CVX-2 : covox adapter

Discussion about old sound cards, MIDI devices and sound related accessories.

Re: CVX-2 : covox adapter

Postby Beegle » 2017-6-06 @ 21:49

Scali wrote:Some things I may add in the near future:
1) Commandline switch to select LPT port
2) Commandline switch to select sample rate

Thumbs up for those two features.
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Re: CVX-2 : covox adapter

Postby Scali » 2017-6-11 @ 15:31

By the way, getting back to the original Covox patent:
http://www.google.com/patents/US4812847

Perhaps we all overlooked it earlier, but it actually lists the exact register and capacitor values:
Nominal resistor values are 200K ohms each for resistors R1 through R8, 100K ohms for R9 through R15, and 15K ohms for R16.
...
Capacitor C1 has a value of about 0.005 microfarads, yielding a low-pass filter bandwidth of about 3000 hertz.


In which case it seems our choice of 25K for the 'load resistor' is a bit more than what they used, at 15K.
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Re: CVX-2 : covox adapter

Postby dreamblaster » 2017-6-11 @ 16:07

oh you can do this using the jumpers on CVX4 :

put jumper 6 and 7 high --> 56k and 27k in parallel = 18k resistance --> close to 15k
of and also put jumper 2 and 4 high, this gives 0.0048 microfarad --> very close to 0.005

JUMPERS:
1 = add 1nF to low pass filter
2 = add 4.7nF to low pass filter
3 = add 10nF to low pass filter
4 = add 100pF to low pass filter
5 = add 470pF to low pass filter
6 = volume divider 56k
7 = volume divider 27k (COVOX)
8 = bypass coupling cap

But as the vogoners had measure 25k, I'd think they really used 25k instead of 15k (at least in some revisions).
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Re: CVX-2 : covox adapter

Postby Jepael » 2017-6-11 @ 20:52

Scali wrote:By the way, getting back to the original Covox patent:
http://www.google.com/patents/US4812847

Perhaps we all overlooked it earlier, but it actually lists the exact register and capacitor values:
Nominal resistor values are 200K ohms each for resistors R1 through R8, 100K ohms for R9 through R15, and 15K ohms for R16.
...
Capacitor C1 has a value of about 0.005 microfarads, yielding a low-pass filter bandwidth of about 3000 hertz.


In which case it seems our choice of 25K for the 'load resistor' is a bit more than what they used, at 15K.


I know it reads that. But if it were 15K, it would not match the resistance measurements appearing on the youtube video, nor voltage measurements of which I don't remember where the results were, maybe in this thread.

Also, given the many pictures from real Covoxes, there was no discrete filter capacitor found on the plug itself.
However, it is possible it is integrated in the resistor network (but they are usually not used for making capacitances) or in the amplifier.

There has also been many versions of the plug, they might be quite different from how they work.
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Re: CVX-2 : covox adapter

Postby Scali » 2017-6-11 @ 20:58

True, they may not have actually used the 15k in the final product, or at least not in the ones that have been tested.
And yes, our theory was that if they used a capacitor, it was moved into the speaker.
When connecting the Covox directly to an amplifier or recording device, it seems to sound quite bright, not low-pass filtered at ~3 kHz. Perhaps not low-pass filtered at all. The CVX-2 with the filter removed seemed to sound closest.
(I'm just gathering information and trying to reconstruct things for an article on my blog).
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Re: CVX-2 : covox adapter

Postby Jepael » 2017-6-12 @ 05:16

Scali wrote:True, they may not have actually used the 15k in the final product, or at least not in the ones that have been tested.
And yes, our theory was that if they used a capacitor, it was moved into the speaker.
When connecting the Covox directly to an amplifier or recording device, it seems to sound quite bright, not low-pass filtered at ~3 kHz. Perhaps not low-pass filtered at all. The CVX-2 with the filter removed seemed to sound closest.


I have to assume that as well, i.e. the original plug has no filter, as people's recordings match the original plug when no filtering is used.

