anyone make a custom sound effect circuit board

Hi, I am looking to find someone who could design and make up a circuit for me for a reasonable charge. I already have some of the electronics. I am not sure if they can be used or whether the project should be restarted from scratch. The basic spec is below.

The project is to add some electronics to a wooden rocking horse I have already made and to play recorded horse sounds as follows.

Inputs needed

- rocking motion sensor(s) to lead to two different sound effects - low speed (trotting) - high speed (galloping) - when the rocking stops the horse is to neigh

- microphone to pick up whistle sound and horse to neigh

- remote control to turn the electronics on or off


- mouth speaker and eye leds

- belly speaker


- must be battery supply

- ideally to be from a single voltage

Any time the horse neighs the leds in his eyes are to light up. There are two separate speakers - one in his mouth (for the neighing sound) and one under his belly (for the trotting/galloping sounds).

The size of boards and power pack needed to fit into a space about 5" x

3" x 4".

I already have the sounds recorded on a APR9600 board/IC, and I have a radio-controlled board (similar to garage door opener) to turn the system on and off.

That's about it. Any pointers appreciated.

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Mercury switches could serve as motion detectors. The remote control adds some overhead ... doable, but do you really need it?

Easy and straightforward stuff.


No problem.

No problem.

A cheap microprocessor with some additional memory should take care of this. The sounds could be stored as binary files in EPROM or flash memory (lots of ways to go here). A D/A converter would then provide the sounds (along with an amplifier). There are some really friendly uPs out there ... e.g. Picaxe.

You are not likely to find a professional to put this together for you (at a price that you would accept) but you might find an engineering student looking for a thesis or a senior project. Good luck.

Reply to
Charles Schuler


I presume the sound effects chip/board can only play one sound at a time. That might be a bit of a problem. Wouldn't the OP need to arbitrate between the two sounds. Also there would be just one output so it would need to be switched between two speakers. That sounds a bit awkward. How would you plan to do that?


Would this really need a microprocessor ... or were you thinking to play the sounds from the micro's RAM? Hmm. If so, I think I can see how you would deal with the two speakers mentioned above. Since the OP has the sounds already, though, would discrete (term?) electronics be enough? It would save developing the software for the cpu.

-- James

Reply to
James Harris

Well, if "discrete" includes a counter, PROM, and DAC, then it would be fairly simple, especially if the sounds have an "end" flag to stop the counter; then another PROM for the start address of each particular effect - nothin' to it!

Cheers! Rich

*PROM == ROM, PROM, EPROM, EEPROM, flash, diode matrix, whatever... ;-)
Reply to
Rich Grise

After reading all this it sounds like a 22V10 FPGA state machine should be enough to finish this.

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I'm kind of jumping in here late, so I don't know if this is even applicable at all, but here goes.

I saw a system where they used an MCU to select the upper 4 address lines of a big EPROM and a counter with A0 of the EPROM going to and INT pin to give a sample count. The MCU would select one of 16 sounds, start the counter, count the number of A0 transitions as a sample count/2 number and stop the counter when the end of sound occurred. The DAC was a simple resistor ladder right off the EPROM data lines. Sure, it could only do 1 sound at a time and the low pass filter was just passive components, but it worked. Definately no high fidelity but very understandable and they even did some little music samples.


Reply to
James Beck

1st question would be - do you have any micro controller programming experience? If so this part could easily be done in software with a tilt switch or mercury switch. If you dont, then it can be done with some general logic IC's and capacitors to set rocking speed thresholds.

small op amp with a passband filter should do the trick here. no one really talks in the freq range of a whistle.

Again with a micro a sleep routine could be programmed. slave a timer circuit off the tilt switch to make it come awake for a predetermined amount of time and when the timer runs powers everything off again if there isnt any motion.

the LEDS are easy and again can be tied to the logic IC circuitry, a microcontroller would also do this easily. The speaker issue is easy too. If your going to use the playback IC for your sounds, you can use a CD4016 or CD4066 CMOS IC to route the audio, at the right time based on the gallop ic set, to 2 different LM386 IC's. One for the mouth speaker and one for the belly speaker. If you want to use 1 amplifier IC seems you might be able to use a FET to pass audio to the appropriate speaker for each different sound.The FET could also be logic controlled and done without a micro.

everything should be able to operate off a 9v batt or for lots of use, a set of 4 aa batts.

Some of the ideas others have givven are talking about using a much more complex set of hardware , if the APC9600 works, then keeps for your application and you dont need higher fidelity, then keep it in your project. Jameco electronics also carries a line of record/playback IC's

Keep us informed...

Good Luck -Eric

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thanks for your helpful comments i will get back to you another time.

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