Texas Instruments Spelling B

Date of introduction:  1980 Display technology:  Fluorescent
New price:  $30.00 Display size:  8 alphanumeric
Size:  6.1" x 3.4" x 1.1"    
Weight:  5.5 ounces Serial No:  
Batteries:  9V  Date of manufacture:  wk 13 year 1980
AC-Adapter:   Origin of manufacture:  USA (ATA)
Precision:   Integrated circuits:  TMC0274, TMC0355 (CD2602)
Program steps:   Courtesy of:  Joerg Woerner
    Download manual:   (EU: 6.6 MByte)
  (EU: 3.9 MByte)

About two years after the introduction of the original Spelling B appeared this slightly enhanced version. At first glance you"ll notice the note symbol printed on the display bezel as a short hint to the added buzzer.

SpellingB_PCB.jpg (80037 Byte)Dismantling the 2nd generation of the Spelling B reveals a big surprise! The original design based on two TMS1000 series microcontrollers was replaced with a TMC0274 microcontroller and TMC0355, known as " 128kBit Speech-ROM" of the Speak & Spell family. 
Please notice the two red wires on the left of the pictured printed circuit board (PCB), the small piezo buzzer is connected to them.

An identical product was sold in United Kingdom with the Spelling ABC, while the Spelling ABC introduced in Germany makes use of another language ROM.

All models were later replaced with a product using a LC-display. View it here.

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If you have additions to the above article please email:

Joerg Woerner, June 6, 2008. No reprints without written permission.