staples easy button hack - I don't get the instructions

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by lokar, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. lokar

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 5, 2011
    7
    0
    The attached PDF is for a Staples easy button hack, where you can put in a voice module from RS and a couple other little things, and get the thing to say whatever you want.

    Problem for me is, I can't follow the guy's instructions... he addresses, for example, "the speaker" or " the wire", and it's unclear which of the two boards or numerous wires involved he's talking about. There are pictures that are supposed to show where to solder new wires, etc., but these are also unclear.

    So, wondering if anyone has done this or could take a look at the pdf and see if it's just me. I'd love to see some accurate and complete instructions... I don't think it'd be much for someone who knows a little about this stuff, but for me, the near-complete-noob, I couldn't confidently figure it out.

    Thanks.......z
     
  2. Sensacell

    Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2012
    1,128
    266
    Don't feel bad.

    The author makes many subtle assumptions about your knowledge and comfort level working with electronics.

    It's that "but it's obvious" syndrome; of course it's obvious- after you have figured it out.

    As a person who has worked in the electronics field my whole life, I find it funny that many how-to projects intended for general audiences found on the web are almost incomprehensible to me. When a project has no schematic diagram, or a goofy literal illustration and step-by step instructions, I need to work overtime to figure it out.

    I would suggest you look at it a different way.
    You know what you want it to do, go buy a playback unit from RS, read the instructions (which will inevitably be better than what you are following now) and try to sort it out yourself. You will be thinking more broadly about the problem, which will give you a better understanding of whats going on and a higher probability of getting it to actually work.
     
  3. lokar

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 5, 2011
    7
    0
    Thanks for writing! Okay then, I'm off to dig the audio board instructions that I thought I didn't need out of the trash. I'll be working on it as you suggested, but just in case anyone feels like they can explain it and save me some time, I'm still interested. I do like spending the time and gaining knowledge on how to do new stuff, but in this instance, getting the project done and off to where it's supposed to go is the main goal.
     
  4. lokar

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 5, 2011
    7
    0
    Oh, and did you actually see the instructions? Is it the gibberish I thought it was?
     
  5. Sensacell

    Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2012
    1,128
    266
    It was rather confusing.
     
  6. lokar

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 5, 2011
    7
    0
    Thanks, I was hoping I'm not losing it.
     
  7. ElectroDFW

    New Member

    Sep 2, 2011
    15
    1
    Greetings,

    One thing they do not mention is that with a little extra Dremel(tm) work, the 9V battery can be made to fit in 'tall'-ways, and you can still use the original battery cover. This involves modding the button part of it, to trim the guide-posts around where the cap hits the switch to clear the battery.

    Another thing to remember, if it is no longer an "easy" button, you need to shave off the 'easy' from the button itself. Use a cutoff, sanding drum, or flapwheel on low speeds to minimize melting, then get out some sanding sponges to make it uniform. I then sprayed it with a couple of coats of Plastic spray paint to get it looking good. I recommend either something meant fot plastic models, like a Tamiya plastic model car body paint, or "Rust-O-Leum For Plastic" It adheres better than normal paint and won't chip.

    I also kept the metal snap plate off. and just relied on the rubber dome on the original switch. and I basically de-populated the original board of all components save the switch and blob IC. Use a dremel of knife to diconnect the switch traces from the rest of the original circuit. then, expose part of the trace copper for soldering your new device wires to the switch. I wish i had pics of what i did with the one i made as a gift, but i will try to get some if i do one of these again.

    Also, they dont even mention removal of the lead weights.

    Regards,
    --Electro--
    aka The Other David
     
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