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Texas Instruments TI-66 Calcu-Talk    

Date of introduction:  1991 Display technology:  14-segment LCD
New price:  $595 Display size:  10 (8 + 2)
Size:  4.2" x 7.5" x 1.7"    
Weight:  1 pound 2 ounces Serial No:  001821
Batteries:  2*3.6V 600mAh NiCd Date of manufacture:  mth 05 year 1991
AC-Adapter:  Custom Origin of manufacture:  USA
Precision:  13 Integrated circuits:  COP402, NS Digitalker, 2*NS2716 
 TI-66:Toshiba T6875, TC5514
Memories:  0-64    
Program steps:  512-0 Courtesy of:  Joerg Woerner

Only few talking programming calculators are known. This Calcu-Talk was developed by CAPTEK Berwyn, PA and uses a TI-66 with a talking base. CAPTEK Custom Applied Technology is a Division of Science Products, a leader in design and production of adaptive aids for the vision impaired for more than 25 years. 

The Calcu-Talk uses a clever approach to fetch data from the TI-66. It is connected instead the PC-200 Thermal Printer direct to the TI-66. The "Print" command moves the display content to the Calcu-Talk base station which contains a microcomputer system with talking capabilities centered around the National Semiconductor Digitalker.

TI-66_CalculTalk_2.jpg (60248 Byte)The base station itself uses a black housing with the TI-66 fastened on top. It includes not only the electronics but rechargable NiCd-batteries and a speaker. Additional jacks are available for both the charger and a ear-jack. The blue knob switches the Calcu-Talk on or off and adjusts the volume. The TI-66 got only few modifications, 5 of the keys carry a small point of glue to get a better tactile feedback, the batteries were removed and the printer port wired to the base station.


TI-66_CalcuTalk_3.jpg (52601 Byte)A lot of electronics combined with one of the best programmable calculators - if you add it together you get a whooping $595 selling price in the year 1991.

Don't miss other talking products for vision impaired - the Orbit TI-34 and the Vocaid

Another approach could be found in the Schoenherr Braillotron using refreshable Braille cells instead the talking voice.

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If you have additions to the above article please email: joerg@datamath.org.

Joerg Woerner, February 23, 2002. No reprints without written permission.