Reprogram a greetings card?

Thread Starter

soopytwist

Joined Dec 23, 2016
37
I've seen these in greetings cards before but never one with a ribbon connector before. I'm guessing I can reprogram it, but how? What do I need?
For the record this is actually a corporate flyer rather than a greetings card, it just plays an introduction to the Digital Healthcare Show taking place at ExCel in London in June. I want to wipe that and replace it with something else.

 

narkeleptk

Joined Mar 11, 2019
374
That black blob will hold a ic with memory containing the recording its likely pretty small memory so you might not can add much more then whats there. honesty you'd probably be better off to just make your own.
 
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Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
3,584
Hey everybody, my take on what is being asked is how to reprogram the recorded statement. In other words, remove the "Welcome to ExCel" and replace it with "Happy Birthday Kathy" or whatever name or statement that @soopytwist wants.

Sorry Soop I don't know how to reprogram the chip; if even possible. The COB may contain an EEPROM (Electronically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory). If so you can probably change it. But you'll need the right software to do so. If it's a UVEPROM (Ultraviolet Erasable) you can't change it. If it's merely a PROM, again, you can't change it. At least it's my understanding of PROMS. I could be wrong.
 

djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
5,622
If it’s a corporate tchotchkes, it was probably customized by the vendor who supplied them.

It’s a long shot, but you could call the vendor and bluff your way into talking to whomever does the customizing. Then with a lot of nice-nice maybe you could get them to tell you how they are programmed (or let you talk to someone who knows).

Knowing the purpose of the card and drooling over that fat edge connector, I bet it’s worth following up.
 

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
4,521
Way back in the beginning the original "chip corders) were developed by a company called ISD. The early chips could record about 20 seconds of analog signal. The chip corder was developed by a very nice gentleman named Richard (Dick) Simko. The demo boards for the original chip allowed a user to record a brief 20 second audio message.

Nuvoton bought ISD and actively markets the chips with much longer record times and multi message capabilities. They can be had relatively inexpensive. I would just buy a few chips which suit your needs. The original developer Richard Simko is the brother of a fine engineer I had the pleasure of working with for over 20 years, Daniel Simko. Anyway a Google of Chip Corder should get you plenty of hits for buying whatever you need or want. Here are a few examples of the chips available.

Here is an example on a breakout board.

Ron.
 
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I think that your best approach is to survey the greeting card voice modules on eBay and Ali and the rest and get an idea what the connections are likely to be assuming you can't find that particular module.

For example:

from https://soundexpressiongreetings.com/product/push-button-sound-recording-modules/

Your module:
gcard1.jpg

You have a pretty good idea that you will need a mic and a trigger switch and those IO1 and IO2 look like they could be input buttons like above. IOW, you will need to do some experimenting. Given how cheap these are in general, you could have some fun and maybe figure it out.
 
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WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
24,712
It may not be possible to reprogram a chip on an existing card, but you can almost certainly get unprogrammed modules that you can program your own one-time greeting into. They can't be very expensive since they are meant to be giveaways at tradeshows and such.
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
1,196
Nice! But no where near as low a profile as the one found in greeting cards. Still, very nice.
Yeah, I know, but I ordered one and some coin battery holders to play with and maybe use in something for the grandkids. They have other options and the point being they can be bought cheaply even as singles. But Kudos to soopytwist the OP for sparking my interest in something new to play with!
 

DickCappels

Joined Aug 21, 2008
5,899
The cheap ones are mask-programmed for various tunes. The only way to change the tune is to change the chip. An interesting bit of info: A friend of mine in Hong Kong who used to produce the programming code until he taught his client how to do it said that those chips in greeting cards usually cost around a penny each.
 
The cheap ones are mask-programmed for various tunes. The only way to change the tune is to change the chip. An interesting bit of info: A friend of mine in Hong Kong who used to produce the programming code until he taught his client how to do it said that those chips in greeting cards usually cost around a penny each.
They are all cheap. Yes, some are OTP/mask programmed and so on. The OP's card has those pads for insertion into a connector - that is why they are there. I don't know if he can reprogram his card, I think it is possible and I remain encouraged. If I had one, I would try to reprogram it.

If you KNOW his is not re-programmable, then why not just come out and say that and save him some time?

Think of the YEARS he will waste trying to reprogram it but always having to listen to the Introduction to the Digital Healthcare Show. He may be driven completely insane, give up anything electronic and become a Luddite....all because you didn't come out and say NO, you can't do that....bad moderator...no donut for you!
 
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