[CQ-Contest] Synthesizer Opinions....

Eric Hilding dx35 at hilding.com
Mon Jan 24 14:38:13 EST 2005

Gerry, W1VE posted:

- My "glue" to make this an actual contest keyer was a Visual Basic program.
I use Writelog -- with Writelog is very easy to get the callsign entered, as
well as the current frequency of the radios.  My program "took over" the
F1-F12 keys, as well as INSERT/DELETE, and the + sign on the numeric keypad.
I simply mapped these keystrokes to the appropriate text for the synthesizer
to speak.   I decoded callsigns to speak the phonetics rather than the
individual letters.

Tnx for all the FB detailed info, Gerry.  A few more questions that may 
also be of interest to other voice-automation aficionados:

1. When you say your program "took over" the F1-F12 & other keys in WL, 
were these for various "SSB Message" option uses 
like:  <callsign.wav><space.wav><name.wav><state.wav> type string 
customation?  Or, unique program-exclusive use necessary for your VB 
creation opertion, which then would decrease the number of SSB message 
user-desired options available?  FYI, I'm the one who "hounded" Wayne to 
increase the WL SSB message options from 10 to 20, but I still see a need 
for 10 more in order to fine-tune SSB automation for lengthy exchange 
contests like SS for specific logical reasons :-)

2. My initial investigation into the AT&T Human voice fonts (vs. 
synthesizer) resulted in what appears to be the need for a "Commerical" 
type distribution licensing arrangement *IF* any type of "broadcast over 
airwaves" is done.  I plan to pursue this to try and get AT&T to modify 
their pricing schema since Amateur Radio use (IMHO) for non-profit purposes 
should not be lumped together with "Commerical" broadcast pricing.  A long 
shot, but I'll take it.  Have you checked out any "broadcast" related 
licensing issues with Microsoft and the AT&T Natural Voice reference 
included in your post?

3. I'm sure there are others who have asked (or will) about the 
possibilities of using their own voice.  FYI, the initial response to my 
question about doing this with AT&T's technology resulted in a price tag of 
approx. "$200,000".  My gosh...a person could build a Super-Station for 
this!  Methinks there may be a lesser cost way of doing it and 
investigation thereof has been added to the large "To Do" list ;-(

Congrats on your trailblazing QRV with this voice-automation stuff & TNX 
again for sharing with all ofus.


Rick, K6VVA

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