Modified Talking Whiz-Kid
Modified Talking Whiz-Kid - This VTech toy dates back to 1985. Unlike the "Talking Whiz-Kid Laptop," this one has a male voice chip. Until recently, mine was without "Program Cards," and it would only say numbers 0-9 during normal operation (after pressing the "code" button), and beep when a key is pressed.
My modification/bend schematics can be downloaded here.
- 3 push-button glitch switches. Each one triggers glitches in conjunction with a keypress:
Glitch 1: can initiate short bursts of phonemes/glitches of a semi-predictable nature, different for each of the 10 number keys.
Glitch 2: this has more random results, and can trigger longer bursts or "spazzes" as I like to call them.
Glitch 3 / Loop: similar to glitch 2, except it can also trigger various loops which continue as long as you hold the button down.
- Pitch up button/coil. The pitch on this unit is controlled by a crystal oscillator, or possibly a coil (I couldn't tell which because of a large blob of hot-melt obscuring the label). Hence, it's complicated to vary the pitch. I made do by attaching a small coil (value unknown) to each leg of the crystal, which, when operated by the switch, causes the pitch/speed to go up by a set frequency. I think it works out to roughly an octave.
- Reset switch. This unit is fairly stable, but in glitch mode the off button doesn't always respond.
- Output jack. This had to be recessed into the plastic, which is quite thick.
As a bonus, it says the occasional word, like "yes," "plus," and "times." Exciting stuff ;) Oh, and the LCD comes up with weird alien symbols like these:
Despite its size (approx 10" x 10" x 2"), there's not a lot of room for switches on this baby. If I'd wanted to add any more bends I'd have been out of luck. However, the cartridge slot and program card reader could, theoretically, be jammed full of extras. Having recently got hold of some program cards I'm glad I left as-is. They greatly expand the functionality and vocabulary of the unit.
||Three of the glitches achievable with button 1.
||A short example of the looping glitch.
||A longer looping example, showing off the range of sounds.
||I've only heard it do this once -- strange robotic radio sounds?
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