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Reach and Teach Invent: Audio FX Kit

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Congratulations on arriving at this page! I am the Spirit of Invention, but if you like, you may call me Mr. Hats which is short for Hatsumei. Together we will learn how to get the most out of your Reach and Teach Invent: Audio FX Kit. This kit comes with everything you need to create your own inventions that require sound. Here are just a few ideas of some of the things you can create:
  • A Talking Stuffed Animal
  • A Talking Space Ship Dashboard
  • Magic Talking Box
  • Intruder Alert
  • Electronic Drum Set

 

In the box you received you should find the following:

  • Adafruit FX Microprocessor Sound Board w WAV/OGG Trigger and 2MB Storage Capacity
  • Color-coded breadboard
  • 3-AA Power Module (batteries not included)
  • Magnetic Reed Switch
  • Photocell & Resistor
  • Wire
  • Magnet
  • Button Switch
  • Ear buds
In addition to what is included with this kit, you will need a mini USB cable and an external laptop or tablet for adding or changing audio on the board. You will also need 3 AA batteries.

You can do dozens of different projects simply by connecting the different color wires and other components to various places on the color-coded breadboard. The breadboard is marked with the following colors:

  • Yellow (Intermediary Connection)
  • Green (Select Audio Channels 0-10)
  • Blue (Intermediary Connection)
  • Red (Power)
  • Black (Ground)
  • Purple (Optional left and right audio outputs)

Audio FX setup

The Sound Board has a USB connector through which you can load sounds. Audio files can be WAV or OGG files. Using file naming conventions (see below for details) you can configure the channels to play a single sound, multiple sounds in a specific order, or randomly selected sounds. Your sound board has already been pre-loaded with sounds so you can immediately start to play with the board right out of the box.

Getting Started: Insert 3 AA batteries into the battery pack. Connect red and black wires from the battery pack to breadboard black-gnd and red-vin slots. Insert headphones into the headphone jack.

Project 1 - Press Button for Sound:

Connect the red wire from battery pack to red power slot on breadboard. Connect the black wire from battery pack to black slot on breadboard. Connect one wire cable from button to green audio slot #0 on the breadboard. Connect one white wire from button to black ground slot on breadboard. Turn on the power module. Now press the button and you should hear a sound. Pressing the button multiple times should play different audio sounds. Can you imagine how you could create your own talking plush animal? How could you add sound effects to a spooky haunted house or a spaceship made from cardboard boxes?

Before Starting Other Projects - Remove everything from the breadboard except the red and black power wires from the battery pack. Turn the power module off.

Project 2 - Get Magnetic

Connect one of the wires from the reed switch to black ground. Connect the other reed switch wire to first green audio slot #0 on breadboard. Turn on the power module. Hold magnet near top of reed switch and you should hear a sound. Can you imagine how to create a magic talking box that speaks whenever you wave a magic wand over it?

Project 3 - Shine A Light

Audio FX setup (photo sensor)

Connect one of the wires from the photocell to yellow intermediary slot. Connect the other wire from the photocell to red power slot. Connect one side of the resistor to the yellow intermediary slot. Connect the other side of the resistor to the black ground slot. Use a white wire to connect the yellow intermediary slot to the first green audio slot #0. Caution: Do not let any of the wires on the resistor and photocell touch each other. Turn on the power module. Hold a bright light over the photocell and you should hear a sound. Try blocking and unblocking the light as it hits the photocell and see what happens. Can you imagine how you could create your own intruder alert system?

Project 4 - Just use wire to make the connection

Connect wire to a black ground slot. Turn on the power module. Touch the other end of the wire to any of the green audio slots. You should hear different sounds. Can you imagine how you could use foil covered drumsticks and foil covered cardboard drums to create an electronic drum set?

Project 5 - Create and Load Your Own Sounds, Get Trigger Happy

The Reach and Teach Audio Explorer Sound fx Board Kit is built on the Adafruit FX Sound Board and can be loaded with any sound you want and supports up to 11 channels of sound (0 to 10). Depending on which green input pin you connect to ground will determine what sound(s) you hear. Sounds are assigned by simply downloading and naming the file as described below:

Your sound board will look just like a thumb drive when you attach it by USB cable to any PC or Macintosh computer. Just drag audio files (.wav or .ogg format) and rename the file to get the effect you want (where nn is audio channel 00 to 10).

 

  • Basic Trigger - name the file Tnn.WAV or Tnn.OGG to have the audio file play when the matching trigger pin nn is connected to ground momentarily
  • Hold Looping Trigger - name the file TnnHOLDL.WAV or .OGG to have the audio play only when the trigger pin is held low, it will loop until the pin is released
  • Latching Loop Trigger - name the file TnnLATCH.WAV or .OGG to have the audio start playing when the button is pressed momentarily, and repeats until the button is pressed again
  • Play Next Trigger - have up to 10 files play one after the other by naming them TnnNEXT0.WAV thru TnnNEXT9.OGG. Will start with #0 and each one on every momentary button press until it gets through all of them, then go back to #0
  • Play Random Trigger - just like the Play Next trigger, but will play up to 10 files in random order (TnnRAND0.OGG thru TnnRAND9.OGG) every time the button is pressed momentarily
Check out http://adafru.it/2133 for more information on how to create and load customized sounds

So you can experiment immediately, the Reach and Teach Audio Explorer Sound fx Board Kit comes pre-programmed with the following sounds:

  • T00.ogg – Welcome message (Reach and Teach)
  • T01RAND0.ogg - "Don't try this at home" (Reach and Teach)
  • T01RAND1.ogg - "Do ya think?" (Reach and Teach)
  • T01RAND2.ogg - "Really?" (Reach and Teach)
  • T01RAND3.ogg - "Yeah, Right" (Reach and Teach)
  • T02.ogg - NASA: "One small step for man"
  • T03.ogg - NASA: "Discovery liftoff"
  • T04HOLDL.ogg - Laser blast (42106_marcuslee_laser-wrath from freesound.org)
  • T05.ogg - Chicken clucking (170808__esperar__chicken-imitation from freesound.org)
  • T06.ogg - Joke rimshot (256959__jmayoff__rim-shot from freesound.org)
  • T07.ogg - Drum tap (77302__bigjoedrummer__tamburo-xd-18-kick-low-jazz-3-single from freesound.org)
  • T08.ogg - Cymbal (191490__alteration__cymbal from freesound.org)
  • T09.ogg - Music box "Happy Birthday" (369147__inspectorj__music-box-happy-birthday from freesound.org)

You can find a nice article on sources of free audio that you can use for your projects by clicking here. If you want to create your own audio, Audacity ( http://www.audacityteam.org/ ) is a good, multi-platform and free audio editor.

Project to Infinity and Beyond

By now we hope your imagination has been sparked with dozens of ideas of projects you can work on.

Need a little extra help? Reach And Teach offers hands-on workshops at our store in San Mateo. Contact us by email (info@reachandteach.com) or give us a call at 650-759-3784. We have group workshops as well as individual mentoring available (costs vary depending on the number of people, the amount of time, and the complexity of the project).




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