Hardware speech synthesizers

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at redhat.com
Sat May 6 19:53:41 UTC 2017

Oh, wow. Yeah, we found a Dectalk, it was pretty small, way smaller than
the Doubletalk. It had an AC adapter port, and two headphone-jack ports.

Devin Prater
Sent from Discordia using Gnus for Emacs.
Email: r.d.t.prater at gmail.com

Linux for blind general discussion <blinux-list at redhat.com> writes:

> Linux for blind general discussion <blinux-list at redhat.com> writes:
>> Hi all. We found a Double Talk in a closet in the Assistive Tech room,
>> and a Dectalk too but I doubt I could use that, as it only has what look
>> like 3.5 MM connector ports. We also found a Double Talk, with serial
>> and IO ports, and headphone connectors. I don’t know much about these
>> hardware synthesizers, but I’d love to use them with Emacspeak. so, any ideas?
> Hi.  Chris Brannon here.
> If you want to use a hardware synthesizer with Emacspeak, you
> will be using a speech server written in tcl, not a kernel driver.
> Here's what I know.
> You said you found a Dectalk.  Is it a Dectalk Express?  They have three
> jacks: a headphone jack, a power jack, and something that looks a lot
> like an RJ-45 ethernet jack.  Actually I think it is an RJ-45 jack, but
> it isn't ethernet.  Instead, that RJ-45 jack is the device's serial
> port.  You connect it to a PC using a cable that has an RJ-45 male plug
> on one end and an RJ-45 female to DB-9 female adapter on the other end.
> I'm going by memory; I'm pretty sure it's DB-9 female.  Anyway, that's a
> special cable and adapter.  I don't know where you'd find one nowadays.
> I used to have one, but I gave it to somebody on the Speakup list.
> If you do have a Dectalk Express with all the proper cabling, it works
> fine with Emacspeak, or at least, it did 10 years ago.
> In the servers/ subdirectory of the Emacspeak distribution, you'll find
> dtk-exp, which is what you want.
> There's also dtk-lite.  It claims to interface to a "Dectalk Lite", but
> I don't believe I've ever seen one of those.
> I used to use dtk-exp back in the day, and it was fine.
> Just
> export DTK_PROGRAM=dtk-exp
> from your shell before starting Emacspeak.  You may also need to
> export DTK_PORT=/dev/ttySx
> where ttySx corresponds to your serial port.  E.G.,
> export DTK_PORT=/dev/ttyS0
> This even worked with USB-to-serial devices.  E.G.,
> export DTK_PORT=/dev/ttyUSB0.  I think it defaults to /dev/ttyS0 if DTK_PORT
> is not set.
> As for the Doubletalk, you will need an additional package to work with
> it.  Look for something called emacspeak-ss.  If it is not packaged for
> your distro, then your search engine of choice is your friend.  You
> could perhaps build it from source.
> I've never used a Doubletalk, so I can't say how well it worked.
> Hopefully someone on this list will jump in and correct me if I have
> given any incorrect info.
> Good luck!
> -- Chris
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