Comments: Build a Qwiic Jukebox that is Toddler Approved!

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  • First of all, Pete, it's a wonderful project, and I'm so glad you're encouraging your youngster to learn! On the subject of the "pause" function, I think he's wise well beyond his years! (Glad you don't have an "audio feed" of me when my TiVo "toggles" the pause button between "pause" and "play" because of an optical path issue...)

    A couple of comments: Seems to me that theoretically it should be possible to bend the acrylic using a heat gun (or hot air soldering station), but it would certainly be a LOT easier with the strip heater.

    My other thought would be a slightly different approach to the "crafty" cards: they could also be done with electrical contacts of some sort (some bare wires, maybe?) with "patterns" on the cards made with conductive tape.

    • Thanks 773!

      Aha! Genius! I love the idea to use conductive tape. I imagine this approach might end up looking a bit like a testbed. I have a little experience with those :)

  • I'm very happy to have stumbled on this project. I'm a newbie and have been trying to put together basically this exact jukebox for my own kids. I started a first attempt years ago with the RFID Charlie's Bear project. Then I found another RFID jukebox project that also got a writeup on Make. But many of the components for those projects are no longer manufactured. Then I stumbled across your project and basically bought the accompanying list of things I'll need. (I'll use the RedBoard Quiic and the Quiic MP3 Trigger instead of an Arduino and a Wave Shield -- much happier to use MP3s anyway!)

    My question is, how can I add an amplifier? I found the Noisy Cricket and have put that in my cart, too, but I was hoping to find a tutorial or otherwise get some guidance on how to incorporate it in this specific project. Any help you could provide would be hugely appreciated.

    I'm already hugely happy you shared this project here. Thanks very much!

    • Just to add to what QCPete was mentioning - there is now a library for the Qwiic RFID board, which you can find in the Arduino Library Manager. Just search for "SparkFun Qwiic RFID". If you haven't done that before we have a tutorial to walk you through it:

      https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/installing-an-arduino-library#using-the-arduino-library-manager

    • Hi there #579, Glad you found this too, and thanks for reaching out!

      We used the hamburger mini speaker, which is a pretty nice cheap and easy solution. We used a small piece of Velcro to attach it, so that gives a little movement when the youngsters grab on to it to turn it on and off. I think if it were more securely mounted, then it would eventually crack off or damage the jukebox control surface.

      I have been thinking about upgrading the speaker though. It has a USB mini-B plug for charging, and we actually have just left that plugged in permanently. For the first few months of use, we were charging and then removing the cable, (you can get about 2 hours of playback on full volume, and even more on the "low" setting). But it ends up being easier to just leave it plugged in. The volume and sound quality is totally fine for most kids I'm sure (especially our home recordings of audio books), but as a parent I do a lot of listening to our jukebox too, and I would appreciate a bit more headroom and low end on my sound systems.

      The noisey cricket is a great little amp. We have used that with the boulder bounces installation with great success. We installed a monoprice 6.5" speaker in the ceiling (10 ft up), and it had plenty of volume even at 25% volume setting.

      Also, I would like to highlight a new button option we just released today! It's a qwiic enabled button, which would be a pretty nice way to rig up your play and stop buttons. And I also saw that SparkX is planning on releasing an arcade button version of this in the next couple days. Looking forward to that!

      Good luck, and please don't hesitate to post any more questions that come up. Cheers!


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