[CQ-Contest] Synthesizer Opinions....

Gerry Hull gerry at w1ve.com
Mon Jan 24 20:24:27 EST 2005

Hi Eric,

See my comments below:

-----Original Message-----
From: cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com
[mailto:cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of Eric Hilding
Sent: Monday, January 24, 2005 2:38 PM
To: cq-contest at contesting.com
Subject: RE: [CQ-Contest] Synthesizer Opinions....

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 <>>>pertion, 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 :-)

I Hook the keys.  That means that I capture the keystrokes away from
WriteLog and do what I want.  No problem with ANY number of keys.
There are no .wav (Wave) files involved.  This is all text-to-speech.

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?

I believe you are going way overboard here.  I own the AT&T Natural Voices,
and have owned them since AT&T first distributed them years ago.  I ran them
in a few contests, but at the time I did not think the speech was that good.
>From my reading of the license agreement, I did not feel that I was
broadcasting, since it is specificly prohibited in the FCC rules.   No AT&T
laywer got on my case.   Anyway, I am using the NeoSpeech voice now.
I understand that I am using the voice files "for personal use."  I do not
think any of the companies would object.  Legally-purchased copies of these
files, used for Amateur Radio purposes, should be a good thing for these
companies -- it exposes their product to a wide technical community.
Nuff said -- we can take this to the Amateur Radio Law reflector if you're

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 ;-(

They are correct.  $200K about right for development of your own
text-to-speech voice.  It's not simple stuff!

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


73, Gerry


Rick, K6VVA

CQ-Contest mailing list
CQ-Contest at contesting.com

More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list