visual basic barcode scanner input HACKING A TOY SOUND RECORDER in Software

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HACKING A TOY SOUND RECORDER
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You can hack toy sound recorders, such as the Yak Bak, for use in your robot. These units, which can often be found at toy stores for under $10, contain a digital sound recording chip, microphone, amplifier, and speaker (and sometimes sound effects generator). To use them, you press the Record button and speak into the microphone. Then, stop recording and press the play button and the sound will play back until you make a new recording. Fig. 40.3 shows a Yak Bak toy that was disassembled and hacked by soldering wires directly to the circuit board. The wires, which connect to a microcontroller or computer, are in lieu of pressing buttons on the toy to record and play back sounds. The buttons on most of these sound recorder toys are made of conductive rubber and are easily removed. To operate the unit via a microcontroller or computer, you bring the button inputs HIGH or LOW. (Which value you choose depends on the design of the circuit; you need to experiment to find out which to use.) Connect a 1K to 3K resistor between the microcontrollercomputer port and the button input.
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FIGURE 40.3 A hacked Yak Bak can be used to store and play short sound snips. You can record sounds for later playback, which can be via computer control. This model has two extra buttons for sound effects, which are also connected to the robot s microcontroller or computer.
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Suppose you have a Yak Bak or similar toy connected to I/O pin 1 on a Basic Stamp II. Assume that on the toy you are using, bringing the button input HIGH triggers a previously recorded sound snip. The control program is as simple as this:
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high 1 pause 10 low 1
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The program starts by bringing the button input (the input of the toy connected to pin 1 of the Basic Stamp) HIGH. The pause statement waits 10 milliseconds and then places the button LOW again. The built-in amplifier of these sound recorder/playback toys isn t very powerful. You may wish to connect the output of the toy to one of the audio output amplifiers described later in the chapter (see Audio Amplifiers ).
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Toy sound recorders are limited to playing only a single sample. For truly creative robot yapping, you need a sound chip in which you can control the playback of any of several
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SIRENS AND OTHER WARNING SOUNDS
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prerecorded snips. You can do this easily by using the family of sound storage and playback chips produced by Information Storage Devices (ISD). The company has made these ChipCorder ICs readily available to the electronics hobbyist and amateur robot builder. You can purchase ISD sound recorder chips from a variety of sources, including Jameco and Digikey (see Appendix B). Prices for these chips vary depending on feature and recording time, but most cost under $15. While there are certainly other makers of sound storage/playback integrated circuits, the ISD chips are by far the most widely used and among the most affordable. The ChipCorder products enjoy a rich assortment of data sheets and application notes, all of which are available from the ISD Web page at www.isd.com.
Sirens and Other Warning Sounds
If you use your robot as a security device or to detect intruders, fire, water, or whatever, then you probably want the machine to warn you of immediate or impending danger. The warbling siren shown in Fig. 40.4 will do the trick, assuming it s connected to a strong enough amplifier (refer to the parts list in Table 40.2). The circuit is constructed using two 555 timer chips (alternatively, you can combine the functions into the 556 dual timer chip). To change the speed and pitch of the siren, alter the values or R1and R4, respectively. For maximum effectiveness, connect the output of the IC2 to a high-powered amplifier. You can get audio amplifiers with wattages of 8, 16, and even more volts in easy-tobuild kit form. See Appendix B, Sources, for a list of mail order companies that also sell electronic kits.
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