Odyssey 2 Voice Unit Variants?

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Odyssey 2 Voice Unit Variants?

Postby scotland » March 25th, 2017, 10:12 pm

I never had an odyssey 2 voice unit back in the day, so I acquired one a few years ago. Its never worked, although the pass through works fine.

If you've never seen one, this is what it looks like:
odyssey_voice_small.jpg (50.41 KiB) Viewed 829 times

And this is what mine it looks like inside: {yes, its pigpen level filthy. This gave me a chance to clean it.}

inside_o2_voice_1.jpg (17.7 KiB) Viewed 829 times

inside_o2_voice_2.jpg (12.12 KiB) Viewed 829 times

One issue were that the traces below the cartridge slot seemed compromised, but I don't think its an issue. Look at the right side to the big chip. That big chip should be the speech chip, and I think its a Z80 clone (which is kinda funny in that its arguably a better chip than the CPU) The second picture is a small PCB with 8 ICs - conveniently labeled ROM - that socket into the reddish brown pin connector.

Now, this is what it looks like inside according to http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/inside-the-magnavox-odyssey2/4/


See the difference? Look at the right side again.

My unit has a set of ROM chips, where the hardware secrets photo has a single ROM chip.

That's really odd. It probably makes no difference, but its interesting. The rest of the unit looks exactly the same, except for some trivial changes, like a plastic post and longer screw, to support the board with the ROM chips.

Wonder if anyone else has noticed this?

Mine still doesn't work. It might be the caps, but they looks fine visually (not squishy or leaking). I bought a cap kit, so if I'm feeling adventurous I might swap them out. I haven't burned myself with a soldering iron recently, so maybe I will.

I don't think its the speaker (yes, the extra sound is via a built in speaker) because sound from non-speech games are working fine, but all sound - whether voice effects or just regular beeps and boops - go silent for voice enhanced games like Smithereen. So, its obviously distinguishing between those games, identifying that Smithereens is a Voice game, and then... silence. If it were the speaker, I'd imagine that the regular sound effects would still be routed through the RF output, and just the voice effects through the speakers, but it goes completely Buster Keaton on me. Interesting, eh?

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Joined: May 24th, 2017, 6:24 pm

Re: Odyssey 2 Voice Unit Variants?

Postby gametime » May 27th, 2017, 9:36 am

That is interesting. Never owned the Voice in its prime. I have two Odyssey 2 voice units now. Curious to see inside but afraid they may quit working if opened up.

One was picked up attached to an O2 that was set out for garbage pick-up and the other was obtained in a trade along with some other stuff for an old Star Wars AT-AT that was missing parts.

I used to log every trade or purchase made. Thought was to slow down getting duplicate carts or consoles. The other stuff was two Atari 2600 cart cases. The brown ones that held 8 carts and closed like a book. Several Atari 2600 games including Raquetball, Taz, Cosmic Commuter and Ghost Manor. Nothing special. Most Ghost Manor cartridges I have seen were double enders so that made it a nice change seeing a single cart. Some manuals, two Action Max tapes, Pops Ghostly and .38 Ambush which is about a third of that systems library. Boxed Intellivoice.

I was more excited for the Odyssey 2 voice then the other items.

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