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Toy Guns with Sounds and Lights - Help

 
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thebluecanary
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Joined: 02 Feb 2006
Posts: 123
Location: St. Louis, MO

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:22 am    Post subject: Toy Guns with Sounds and Lights - Help Reply with quote

OK I am working on a project to make a replica gun from a movie (Not Starwars) and I wanted to add some sounds when it fired. So I thought, hey why not just buy a toy gun and hack it for the sounds. Well the thing is, I can not find one in any of the toy stores I have been to around here. I found this: http://buytoyguns.com/shop/product_info.php/cPath/83/products_id/217 and thought it might work. But without actually hearing the sounds, and knowing for sure I would hate to buy one and then it be junk.

I need a goodish sounding machine-gun fire, and a pulsing light. And the sound needs to stay on as long as I have the trigger down.

I did find a site the custom makes the lights and sounds, but they wanted $95! A $10-15 toy gun sounds much better to me.

So anyone have any ideas? Should I just call these people and ask to hear what it sounds like?
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jegner
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Joined: 30 May 2003
Posts: 2092
Location: Texas, USA

PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most of the toy guns I have heard sound like crap. Sorry, but the Hyperdyne sound boards are about the only thing I have seen that sounds good. Otherwise you are looking at a PFC type blank shooting guns. Not cheap either.

Jim
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Culvan
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Joined: 20 May 2008
Posts: 85
Location: Kansas City, MO

PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm surprised that the hyperdyne units are so expensive. I know there are sound recording/playback chips out there that aren't all that expensive.

Mr. Canary, I know your skill level is high enough that you could probably make something comparable to the hyperdyne system.

If you're like me and would like something a little faster and easier I'd recommend the uMP3 playback module from Rogue Robotics. It uses an SD memory card and can be setup to play files using three different methods. 8 sounds through individual pins, or you can configure it to play 128 sounds based on a binary code on those pins or you can give it serial commands. It costs about $100 and the volume is low so you would probably need some sort of amp. I've got one of these and I'm pretty happy with it. I used it on my robot.

http://www.roguerobotics.com/

Another option is the Vmusic2 module from vinculum. It uses a usb drive to store files. It looks like it would only work by serial connection. For $37.25 it is a cheaper option.

http://www.vinculum.com/prd_vmusic1.html
http://www.mouser.com/Search/ProductDetail.aspx?qs=vnwGVgFuQiYCrKscKT8PIQ%3d%3d

You could use something like a picaxe microcontroller to generate the serial connection information to drive it. The PICAXE-08M only costs about $4 and looks pretty simple to use.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PICAXE

Andy
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Culvan
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Joined: 20 May 2008
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Location: Kansas City, MO

PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found a sound chip that looks like it would be perfect for a prop weapon noise. It's the ISD1110P. It only provides 10 seconds of record/playback time, but that should be more than enough for a gunshot noise. (other chips go up to 120 seconds) It can be looped continuously while a button is held down (i.e. trigger) and will stop pretty quick after you release it. Best of all it requires very few components to use it for playback. You would need a more complex setup to record on it in the first place, but you can buy that as a kit from this website:
http://www.stormyacres.com/soundboard.html

I think you could probably get away with one ISDxxx chip, some sort of power regulator (LM7805), a capacitor to smooth out power, a preamp (LM386N4), a speaker, 3 pull up resistors and a switch. Should cost about $10 for the playback unit and $25 for the recording unit.

Andy
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jegner
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How did this sound board work out?
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thebluecanary
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Joined: 02 Feb 2006
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Location: St. Louis, MO

PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had to put the project on hold, I moved and got married. And atm my workshop is in a houndred little boxes! I am hoping i van get it all back to something functional by the end of this month. Just need to find the time.
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Culvan
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Joined: 20 May 2008
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Location: Kansas City, MO

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I picked up one of the stormyacres recording kits. It was $28.95 with shipping. I also picked up a Ziff socket to make it easier to get the chip in and out, but I bought the wrong one. The one in the picture is too large to fit on the board. I'll probably end up putting it in the playback board whenever I make it. I also didn't buy enough of the terminal blocks. The part numbers listed on the website are out of date for these two items in Jameco's catalog. These are optional components, but they make it easier to use the circuit. You can buy the terminal blocks from radio shack (which is how I got more of them).