Scali wrote:(I'm just gathering information and trying to reconstruct things for an article on my blog).

That is great. Should you need anything, I'll be glad to help.
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Re: CVX-2 : covox adapter

Postby Kamerat » 2017-6-28 @ 13:51

The 8-Bit Guy recently had a look at the CVX4 and the Disney Sound Source: https://youtu.be/Wt4VcLF8Wug
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Re: CVX-2 : covox adapter

Postby dr.zeissler » 2017-7-13 @ 14:37

Thx for that! To have a (perhaps stereo) covox and a DSS in one adapter would be a very nice thing.
My fast PIII-600 has some strange output when using my covox in the pinball-games (dreams,fantasies).
It is a bit better, if I choose a lower quality (perhaps lower mixing rate), but on my 486 it's nearly Gus-quality with the same covox :(
Do you see any chance to get a better sound quality for these games using the same machine?

There is a ESS-Solo1 PCI card in that machine. I have OPL/FM everywhere...that's very nice! But some games do not work for the SBpro compatibility of the ESS-Card.
Beside that, I use a Dreamblaster for GM-Music on that same card that also works fine. It's by far the best PCI Soundcard, if you really want to play some old dos-titles,
but I would love to see some more games working on that "retro-pc"...

If I understood the thing mentioned here correclty, I can use TEMU with my covox to get some Tandy-Dac-Sound if the game does not connect the sound with the tandy-gfx.
That could be interesting if the game uses EGA/VGA and has the option to go for Tandy-Sound... I don't know what games allow that...but there will be perhaps some :)

The other thing is to build an DSS Adapter and use that where it is supported.

I would love to have "Duke3D/ShadowWarrior(3dfx)/Turrican2" SFX on my machine.
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Re: CVX-2 : covox adapter

Postby dr.zeissler » 2017-7-13 @ 22:07

If I load "temu" then Duke3d-Setup crashes :(
CPU: PII 133-333 MOBO: SNI-D981 RAM: 512- FDD: Dualfloppy 3,5"HD/5,25"HD - 3,5"HD - 5,25"DD ISA-Catweasel HDD: 2x40GB - DVD
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Re: CVX-2 : covox adapter

Postby MobyGamer » 2017-7-14 @ 03:58

Unload any EMM386-style memory managers (like QEMM). temu is a protected-mode program.
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Re: CVX-2 : covox adapter

Postby dr.zeissler » 2017-7-14 @ 05:02

I only use himem, I don't know why Duke3D-Setup reports that error, after I loaded "temu" and started the setup.
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Re: CVX-2 : covox adapter

Postby Paralel » 2017-8-26 @ 08:11

Cloudschatze wrote:Wayne Foletta (Silicon Shack / SiliconSoft) produced a neat little LPT DAC known as the "SoundJr" back in the late 1980s. It's not as advanced as some of the designs being discussed, but has a few interesting features. Instead of discrete resistors, this device employs a pairing of either 767163103 and 767163203, or 8A103 and 8A203 resistor array ICs. In addition, the SoundJr features software-controllable, 8-step volume attenuation. These (or similar) elements might be worth considering as part of a new design.

Image

I have an extra unit, if there's any interest in a reverse-engineering effort. Otherwise, there's a passthrough version of the SoundJr on eBay that could be looked at, and isn't too terribly priced. The listing even includes some oddly nice photos of its PCB.


One thing I'm interested in is that the SiliconSoft page that discusses the SoundJr specifically says:

"Works with all Windows sound programs (emulates 'Blaster' boards) and 100's of popular DOS applications that support parallel port sound (like Covox Speech Thing, Disney Sound Source)."

