of DTC01 (VT240 box) stuff out there though.

    Otherwise, I'll trace out the cardedge connector and report the progress here. Something different for me....

    Lou

  2. #2
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    Hi Lou;
    For those of us, like ME, who don't know, What is DECTalk ?? Is it an early Internet type of protocal ?? Or more of Something like Ethernet ??
    THANK YOU Marty

  3. #3
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    Marty,

    The DECTalk was a speech synthesizer (actually there were a few models). The DTC01 and 03 can do text to speech when fed ascii text over RS232.

    Lou

  4. #4

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    Do post some recordings!
    Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
    Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/SH-09/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/X5DR, Ensoniq SQ-80, E-mu Proteus/2, Moog Satellite, Oberheim SEM
    "'Legacy code' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling." - Bjarne Stroustrup

  5. #5
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    It sounds exactly like this, only the speech is generated by real hardware.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hv6RbEOlqRo
    = Excellent space heater

  6. #6

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    I'm on the lookout for a DTC01 but they are crazy expensive when they pop up.

    good luck on the DTC03
    Looking for: anything from SGI or DEC/digital
    Pictures of my collection: www.pdp8.se

  7. #7
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    So we've made some progress so far :http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcfo...chmentid=11437

    I have located a suitable enclosure once I get it all working on the bench. Still no trace of any manuals or print set so far. I reverse engineered the cardedge connector and option connector to find the power/RS232/audio out. The photo shows a little power supply hooked up and an old amplified PC speaker.

    At this point, on power up, the unit goes through some kind of self test and plays a series of DTMF tones, then the OK led lights up. Beyond that I am at a loss, as there are are three RS232 TX and RX pairs, and none of them seem to do what I expect. Only one pair does anything, and it isn't much. It looks like it's trying to echo, but my sending baud rate is too fast (but my VT420 won't go any slower than 300 baud.) This is fishy anyway, since this must be intended to work at 1200 or 9600 baud.

    I am kind of stuck without a manual or prints. I have put out a call for help with two private e-mails to people on the internet who may be able to help. We'll see what comes of it.....

    Lou

  8. #8
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    And about 40 minutes ago, my last project of 2012 finally drew to a close. I made huge progress in the last few days.

    The DTC03 is in an enclosure, with a power supply and a little speaker and LM386 amplifier : http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcfo...chmentid=11457

    Here is a better view with the top cover off : http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcfo...chmentid=11455

    It works very nicely now. The gentleman who runs VT100.net repaired the link to the DTC03 user manual, so I was able to get a copy of that. Also, I was fortunate enough to have e-mail correspondance with DEC's responsible engineer for this product. Although he had no prints or manuals, he was able to help me sort out the RS232 data and handshaking lines.

    When it starts up, right away it is in text to speech mode with Perfect Paul's voice. The user manual explains how to change the voice as well as all the other neat stuff that can be done.

    If anyone ever wants to do something like this themself, I can send them the pinouts of the connectors, since I reverse engineered all that.

    Lou

    PS. I feel that the enclosure deserves some explanation. It was actually two narrower enclosures spliced together. Will gave me a carton with about ten little enclosures with snazzy wooden sides. Their modular construction allowed me to use plates to join sections together. This is why there's a seam down the middle of the top, bottom, rear, and front panels. The front panel came out pretty good. A new technique I tried was to use a piece of perfboard as a speaker grille. That worked pretty good!

  9. #9

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    Snazzy! Do you have any plans for this?
    Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
    Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/SH-09/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/X5DR, Ensoniq SQ-80, E-mu Proteus/2, Moog Satellite, Oberheim SEM
    "'Legacy code' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling." - Bjarne Stroustrup

  10. #10

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    Lou,
    Found this owners manual for the DTC03 that might be of assistance for your project.
    http://vt100.net/dec/ek-dtc03-om-001.pdf

    Good luck ... Glen

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