SERVO – December 2007 – HERO gets a new voice
This was one of my most popular articles in SERVO magazine. The project covers how to emulate an old SC-01 speech chip using a more modern speech chip and a microcontroller as a translator. The end result is a plug in replacement that acts like the original. There were many challenges that were overcome to make this project. For every roadblock there ended up being a way around it and all of those are discussed in the article.
Some of the challenges in replacing the SC-01 with a SpeakJet is that they have a different footprint, they have different voltage levels, they have different handshaking signals, one has a parallel interface while the other has a serial interface, and finally the speech codes are different.
The prototype was built using a Parallax SX28 Protoboard and a SpeakJet speech IC. Eventually the whole thing could be shrunk down to fit on a small hybrid DIP module as a direct replacement for the original SC-01 chip.