Category: Aids for Daily Living∨g=

DIY Super-Duper Voice Box

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Super-Duper Voice Box is designed for use by individuals who are not able to use their physical voice to communicate and have limited upper and lower extremity mobility as a result of a degenerative disorder or traumatic brain injury.  

Technical Specifications: 

Step 1: Gather Materials:
1 - 1 recordable sound module.
2 - 2 panel-mount switches to replace the stock switches on the module.
3 - 1 panel-mount 1/8 inch audio jack, mono.
4 - 1 project box of suitable size to hold the components. Get creative with this. I intend this as a Christmas present, so I am out of time to come up with a funny/clever enclosure.

Step 2: Determine the component layout: Now that you have your parts, determine how you want the controls laid out. The switches should be easily accessed without being in danger of accidental activation or damage. The speaker should not be covered, and should be some distance from the microphone. The speaker should fit neatly in the lid. Remember to add some air holes. The mic will mount in a hole below that, with the switches in between. The phono jack will be in the top of the box and the circuit board will have to be happy with the base of the box.

Step 3: Electronics mods: First thing to do to the module is replace the stock switches with your new ones. The record function was controlled by pressing two buttons simultaneously. I cut off both buttons, shorted one pair of leads and soldered the NO switch to the second pair. When pressed, the new switch will activate the record function. The play function is handled by a spring switch that was intended to be interrupted by a piece of paper as a greeting card is opened and closed. When the card is opened, the paper pulls away from the contacts, the switch makes contact and maintains the circuit until the recording has completed. The switch stays closed and the circuit shuts down. To play it again, the switch must be opened to "reset" the recording then closed to start play. This is why a NC switch is needed for this part.

Step 5: The Box Step: Now that the mods are mostly complete its time to put the pieces together. The speaker is Superglued in place behind the screen we drilled. The author used a series of drops around the perimeter to secure it. The buttons attach with included hardware. The microphone got hot glued behind its little screen. The circuit included a tiny little LED for the purpose of making sure that you were properly activating the buttons to record. This just happened to fit in a hole that the speaker didn't quite cover, so I hot glued it in place also.

Step 4: Mount Up! To attach the box to the chair in a secure, useable way, we will use straps of hook and loop fastener. I'll glue and screw strap to the back of the box and then it can be wrapped around the handlebars or chest straps of the chair.


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DIY Super-Duper Voice Box