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Electronics All-in-One For Dummies, UK Edition by Doug Lowe, Dickon Ross

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Chapter 4

Hacking a Toy to Make a Talking Puppet

In This Chapter

arrow Preparing to build your project

arrow Bread-boarding the circuit

arrow Having fun with your puppet

Did you have a talking doll as a child – perhaps a Barbie who asked ‘Would you like to go shopping?’ or an action figure who declared ‘Hold your fire until I give the order’? All you had to do was pull a string in the doll’s back to hear half a dozen phrases in rotation. The trouble was that those recordings repeated over and over again, driving mad any adult within earshot. If only you could’ve made them say something different once in a while.

Well, today you can – with a little electronics. Engineers with a sense of humour even run toy-hacking workshops where you chop and change bits of toys to make them do new and surprising things. Action Man takes on a whole new character when with Barbie’s voice box he declares ‘I just love being a fashion model’. And how great to hear Barbie bark out the command ‘Mortar attack, dig in’!

In this chapter, you discover how to work with a sound synthesiser chip, an amplifier and a speaker to produce almost any sound you can imagine, while also picking up a bit about how amplification works. ...

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