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Texas Instruments Discovery Depot

Date of introduction:  1994 Display technology:  
New price:   Display size:  n.a.
Size:  13.0" x 12.0" x 4.7"    
Weight:  2 pounds 6 ounces Serial No:  
Batteries:  4*C cells Date of manufacture:  year 1994
AC-Adapter:   Origin of manufacture:  Singapore
Precision:   Integrated circuits:  TSP50C14
Memories:      
Program steps:   Courtesy of:  Joerg Woerner
    Download manual:   (US: 1.2M Bytes)

The Discovery Depot is another wonderful toy with lots of activities for the youngsters. 

DiscoveryDepot_2.jpg (86861 Byte)Main attraction is the moving train in the center of the game. Pushing the yellow throttle makes the train moving. The other activities include (clockwise from the handle):

Shatterproof mirror - "Peek-A-Boo. I see you."
Friendly conductor - "I'm the conductor. Tickets, please."
Yellow whistle - Sounds like a train whistle.
Shapes - "Circle, Square, Triangle."
Red note - Plays 6 different songs.
Blue bell - "Ring-a-ling!"

DiscoveryDepot_1.jpg (114487 Byte)Dismantling this Discovery Depot manufactured in 1994 by Texas Instruments in Singapore reveals a unique design within Texas Instrument's Educational Toys product line. In addition to the TSP50C14 speech synthesizer - tracing back to the legendary Speak & Spell introduced  more than 15 years earlier - did we locate a small electric motor to move the train.

The rather small printed circuit board (PCB) of the Discovery Depot is centered around a TSP50C14 Voice Synthesis Processor (VSP) known from the various Touch & Talkies:

TSP50C14/CSM14xxx: TSP50C50 VSP (Voice Synthesis Processor) with 8-bit microcontroller and 16k Bytes Mask ROM for both program and voice and 64 Bytes + 16 Nibbles RAM

The toy is intended for toddlers ages 9 to 36 month. Other toys for toddlers are the Listen & Learn, Magic Clown, Magic Sorter, My Own Playphone, Peek-A-Boo Zoo and the Talking Storytime Sorter.


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

Joerg Woerner, November 14, 2003. No reprints without written permission.