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I would like to hire someone to build an electronic toy.

Wanted: Discussion in 'For Sale / Wanted' started by stevejuggler, Apr 12, 2015.

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  1. stevejuggler

    stevejuggler

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    Apr 12, 2015
    Greetings friends,
    I am a comedian/juggler. In the '90s there was a toy called a "silly slammer". It was a small bean-bag shaped toy and it contained a kinetic switch, a battery, a speaker, and a voice recorded on it. When the toy was struck, it would play one of 3 very short (1 or 2 seconds long) messages. There were a lot of these toys to choose from. Each had a different voice that played when struck. I bought three of these and began using them in a bit in my comedy show. After a few years of ripping them open to change the batteries, they finally became broken beyond my (admittedly feeble) ability to repair them. It has been a long time since I had this joke in the show and I would love to put it back in. The company that makes them discontinued the line of toys about 15 years ago and I haven't been able to find the one I am looking for on ebay (or sites similar to ebay). Ideally, I would love to have someone fabricate a similar toy for me that would have a much louder sound output than the originals did. I have been in situations where the microphones onstage had trouble picking up the voice from the toy. Anyway, I can make the plush part of the toy, I would just need someone to make the electronics that would go inside it. Does anyone know of someone who would be willing to put something like this together for me? I will pay to have it done. I would need ten of them because I want to juggle 5 of them in the show, and then have another 5 as backups if any of the others fail. I don't mind paying a "brick and mortar" shop to make these for me, or if there is someone on this forum who can make these or knows someone who can, I would be grateful. If this is an inappropriate request for this forum, I apologize.
    Thank you for your consideration,
    Steve Patient
     
  2. Arouse1973

    Arouse1973 Adam

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    Dec 18, 2013
    Hi Steve
    Well I will be suprised if you find anyone willing to do this on here for money. But lots that will help you for free, this sounds interesting. I would certainly help for free. Do you have one of the old units you could take some pictures of?
    Adam
     
  3. stevejuggler

    stevejuggler

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    Apr 12, 2015
    Wow. That would be awesome! I can send you detailed photographs if you like, or I can send you one of the units. I can be reached at steve<at>stevepatient.com
    Thank you so much!
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015
  4. stevejuggler

    stevejuggler

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    Apr 12, 2015
    Similar, yes. But on the silly slammers it has a kinetic switch. The effect was that you would hit the toy and it triggered the recording. In the link you provided, it has a button to push. The payoff of my joke onstage is that I juggle all three (I want to learn it with 5 eventually) toys and as I catch them the kinetic switch is triggered and they "speak". I don't know if I would be able to trigger them as easily while juggling if there were a button to push. If you want to see how I use them in my show, you can go to stevepatient.com and click on the video. The video is 6 minutes and the toys come towards the end.
     
  5. KTW

    KTW

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    Feb 22, 2015
    You have a ton of energy!

    This is the switch that's used in the slammers...
    vibration sensor , a metal tube with a spring inside it. If
    hit hard enough, the spring hits the side of the tube, causing the
    switch to be closed and the circuit to activate
     
  6. KJ6EAD

    KJ6EAD

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    Aug 13, 2011
  7. Arouse1973

    Arouse1973 Adam

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    Dec 18, 2013
    Lets have a look at some pictures first. Nice clear well lit close ups will be great.
    Adam
     
  8. KTW

    KTW

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    Feb 22, 2015
    It's likely one of those cheap greeting card devices with an inertia type switch.
     
  9. stevejuggler

    stevejuggler

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    Apr 12, 2015
    Will do. As soon as I get home tonight I will grab my daughter's camera and see what I come up with. Thank you! :)
     
  10. stevejuggler

    stevejuggler

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    Apr 12, 2015
    Well, life has taken over and I find myself quite busy at the moment. I will send the pictures as soon as I am home. Thank you all so much for your input thus far.
     
