[DECtalk] Questions about old DECtalk DTC-01 and DTC-03 units

Jayson Smith jaybird at bluegrasspals.com
Sat Aug 3 21:25:27 EDT 2019


I'd like to add a few things.

First, it's true that the DTC-01 (the only one of the two I've ever 
owned or used) uses serial communication. However, as far as I know, no 
modern screen reader has drivers for it. However, you should still be 
able to communicate with it using a serial terminal or similar.

Second, I didn't know this until recently, but the settings seem to be 
stored in memory backed up by a lythium? battery. If that battery is 
dead, it won't keep settings when you power it off.

Third, it has a built-in power supply. It uses what in the US would 
probably be called/thought of as a standard desktop computer power cord. 
At least units in the US are set up to accept 120 volts, 60 hz. I have 
no idea if there are any allowances for running it on 240 volts. You 
would need to know what kind of power the specific unit you're 
considering buying is set up to use, and make appropriate adaptations. 
It must be used on AC power, it does not have a battery, nor would a 
battery have been very useful back in the day, considering the size of 
the unit.

Hope this helps,


On 8/3/2019 6:54 PM, Don wrote:
> On 8/3/2019 3:08 PM, Aksel Leo Christoffersen wrote:
>> 1: What do those units looks like. As I understand, they're sort of
>> external, and don't need to be installed in a computer, but is it 
>> something
>> like the DECtalk Express, or is it larger than that?
> The DTC-01 is CONSIDERABLY larger than the Express.  About the volume of
> two small laptops stacked atop each other.  And, considerably heavier
> than the Express -- probably about 15 pounds.
> <https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2b/DECtalk_DCT01_and_Tink.jpg> 
>> 2: How is it possible to use them with modern Windows systems? I use the
>> DECtalk Express through serial with a serial to usb adapter, but can 
>> I do
>> sorth of the same thing with those units?
> The i/f to the DTC is via a serial port.  There are two DB25's on the 
> rear
> of the unit.  It can be set up in a "pass through" configuration. 
> Likewise,
> there are two telco (RJ11) jacks on the back -- one for the PSTN and the
> other for a local handset.  An internal DTMF decoder lets you write
> applications -- interfacing via the serial port -- to interact with
> a party on the phone.
> Audio is also available through a built-in speaker as well as an
> audio out jack on the rear.
>> 3: I know, that DECtalk DTC-01 is using version 2.0, or in some cases 
>> 1.8,
>> of DECtalk, but what version is DTC-03 using, and is it possible to 
>> hear a
>> sample of it somewhere?
> Youtube is your friend.
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