For product support, repairs and warranty claims, please email
Black Squares Syndrome -
"When I turn my TrueTalk on the display turns on for an
instant and then goes all black."
On rare occassions the TrueTalk may forget it's contrast setting,
resulting in the "Black Squares Syndrome". The problem is easily
corrected simply by reajusting the contrast level, although this
must now be done "blind" as the display is not legible. Proceed
- Press and hold the power button
for a couple of seconds to turn the TrueTalk on.
- Wait a few seconds for the unit
- Briefly push and release the power
(setup) button again, to enter setup mode.
- If the display is dark, repeatedly push the "-" (error)
key until the display is readable again. You may have to press
the "-" key 15 to 30 times to restore the display. If the
display is too light, press the "+" key instead of the "-" key.
- Briefly push and release the power
(setup exit) button once more, to exit setup mode and save the
new contrast level.
In all cases of this "black squares" syndrome, the above sequence
has corrected the problem. If you still cannot get it working please
send an email to the support address shown above or contact us by
phone on +61 3 8611 7903.
TrueTalk Revision 2 User’s Manual
are registered trademarks
of Eveready Battery Company, Inc.
contained in this document is subject to change without
Electronics Pty Ltd makes no warranty of any kind with
regard to this material.
Electronics Pty Ltd shall not be liable for errors or
omissions contained herein or for incidental or
consequential damages in connection with the furnishing,
performance, or use of this material.
No part of this
document may be photocopied, reproduced, or translated
to another language or medium without the prior written
consent of Synergistic Electronics Pty Ltd.
Edition 3, May
Edition 4, April
(for Revision 2 TrueTalk)
(changed phone numbers)
Edition 6, June
(battery replacement picture)
Synergistic Electronics Pty. Ltd. 1997 - 2012
What is Session
What is Setup
Setup Page 1
Setup Page 2
Auto Timer Pause
Auto pace Pause
Setup Page 3
Setup Page 4
Setup page 5
Congratulations on your purchase of a TrueTalk speech rating instrument.
In order to make the most of your TrueTalk's
potential and features, we urge you to read this User's
Manual thoroughly, and keep it in a safe place for
The TrueTalk is designed to be used by speech pathologists to aid in the
diagnosis and treatment of speech disorders.
It is particularly suited for use with the
Lidcombe Method of stuttering treatment, developed by the Australian
Stuttering Research Centre. The TrueTalk can aid in the
measurement of various speech parameters including rate,
syllables uttered, defective syllables uttered, and
Your TrueTalk measures the following quantities:
+/- 0.1 sec
+/- 0.1 spm
+/- 0.1 spm
+/- 0.1 %
Your TrueTalk has many features designed to make the process of rating a
range of behaviors as simple as possible.
LARGE DISPLAY provides all results at all times
during a rating session
SETUP MODE allows the user to quickly and easily
adjust rating parameters, even during a session
MULTI-RATE MODE allows multiple clients to be rated
in a single session.
STORED CONFIGURATION data allows instant use with
preferred rating parameters
HIGH PROFILE syllable entry keys
SLEEP MODE conserves battery power if the unit is
TIMEOUT INDICATOR provides a visual cue to clients
to slow down or pause their speech.
PERSONALISED WELCOME DISPLAY to deter long-term
The TrueTalk is controlled by three small buttons and two larger
key-switches all on the front of the instrument. Most of
these keys perform different functions depending on
whether the unit is in session mode or setup mode.
For a quick description of these modes refer to
sections 3.1 & 4.1.
Pushing this key for 1 second turns the TrueTalk on and off.
To prevent accidental operation, pushing this key for less than 1 second
has no effect.
When pushed for less than 1 second, this key is
used to cycle through multiple clients. When pushed, the
selected client number and total number of clients is
shown in the top left of the display.
When pushed for 1 to 2 seconds, the current
client data is cleared.
When pushed for
more than 2 seconds, data for all clients is cleared.
Advances to the next page of setup information.
When pushed for less than 1 second, this button
manually starts and stops the session timer.
NOTE: The session
timer is normally controlled automatically by either the
timer pause or auto pace pause functions,
described in detail in sections 4.3.1
button for more than 1 second enters or exits setup
mode. Setup mode is described in detail in section 4.
Advances to the next setup field on the current
Records a correctly uttered syllable, and starts
the session timer, if it is paused.
auto time pause and auto pace pause functions are
overridden while this key is held down. This
feature is described in section 3.6
Increases or toggles the selected value.
Records an incorrectly uttered syllable, and
starts the session timer, if it is paused.
key, the auto time pause and auto pace pause functions
are overridden while this key is held down. This
timer-override feature is described in section 3.6
Decreases or toggles the selected value.
During a rating session, 6 fields are presented on the display.
Referring to the diagram above, these are:
2.2.1 SESSION TIMER
This indicates how long the rating session has been active.
