Dec 312017
A speaker device driver, control the speaker from DOS.
File SPEAKER.ZIP from The Programmer’s Corner in
Category Utilities for DOS and Windows Machines
A speaker device driver, control the speaker from DOS.
File Name File Size Zip Size Zip Type
SPKR.DOC 10112 3751 deflated
SPKR.SYS 1792 734 deflated

Download File SPEAKER.ZIP Here

Contents of the SPKR.DOC file

V1.01 22 Mar 1986

SPK Device Documentation


SPKR.SYS is a DOS installable device driver that allows any
application to produce arbitrary pitch/duration sounds on the
PC's speaker. SPKR requires DOS 2.0 or later and an IBM PC
compatible machine.


To install SPKR, follow two steps: place the file SPKR.SYS in
the root directory of your boot diskette or hard disk, and
modify the CONFIG.SYS file to include the statement

In case you are not familiar with CONFIG.SYS: this is a small
text file that DOS reads when booting. It contains various
pieces of information that DOS and other programs can use when
setting themselves up. Look in the root directory of your boot
disk for the file CONFIG.SYS. If no such file exists, just

copy con \config.sys

Then press Ctrl-Z (you'll see "^Z") and , and you're

If you already have a CONFIG.SYS file (which is likely), you
must edit it to include the statement "device=spkr.sys". Do
this using your text editor or word processor in text mode (or
Edlin, heaven forbid). Retain all existing information, and add
the new line.

Now reboot your machine. If all goes well, it will boot as
usual. There will be no immediate indication that anything has
happened, except that you will see SPKR's logo and copyright.

If you have a hard disk and wish to place SPKR.SYS in a
directory other than the root, you may do so. Just alter the
CONFIG.SYS statement to reflect the full path where SPKR.SYS can
be found.

Using the SPK device

When DOS finds the "device=spkr.sys" line in config.sys, it
loads and installs the SPKR.SYS program as a virtual device.
What this means, practically speaking, is that there is now a
new "device" attached to your PC. You already have several
devices installed: CON, PRN, COM1 and COM2, AUX, your disk
drives, and possibly a RAM (or virtual) disk if you have
installed VDISK.SYS or another disk emulator.

The new device is known to DOS by the name "SPK" (note: this is
NOT "SPKR", it's "SPK", no R). Like other output devices, you
can write (send information) to the device. SPK is an "output
only" device like a printer: you can send information to it, but
you cannot receive information from it.

To use SPK, you must send a series of frequencies and durations
to the SPK device. Durations are measured in PC clock ticks,
which occur about 18.2 times per second; thus, for example, a
duration of 18 is about one second.

The syntax of data sent to SPK is:


The {} means that you can send one or more sequences of
frequency and duration to the device. The is a carriage
return, ASCII code 13.

Here are two examples of valid sequences for SPK:

Make a 1000 cps tone for one second

Make a 1000 cps tone for one second, then a
2000 cps tone for two seconds.

A frequency of 0 is a "rest": no sound will be issued for the
specified duration.

SPK's sounds are played in background. That is, control is
returned immediately to the program that sends data to SPK (the
"foreground" program). The sounds will be played while
foreground execution continues.

There are many ways to send information to SPK. The simplest is
to do it right from the keyboard, at the DOS prompt:

copy con spk

The "copy con spk" command tells DOS that you want to copy input
from the console input (the keyboard) to the SPK device (the
speaker). The keyboard input "1000,18" is copied to the
SPK device when you hit the Ctrl-Z (end of copy) and
(execute) keys.

Another way to write to the device is to copy a small textfile
to SPK. For example, type

copy con spkdemo.txt

You should now have a small textfile called SPKDEMO, the
contents of which are "1000,10;2000,5". To send it to the
speaker (sounding two tones), just type

copy spkdemo.txt spk
type spkdemo.txt > spk

You could, of course, put either of those two commands in a DOS
batch file.

It is also possible to send data to SPK from high level
languages or from assembler programs. The following examples
lack error checking for conciseness; you should add checks to
ensure that the SPK device is installed (typically by trapping
for an error in opening the file "SPK").


10 FREQ=1000: DUR=10: GOSUB 1000
20 END
1000 'Sound speaker at FREQ for DUR
1020 PRINT #1, FREQ;",";DUR;";"
1030 CLOSE 1

This is a bit superfluous in BASIC, however, since
BASIC's "SOUND" statement provides essentially the
same function. The main difference is that SPK's
sounds play in background.

In C:

spkr (freq, dur)
unsigned freq, dur;
FILE *spk, *fopen();

spk = fopen("SPK","w");
fprintf (spk, "%u,%u;\n", freq, dur);

In Turbo Pascal:

Procedure Spkr (Freq, Dur: Integer);
Var f: Text;
Assign (f, 'SPK');
Rewrite (f);
WriteLn (f, Freq, ',', Dur, ';');
Close (f)


If you are using the PCED command interface, you can send data
to the speaker using the SEND user-installed command:

SEND SPK 1000,10;2000,5;\13


Valid frequencies are 0 (rest), and 20 through 30000. Only your
dog will hear frequencies above approximately 15000 cps.

Valid durations are 1 through 65535 (about an hour).

All numeric input is treated modulo 65536; that is, if you
specify a number larger than 65536, SPKR will actually use the
remainder of your input divided by 65536.

If your input is outside of the valid range, it will be
converted to the highest or lowest value, as appropriate. Thus,
e.g., a frequency of 35000 will be changed to 30000.

SPK can store up to 128 frequency/duration pairs. Additional
sounds will be discarded.

There is a limit of 255 characters per input line to SPKR (i.e.,
maximum of 255 characters sent before a carriage return). Data
beyond 255 characters will be discarded.

Any data sent to SPK other that '0' through '9', ';', ',', and
carriage returns are ignored.

Invalid frequency/duration pairs are discarded.

Frequency Chart

Here is an approximate frequency chart:

A 440 E 659
B 494 F 698
C 523 G 784
D 587

The 523 Hz "C" is middle C. To increase a note by one octave,
double the frequency; to decrease by one octave, halve it.


This document and the current version of the program file
SPKR.SYS ("the software") are copyrighted by the author. The
copyright owner hereby licenses you to: use the software; make
as many copies of the program and documentation as you wish;
give such copies to anyone; and distribute the software and
documentation via electronic means.

However, you are specifically prohibited from charging, or
requesting donations, for any such copies, however made. An
exception is granted to recognized not-for-profit user's
groups, which are authorized to charge a small fee (not to
exceed $7) for materials, handling, postage, and general

No copy of the software may be distributed or given away without
this document; and this notice must not be removed.

There is no warranty of any kind, and the copyright owner is not
liable for damages of any kind. By using the software, you
agree to this.

The software and documentation are:

Copyright (c) 1986 by
Christopher J. Dunford
10057-2 Windstream Drive
Columbia, Maryland 21044
(301) 992-9371
CompuServe 76703,2002

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