"BOP IT! TWIST IT! PULL IT! TWIST IT! TWIST IT! TWIST IT! TWIST IT!"
"IMMA COME TAKE THAT BOP IT AND DESTROY IT IF I HEAR ONE MORE PEEP FROM IT!"
Bop It had no "silent mode," no way to plug in headphones or make it such that one person, alone, could play it without the whole room knowing that he was about to twist it again. As a small child this didn't bother me at all, but as a 22 year old with a recent Black Friday $10 Bop It, living in a college dorm has necessitated a more subtle Bop It. That is why I felt it necessary to install a headphone jack and devise a way to mute the primary speaker.
What you start with
Bop It with
- no headphone jack
- Twist It, Pull It, Bop It, Shout It
What you end up with after mod
Bop it with
- headphone jack that always outputs Bop It instructions
- Twist It, Pull It, Bop It, and NO Shout It
- Shout It slider turns primary speaker On/Off
NOTE - This mod disables Shout It mode by re-purposing it to turn on/off the primary speaker. This is ok because a) Shout It mode is stupid and b) if you're concerned with making your Bop It quieter by including a headphone jack, Shout It mode is probably not something you're interested in.
Step 1: What You'll Need
- Bop It - $20.47 on Amazon
- 1/8" (3.5mm) stereo headphone jack - $2.99 for two at RadioShack
- 1 kOhm resistor - $0.99 for five at RadioShack
- Soldering iron/solder
- Wire strippers
- High gauge braided wire
- Small phillips screwdriver
- Drill with 1/4" bit
- Pliers (or fingertips of steel)
- Fine tipped tweezers for wire management and holding wires while soldering
- Electrical tape/hot glue to insulate solder joints
Step 2: Stereo to Mono
There are three tabs on the 3.5mm jack: Left, Right, and Ground. The ground pin is isolated from the other two and, for our purposes, it doesn't matter which tab is left versus right because we're just going to bridge the two of them with some wire.
If you do not do this step you will only hear the Bop It from one ear of your headphones, which would be annoying to say the least.
BEND the tab that's FARTHEST from the GROUND tab and solder it to the remaining audio tab. It's important to bend this particular tab because it will interfere with the Difficulty Selection circuitry later if you don't.
Step 3: Opening the Bop It
Four potential pieces could fall out of the Bop It:
Small white reset switch
Difficulty selection switch
Twist It (this will fall out, trust me)
Pull It lever/cam
All four are relatively trivial to reinstall. Twist It will take some studying but once you get a sense for it it's easy to reinstall (which is good, because it will fall out a ton). You should probably just remove it until you're all done. The two ends of the torsion spring push against a small rectangular piece of plastic on the inside of the main wall of the Bop It.
Step 4: Positioning and Drilling Audio Jack Hole
To position the hole correctly, first snip off the top piece of plastic that is helping to organize the wires between two bosses/standoffs (labeled in picture). Then lift the wires up and out of the way of the audio jack cavity (also labeled in picture). Position the audio jack with the bent lead facing the Difficulty Selection circuitry. If you orient it with the unbent lead facing the circuitry you are likely to short the audio to the Difficulty Selection (not a good thing).
With the audio jack loosely positioned (it won't settle down all the way because you haven't drilled the hole yet, so the input part will be resting on the outer wall edge), mark on the outside of the Bop It where to drill the access hole.
Reassemble the Bop It and, using the 1/4" drill bit, drill a hole centered on both the mark and the parting line of the Bop It.
Step 5: Circuit Diagram
As it is currently wired, the audio signal from the circuit board in the Bop It goes directly through the primary speaker. The circuitry I've added puts the audio jack in parallel with the primary speaker so that sound comes out of both.
The resistor in front of the audio jack reduces the volume (it's unbearably loud without the resistor) and improves the sound quality (it was very very tinny without the resistor). Credit for the value and inclusion of the resistor (and for introducing me to this particular audio jack) goes to Rich Fiddler and his Altoids Tin Stereo Mixer Instructable.
The switch in the circuit diagram is actually the switch from the Shout It mechanism. The Shout It mechanism uses the green slider to push a lever that in turn depresses a momentary switch (normally off). By cutting its connection to the circuit board, the switch can then be used to switch anything else, in this case it serves the role seen in the role seen in the circuit diagram (enabling/disabling the primary speaker).
Step 6: Wiring
Step 2: Tighten the audio jack into the half-hole that you've just drilled in the body of the Bop It.
Step 3: Cut the wire leading from the main circuit board to the bottom of the speaker (cut it about in half). Strip both ends.
Step 4: Create your first junction. This junction should connect the following wires:
1) Signal wire coming from the board (the one you just snipped that led to the bottom of the speaker)
2) One of the wires from the Shout It switch
3) A wire leading from the resistor which is attached to the audio tab of the audio jack (you'll need to add this wire and resistor). Audio Tab --> Resistor --> Wire --> Junction (resistor not shown in first picture, my apologies, but you can see it in the second picture).
Step 5: Create your second junction: This junction should connect the following wires:
1) Unused Shout It wire (the one not used for Junction 1 in step 4)
2) Signal wire leading from bottom of primary speaker
Step 6: Cut the wire leading from the top of the primary speaker to the main circuit board. This is the ground wire for the primary speaker and you will need to splice the ground from the audio jack into it. Strip the ends of the wire after you have clipped it.
Step 7: Create your third junction: This junction should connect the following wires:
1 and 2) The two ends of the the primary speaker ground wire from Step 6.
3) A wire leading from the ground tab of the audio jack (you'll need to add this wire).
You may choose to insulate each of your junctions with electrical tape or hot glue. I did not because nothing was near anything else. It's up to you.
Step 7: Seal 'er Up
Screw all the screws back in and then take your fingers of steel (or pliers) and tighten the ring from the audio jack down, securely attaching it to the body of the Bop It.
Step 8: Done!
To change the volume, just Twist It during the mode selection menu.
Enjoy your new and silent Bop It!