How is it possible that it can emulate 'blaster boards', as well as the DSS? Is this just marketing hyperbole?
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Re: CVX-2 : covox adapter

Postby dr.zeissler » 2017-8-26 @ 08:30

Interesting hardware, never heard about that.
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Re: CVX-2 : covox adapter

Postby dr.zeissler » 2017-8-26 @ 08:39

btw: http://www.oocities.org/tim_hobbs.geo/cov_com.htm


COVOX PC SPEECH
Do You Remember:

Covox Speechthing
Covox SoundMaster(2)
Covox VoiceBlaster(Key)
Compatible Applications
Monologue For Windows 3.+

What We Know, Where To Go, And How To Get It !
Long, long ago, but not so far away, In the 1980s there was a small software/hardware company called Covox. In its' day Covox marketed several products with unique features, ahead of its' time, including:

1. Covox SoundMaster (2)
2. Covox VoiceBlaster (Key)
3. Covox Speechthing
Analog to digital conversion.
Single sound card emulator of most major sound cards.
Speech/sound, recording/embedding, command recognition.
Covox Speechthing:
Dos Text -To- Speech, Sound Player Utility, with LPT 1, DAC parallel port connection to small free-standing external amplified speaker.
PC 286 - 386 SX required.
Some Speechthing drivers function independent of the full Speechthing software program. These drivers allow the Speechthing [text -to- speech] to operate with TinyTalk [speech control] on 8086 PCs [512 kb] with Himim and [64 kb] dedicated Ramdrive set to temp.
SoundMaster(2):
Dos - Windows 3.+ Sound Card - Emulator
PC 386 SX required, 386 DX [4mb] recommended.
VoiceBlaster(Key):
Dos - Windows 3.+ Speech/Sound, Recording, Embedding, Command Recognition
PC 386 SX required, 386 DX [4mb] recommended.
The Speechthing's text -to- speech synthesizer program was totally software based. Requiring no sound card or utility board. The Dos software text -to- speech synthesizer known as, "SmoothTalker" was made by First Byte, and marketed under a variety of brand names.
The initial vocabulary was limited, but the dictionary was both expandable and phonetically trainable.
The voice was monotone and mechanical, but very understandable.
A wide variety of speech and sound drivers for versatile functions and applications.
Sound reproduction in a variety of formats was very good.
The Speechthing came with:
The SmoothTalker software program:
A DAC - dongle-type - LPT 1 parallel port connection - with an external line to a male, mono-headphone connection.
This DAC 2-way dongle connection allowed printer connection and pass-through from the same parallel port.
The male headphone jack plugged into a single [9 volt] monoral amplified speaker with volume control, secondary speaker connection, and 110 volt converter.
The Covox Speechthing was versatile, compact, portable, and initially priced between $ 55.00 and under $ 100.00.
Covox products were compatible with a number of programs and applications. The SoundMaster card was designed to emulate most major sound cards, including early [8 bit] SoundBlaster, [16 bit] SoundBlaster Pro, AdLib, Rolo, MPU, Lyra, etc. The Speechthing when combined with the SoundMaster "Utilities", could play almost any sound or speech out-put to LPT 1, the internal PC speaker, the SoundMaster or other sound card port. Additionally, the Speechthing was compatible as a voice/sound player for a variety of other applications, including:
Monologue For Windows 3.+ [Version 1.+]:
Text -to- speech Windows Clipboard Screen Reader Synthesizer.
Compatible with Speechthing [LPT 1], internal speaker, SoundMaster and SoundBlaster sound cards [220 hex].
PC 386 DX, 4 mb, required [386 SX, 2 mb, was to slow].
TinyTalk - Dos Speech Control.
TinyTalk functions as a speech out-put controller in conjunction with several of Speechthing's speech drivers.
TinyTalk's lowest power application is on a 8086 PC [512 kb], MS Dos 3.2+, with Himim and [64 kb] dedicated Ramdrive set to temp.
Using only Speechthing's Ttalk and StDrive drivers independent of the full Covox program directory.
TinyTalk along with the Speechthing's drivers, load into memory from your hard drive, and can be called by batch file or hot key to read any ASCII text files at any location in your current path and root directory.
Loading from floppy disk is possible, but not recommended.
It was slow but it goes.
In adaptive technology both Speechthing and Monologue For Windows were used as platforms for several user friendly adaptive applications. The majority of these applications were "hand crafted" to conform to a specific disability. Several have been archived in software - shareware collections. Others have been set aside and lost to public access.
Perspective In Retrospect
Needless to say by the early 1990s, Covox was gaining attention. Including the attention of Creative Labs the makers of SoundBlaster. In a series of law suits from Aztech [the manufacturer] in Singapore, to Covox [the marketer] in America, Creative Labs defended its' SoundBlaster Territory and Technology against Aztech and Covox's SoundMaster emulators. By the mid 1990s all of Covox's products were gone. Dumped on the market and sold in bankruptcy at a fraction of cost. Creative Labs wins, SoundBlaster rules. Covox is no more.