  11. Arouse1973

    Arouse1973 Adam

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    Dec 18, 2013
    No probs
    Adam
     
  12. stevejuggler

    stevejuggler

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    Apr 12, 2015
    Greetings again friends,
    It will probably be this weekend before I get a chance to send those pics. In the mean time, I have a question: I have seen (on the link from KJ6EAD and other sources) sound modules. I readily admit that I don't know how these things work, but I am hoping to have something that will work similarly to the way the original toy worked. It has three separate recordings (each very short) and when the switch is triggered, it will play the next recording in the series and then stop. Are the modules in the above link capable of playing three separate recordings in a sequence like that? Again, thank you all so much for your help. :)
     
  13. KJ6EAD

    KJ6EAD

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    Aug 13, 2011
    Probably, but specifications that make your device less common to other plush toy sound modules will naturally tend to make it more difficult to source or replicate.
     
  14. stevejuggler

    stevejuggler

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    Apr 12, 2015
    Ok friends. Here are the photos of the toy. The first picture is of the intact toy next to the disassembled one. The next photos are of the electronic device. It has three small batteries, a spring-activated switch, and the sound storage. I am REALLY hoping I can have the same functionality -- I want to play three short sound clips in a row, one at a time. It is much funnier in the show this way. If we can't find a sound module with this functionality, and the only solution is to have three sound modules in each toy, then so be it. Also, I am not worried about the total weight of the toy--heavy is ok. Also, if possible, it should be quite durable and much louder than the original toy. Battery life is not a big issue either. If I have to rip it open every couple of weeks to replace a AA battery, that is fine. Please let me know if you have any questions.
     

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  15. stevejuggler

    stevejuggler

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    Apr 12, 2015
    Cell phone accelerometer app? Great idea! I will get on that soon. The old toys required a good slap to make them work. If I can get a more sensitive switch, then it will be much easier to do tricks with the toys and to juggle more than three of them and still make them activate. Thank you.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 19, 2015
  16. Scotophor

    Scotophor

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    Oct 8, 2014
    Are all of your original toys beyond repair? I could see speaker wire breakage as being a problem with the design, but also those cheap blob-top "C.O.B." (chip-on-board) toy circuits often also fail for no apparent reason. If it's only speakers and wires, possibly battery holders, that have failed, then your originals might still be repairable.

    I built something slightly similar about 20 years ago for halloween; using an ISD voice recording/playback chip, I made a "talking" raven for a Halloween decoration. About every 30 seconds, it plays a phrase no more than 5 seconds long. There are four phrases, which loop in a fixed sequence. Unfortunately my circuit is much larger than what you show. The ISD chip is probably as long or longer than the diameter of your module, and I have it running from 4 AA cells. Also, the sequencing and delay circuitry takes up some more space so the whole thing is on a circuit board maybe about 2 inches by 4 inches or so -- excluding the battery pack and speaker. However, I'm sure something smaller could be found these days that would do the job.
     
  17. stevejuggler

    stevejuggler

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    Apr 12, 2015
    I am sure that my toys aren't beyond your ability to repair them, but I have fixed wires and battery holders for years before they went beyond my (limited) ability to fix them. The other reason I want to make new ones instead of repair the old ones is because I want to have a new supply for replacing old ones. I only have the three original toys I bought years ago and I want to use 5 of them in the show and I want to have spares at the ready.
    Anyway, here is the new plan: After an exhaustive search, I have found a push-button device that will do what I need it to do. I just need to remove the push-button and replace it with a kinetic switch. Does anyone have any advice for a beginner electronics tinkerer on how to go about doing this?
    Here is a link to the unit:

    http://www.invitebyvoice.com/record...-sound-module-for-stuffed-animal-inserts.html

    Here is a link to a kinetic switch that looks good to me.

    https://www.adafruit.com/products/1766

    Please forgive me for my near-complete lack of electronics knowledge. I have ordered the above products and I hope to learn how to better manipulate the electronics in the devices so that moving forward I can be more self-sufficient in making repairs and building new ones.
     
  18. Scotophor

    Scotophor

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    Oct 8, 2014
    Those choices should be adequate for your needs. Good luck!
     
  19. stevejuggler

    stevejuggler

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    Apr 12, 2015
    I have the new sound module now. It is this one: http://www.invitebyvoice.com/record...-sound-module-for-stuffed-animal-inserts.html
    It has a wire leading to an external push-button switch. I don't know the best way to go about modifying this. Should I: Cut the wires to the push-button switch and then add a vibration switch module? Do I need something like this? http://www.dhgate.com/store/product...ion-switch/236994821.html#sb1-7-1a|2078994136
    Thank you all so much for your help. I am a complete novice to all of this, but I hope to learn. :)
     
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