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25.06.2015, 17:28

I will give away some hardware: Covox LPT Stereo. (Miscellaneous)


I have 4 circuit boards for the Lpt COVOX Stereo sound card (Wikipedia) and my intention is to be generous. :) Anyone who can contribute software development-wise, or in other way, thus helping to make the Covox to become even more useful under DOS, will be considered candidates.

The sound card is the absolutely most universal sound-card for vintage computers. They are used on 8, 16, 32 bit computers of all imaginable kinds and platforms. From the most exotic hardware to old laptops with no SB (or broken cards).

They can take the shape of very simple components connected to a cable going to the Printer Port (Priced 6 Euros) or it can be builds with vastly improved sound with good stereo DAC chips. I have 4 of the latter but am interested in soldering the less complicated ones too. The sound is actually not bad at all.

On my 486 laptop, 33mhz, 4mbRAM, DOS/Win3.11/Linux, it can give sound to Speech Synthesis, Games, C64 Emulation, Trackers (There are so many ppl still doing stuff on Fasttracker/Milkytracker/ImpulseTracker. Btw, the entire IT source was released as you might know). It can even be used under Virtual Sound Blaster emulation, (TSR) but not always successfully. Stuff supporting the "Disney Sound Source" and "Tandy" can also often be used. There is tons of old source code out there giving Covox support but mostly the emulator people (DOSbox and so on) have been taking interest in it, so far.

With songs having a file size of 1.95 Kb (Youtube Link) or 38 Kb ram is not a problem. :) Neither is CPU.

(This is how it actually sounds like from a simple cable and from a DAC Box). Oh, and here is a video on a IBM PC PS2 8580 (The later Stereo Covox developements, the ones i have, got better sound than that).

Many cool things could work under Covox but support is up to now not great. I have many ideas. But first, let me hear yours. I will start assemble the cards in August :) As you will see on the link above on the Covox stereo page it is quite a bit of soldering work, but i look forward to it. :)

Thank you for your attention.


28.06.2015, 15:51

@ Mangleus

I will give away some hardware: Covox LPT Stereo.

Oh my. I would loooove to see somebody with software development skills put their hands on this. Fingers crossed. This Stereo54 looks so cool too - got to get (build) one for myself.

BTW: I doubt that Covox is being used in the "Meanwhile In Intergalactic Space " video - the sound is way too crisp and clear.

BTW2: "The DAC Box" you have mentioned is my very own Covox I have built. Thanks for linking me - I feel so proud :3.



29.06.2015, 18:33

@ Mangleus

I will give away some hardware: Covox LPT Stereo.

Hehe, Covox, I built one myself years ago (only simple mono but with small PA powered from remaining LPT lines or from 5V of PS/2 connector.
I also made a simple cmdline mp3 player using scitech mp3 decoding library.

I just have one idea that would enhance covox - to add FIFO memory (cheap 32-64kB SRAM chip) and simple MCU/CPLD controller:
+ it will make smooth playback on newer PCs where SMI/BIOS routines (that cannot be disabled by user) could take too much time breaking precise high-speed LPT data feed.
+ it will allow high-speed async burst LPT feed that result in less CPU load
+ it will use onboard programmable clock generator for precise output frequency independent on PC timer
+ it could be disabled and used as old dummy covox
- AFAIK there are no programmers that would support it in new programs and old programs would need to be rewritten to use this enhaned covox.
So I'm rather interested in support of new existing sound HW for DOS and some kind of SB emulation if one day will happen :)

DOS gives me freedom to unlimited HW access.

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