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FAQ - Voice IC


Q - Where can I find the serial number or customer number for the writer?
    The serial number is provided as the Customer Number on the CD that comes along with the writer.

Q - The writer does not start when the USB is plugged in. What is the issue?
    Use the following steps to check the connection:
  • Remove all the USB connections other than the mouse and the writer.
  • Close all the running applications (Like Internet, Outlook, Antivirus, and other software programs running in the background).
  • Make sure you are running on Windows XP. (Other OS has not been tested).

Q - What are the facts I need to know about the writers?
    Some key points about the writer are as follows:
  • Do not use USB and external power supply together. It will permanently damage the writer. Use EITHER expernal Power OR USB.
  • If writer gives error that USB not detected, then probably it is not receiving adequate power. Try using another USB port or cable, reduce number of USB outlets, or switch to external power.
  • Always perform a BLANK CHECK before writing onto a chip.
  • If VERIFY isn't 100% then the data written is differnet from the .DPM or .DAT file.
  • After programming and verifying the chip's contents, do another blank check to verify the chip is not blank, hence data has been written to the chip.

Q - I have upgraded to Window 7 and now the writer does not work? Use the following steps to configure the software.
  • Select the exe file, right mouse click to select Properties.
  • Select the Compatibility tab. Then select the Run the program in compatibilty mode checkbox.
  • Select Windows XP from the pull down list.
  • Click Apply button and then OK.

Q - I want some features to play back the IC, but I cannot find the options in the software. Is there another way to program the chip?
    You can provide us your requirements and we can program and compile the .DAT or .DMP file for you. Then you can load to the software and program directly to the IC. Programming fee might apply depending on your requirements.

Q - I am using the writer to program the SOP. How do I connect?
    You need to use the SOP to DIP adapter. Contact us to purchase the item.

Q - Why does my writer shows an update error during startup?
    If you are using the K20W writer, this message will show when a software update is required. It will guide you through all the steps automatically. The main window will display once the updated in finished.

How do I know where to put the jumper on this programming adapter for the SOP parts ? If you are using the AD16S SOP adapter, there is a label showing the IC part number. Place the jumper next to the label of the IC you are using.


Q - Where can I use these OTP voice chips?
    These are some of the applications where the OTP voice chips have been used: Talking or musical toys, Automated message machines, Talking electronic devices: clock, washing machines, multimeter with sound controls, Public transportation announcements, Emergency Alerts, Medical Instruments, Gift box and greeting cards

Q - What kind of sound can I program to your IC?
    Your sound file can contain music from CD, voice recordings, speech, or any sound in WAV, VOC or MP3 format. You can have multiple sound files with different sound. When programming the IC, you can select the files and group them in such a way it can be reproduced in the order you desire.

Q - Do you make custom circuit board?
    We make custom boards for our customers based on their design requirements. You can get the entire PCB board designed from us or provide the design and get the PCB manufactured. Minimum order is required. Please contact us for details.

Q - Can the OTP be used with other sound ICs (OTP, IVR, or re-recordable)?
    The OTPs can be used along with other sound ICs. When using them in parallel, keep in mind to use a common power supply and common speakers.

Q - What is the different between PWM and COUT?
  • PWM output is used to drive a small speaker (< 1/2 W speaker) directly. That means, a small speaker can be connected to the VOUT1 and VOUT2 directly without adding extra circuit component. However, the sound volume will be limited.
  • COUT is a current mode analog output in which at least a NPN transistor is needed as a amplifier. More high power amplifier can also be used with this output to obtain larger power output.

Q - Are these IC and demo board RoHS Complaint? Yes.
Q - Can a Aplus OTP IC drive a 1 W speaker? Yes. Program Aplus IC for Cout/DAC output. Use this amplified output through a transistor that can handle 1W of power. More information in datasheet.

Sound Modules

Q - I am playing the sound chip for the first time and do not hear the sound. What are the things that I need to check?
  • Make sure the speakers are plugged in properly.
  • Make sure the power cable is connected properly in correct polarity.
  • Check the batteries are connected in correct polarity and the power is on if there is an on/off switch.
  • Depending on the IC you are using, it might need 2 x AA batteries for 3v, or 3 x AA batteries for 4.5v. You can also use AAA batteries in place of AA batteries.
  • Make sure the correct Rosc resistance value is used.
  • If using COUT output, make sure the selected Rb resistance value can provide enough current to the transistor so that sound can be amplified.
  • Make sure the RSTB pin is connected in circuit.

For more information, see Voice OTP IC.

How do i test a sound module with light sensor? Place the sound module inside a box and test it. When you open the lid, sound should play, when box is closed, sound should not play.
Q - I can play the chip on the board but the sound is not adequate?
  • Use a bigger speaker. The speakers generally used for these IC are 8ohm, 0.5W.
  • If you use the speaker provided with the sound module, try enclosing it in a casing with small openings (ex, a paper cup with a hole at the bottom), or enclose it in your palm to give an echo effect.
  • 16ohm and 32 ohm speakers also available.

