Texas Instruments Music-Star

Date of introduction:  1988 Display technology:  
New price:   Display size:  n.a.
Size:  9.1" x 11.1" x  1.2" 
 231 x 282 x 30 mm3
Weight:  18.2 ounces, 515 grams Serial No:  
Batteries:  4*AA cells Date of manufacture:  wk 34 year 1988
AC-Adapter:   Origin of manufacture:  USA (A)
Precision:   Integrated circuits:  TMS50C43/CD57303
Program steps:   Courtesy of:  Joerg Woerner
    Download manual:   (DE: 14.6M Bytes)

This funny synthesizer based product from Texas Instruments generates a lot of different sounds and stores them into an internal memory to replay. Compared with earlier products of the Speak & line this one uses a quite simple technology.

This educational toy introduced in 1988 is very similar to the
Speak & Music introduced already in 1986 but uses a German speaking language. Don't miss the Speak & Music sold in United Kingdom, with the La Musique Magique a French speaking version and the Italian speaking Fonillo Suonaparla.

Dismantling this Music-Star manufactured in August 1988 by Texas Instruments in the United States for the German speaking market reveals a small surprise - the printed circuit board (PCB) is different from its International siblings. The original two-chip design with a TMS50C40 Voice Synthesis Processor and CF60034 was replaced with a single-chip solution.

The single-sided PCB of this Music-Star sports just one Integrated Circuit:

TMS50C43/CD57303: TSP50C50 VSP (Voice Synthesis Processor) with 8-bit microcontroller and 16k Bytes Mask ROM for both program and voice and 128 Bytes + 16 Nibbles RAM

Comparing the short-lived TMS50C40(A) introduced in 1986 and its successors from the TMS50C4X Series introduced in 1987 show a few differences including a more flexible I/O Port structure of the latter parts. We assume that the CF60034 is a simple Port-Expander for the TMS50C40 to sample the keyboard of the toys.

Don't miss a very early Prototype of the Music-Star with a very unusual internal design.

A total of 12 well-known German children songs are stored inside the memory toy:

Ihr Kinderlein, kommet
Was soll das bedeuten
Ich geh mit meiner Laterne
Fuchs, Du hast die Gans gestohlen
Weisst Du, wieviel Sternlein stehen
Wer will fleissige Handwerker sehen
Es tanzt ein Bi-Ba-Butzemann
Ein Männlein steht im Walde
Es war eine Mutter
Alle Vögel sind schon da
Im Märzen der Bauer
Winter, ade!

Other products in the Speak & line cover spelling and reading words. Compare this Music-Star with Speak & Math, Speak & Spell and Speak & Read.

The Music Star is featured in the Texas Instruments Deutschland GmbH leaflet Spielen macht schlau dated 1991.

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