Covox is no longer in business. First Byte no longer sells or supports the Speechthing "SmoothTalker" software. TinyTalk demo software is still full functioned and free in the Internet archives. First Byte no longer sells or supports the early versions of Monologue For Windows [Version 1.+]. Monologue For Windows was initially bundled with Creative Labs' [SoundBlaster OEM] sound cards. Creative Labs no longer sells or supports its' SoundBlaster OEM cards or Monologue For Windows [Version1.+]. Aztech no longer manufactures or supports SoundMaster, VoiceBlaster, hardware. Although still in copyright, Covox hardware and software products are now "orphan".

What You Have - What You Need
What We've Got -And- Where To Get It !
1. If you are looking for speech synthesis.
Get a SoundBlaster card.
2. If you are looking for music synthesis.
Get a music format sound card.

3. If you have a Pentium 200+/64 [or better] with Windows 95+ you can run anything you want that is "new". Get a new SoundBlaster [32 bit] card.

4. If you have a 486/66/16 [or better] PC running Windows 95+ and are looking for low cost speech synthesis, voice/sound recording, embedding, recognition, command, control, and dictation.
Get a "used" SoundBlaster Pro [16 bit] card.

If possible get a "Non-OEM" SoundBlaster card.
OEM cards can not support Text Assist.
OEM cards were made by Creative Labs to be included in brand name computers.
While the computer manufacturer supported OEM product, Creative Labs has never supported their own OEM cards.
Try to get the original software that came with the card. OEM cards came with Monologue For Windows. SoundBlaster Pro [Non-OEM] cards came with Text Assist.
Then go to the "Whisper" By Microsoft Research and download all the fully functional software for "free".
5. If you have a 386/DX4 [or better] with Windows 3.1+, and are looking for low cost, lower powered, Dos - Windows based voice/sound recording, embedding, recognition, command, control, and dictation. Get a "used" SoundBlaster [16 bit] card. [See: OEM notice above]

