Introduction: Reminder Box - Motion Activated Recorded Message Player

Picture of Reminder Box - Motion Activated Recorded Message Player
I wanted a device that I could use to help me remember stuff or force me to practice remembering stuff. So I built this Reminder Box that is simply a voice recording module connected to a PIR (Passive Infrared sensor) so that each time I pass by the box, a recorded message will play. Great fun and easy to build.

 
Parts list:
- ISD1820 voice recording module - lets you record a message and play it - about 6 dollars plus shipping
- Passive Infrared Sensor (PIR) module - couple dollars plus shipping
- battery

A PIR will activate and play the message then it will not do anything if you continually move in front of it. When there is no movement for a few seconds, the PIR resets itself and will again activate if it detects movement. Each PIR module has different reset times and these can usually be changed if you change a component on the board - too much work for me.

Note: the ISD1820 amplifier is not really loud. If you need more volume you could connect the SPKR terminals to an external amplifier or to an LM386 chip (too much work for me). You can increase the speaker volume some by gluing a section of toilet paper tube to the back of the speaker - amazing how just holding the speaker in your cupped hand ups the volume.

I am using this box to record Morse Code so that I can practice decoding messages. 
I also should record "Jim, you're too fat, quit eating!" and put the box on the fridge.
I also want to use it to practice my Bible memory verses.
Lots of stuff one could use it for.

Step 1: Check Modules to See If They Work

Picture of Check Modules to See If They Work

The wiring diagram shows how to connect the PIR to the ISD1820 with a battery.

To test the PIR separately just connect the PIR to a battery just connect the positive and negative terminals. Then connect a 400k (100 to 1K is ok) resistor from the PIR out to an LED (positive lead)  and then the LED negative lead to ground. Motion in front of the PIR will turn the led on.

Using a PIR module that has the same voltage range as the ISD1820 will vastly simplify this project as you will not have to step down the voltage for one of the modules. Both of my modules use 3.5 to 5 volt range.

Now some folks say you need a pull up/down resistor between the PIR out and ground but mine works fine without it. My module may have that circuitry built internally. Don't know, don't care.

The "P-E" on the ISD1820 means the PLAYE terminal. When this terminal receives high voltage from the PIR out, it will trigger the recorded message to play.



Step 2: Build Container

Picture of Build Container

I used a tin box that tea comes in. I like to use these containers because they look nice just sitting around.

First I drilled holes in the lid for the speaker and to mount the ISD1820 board on the inside.

I cut a little piece of EPP foam insulation to mount between the lid and the board to prevent any shorts.

The speaker magnet actually holds itself to the lid so I didn't glue it down.

Finally I cut a hole in the side of the tin box to mount the PIR. You should probably superglue, hotglue or epoxy the pir plastic lens to the box.

Step 3: Wire Sensor Modules Together and Mount in Box

Picture of Wire Sensor Modules Together and Mount in Box

This picture shows the modules mounted and connected together with a battery box mounted inside the tin box. My wire leads are kind of long but to record a message you have to take the top off the box and press the red button.
Thats it!

Things that could be done to make it a little easier to use:
- should wire in an on/off switch for the power
- could mount the microphone and record button on the outside of the box so as to be able to record message without opening the box.
- could wire a LED from the PIR out to see when the PIR is active
- cound add external jack for external power

You could also connect the PIR to an Arduino board and program it's function but I just wanted a message to play when the PIR was activated so that did not necessitate any additonal modules or programming.

Comments

jecepede (author)2016-04-18

Aloha !

Sorry for a noob question but in stead of a PIR I would like to attatch an ON/OFF switch to the 1820. Am I correct in assuming I can run the 4.5 V (3 x AA battery) straight through the switch to the P-E pin ?

Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeers

Jecepede

JimRD (author)jecepede2016-04-18

I'm a nube when it comes to schematics. From what I can see it will take up to 5 volts. My pir outputs 3.3 volts. Here is a schematic: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ISD1820-Voice-Board-Voic...

It looks like 5 volts is going straight to the PE pin through the onboard switch. (But I wont commit to saying yes cause I don't want to buy you a new board if it fails.) Good luck.

jecepede (author)JimRD2016-04-19

Well don't fret, you will not have to buy me a new board.
Would appreciate it though ;-P

It seems you are correct. Even if you press the tiny button, it sends 5v straight to the 1820. Just to be on the safe side I think I could make a voltage devider using a 10K and a 56K resistor.


Cheeeeeeeeeeers mate !

Jecepede

doughart (author)2015-02-22

Is there a secret to powering the board? I tried with a 3v wallwart, and with 2 aa batteries stacked, and still couldn't get any sound.

JimRD (author)doughart2015-02-23

I used 3 AA, not sure if more voltage is the secret or bad board.

doughart (author)JimRD2015-02-23

Hmmm.
I may go buy a battery clip from the shack and try again.
Is it red to vcc and black to ground?

JimRD (author)doughart2015-02-23

Yes red to vcc and black to gnd. Are the Radio Shack stores still open? I thought they had closed. I have been in china for the last 3 years, don't know whats happening there these days.

JimRD (author)doughart2015-02-23

Yes red to vcc and black to gnd. Are the Radio Shack stores still open? I thought they had closed. I have been in china for the last 3 years, don't know whats happening there these days.

rodger14803 (author)2015-01-29

What PIR module did you use?

JimRD (author)rodger148032015-02-01

Sorry so late to respond - just got out of hospital - prostate surgery - hey I can pee now.
Here is PIR I used:

http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z10.3.w4002-4692518373.70.xkLORe&id=36464014587

Jakeliedo (author)2013-12-16

That's a good idea . I even forgot where i put my remider notes .

JimRD (author)Jakeliedo2013-12-16

Thank you. I use mine all the time to help me learn new stuff.

About This Instructable

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Bio: I am an American teaching English at Shangluo University, Shaanxi. I like making machines that do interesting but fairly useless things - I call them Quixotic ... More »
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