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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a couple of props that will either be static (Boris skull) or in constant motion (shiatsu) that I would like to trigger some audio using a PIR.


Any turnkey solutions or other suggestions?
 

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Do you already have the audio source (MP3 player or whatever)? Do you want the prop to trigger at the same time? You could probably use an MP3 set to repeat for the Shiatsu prop unless you prefer the sound to be on-demand. You can also check out the boards at Cowlacious and see if one of those will work. It'll cost a bit to get the record/playback board, though, ~$50.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Not really concerned about triggering the prop, I just want to trigger audio.

I have 5 of the cheap-o MP3 players purchased through a Group Buy on here about a year or so ago. I'm not that great at soldering nor do I possess the skills to read a electronic diagram.

I was looking at the cowalicious boards which look like what I'm after, but by the time I buy the ISD chip I would only be saving about $20. For the difference I'd go ahead and buy additional F105's or possibly the nerve center.

The ability to use multiple messages would be great, but not a necessity.
 

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Evil, Wicked, Mean, Nasty
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Sparkfun has an mp3 trigger audio card that supports multiple triggers. (I have one of these on order. I'll provide some feedback or bring it to a N. Texas/Okie MnT.) Pimpmyprop offers something similar for a significantly higher price. But this card solution doesn't necessarly solve the problem of triggering through a pir sensor.

Using a mechanical switch (or a relay) you can also open/close the circuit on an audio cable. Or do the same with a $10 RS audio recorder or one of the cheaper online solutions. Maybe someone could provide a solution for using a picaxe to trigger one of these cheap recorders off a pir.

The absolute cheapest solution I have is to use a cheap sound box from Party City - ($.50 - $3). I used a couple that scream and couple others that provide a pretty good evil laugh. I opened the sound box, disconnected the contact wires, and wired them directly to a cheap pressure switch. It worked great for my coffin (see Otaku's motor controller thread). It also works for something like a pneumatic popup. You just need some type of open or closing event that can trigger the switch.
 

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For $11 the USB download audio board from electronics123.com is also an excellent solution. If used with a PIR, you would have to wire a relay in to short the contacts on the USB board.
 

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Thanks, fritz42 - I always forget about these USB boards; they look like a great solution to good quality prop sound. The only issue I see with using them is the triggering. A second trigger event will shut off the board, so if using a PIR you'd need to be able to lock it out for n seconds while the file plays. Most ISD boards will ignore multiple triggers until the file has played out (unless you hold the trigger high for the duration of playback) so extending the file with "silence" is a cheap way to lock out re-triggers. Doesn't look to be an option here, though.
There may be a way to use a PNP transistor to act as a lockout switch during playback - you'd just need a reasonable voltage (for the base pin) that's high when the file is playing.
 

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Hi Joker - the mp3 player we offer at www.pimpmyprop will not re-trigger until the audio track is finished playing. It also has a selectable "post cycle" delay that allows you to select how long it waits after the audio track has finished playing before it will 'accept' another trigger. This can be adjusted between 5 sec and 5 min with a dial on the board. If you or anyone else has other questions about the features/operation of the AP1 player I am glad to help any time.
 

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Evil, Wicked, Mean, Nasty
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For $11 the USB download audio board from electronics123.com is also an excellent solution. If used with a PIR, you would have to wire a relay in to short the contacts on the USB board.
Your comment about shorting the contacts is exactly the sticky point I pondered for most audio solutions. Presuming you don't already have a controller....what would be the cheapest way to wire a PIR to short the contacts on a button activated audio card? The Quorum PIR has an output voltage. But I'm not familiar with a relay that could use that without a control. More $.

Azdude - what's the cheapest way to PIR trigger your audio board?*

* (For those who haven't read up...it does appear to have some nice capabilities.)
 

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The Quorum PIR has an output voltage. But I'm not familiar with a relay that could use that without a control. More $.
The Quorum comes with instructions for building a cheap R-C timer that can control a 5VDC relay. I've built a few boards like this - they're really easy to make and are adjustable from ~2 secs up to a couple of mins depending on the capacitor and pot you choose. You can also use just the relay attached directly to the PIR's output terminals. The only issue is that 15 sec/15 min off interval thing.
BTW, I read through the info on that USB board and you can set it for a one-shot playback that will ignore triggers while the file is playing. Using a silent period after the sound file will serve to extend the "off" time, after which the board will be able to be triggered by the next incoming event. I have some ideas in the works for using/triggering this board - I'll know more after I get my hands on one of them.
 

