Author Archives: Pneumatic

It speaks!

Thanks to an impedance matching transformer from Radio Shack, I can now play audio though the handset.  Yay!  It still needs to be a little more polished, but the basic concept works. it_speaks.mov  

More choices for TTS engines

Here is a mostly complete list of offline text-to-speech engines I have at my disposal.  I have cleaned up the text somewhat from the last time, so they should be easier to understand.  Let me know what your favorite is in the comments. Espeak is a very robotic, but relatively lightweight engine: Festival is a quirky, […]

Sample TTS output

I’ve got two competing TTS (text-to-speech) engines right now, espeak and festival.  Each will require some tweaking, but here is a very short game fed through each.   Festival:   Espeak:   Let me know what you think in the comments  

GruePhone Lives Again!

Wow, it really has been a while, but improvements in technology have given me an idea of how to improve upon the original Dial-a-Grue phone. The idea is to use a small embedded computer, this time a $9 “chip” computer and actually embed it into a gutted phone.  From there I can use text-to-speech (tts) and […]

Media Coverage and PAX Display

It’s been a while since I’ve posted.  Once the Maker Faire was over, I kinda lost steam, but it’s time to sum up.  It was great to see all of you out there, and I had a great time showing the device off. I got a little media coverage.  HackADay wrote up a short piece, […]

Putting it all together..

This post is long overdue.  The hardware has been complete (enough) for weeks now, and the software has been improving incrementally.  It is the impending arrival of the Maker Faire that finally prodded me enough to finish writing this up.  I’ll be there showing this off.  Here’s what the completed project (mostly) looks like:  (more […]

Extracting guts from the tele-coupler

In order to interface the modem with the telephone, I bought a simple device called a tele-coupler.   It is used when only have a phone that doesn’t have a standard jack, or is a digital phone line.  It actually straps to a telephone handset and accoustically couples the phone and modem together… wonderfully old-school, […]

It’s Alive!!!

What I hope will be the final piece of the puzzle arrived today.  It’s a little adapter that turns a regular modem into an acoustically-coupled modem.  It’s intended for use when there isn’t a regular phone line available—you can strap this to a regular handset instead. I decided to do a proof on concept, just […]