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Discussion Starter #1
I've been emailing the owner of SimpleCircuitBoards today about a possible modification to one of his existing products that would allow the MP3 player to be used. It would be controlled in the same fashion as the timer board I designed earlier this year. I know several people have purchased the players for sound looping. If he can make this mod easily, we may have a source for off-the-shelf boards than can control the player. It may be premature to mention this at this point since he's still thinking it through, but is there any interest in having this capability?
 

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Otaku,

You rock!

It's funny that you mentioned this. I was just thinking about ordering all the parts to make your circuit.

I'd definately be interested!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I just got an email from the owner and he's definitely interested in building this board. He'll be working up a prototype in the next few days and sending it to me for testing.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I heard from the owner of SimpleCircuitBoards today, and he's got a list of enhancements he wants to try. Stuff like expanding the range of voltage that can be used to power the board, an LCD display to allow the user to program the "on" time in minutes and seconds, loop function, delay-before-play etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Alright! I got the prototype board today and it works beautifully. Programming is simple, just load the MP3 file in the player, plug it into the board, set the time, and go. A 2-line LCD panel displays the times and mode that its in. You just program the startup time, which can double as a delay before play, since the player won't start until the On button is released by the timer. Add a couple of secs of silence to the end of the file, enter the Play time and you're ready to go. It also has a looping option and you can set the time interval for that, as well. Couldn't be easier. I'll get a pic up tomorrow. I love this thing! Really makes the MP3 player easy to use.
 

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Alright! I got the prototype board today and it works beautifully. Programming is simple, just load the MP3 file in the player, plug it into the board, set the time, and go. A 2-line LCD panel displays the times and mode that its in. You just program the startup time, which can double as a delay before play, since the player won't start until the On button is released by the timer. Add a couple of secs of silence to the end of the file, enter the Play time and you're ready to go. It also has a looping option and you can set the time interval for that, as well. Couldn't be easier. I'll get a pic up tomorrow. I love this thing! Really makes the MP3 player easy to use.
Any idea of the approximate cost and when it might be available?
 

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any idea when he can have these available for sale? and what is the cost going to be?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I just dropped Jeff at SimpleCircuitBoards an email. Should have a response soon. More to come...
 

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Looks Great!!! I just picked up 5 more of these players. Ouch!!! on the price...He will have to do better than that. I was expecting maybe $39 with the player. Does his board work for any player or just the $5 cheap one?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I've been using ISD boards for a while now, and the biggest issue I have is sound quality. The 60 sec chip plays back at just 8kHz, about what a telephone sounds like. They're also very sensitive to recording input levels and the sound can become distorted easily. The 120 sec chip sounds very muddy, even compared to the 60 sec chip. Another advantage is you have stereo with the MP3 player, making it easy to set up a conversation between talking props.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Looks Great!!! I just picked up 5 more of these players. Ouch!!! on the price...He will have to do better than that. I was expecting maybe $39 with the player. Does his board work for any player or just the $5 cheap one?
I think he's designed around the $5 unit. Playback triggering is probably different from one player to another, and this board is designed to "press" the Play button for 1-2 secs to initiate playback. See the pic I posted earlier to see how the MP3 module connects to the board.
 

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I've been using ISD boards for a while now, and the biggest issue I have is sound quality. The 60 sec chip plays back at just 8kHz, about what a telephone sounds like. They're also very sensitive to recording input levels and the sound can become distorted easily. The 120 sec chip sounds very muddy, even compared to the 60 sec chip. Another advantage is you have stereo with the MP3 player, making it easy to set up a conversation between talking props.
I had just noticed that difference before you posted, I still think 75.00 is alot to spend.. I would have to agree with Halloweenguy, that he will need to do better than that as far as price is concerned..

I sure wish I had taken an electronics course, I would build one myself.
 

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I have to agree with Otaku...No question the MP3 route is the way to go. In terms of audio quality mp3 blows away the ISD setup. not to mention at least 13 more minutes of recording length.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I have been using an ISD board with my talking Reaper. Last year the TOTs complained that they couldn't understand what he was saying. I used the MP3 player with the same audio file last and it made a serious difference, both in sound quality and performance of the servo driver board. A trick I learned - put the spoken track on one channel and use the other to drive the servo. I put a steady 500kHz tone on the unheard channel and sliced it up to match the vocal track. You can manipulate the amplitude, length and decay of the tone sections to get super-clean performance from the servo. Very helpful for tracks that use reverb, echo and other effects that can confuse servos.
 
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