Sound files

Q - What type of sound files can I use?
    The sound file can be of .WAV or .VOC format. If you have a file in MP3 format, you need to convert it to .WAV format before using the writer. The file .WAV file must be in 8 bit, mono format, unsigned, sampling rate between 6KHz - 20KHz. For more information on what sampling rate to use, see How to calculate Sample Rate.

Q - My original file in MP3 was very clear, but after I programmed to the chip, the quality is not good. why?
    The quality of sound changes when the format is changed from MP3 (Sampling rate of 44KHz) to .WAV (Sampling rate between 6KHz - 20KHz depending on the duration of the sound file).

Q - Can you provide me some information on how to modify the sound files?
    You can use sound editng program to modify your sound files. You can select certain portions of the sound, remove background noise, add silence or pause between sections, increase/decrease volume, or remove vocals.

Q - Can you recommend any sound editing program?
    There are many sound editing programs available. A commonly used is Goldwave. There is a shareware version. For technical support of this software, please contact their vendor or distributor.

Q - I can hear a pop sound when I replay the programmed IC. How do I remove it?
  • You can open the file on any sound editing software and check for any extra sound peak points. Remove or modify any unwanted sound and generate a new DAT file. Then program the DAT file to a new IC.
  • If you program the chip for PWM output, make sure speaker is connected to the PWM pin. For COUT, connect the speaker to COUT pin.

Q - I want to record a 40sec sound file to your 42 seconds chip, but I got an error. why?
    The duration of sound that can be stored depends upon the sampling frequency and the compression technique used. If 6KHz sampling and ADPCM compression is used, then the entire 42 sec can be stored to the IC. However the sound quality might not be as good as the original sound.

Q - Can you recommend any amplifier IC ?
    You can use AP4890 amplifier IC from Aplus or LM386.

Q - What is the maximum sampling frequency on the Kxxx?
    The maximun sample rate in 8 bit PCM is 20khz, the ROSC is around 220k.

Data file

Q - How can a DAT file be tested?
    DAT file cannot be tested directly. You can either program a chip or check the log file that accompanies the DAT for error. The log file is created along with the DAT file when you click COMPILE in the software.

Q - What are the compression techniques used?
    We use the 8-bit PCM (better sound quality but need more memory space), or the 4-bit ADPCM compression techniques (lower sound quality but can program longer duration as it has more memory space).

Q - What is the difference between the PWM and DAC output?
    The PWM output is the regular voice output. The DAC output is a slightly amplified output (has an amplifying transistor in addition). You must use the same output mode to play the sound on the demoboard or your board as to what was used while programming.

I resampled the sound file, and when played in windows media player, sound was OK. After programming this sound file on Aplus IC it is very noisy? Sound files that are down sampled to low sampling rates tend to be noisier. So the playback sound quality would depend on the various factors like the speaker , sound type (speech, song, sound effect etc.), original sound file quality etc.


Q - I want my message to loop over and over again. How can I make that happen?
    On the main window of the Writer program, select the re-trigger option. This will make the message to loop.

Q - I want to use the same key play all the messages in sequence every time the key is pressed. How I can implement that?
    On the main window of the Writer program, select sequential key access mode. Then add all the sound files to one single key group. It will play all the sound files sequentially.

Q - I can play the sound programmed to a DIP IC. But the same sound programmed to SOP IC, it doesn't work on the demo board.
    If you are using the demoboard we have provided to play the KXXX SOP, you need to use a SOP to DIP adapter on the demoboard. This demoboard was designed for DIP chip only. With the SOP-to-DIP adapter, it makes C1, which is the Vdd noise decoupling capacitor, farther away from the pins of the IC. Therefore, to make the sound files to play consistently, connect a capacitor (0.1uF) on the SOP adapter between the Vdd and Vss pins. See example.

Q - I want to have a motion detector circuit, but not including the PIR. what can you suggest?
    You can try a circuit using an IR obstacle detector.

Q - What type of triggers I can use to play the OTP IC?
    The options provided in the software are:
  • Edge or Level: Edge plays sound only once even if the trigger key is kept pressed,while level triggering plays sound again and again unless released.
  • Retrigger or Non-retrigger: Retrigger starts a new sound on a key press irrespective of whether the previous sound has ended or not. Non-retrigger completes the currently playing sound before granting access to the new trigger.
  • Hold or Unhold: Hold requires the key to be kept pressed for the entire duration of the sound file while Unhold plays the entire sound on a single key press..
  • If you need have lots of sound files and have a complex triggering combination, please contact us for programming.

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    Tech Notes
  • FAQ
  • PCM vs ADPCM
  • Sampling rate
  • Triggers Mechanism
  • Triggers Options
  • Rec vs OTP vs MTP
  • APR2060 ROSC value
  • OTP Comparison

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