I bought a Talking Computron from a yardsale a while ago, and I figured this forum might be a good pace to find out more about it.


I bought it originally because I though it would be similar to a Speak and Spell, and because it was only a dollar. Can't pass that up.
I brought it home and plugged it in, and it worked great. I explored the built-in activities, but I was really only interested in the 'Memory Tone' game (where you use a keyboard to play notes) and the 'Say It' game, where the Computron cycles through different words and says them.


After I had finished, I set out to mod it, adding a 1/4" jack to the side for audio out and a small switch on the bottom, nestled away under the keyboard for turning the internal speaker on and off.

I can't find very much about it online, except that it was an educational toy made by sold by Sears in the late 80's, which is fairly obvious. I'd really like to know more about the cartridges, though, like what cartridges were there and what did each one do?
Thanks a bunch.

Looks rad. Take a video!

First thing would be to try to find out who actually built it. Considering that it was sold at Sears, may have been Atari, but just a guess. At that time Atari's arcade div were building speech boards.
  Also look over the circuit board to try to identify the chips. It seem likely that it is based on one of the TI TSP chips. This wiki may be of help identifying chips
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_Inst … eech_Chips
Another chip it may be based on is GI's SPO256
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Instrument_SP0256
  The other thing to look for is the main processor. The cartridges were more then likely roms. So if you can identify the cpu,  in theory you could make your own programs.
  So, $1 at a yard sale? Ill give you $10 smile
yogi

an0va wrote:

Take a video!

yes - with direct audio I want to hear!

an0va, I'll try and post a video tomorrow showing it off smile

Well, I tore through the guts of the Computron to try and find what makes it tick, but I found nothing.
Everything on the board were discrete components, aside from a sole chip labelled LA4140 1E7, which from a quick Google search I found was just a power amplifier, which is probably just for the speaker. There were, however, several chip on boards, which I assume housed all the speech-synthesizing components, making it near impossible to found out what's inside. The cartridge connector has 12 pins, 6 on each side of the connector. One side is labeled "CARTRIDGE BOARD" and the other "ROM BOARD." I'm not sure if this is useful or not.

Also, through some more online research, I found it was made by VTel, but nothing more about it. I'd love to try and make some Computron homebrew, and I have some potential ideas for things I could do, but I don't think it's possible with just this information, unfortunately. If I could get my hands on a cart I might have a better chance but I can't find any on eBay.

The offer to sell it is tempting, but I think I'll keep it for now smile You can find them online for dirt cheap though, $30 at most.

circuit bend it!

Ha, thats awesome! Id like to hear it as well

Well seeing as you won't sell  sad (was just joking, you def got a good buy, hang on to it)
  Judging from the pin count of the connector, I would bet it's based on the TI LPC speech chips.
Here is a page on the TI 99 speech module for some background,
http://nouspikel.group.shef.ac.uk//ti99/speech.htm
And the TI serial ROM chips datasheet
http://www.ti99.com/exelvision/website/ … manual.pdf
The ROM chip only needs 12 pin to interface so that matches with the Computron connection. It's a 4bit serial device.
Just guessing from the release date of '86; it might use the TI TSP50C50  which had the Speech synth, a uController and ROM on the chip. May be labeled CM54129 or 169
Yogi

sorry for necro-ing this but I had one of those as a kid and loved it.  It had a ton of different activities you could do from math to vocab.  I always envisioned sticking one of my nintendo cartridges in the expansion slot lol. FOLLOW ME