Start with Software Dreams And Talking Machines. Read about Speech Recognition and Look for the Featured Software.
Go to Software Dreams Bytes And Bytes
On line links to Software - Shareware Archives And Collections.
Search Comp-Speech FAQ to identify manufacturer's products and web sites
Search Dejanews user newsgroups "for sale" notices.
If you are thinking about speech ... do it now, before Dos - Windows 3.+ products are discontinued and disappear.
Be aware, that some major manufacturers, distributors, and dealers offer "reconditioning" [used] re-sales.
This tends to justify, and artificially support, of higher prices for old software applications and hardware still in production.
6. If you have a 386 SX and are looking for low cost, low power, Dos - Windows 3.+ applications. You can have most text -to- speech, screen magnification, word and spread sheets processing, command control recognition, limited voice dictation, but you can not have them all. Get a "used" [16 bit] SoundBlaster Pro card. [See: OEM notice above]
Start with Software Dreams And Older PCs Read about the care and preservation of Antique technology.
Go to and see Software Dreams Bits and bytes. Software - Shareware Archives for online collections.
Search Dejanews user newsgroups "for sale" notices.
7. If you have an old 8086 or 286 PC and are both adventurous and experienced in early Dos technology. You can have almost any program, one at a time, only slower and smaller. Get a "used" [8 bit] SoundBlaster card.
Start with Software Dreams And Older PCs Read about the care and preservation of Antique technology.
Go to and see Software Dreams Bits and bytes. Software - Shareware Archives for online collections.
Search Dejanews user newsgroups "for sale" notices.
Be aware, that low powered [8 bit] applications can be disappointing when compared against more current [16 and 32 bit] applications. Additionally, early Dos archives tend to be collections of bits, pieces and utilities, rather than whole systems or applications. Documentation can be limited or non-existent.
8. If you have a 8086 or 286 PC and are very adventurous and experienced in early Dos Technology. You may find the early versions of SoundMaster and VoiceBlaster. In its' day SoundMaster, VoiceBlaster were top of the line in speech/sound processing from a single application.
The earliest versions of SoundMaster and VoiceBlaster were externally ported utility bars, rather than a totally internal sound card.
Both applications are functional as systems in Dos 3.2+ through Dos 4.0+ when used with a Ramdrive - Smartdrive configuration.
The original [8 bit] software is required to install each unit.
To date, no known source exists for software, manuals or hardware to the earliest versions of SoundMaster and VoiceBlaster.
Without all of these items the hardware is useless.
9. If you have an older 386 DX [4mb] PC, running Windows 3.+ and find a Covox SoundMaster(2) and VoiceBlaster (Key) with card, manuals, headset, and software. You will still need to be adventurous and experienced with Dos - Windows 3.+.
Don't pay more than for a used SoundBlaster [16 bit] sound card.
Scanned manuals and software are available from user collections.
Contact SuperAdaptoid at: adaptoid@teleport.com.
To date, no known single source exists for the SoundMaster or Voice Blaster sound card hardware.
Those found have been on the work benches of local computer repair technicians and second hand computer stores.
The Speechthing Today
How To Fix It - How To Make It
For low cost conversion of older laptop and desktop PCs to speech without a sound card you can still consider the Speechthing. Due to its' LPT 1 port connection, and a small portable amplified speaker, the Speechthing is ideal for laptops and desktops where space is limited.

