How to alter/replace sound on a circuit board for a toy.

Thread Starter

TheDoctorDanko

Joined Jan 22, 2019
12
Hey everyone! So I am new to this site, but also relatively new to tinkering with electronics.
I have been researching ways to modify soundboards and all I have really come up with is that you have to purchase a recordable sound chip and replace the one that already exists.

However, for the project I am currently working on there is a ton of additional components that I want to keep as is so I am seeking advice on how to add a sound chip and still keep the majority of the working components.

I will try to keep the rest of this post short, but I wanted to explain some of the potential complications.

First is there are two spinning figures that rotate via a motor and some gears. Once a button is pressed an LED light over their heads lights up, a song plays, and they spin in several circles. Ideally, I would still like the figures to spin, but replace the song that they are "dancing" to.

image2.jpeg

Next, there is a button that plays two separate audio clips of a Cinderella story. Each clip is about 3 minutes long and that white dome over top emits a light that consists of two separate LEDs. As the story progresses the colors change. I would love to replace the audio clips but still have the LEDs change colors. For me, that sounds a bit complicated so if I can only add/replace the sound chip I would understand that.

image1 (1).jpeg image3.jpeg image4.jpeg image5.jpeg

I tried to take a few different photos of the board, but if they are too unclear or unhelpful I will gladly take more.

Other than that, since this is an alarm clock it has a button that when pressed will back light the time, however it will go off after 10 seconds or so. I would love to have it continuously back lit if possible. But that is just icing on the cake really. The important part is tackling the sound board.

Any advice or direction is appreciated. I anticipate I'll just have to buy a sound chip and find a way to solder in a series to the existing board somehow, but I figured you would know better than I!

Thank you in advance!
 

Alec_t

Joined Sep 17, 2013
10,354
Welcome to AAC!
I'd guess the sound data is stored in a microcontroller (MCU) under one of those circular black blobs. To replace it would not be a simple matter of replacing a sound chip :(. Even if you had such a chip, interfacing it to the rest of the circuit would be challenging without a circuit schematic.
 

Thread Starter

TheDoctorDanko

Joined Jan 22, 2019
12
Welcome to AAC!
I'd guess the sound data is stored in a microcontroller (MCU) under one of those circular black blobs. To replace it would not be a simple matter of replacing a sound chip :(. Even if you had such a chip, interfacing it to the rest of the circuit would be challenging without a circuit schematic.
Thank you for your quick response! I kind of guessed that might be the case. I know I can buy a separate recordable circuit board that I can use to replace the existing circuit board all together.

However, after reading your post I had a thought. (Apologies if it gets too wordy)

In theory if I just removed the speaker from the existing circuit board then all the other features should function as normal, there just wouldn’t be an output for sound. So if I were to take a second circuit board with the new sound clips would it be possible to solder an additional connection from the old buttons to the new board? The new circuit would be executing the new sound clips while the old button would execute the LEDs/motors/etc from the original circuit - basically pressing two buttons at once?

(Provided I had a way to power the additional board and not blow anything up haha)

I’m kind of just spitballing. Feel free to tell me if it’s a dumb idea lol
 

Alec_t

Joined Sep 17, 2013
10,354
Your second board would need, apart from stored sound clips, an amplifier to drive the speaker (unless a sound module already has an amp) and, as you say, a power supply. Not sure about using the old buttons to trigger the new sound. You might need an entirely separate switch for triggering the sound, as the present switches/buttons are probably scanned by an MCU.
 
If the LED can be a "simple trigger", then you do have a place to start. A light turning on, may be that trigger.

Somewhere I have a ;ink for a recordable sound board. I agree, you would likely need an amplifier too.
Another problem might be if the "speaker" makes buzzer sounds for the alarm clock.

This product is designed to be manufactured as cheaply as possible. Those black blobs are "Systems on a Module". A "naked" IC is glued and encapsulated on the PCB.
 

DNA Robotics

Joined Jun 13, 2014
499
I just removed the speaker from the existing circuit board then all the other features should function as normal
two separate LEDs. As the story progresses the colors change. I would love to replace the audio clips but still have the LEDs change colors.
You could use the LED power to signal / turn on recordable greeting card circuits that include amplifiers and speakers.
 

Thread Starter

TheDoctorDanko

Joined Jan 22, 2019
12
If the LED can be a "simple trigger", then you do have a place to start. A light turning on, may be that trigger.

Somewhere I have a ;ink for a recordable sound board. I agree, you would likely need an amplifier too.
Another problem might be if the "speaker" makes buzzer sounds for the alarm clock.

This product is designed to be manufactured as cheaply as possible. Those black blobs are "Systems on a Module". A "naked" IC is glued and encapsulated on the PCB.
What do you mean by a “simple trigger” exactly?
 

Thread Starter

TheDoctorDanko

Joined Jan 22, 2019
12
You could use the LED power to signal / turn on recordable greeting card circuits that include amplifiers and speakers.
That’s a good idea! So what you’re saying is I can essentially “tap into” the LED and when a button on the existing circuit board is pressed it would send the signal to the LED as normal but it would also be sent to the greeting card circuit that’s hooked up to it and trigger the sound portion?
 

Thread Starter

TheDoctorDanko

Joined Jan 22, 2019
12
Thank you for these links! These are kind of what I had in mind! So, if I get those modules I can link buttons to them and keep it all contained with these boards. Then if I take the suggestions of the other folks on this thread I should be able to hook this sound module up to some existing components and it should be enough to give me the results I want! At least I think so anyway haha
 

dendad

Joined Feb 20, 2016
2,985
I have used the WT588D with buttons to make a model train station announcement box.
And driven from an Arduino for sounds in a laser tag gun. They are pretty good and there s quite a bit of info on the net on how to use them.
In sleep mode, that draw almost no current so a power switch is not really needed.
 
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