Note that it represents the time during which the
client has been speaking, rather than how long the
session has been in progress.
See section 3.5 for more details.
2.2.2 SYLLABLE COUNT
This is the total number of syllables uttered during the current session.
This field is increased by 1 whenever the
keys are pushed.
2.2.3 ERROR COUNT
This is the total number of erroneous syllables uttered during the
This field is increased by 1 whenever the
key is pushed.
2.2.4 SYLLABLE RATE
This is the client’s overall speech rate, measured in syllables per
is continuously updated during a rating session.
2.2.5 ERROR RATE
This is the client’s speech error rate, measured in erroneous syllables
It is continuously updated during a rating session.
2.2.6 ERROR PERCENTAGE
This is the percentage of erroneous syllables in the client’s speech.
It is continuously updated during a rating
3. SESSION MODE
3.1 WHAT IS SESSION MODE?
Your TrueTalk has two basic modes of operation,
Session Mode and Setup Mode. Session mode is where all
the work is
is where syllable data is entered, and speech rating
calculations are performed.
The TrueTalk defaults to this mode when it is
first turned on.
3.2 TURNING THE TRUETALK ON
Turn the TrueTalk on by holding down the
button for one second.
After a couple of seconds during which version
and serial number information is shown, the session
screen should appear.
The session screen presents all the session
information relating to the currently selected client:
The two larger buttons on the TrueTalk are the syllable input keys.
As a client speaks, correct syllables are entered
SYLLABLE key, and incorrect syllables (e.g. stutters) are entered with the
SYLLABLE key once, and watch the display.
You will see the
(number of syllables) field advance from 0 to 1, and the
timer begin counting upward.
Unless the setup has been changed, when the
counter reaches about 5 seconds it will halt.
You should also notice the
(syllables per minute) field changing as the timer
Take note of the current display, and then push the
This time you will see the
(number of errors) field advance from 0 to 1, and the
advance from 1 to 2. The
field is increased because this field represents the
total number of syllables, and an error is still
regarded as a syllable. The
(error percentage) should show 50%, indicating that half
the syllables so far have been errors.
3.5 TIMER BACKUP
If you were watching the timer, you may have noticed that it counted up
for about another 5 seconds, and when it stopped it
backed up a few seconds.
Whenever the timer pauses, it backs up to the
time when the last syllable was entered, plus an amount
equal to the average period between syllables.
This tends to filter out any long breaks in the
client's speech. The TrueTalk does this in order to base
its calculations on a theoretically continuous speech
the timer pauses, and it is backed up in this manner,
values are also updated, to reflect this more accurate
3.6 OTHER SESSION OPERATIONS
button will pause the timer if it is running, or restart
it if it is has stopped.
Pushing either the
keys will also restart the timer. Holding either the
keys depressed will over-ride the auto-pause functions,
and prevent the timer from pausing.
button will briefly display the current client number at
the upper left of the display. Pushing this button again
while the client number is shown will advance to the
next client. See section 4.4.2 (multi-rate) for more
Holding down the
button for one second will clear the session data for
the current client. Holding it for two seconds will clear the session
data for all
Holding down the
button for one second will turn the TrueTalk off.
4. SETUP MODE
4.1 WHAT IS SETUP MODE?
Setup mode allows various session parameters, such as timer direction,
session limits and auto-pause functions to be altered to
best suit the individual client(s) or situation.
To toggle in or out of SETUP MODE, press and hold the
button for one second.
Parameters that can be adjusted within SETUP MODE are:
session time limit
These parameters are accessed from 5 different setup screens, or ‘pages’.
To cycle through the pages, press the
button. To cycle through different setup fields on a
page, press the
button. To modify a setup value, press the
The setup pages and parameters are explained in the following sections.
4.2 SETUP PAGE 1
4.2.1 TIME LIMIT
This setup function can be used to set a time limit on the rating
Turning this function on causes the TrueTalk to halt the
session after the specified time.
4.2.2 TIMER DIRECTION
This setup function specifies whether the timer is to count upwards,
showing elapsed time, or downwards, showing remaining
count direction is indicated by the arrow immediately to
the right of the time field.
4.2.3 SYLLABLE LIMIT
This setup function can be used to set a limit on the number of syllables
in a rating session.
Activating this function causes the TrueTalk to
halt the session after the specified number of
If both this function and the
t-lim function are enabled, the first limit reached will
halt the session.
4.3 SETUP PAGE 2
syls: 5 off
4.3.1 AUTO TIMER PAUSE
This setup function controls one of the three ways in which the session
timer can be paused (auto-time, auto-pace, or manual).
Turning this function on causes the timer to
pause a set number of seconds after the last syllable
NOTE: When the timer pauses it
will normally back up a bit, as explained in section
4.3.2 AUTO PACE PAUSE
During the course of a session, your TrueTalk continually calculates the
average syllable rate.