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Darklore, the AP1 can be triggered by any high-going signal from 3.3V to 5V. We offer a PIR sensor for $15 that comes with 10' feet of cable. Its the same PIR sensor available at Parallax - I have worked with several of these types of sensors and this one works the best that I have seen.
 

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For $11 the USB download audio board from electronics123.com is also an excellent solution. If used with a PIR, you would have to wire a relay in to short the contacts on the USB board.
I was looking at that as well. Do you have to use powered speakers or has that speaker got enough umph
 

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I have used the cowlacious recorder/player board I like it a lot. It is however limited to the chip you buy with it as to how long the audio sample is. The best part is how easy it is to trigger there are multiple options.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have used the cowlacious recorder/player board I like it a lot. It is however limited to the chip you buy with it as to how long the audio sample is. The best part is how easy it is to trigger there are multiple options.
robp790 would it be possible to trigger multiple boards simultaneously with one trigger?
 

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Evil, Wicked, Mean, Nasty
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robp790 would it be possible to trigger multiple boards simultaneously with one trigger?
The cowlacious board triggers from switch, motion sensor, or voltage level. It depends upon how you plan to trigger. But the simple answer is, yes.

Btw..I did buy one of the mp3 trigger boards I mentioned earlier in the thread. It works great. It takes a 2mb memory card and allows multiple triggers to trigger different files. (They are not simultaneously played. Each interrupts whatever is playing.)

Fyi - I have both of these boards.

The cowlacious board works fine. But the memory limitation on chip based solutions is...well...limiting. At low quality, it is unacceptable for my use. I have the largest memory chip option and can't play "This Is Halloween" at high quality without severely cutting the length of the song.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The cowlacious board triggers from switch, motion sensor, or voltage level. It depends upon how you plan to trigger. But the simple answer is, yes.
Let's say I want to use a PIR to trigger 3 boards simultaneously, would I just wire the boards trigger connections inline with one another, (i.e. PIR plugged into one spot on board 1 and one spot on board 3 and then connect 1 to 2 and 2 to 3?
 

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Anybody used one of the Cowalicious recorder/player boards?
http://www.cowlacious.com/AudioProd.htm
Yes, these are great boards to work with. I like the improvements made to new ones. These are simple plug and play units. Just attach your power source, plug in the audio speakers, use a trigger of choice, and record your choice of sound.
Carl also sells a PIR unit that works nicely. I went with the pin point one.

I would recommend these.
 

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I have cowlacious sound cards in every one of my props and i love them.Of course last year i have upgraded the speakers from computer speakers to guitar amps. I currently have a haunt bot mp3 standalone on it's way to me to use for my new greeter prop, it uses an SD card so i can get alot of different audio files out of it.
 

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Let's say I want to use a PIR to trigger 3 boards simultaneously, would I just wire the boards trigger connections inline with one another, (i.e. PIR plugged into one spot on board 1 and one spot on board 3 and then connect 1 to 2 and 2 to 3?
Yes, that would work. As far as the boards are concerned, your trigger is a normally open switch. If the boards' trigger terminals are wired in series, all will trigger from the same event. Be sure to close the loop by connecting the PIR ground to the remaining open terminal on board 3 in your example. Do you plan to use the voltage output from the PIR as the trigger, or will you be using a relay? If you want to use the PIR as a standalone trigger device, here's a circuit that will power the PIR and uses a transistor as the switch. It's tested at 6 and 9VDC.

 

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Let me first apologize. I'm confused and trying to catch up. (I don't use the pir on my audio card, I trigger my audio card from another board.) I'm not sure I understood Joker's question, nor the response. Cowlacious sells a connection cable with the pir that plugs into the pir and into the board, crossing the pins so the signal input follows the pir output.

Using the image below as reference...



It sounded to me like Joker is describing the plug being connected to the first board (A), then all the boards connected to each other, with the last board (C) having all three wires back to the pir again....in the same fashion it was wired to the first board (A).

It sounded like your response is saying, do what's in my illustration, but bring only the black wire back to the pir.

And what any of that has to do with a standalone trigger with USB board wires and transistors as a switch loses me even further. Did the response stray from the question?
 
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