SmoothTalker software and [scanned] manual for the Covox Speechthing's Dos text -to- speech synthesizer is available from off-line user collections. Contact SuperAdaptoid at: adaptoid@teleport.com.
Linux Patch software and documentation for Covox Speechthing is still available in the Linux archive.
TinyTalk A Dos speech out-put controller is compatible with Speechthing's Dos speech synthesizer. The TinyTalk "demo" is still fully functional and available in the internet archives.
Download 2 files: [ttexe167.zip] software and
documentation [ttdoc167.zip] for the complete TinyTalk.
Monologue for Windows 3.+ [Version1.+] text -to-speech is available from off- line user collections. Contact SuperAdaptoid at: adaptoid@teleport.com.
Speechthing Amplified Speaker with LPT 1 DAC Connection. Replacements, Plans, and Improvements. Options for Do -It- Yourself and Off -The- Shelf.
SoundJr Digital Audio Modules
SiliconeSoft markets a Speechthing - type compatible small portable amplified speaker with volume control and LPT1 DAC connection. The SoundJr use the standard printer port data pins (#2-9) for digital audio data and the control pins (#1, 14, 16, 17) for volume control. All these output pins are also used to supply power to directly to the amplifier and volume control circuits. The output is a standard 1/8" stereo mini-jack with the same signal (mono) on each channel. No battery or external power converter required. This is an improvement of the original Speechthing speaker/amplifier hardware. However this can increase portable laptop battery power useage. Cost under $50.00, see price information on their web site. Speechthing software not included [see: above].
http://siliconsoft.com/sndjr1.htm
Speech Dongle.
iANSYST Ltd Dyslectech [UK] markets a hardware emulation of the Speechthing with LPT1 DAC connection The Speech Dongle has a small, mono, single box speaker, with a volume control, [9 Volt] battery and a signal operated power switch so that it only draws power when actually speaking. This greatly improves battery life. Estimated cost is $60.00 [USA] plus $ 10.00 postal delivery. See price information on their web site. Speechthing software not included [see: above].
http://www.dyslexic.com/hware.htm
Do -It- Yourself Options for LPT1 DAC Connectors, amplified speakers, and analog to digital utilities. Plans, description, schematics, and drawings.
Tomi Engdahl's - Centronics port D/A converters and low-pass filter - JDAC and CENT_DAC
These are both simple Digital to Analogue converters to use with your IBM PC/AT or compatible. Covox - type LPT1, parallel port, DAC "dongle" connection. Those circuit are connected to Centronics parallel port and does not affect the normal port usage in any way. Estimated "parts cost" for do -it- yourself assembly under $10.00. See: pictures, plans, description, schematics, and drawings on this web site.
http://www.hut.fi/Misc/Electronics/circuits/dacs.html
The Kiarchive Archive
Download plans, descriptions, schematics, drawings in Zip files.
http://kiarchive.relcom.ru/pub/msdos/ha ... dcard/dac/
covox.zip ... DAC schematics for LPT port speaker
slotdac.zip ... DAC schematics for PC slot. Plans in GIF format
Kiarchive Archive
Download Windows Device Drivers
http://kiarchive.relcom.ru/pub/windows/drivers/
WinSite Windows 3.1 Archive
Sound Files, Utilities, and Drivers Index
http://ftp.sunet.se:26232/win3/sounds/index.html
wincovox.zip ... Covox Windows 3.+ Sound Drivers
http://ftp.sunet.se:26232/info/pc/win3/ ... covox.zip/
sthing.zip ... Covox Speech Thing Driver for Windows 3.+
http://ftp.sunet.se:26232/info/pc/win3/ ... thing.zip/
The Do-It-Yourself Alternative To Internal PC Sound Out-Put Amplification
Rather than using an LPT1 DAC connection, most applications will allow Speechthing to play to the computer's internal sound device [ie: speakers vs. squeakers]. The problem then becomes how to improve voice/sound quality through amplification and volume control of the internal sound device.
The answer is an external amplified speaker with a connection to the internal sound device. The following describes the use of a [9volt] amplified -telephone- room "speaker-phone" with the [suction cup] magnetic [induction coil] telephone pick-up. They are portable [small in size], low priced [under $15.00], readily available [Radio Shack and Archer brands].
