Texas Instruments Mr. Challenger

Date of introduction:  1980 Display technology:  Fluorescent
New price:  $40.00 Display size:  8 alphanumeric
Size:  6.2" x 3.4" x 1.1"
 157 x 86 x 29 mm3
Weight:  5.7 ounces, 163 grams Serial No:  
Batteries:  9V  Date of manufacture:  wk 47 year 1979
AC-Adapter:   Origin of manufacture:  USA
Precision:   Integrated circuits:  TMC0273, TMC0355 (CD2601)
Program steps:   Courtesy of:  Joerg Woerner
    Download manuals:   (US: 2.8M Bytes)
  (US: 1.8M Bytes)

The Mr. Challenger educational toy is preprogrammed to teach the spelling of simple words through different games. A nice feature of this game is an added buzzer to give some noisy feedback.

The Mr. Challenger was one of three similar games:

Math Marvel: Basic mathematics
Mr. Challenger: Word games
Spelling B: Spelling games

All products use the same housing featuring a colored key plate to cover some unused keys of the matrix. The display is either numeric for the Math Marvel or alphanumeric for the two word games.

MrChallenger_PCB.jpg (85636 Byte)From a technical point of view the toy makes use of the technology introduced in 1978 with the Speak & Spell: The TMC0273 microcontroller is derived from the TMS1000 series and adopted to control both the keyboard and the display, the TMC0355 Voice Synthesis Memory (VSM) is known as "128kBit Speech-ROM". 

Compare this game with the German LETTERlogic, the LETTERlogic sold in France and the LETTERlogic sold in United Kingdom.

Some parts of the toys housing could be found in an industrial product, view the Model 510 PLC programmer.    

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If you have additions to the above article please email:

Joerg Woerner, December 5, 2001. No reprints without written permission.