This result is shown on the session screen as
In addition to this, your TrueTalk determines the
period between syllables.
AUTO PACE PAUSE, when enabled, pauses the timer
when no syllables are entered for a specified multiple
of this period.
For example, if this function were enabled with a value of 5, and after
some time into a session the client's speech rate was
120spm, the timer would pause if no syllables were
entered for 2.5 seconds. This would be derived from the
setup value of 5 multiplied by the average period
between syllables of 0.5 seconds.
This means that a slow speaking client is given more time to continue
with the next syllable than a faster speaking client, as
opposed to the auto-timer pause function which could
pause the timer thinking that the client had stopped
speaking when in actual fact they were merely between
4.4 SETUP PAGE 3
4.4.1 RATE ALERT
If this function is turned on, whenever the current clients speech rate
exceeds the Rate Alert value, the timeout-light is
activated. If the timeout beep feature is turned on (see
setup page 4), a speech rate warning beep will also
The TrueTalk is able to rate multiple clients in one session. This setup
parameter determines the number of clients in a session.
If you do not wish to use the multi-rate feature you may
set this to 1.
During a rating session, whenever the
button is pushed, the session timer briefly changes to
show the current client number and the number of
clients. For example
indicates the session screen is displaying data for
client 1 of 3. Subsequent pushes of the
button while the client number is being displayed will
cycle through the different clients.
4.5 SETUP PAGE 4
4.5.1 TIME-OUT LIGHT
The time-out light is an optional light which connects to the TrueTalk
via a socket on the right side of the case. The time-out
light is a visual cue for the client to slow down (refer
to section 4.4.1 – Rate Alert) or stop speaking (have
The setup screen above shows the time-out light set to activate for 5
seconds, whenever 4 incorrect syllables have been
uttered. Additionally, the TrueTalk will emit a ‘beep’
sound when the time-out period is over.
4.6 SETUP PAGE 5
Restore Default Settings
Press + and – to restore
4.6.1 RESTORE DEFAULT SETTINGS
keys simultaneously to restore all setup parameters to
their default settings.
5. WELCOME SCREEN
The ‘Welcome Screen’ which is displayed each time the TrueTalk is turned
on can be customised to display a user defined message.
The space available for test on the welcome screen is 2
lines of 24 characters each.
Typically this would be used to display owner information, to deter long
term ‘borrowing’ of the device. For example:
Property of Sydney Uni
Phone 02 1234 5678
This optional feature must be requested and specified at the time of
order. There is provision on the TrueTalk order form for
Please contact the manufacturer if you require further details on this
Your TrueTalk requires one “AAA” size 1.5 volt battery for power.
It is recommended that only alkaline cells such
as Eveready “Energizer” be used, as these have both a
higher capacity and a longer shelf life than carbon-zinc
6.1.1 Separate the front and rear
halves of the case. The front of the case forms a “U”
shape which must be prized apart slightly to release the
rear “C” shape section. Partially release one end at a
time as shown in the picture and then slide the rear
section off evenly so as not to over-stress either end.
6.1.2 Remove the spent battery from the
holder clips, and replace with a fresh battery, taking
particular care of battery polarity.
It is extremely important to observe the correct battery polarity.
Installing the battery the wrong way around will cause
instant and irreversible damage to the circuitry, even
if the TrueTalk is not turned on.
6.1.4 Check that the TrueTalk operates
correctly with the new battery, before re-joining the
7. SERVICE INFORMATION
Your TrueTalk contains a microcomputer, and owing to the complex nature
of such devices, repair by unqualified personnel is
If, during the life of this instrument, it fails to operate correctly,
and proper performance cannot be restored by any means
described in this owner’s manual, it should be returned
to the manufacturer for repair.
Before returning your TrueTalk for
repair, please contact us by phone, fax, post or email
with a description of the problem or fault, as return
may not be necessary.
All service correspondence should be addressed to:
Synergistic Electronics Pty. Ltd.
Launceston TAS 7250
Phone +61 3 8611
+61 3 8611 7903
- or -
Synergistic Electronics Pty Ltd warrants that this product will be free
from defects in material and workmanship under normal
use and provided that the customer exercises reasonable
care in operating the product in accordance with this
user’s manual for a period of 12 months from the date of
Pursuant to this warranty, Synergistic Electronics Pty Ltd will repair or
replace the defective product except where such defect
is the result of alterations or modifications to the
product not authorised by Synergistic Electronics Pty
Ltd, abuse, accident, misuse, the fault or negligence of
the customer or servicing by persons not authorised by
Synergistic Electronics Pty Ltd.
130 x 67 x 23mm
........... -10 to +50°C
................... 1.5V (1 x AAA)
BATTERY LIFE EXPECTANCY
............ 120 hours*
* continuous usage
with high capacity alkaline cell; typical
battery life with normal usage is greater than 1 year.