Talkie electronics

Sound PCB (Playback)
The 60 second ISD2560 voice recorder has a better sampling rate, so I wired 2 together in a direct addressed tandem mode. Basically one plays through the other to give 2 minutes of sound.
I recorded all the dialogue myself, modified in Audacity based on things Talkie might say in the show. Though there are actually only two minutes of recorded speech, the total time for it to run through all its speech is around 10 to 15 minutes, including pauses.

Lights
A digital vu meter flashes lights based on how loud the sound level is and I arranged the LEDs to be not in straight lines like a normal VU meter but rather a circular pattern.

Sensors
To allow Talkie to hear someone I modified a VOX switch (voice operated switch) kit to output a logic level when sound was detected.

Vox to recognize there is a reply
Talkie toaster ears

Everything is turned on by the shadow cast on a light dependant resistor (LDR).
The toaster itself had built in LEDs for frozen bread or bagel selection so I used these to give visual feedback of the current mode; the LED’s lit when it was waiting for a reply.
I wanted the toaster to cry “Help! Help! Toastercide!” if the it was moved so I added a push button switch to the base of the toaster which activated when the toaster was lifted.

Brains
I purchased some Picaxe 28x micro controllers. These are similar to a Basic Stamp but have the advantage of being cheaper and very easy to use. I created a small development PCB for the Picaxe and programmed them (I actually ended up using 2 Picaxe 28x because I ran out of ports).

Improvements
Once installed I was never happy with the light dependent resistor (LDR). Levels of light had to be just right. So recently I changed this and added a SRF05 ultrasonic detector. The hardest part of the conversion to ultrasonics was finding somewhere that is a good lookout point that is not really noticeable. It was the longest part of the conversion and, after trying 3 or 4 places, I finally settled on a location. It actually works very well.

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