When you place the magnetic induction coil [telephone pickup] on to the internal sound device a wireless magnetic connection is made. The telephone pickup will magnetically pickup the out-put of the internal sound device and carry the magnetic out-put by wire to the outside speaker [phone] amplifier. This is all done without any direct internal wire connections required.
If you don't have [or can not have] a sound card. If you are dissatisfied with the quality and volume of sound coming from inside your computer When you want to make a change!
Then pre-purchase a [9volt] amplified -telephone- room "speaker-phone" with the [suction cup] magnetic [induction coil] telephone pick-up. Remember both Radio Shack and Archer brands have them for under $15.00. Also purchase, or have ready, a tube of Household Goop [brand] silicone glue. [Why Goop? Because it glues anything, and stays flexible anywhere, hot or cold.]
Before starting: be prepared with tools, a clear open work area, and knowledgeable assistance to help use the tools. Turn the computer off, disconnect the power plug, and [carefully] release and open the computer case.
Every PC Computer has a sound device.
1. There is the internal case mounted "speaker". Which looks like a small transistor radio speaker, or a metal can-like object [about] 1 inch high, with the diameter of 1.5 inch, attached to the computer case. Internal case mount speakers usually have sufficient volume/power dawn from the PCs system. If you can clearly hear it you probably have an internal case mounted speaker. You may still want to continue to enhance speech/and sound out-put.
-Or-
2. If the sound is faint or muffled you probably have a "squeaker". If you can not visually find a case mounted speaker ... you have a squeaker mounted and hard-wired directly on the Motherboard. A squeaker is a small can-like object [about] the size of a pencil eraser, with a very small whole in its' top. Internal squeakers are low cost [cheap], primitive [push-pull] sound devices that can not generate sufficient sound without further loss of quality.
3. Visually identify and verify the squeaker or speaker.
-Or-
4. If you can not identify it visually [carefully] remove the loose metal case from the work area. Then reconnect the [open] computer, and turn it on. Go to Windows, Main, Control Panned, and test Sounds. If you have a Dos [only] computer you can get Dos to make a keyboard "lockup" warning tone then several keys are pressed together. In either case play the sounds and seek the source on the Motherboard. To find and verify, use a plastic straw to touch and listen to each potential squeaker object. You will find there may be several "look alike" candidates. Only one will have a tiny whole in its' top and it is the only one to make sound. Once identified, [carefully] turn your computer off and un-plug it!
5. Take the suction cup of the [magnetic induction coil] telephone pick-up, and place a small "glob" of Household Goop [brand] silicone glue into the suction cup.
6. Now place the suction cup on top of the squeaker, or [centered] behind the case mounted speaker. You may want to tape it down until the glue sets.
7. Once the glue sets, run the magnetic induction coil [telephone pick-up] wire outside of the case. Use an empty rear slot-port or drill through the case.
8. Carefully re-assemble the case, plug-in the computer, and turn it on.
9. Put a [9volt] battery in the speaker phone amplified speaker, plug in the telephone pick-up, and turn it on.
10. Florescent room lights and computer monitors may generate background noise. Just position the amplified speaker box to reduce interference.
11. Be sure to turn the amplifier on when you need it. Turn the amplifier off when you are done.
-Or-
12. Consider a 110 -to- 9 volt power converter.
Do -It- Yourself Simple Stereo Sound Card For PCs
This is a simple stereo sound project for the LPT port. The pins in the parallell port is used as follows: Pin Signal 1 Select left or right 2 DB0 LSB 3 DB1 4 DB2 5 DB3 6 DB4 7 DB5 8 DB6 9 DB7 MSB 25 Digital GND This is a postcript file with PCB layout for Covox for LPT or to build in PC. Description, schematic, plans.
http://www.kd.qd.se/~bmp/electr/covox.htm
Covox - Type Utility and Sound Players Mark's Software Projects
By Mark Cox - programmer for Covox sound players.
http://www.awe.com/~mark/software.html
Assistance Requests
Currently searching for an independent user developed computer sound card "reverse" patch substituting the SoundBlaster Pro card in place of the [no longer available] Covox SoundMaster card.

