Help me w/ audio for 1:1 R2D2...

Discussion in 'Star Wars Costumes and Props' started by darthwhitey, Jul 2, 2015.

  1. darthwhitey

    darthwhitey Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I'm trying to find a good way to add audio to my life-size (mostly metal) R2D2.

    I've got this awesome droid with lights but I can't seem to figure out the sound!

    I bought a small sound board from a member here a couple years ago, and I wired it up so when I flip a switch it plays a loop of the sounds, but it's much too quiet. The speaker I have is very small and without amplification I don't think it will get louder.

    I thought about just using a nice bluetooth speaker and running it from my iPhone but I'd like something a little more permanent and "push button ready."

    When I looked a couple years ago on the R2 builders site I couldn't find much there either.

    Thoughts?

    Help me Obi Wan Kenobi...you're my only hope!
     
  2. Trooper_trent

    Trooper_trent Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I bought a bluetooth speaker from target and used livetrax ap on my iphone. That'll instantly let you play any custom sounds from a button panel on the screen. Plus you can play your ipod through him as well.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
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  3. DarthVaderSC

    DarthVaderSC New Member

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    I need to hire someone to do a darth vader voice enhancer for my costume.
     
  4. darthwhitey

    darthwhitey Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks TT...!

    Yeah, I actually bought the same Bluetooth speaker (maybe even from your past advice?) and it worked with my phone.

    Problem is, I think I'd rather have something a little more self contained that could work without the need for a phone nearby. Something that you could just flip a switch.
     
  5. jchristman

    jchristman Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Are you looking for an off the shelf, ready-to-run solution, or are you comfortable putting something together yourself?

    If you're willing to put some work into it, a popular solution a number of R2s are running is an Arduino and MP3 Trigger:

    https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11029

    That'd be easy to wire into a switch to play / cycle through the sounds. You'd have to be willing to write some code for the Arduino, but it's not that difficult and there is a lot of documentation and tutorials on Sparkfun.

    Jason
     
  6. darthwhitey

    darthwhitey Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks Jason, but that all seems above my pay grade. :)

    My current setup involved a solder free breadboard that was complicated enough.
     
  7. darthwhitey

    darthwhitey Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  8. pandatrooper

    pandatrooper Well-Known Member

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    What about a small 1505 or 1506 Aker amp? Check voice booster.com
     
  9. Trooper_trent

    Trooper_trent Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Just get a cheap mp3 player and store a long loop on it. leave it permanently connected to a louder battery powered speaker with a headphone jack. Turn the speaker on, and push play. The reason I suggested the blue tooth / phone option is so that you could control what sounds play and when, so that there is an added level of interactivity.
     
  10. darthwhitey

    darthwhitey Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    This is a great idea, and I may still do it....

    BUT, I have two switches on the back of the dome, one for lights and one for sound...I'd really love to just flip that switch and it plays

    any way to hook up the MP3 player to that switch?

    I'll shoot some pics of the inside of the dome and switch ASAP
     
  11. xl97

    xl97 Sr Member

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    As mentioned... using an Arduino and an MP3 player is very easy... up there with the solderless breadboard..

    "any way to hook up the MP3 player to that switch?" - Absolutley!!

    that being said... the Arduino is really only acting as a SWITCH/BUTTON to trigger the MP3 player..

    if you wanted, you could bypass the Arduino and use your 'switch' to trigger the MP3 player..

    (the bonus with the Arduino is that it can use other 'sensors' (input) to trigger various MP3's house on the player. you'll essentially only be able to trigger the 'one' (unless you have more switches?)

    *make sure you check how long each mp3 file can be for playback...
    * check on how you plan on storing the mp3 files.. some need to be uploaded directly to the board... some can be on a microSD card..etc


    seems like this is right up your alley:

    http://www.adafruit.com/products/2342

    (I think they have a bigger one too, 16MB flash?)

    http://www.adafruit.com/products/2341

    a version with the AMP already built in:

    https://www.adafruit.com/product/2210


    etc..etc


    good luck! :)
     
  12. darthwhitey

    darthwhitey Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I spoke to Jim at Hyperdyne labs and he has this...

    Is a 1w amp enough?

    "The standard R2 sound board has a motion detector to trigger sounds. It runs $155+shipping and comes with a small 1W amplifier board and small speaker."

    http://www.hyperdynelabs.com/products_elec_droidSound.php
     
  13. Vormz

    Vormz Sr Member

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    Hi,
    I've got the exact same "problem" with my R2. Did you find out how to do with yours?
    I think I'm gonna try @Trooper_trent solution and test the livetrax app with my cheap bluetooth speaker.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  14. Trooper_trent

    Trooper_trent Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I'm starting a new R2 build and I'm pretty sure I'm going to do the same thing I did last time. It was just so easy. And now (3 years later) there are even better, louder, more compact options for blue tooth speakers.
     
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  15. darthwhitey

    darthwhitey Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Hey guys

    Time to revisit this project!

    I'd really prefer some kind of plug-n-play option with a loud speaker that I can adjust the volume on

    Any new ideas?

    thanks!
     
  16. Sith Lord

    Sith Lord Active Member

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    Just finished my droid. Got a bluetooth speaker/iphone (iPod) with it. However I've ordered a 12V Relay board/Remote with a MP3 card that takes songs on a SD Card. Should work nice...

    Quite a few options over on Astromech.net
     

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