Soldering it together was pretty easy, although I did burn through one trace while I was working. It was an easy repair. The polarity of the LED is backwards on the silkscreen. I didn't notice that he had used a pen to try to correct it so I have my LED in backwards. That's not really a problem since it's just an indicator. I made an audio cable to hook it up with out of spare parts I had around. I also had a 9v battery hookup and a spare switch lying around that I used with it. I also had a spare 7805 regulator in my parts bin so I upgraded to the more heavy duty model (not sure if that would help out if I upgrade the board to more functionality.) I bought the speaker from radio shack for about $3.



Operation is pretty easy. Plug the cable into the headphone output on the computer. Play sounds on the computer and press the record button when you want it to record. I had to move my switch to make it playback (would have been easier if I had used two switches.) The sound quality isn't the best, but it is understandable. I recorded some music on it and I don't think the chip lends itself well to that. The sampling rate is a bit lower than a telephone so the quality is slightly worse than what you hear over the phone. The little speaker I've got isn't capable of pumping out much volume. I think the board is probably capable of more. Even so, I'd set my expectations that this would be effective either close up or in a quiet environment (i.e. not a convention hallway). If you're willing to pay ~$30 for one sound effect up to 10 seconds long then this is a pretty good solution.

I'm still working with it, but I'm not sure how best to hook this up to a trigger for gun. It has the ability to loop, but I think I'm doing it wrong. Once I start it, it just keeps going. I'd look up the logic table for it, but I think the stormyacres website has a virus right now.

The downside is that this board is setup to record a single sound up to 10 seconds. I'd like to record multiple sounds. I'd like to put this into a gun and have it make a sound for the "gunshot", a click when the magazine is empty, and maybe even a sound for when a new clip is loaded. The chip is capable of doing that, but this soundboard is not. So my next steps are to build a circuit on a breadboard that will be the minimum components for playback. I'll add in the components to record as well which will give me the ability to segment the memory of the chip so I can record multiple sounds onto it. Last I'm going to add in a cheap microcontroller (PICAXE-08M). That will give me an extra level of control that is strictly not required, but fun to have.

If anyone wants part numbers or any more information I'd be happy to share.

Andy
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Stomper
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Joined: 01 Oct 2005
Posts: 471
Location: Woodburn, Oregon USA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WOW... I have always wanted to build something like this, but never got around to it. For the more sophisticated (programable) IC chips... what kind of interface software and dongle cord to hook up to the compter does something like this take, and does that website you mention have such an animal?
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Culvan
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Joined: 20 May 2008
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Location: Kansas City, MO

PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To be clear, I'm using two different products together. The ISD1110 is a sound recording chip that can record/playback 10 seconds. There are others chips in the same family that can record/play up to 120s.

The second product is the PICAXE-08M microcontroller. The PICAXE is a very simple microcontroller. The PICAXE-08M costs about $3.50. It can be programmed in basic. The setup to program it is a serial cable and two resistors. The software is free and includes a nifty simulator. If you are interested in microcontrollers this is a good family of chips to start with. The downsides are that it has very small space for program memory, and there aren't many distributors in the U.S. The 08M only has 8 pins (6 for i/o) so there are limits to how much you can monitor/control. They have other models with more pins, but I'm trying to make something with the absolute minimum cost right now. I may upgrade to a different chip if I want more bells and whistles.

http://www.rev-ed.co.uk/picaxe/

I bought mine from this website:
http://www.phanderson.com/picaxe/
He even included the required resistors.

I made my own serial cable with a DB9 connector I bought at radio shack and some old telephone wire. I've currently got it setup with 4 LEDs and I've got it programmed to cycle them from left to right. I've got another pin setup as an input to control the speed they move at.



Andy
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JoelBraun



Joined: 12 Jun 2010
Posts: 1
Location: San Diego California

PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know the original question about where to find toy Space guns is kind of old by now, but I have found that Thrift stores are about the best place to acquire toy blasters of any kind, if you are patient enough to visit often. I have gotten over a dozen really interesting sound and light space toy guns over the last year and keep finding them periodically. Good luck!
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Culvan
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Location: Kansas City, MO

PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, this thread is a blast from the past. I've moved on from this project, but there was one thing I found that probably would've been good to mention in this thread. Radio Shack carries a "9V Recording Module" for $10.99. It can record up to 20 seconds and will play that sound back at the push of a button.

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2102855

I haven't bought one so I can't say anything about its quality, but it looks like it would be really easy to use. The price point makes it fairly attractive for anything under 3 sounds (where you would buy a new one for each sound).

Andy
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