To date only a brief file description has been found. Contact or download to SuperAdaptoid at: adaptoid@teleport.com.

Wanted Covox SoundMaster(2) "Smulator" Software.
To update and replace the "Beta" release included in some SoundMaster(2) software.
Contact or download to SuperAdaptoid at: adaptoid@teleport.com.

Wanted "user friendly" front -end- applications for early versions of Monologue For Windows. These were programs to alter and improve Monologue's Windows Clipboard speech process.
Contact or download to SuperAdaptoid at: adaptoid@teleport.com.

Wanted driver "patch". To Update and upgrade Speechthing's passive LPT port driver from Windows 3.+ to Windows 95.
Contact or download to SuperAdaptoid at: adaptoid@teleport.com.

Wanted "patches" or opinions. To update and upgrade the last models of Covox SoundMaster(2), and VoiceBlaster(Key), drivers from Dos - Windows 3.+, to Windows 95. To improve Covox product performance in either Dos or Windows 3.+ while operating in Windows 95 emulation environment.
Contact or download to SuperAdaptoid at: adaptoid@teleport.com.

Your Assistance Is Appreciated
GOOD HUNTING AND ENJOY!
SUPERADAPTOID.
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10-24-97
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dr.zeissler
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Re: CVX-2 : covox adapter

Postby Paralel » 2017-8-26 @ 12:06

dr.zeissler wrote:Interesting hardware, never heard about that.


These are the specs as listed on the website for the SoundJr:

SoundJr Key Features:
8 Bits+ Analog Sound Quality
8 step level control
Self-Powered, No Battery
Plug-n-Play Installation
No DMA / IRQ Design
Surface-Mount-Technology

Power: Self-powered at 3 mA, standard Centronics parallel port, Sleep-Mode power-down control
Maximum cable length 50 feet
Output 0 to 500mVRMS, no load minimum
Level Control 20 dB/ 8 Step software control
Frequency range DC to 15KHz
Output jack 1/8"stereo mini
Interface DB25 connectors, male/female pass-through
Sample Rate: Set by software, typical 100s/s to 20Ks/s, 100Ks/s max.
Digital Code: 8 bit Linear PCM + 3 bit range

Sounds like a Covox, but with some improvements.
Paralel
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Re: CVX-2 : covox adapter

Postby Paralel » 2017-8-31 @ 20:10

Well, I tried contacting the company that sells the SoundJr, but it was a no-go. It appears their company page is nothing but a zombie from a long dead company.

I contacted Cloudschatze about the second unit he offered to sell for reverse engineering purposes, but also didn't hear back from him. I guess the SoundJr thing was a complete dead end.

Too bad. I think it could have added to the Speech Thing replication project.
Paralel
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Re: CVX-2 : covox adapter

Postby Jo22 » 2017-9-01 @ 00:07

Too bad. I think it could have added to the Speech Thing replication project.

Don't worry, it really was a good idea. Maybe looking at the drivers could provide some hints as to how it worked.
I tried their FTP section, but the Win 3.1 files weren't retrievable. If we could debug them, we could at least create something compatible.
That digital volume slider, for example. I asked my father, and he said there once were some kind of shift registers for audio applications.
They weren't really shift registers, of course (we just can't recall their names). But they worked similar and were for analogue applications.
As far as I understood, they could be reset and "cycled-through". Anyway, that's all I know, sorry.
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Jo22
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Re: CVX-2 : covox adapter

Postby Paralel » 2017-9-03 @ 01:09

Big Thank You! and shout out to Cloudschatze. He got back to me and is going to send me his spare of this version of the SoundJr.

Based on the information I've been able to dig up, and my experience with reverse engineering, I expect it won't be long before we know everything about it.

Our biggest issue at this point is the software for it. As Jo22 mentioned, the original software for the SoundJr. has unfortunately been lost to time, which is going to make it harder to understand the interaction of the hardware with the software that was made for it. Cloudschatze has had no better luck. I've also tried everything to get a hold of the guy that made it, also came up negative. I still have to try LinkedIn, which was suggested as the hope of last resort.

The SoundJr is completely compatible with the Covox software, so that's something.
Paralel
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Re: CVX-2 : covox adapter

Postby MobyGamer » 2017-9-05 @ 21:54

Is it worth trying to RE volume functionality when no software exists to drive it?
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MobyGamer
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Re: CVX-2 : covox adapter

Postby Paralel » 2017-9-05 @ 23:56

MobyGamer wrote:Is it worth trying to RE volume functionality when no software exists to drive it?

There is enough contact information out there that I have no doubt that if the software still exists, and I have faith that it does, I can indeed secure a copy of it.

I've contacted the principal from Siliconsoft through all available e-mail contacts, and now LinkedIn. If I still don't hear from him. I'll try snail mail. After that. I guess we're out of luck. Don't want to go any further than that, it starts to cross into "creepy" territory (you guys might think snail mail crosses the line into creepy, but I think its okay, its not a demanding or difficult format to use, plus, they list the basic info on the website, so its not difficult to find them to send snail mail)
Paralel
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