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mbroker 31st October 2002 01:50 AM

DIY answering machine
Ok, not really an answering machine, but somewhat similar. My father organizes a men's quartet (they recently sang the National Anthem at a Milwaukee Brewer's game - they were the highlight of my evening ;) ). He recently asked me about setting up a little "gizmo" next to their tip jar that will play a simple thank you when money is dropped in the jar. He thought a motion sensor or something to trigger a digital player of some sort.

Triggering the message is easy; playing the message is what seems to be the hard part to me. Aside from using a "sacrificial answering machine," I see no easy way to accomplish this. I was hoping someone here may have a few ideas.

Thanks a lot!

Mark Broker

Brett 31st October 2002 02:59 AM

There are stand alone digital recorder chips available, I've seen them used in projects ina local electronics project mag called Silicon drip, sorry Chip. I had no interest in the project myself so I didn't bother taking note of numbers. Perhaps someone here will know.

What about one of those small note taker devices that are built into key rings and the like. They can often be had for a couple of dollars, then all you need to do is connect into the replay trigger and take the audio out to a small amp and speaker. Probably the cheapest and easiest solution.

peranders 31st October 2002 06:57 AM

Elfa is a frame site. Use the word "ljudlagring" for search word (SÖK in swedish)

Mönsterkort = pcb
Ytmonterat = smd

Sorry, all of the text are in swedish

The links goes to pcb's for sound storing chips
Elfa does export to other countries.

The price for one of the pcb's is 5 USD.

Lligior 4th November 2002 08:53 PM

radio shack probably has (at least used to have) a ready made board that records and plays back audio, the gadget is like $8 or so, the button to start play back merely closes the circuit and it is easy to solder on your own circuit. if you use this all you need to add is some kind of sensor. I have bought the gadget before and it was much cheaper than actually building the same thing, plus it even has a battery holder with it

BrianGT 4th November 2002 09:12 PM

A couple of friends of mine used a product by ISD called a ChipCorder, which allows you to record and playback sound clips from a chip. It is pretty easy to use by itself. My friends interfaced it over the isa bus, and made a device driver to use it with windows ce. But, the chip is easy to use by itself, and doesn't require such a complicated interface. Our assignment was to make a device that interfaced with windows ce over the isa bus.

Their website:

They used the ISD 2560 voice recorder chip from ISD. It records 60 seconds of audio. There are several chips in the 2500 series that record between 32-120 seconds of audio.


ISD has a several chips that would suit your task, and they don't cost too much.


mbroker 4th November 2002 10:14 PM

Dad called me up the other night (in the middle of ER, to my delight) to tell me "the good news." While in Toys'R'Us, he found a device that sounded like a really cheap (about $15USD) MP3 player. It has an on/of button, where you press it once to play, once again to stop. Sounds very similar to the device Lligior has described. It comes with a computer adapter that allows a sound byte (2 minutes worth or so) to be stored onto the memory card. Other than that I don't remember too much, cuz I was trying to watch my show ;)

With the hardest part out of the way, now the only thing left to do is activate it :) Not difficult by any means :)

Thanks for the replies!

Mark Broker

travis 13th February 2003 09:22 PM

have any of you guys seen anything like the isd chips but with higher sampling rates, say, 40khz? what does 8khz guitar sound like?

alvaius 13th February 2003 11:41 PM

I used to have a device, until it died, called the Reminder or something like that. It was a voice recorder with a simple motion detector (I think light activated, i.e. quick changes in light level). On your way out you could record a note for your wife. When she comes in and opens the door, it would automatically play it back. It was actually quite useful. I remember buying them at K-Mart 5-10 years ago for <$10 at the time.


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