Voicebox

This morning I was cleaning up the workbench and decided to finish up a little (so far) meaningless project that was taking up some space.

I found this awesome old speaker (I think it was intended for HAM radio) at Goodwill a few years back and knew I’d have some use for it eventually.

A few months back I ran across a Speakjet chip ( https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9578 ) I had picked up somewhere years ago.  I’ve experimented with the chip but it was always a hassle to work with because it needs an amplifier and a speaker, etc.  I figured I should do something about that so I dug up an LM386 audio amp chip and tied them together on a breadboard.

I played with that a bit, but got frustrated trying to generate phonemes by hand and let it all just sit on the bench for another month or so.

Today I decided to clean things up and stuffed the whole breadboard inside the speaker.  I hesitated a bit because I didn’t want to cut-up the nice cord on the speaker but in the end decides that this thing had been left unfinished long enough.

I was able to save the cable grommet and re-use it to protect the USB cable attached to the Arduino inside. The result is a nice clean job, you’d hardly believe it was my handiwork.

I still need to find an easier way to generate speech codes for the chip, but at least it all fits nicely on top of my workstation now and doesn’t take up space on the benchtop.

- Jason