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Thread: A Blast From The Past - The Long Way 'Round

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Cleveland, OH, USA

    Default A Blast From The Past - The Long Way 'Round

    Some unfortunate soul asked innocently what options he might have for an operating system other than Windows 10, which he disliked, and the answers to his post evolved (or rather, devolved) into a "discussion" of the merits of various operating systems.

    None of that has any bearing on this post, however, except that had I not been curious enough to read the posts I would not have clicked on VCF member Scali's blog site ( ) and discovered there mention of VCF member Trixter's collection of COVOX sound recording devices. All fascinating stuff and I recommend their investigation.

    But that's not the point of this post, either. Seeing the COVOX in action reminded me of a project first posted in Micro Cornucopia (Issue 20, Oct. 1984) that I built and ran on my Kaypro II back in the day. Yes, I am that old.

    Damned if it didn't work, too. So in memory of my triumph (they're memorable when you don't have that many) I dug up my old copies of MC and here below are reproductions of the original article.

    The author, James E. Shaffer of Pasadena, CA, submitted another article to MC in a different issue; that one a Morse code encoder / decoder, also for the Kaypro, also interfaced through the parallel port.

    After you build this one you can buy the improved version of the COVOX here: Happy dabbling!


    KayproTalker.jpg KayproTalkerSchematic.jpg
    Last edited by clh333; May 10th, 2018 at 11:00 AM.

  2. #2


    This is the kind of stuff that made computing really fun back then. I don't have a Kaypro, but I am intrigued by the program and left wondering if it could be implemented on other machines with parallel ports.. must disassemble the M/C routines at VOICE and VOICE1...

  3. #3


    Yeah, I had interfaced an IR LED and IR detector to my Kaypro Z80SIO, and used that to implement a "programmable" IR remote control for TVs, VCRs, etc. The world's bulkiest TV remote... but I could hack into undocumented IR codes to eject the VHS tape and do all sorts of useless things.

    The Z80SIO was nice as a digital scope because you got an 8x relaxation of the sample rate... the Kaypro only needed to grab a byte every 8 "bits" of sample data. DMA would have made that even better.


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