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Can anyone help? #72401 27/10/17 4:48 PM
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BBottomley Offline OP
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Has anyone ever come across a Stammering Treatment Oscillator?

Built probably in the 60's or early 70's this item has found it's way into the possession of the owner of the website Dustygizmos and he's trying to figure out how it works and who made it.
Rather than as he was lead to believe, I don't think the device delivered any shock, rather may have been a masking or auditory blocking generator.
EMS (Greenham) have been approached and deny having had any connection with its manufacture and I am wondering if the device has been made in a hospital electronics department, maybe Electro Medical Services department or similar. The standard of construction is not up to commercial standards so maybe a laboratory prototype. I think the "PB" connector might refer to Patient Button with the "Phones" suggesting headphones being used either by the patient or maybe technician to monitor the reaction.

If anyone recognises this or the logo, or knows someone who may have used it I'd be interested to know and share the knowledge with Mr Maybury.

Many thanks in advance, oh and the website does bring back some nostalgia for those long lost days of electronic simplicity!

Attached Files oscillator.jpgcct board.jpglogo.jpg
Last edited by BBottomley; 27/10/17 4:59 PM. Reason: image uploaded

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Re: Can anyone help? [Re: BBottomley] #72403 29/10/17 8:45 PM
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Geoff Hannis Online Content
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Yes; it certainly looks a bit home-made. smile

At first I was wondering if the P.B. is something to do with "Post Block" (as in the technique of Post-Block Correction); but I suspect that what we are looking at is simply an oscillator that produces masking sound "on demand".

Although I notice that Rick Maybury mentions that the circuit looks like it delivers a "high voltage" to that connector. Otherwise, what can that neon be for? Simply for driving the headphones, would be my guess.

If I had the time I would have liked to have sketched out that circuit!

By the way, some of those caps look a fair bit younger than the Germanium transistors.

Anyway, take a look at this* abstract.

Quote

... stammerers often improved in presence of background noise.


But Rick Maybury's website is brilliant. Thanks for pointing it out.

* Cherry & Sayers


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Re: Can anyone help? [Re: Geoff Hannis] #72404 30/10/17 9:18 AM
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Lee S Offline
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Not sure it helps but i ended up looking at these patents

Lee


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Re: Can anyone help? [Re: Geoff Hannis] #72405 30/10/17 6:00 PM
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BBottomley Offline OP
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I'm wondering about that "neon".

Firstly if it is indeed a neon then maybe it's forming a simple white noise generator.

On the other hand, it looks a little bit too big to be a simple neon and I'm wondering if it's a different component all together. Way back when new components were coming out nearly monthly there was some type of resistor with peculiar characteristics which when incorporated into an oscillator circuit for example, would provide much enhanced stability. The name of the device escapes me but I do remember it was glass and it was used in a circuit design that I built from Practical Electronics.

I think the mixed vintage of components it typical of all electronics techs genetic blueprint of keeping everything no matter how old, "just in case" smile - which again would pint to it been lab or home built rather than commercial.


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Re: Can anyone help? [Re: BBottomley] #72406 30/10/17 7:09 PM
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BBottomley Offline OP
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Hi Lee

Yes I think the patents are "of the time" for this little box of tricks. They certainly follow a pattern of simple biofeedback incorporating some input, microphone in that case resulting in triggering some masking sounds.I have a feeling the Stammering Treatment Oscillator in question is even more rudimentary with a simple push button activated by either the stammerer or the speech therapist.


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Re: Can anyone help? [Re: BBottomley] #72407 30/10/17 7:52 PM
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Yes; it's interesting about the "neon". It would be nice to be able to take a closer look.

It would also be good to see what the ouptut signal waveform is like. smile

Meanwhile ... the patient pushes the button when ready to speak. The "noise" produced by the box of tricks masks the speech via the headphones he's wearing (so that he doesn't hear himself speaking). He then releases the button to hear the therapist.

The idea being that the stutterer is helped by not hearing the sound of his own voice. Anyway, that's the theory.

And then there is a tendency to SHOUT!

You can't win. shrug

OK, this is "electromedical" equipment (our Bread and Butter) - but I can't help thinking that (like many other "specialist" bits of kit I've come across in my time) it's probably not much good at treating what it's supposed to be treating!

In other words, I've always taken the view that it's generally better to treat the causes of ailments rather than the symptoms.


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Re: Can anyone help? [Re: Geoff Hannis] #72408 30/10/17 11:00 PM
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BBottomley Offline OP
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Judging by the plethora of devices and apps being suggested to aid suffers, it would seem that treating the symptoms might bring more results than concentrating on the cause. https://www.stammering.org/help-inf...es-and-apps/general-information-apps-and

A bit more sophisticated than a simple masking device, but the seeds were there it would seem.


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Re: Can anyone help? [Re: BBottomley] #72409 31/10/17 3:16 PM
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Geoff Hannis Online Content
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Yes; masking signals (noise), delay circuitry, feedback (noise cancellation), bespoke waveforms - no doubt there are many approaches.

But I would say that stammering can also be triggered by different events for different people (or even on different occasions for the same person); tiredness, stress, emotional state, and what-have-you.

I believe it's a bit like TENS - "if it works for you" (ie, the patient) then great.

Otherwise ... ? whistle

Meanwhile, here are a couple more Garden Paths for the Researchers to have a go at ... does stammering occur when:-

1) Singing?
2) Speaking in a foreign *language?

* Meaning one that has been learned since childhood.


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Re: Can anyone help? [Re: BBottomley] #72411 02/11/17 10:35 AM
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Lee S Offline
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There have been a few singers over the years who can sing but have bad stammers; Gareth Gates was one example who had extreme problems completing a single sentence but had four number one records.

A few others are Carly Simon, B.B. King, Bill Withers and Chris Martin.

Lee


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Re: Can anyone help? [Re: Lee S] #72412 02/11/17 12:17 PM
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Yes; and how about the "speaking in a foreign language" angle? think

I could also mention a third category:-

3) The hard of hearing*

Lastly, I believe that blokes tend to suffer more than women-folk. frown

* Including those suffering from tinnitus


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