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Holiday Greetings

Season's greetings to all.  I'm sure everyone is busy making something for this holiday season, whatever you celebrate or not, there are some good contests to enter... And would you believe I've been hanging around this place for 7 years already? Well, during years past there once was a greeting card exchange but with today's advancements in technology, here is my video e-card. Please feel free to comment and add your own shout out to ibles staff or other members.

Topic by caitlinsdad    |  last reply


Turn Table Greeting Cards

Turntable Greeting Card  Handmade greeting cards are way cooler and more personal than paying $4 for a Hallmark greeting card. Create a sleek looking greeting card to send to a music lover using old floppy discs.  

Topic by Carleyy    |  last reply


Modifying a Singing Greeting Card

A while ago my wife got one of those singing Hallmark greeting cards. (This particular one played the Law and Order theme song) Well after a while it no longer played the song. I opened it up and found that there is a circuit board inside with a 3v button cell battery attached to it. I removed the board and the speaker and the battery and I'm pretty sure that I could attach wires to the two contact points and connect them to batteries that would complete the circuit and allow the theme song to play again. What I want to know is if I need to take any special consideration when putting in a new battery(s). I was going to try to just put two AA batteries in series (1.5v +1.5v =3v, right?) but I don't actually know anything about electronics and so I wanted to ask here if there were any resistors needed or if there were any differences between the button cell and the AA batteries that would require me to do something different.While we're on the topic of these cards I just thought of a neat project. Design some sort of holder for the circuit boards that would allow them to act as sort of an interchangeable cartridge. Basically detach the speaker wires and battery contacts from various boards out of various cards and design some sort of holder with contacts for the speaker and power source at the appropriate points and be able to change out the different boards. Not really practical but sounds like fun.I just thought of yet another question!Would there be anyway to hook the board up to some sort of audio cable (in place of the speaker maybe) so that I could plug these into a computer and record the song off of the board in a digital format. (Again not very practical but sounds like fun.)Anyway, this is my first post here and I'm sorry if it's a bit jumbled but I don't have a very organized mind and sometimes it's hard to put my ideas down in a succinct manner. I tend to just ramble on incessantly in a train of thought sort of manner until I think that I've said what I think I wanted to say. In closing, I like this site and plan to be around for a while and learn as much as I can. If somebody would like to help me with these ideas/projects I would be happy to provide pictures of the circuit board and pieces that I have if it's necessary.Thanks.~JoshI'm using two AA batteries. I have a wire between the positive side of B1 and the negative side of B2 and wires coming off the open ends. I tried connecting the batteries from the spot where the negative side of the button cell was to the silver rectangle thinking that that would complete the circuit and make music. That didn't work. Then I noticed that the positive connection for the circuit was actually where the clip that secured the battery was before I removed it and that the positive and negative sides of the battery were going through a capacitor before touching the final contact. so I tried placing the positive wire up on the positive contact and then placing a wire from the positive contact to the final contact but that also didn't work. I don't have any solder and have been using electrical tape to secure the wires. The wires are a fairly thin (I don't know the gauge) stranded copper. I'm not sure if the wires aren't making good contact or if I'm just doing something wrong.

Topic by MrKltpzyxm    |  last reply


Repeating Musical Greeting Card?

Hello all,  I have purchased an inexpensive musical greeting card that plays a song for 20 seconds and then stops. What I am trying to figure out is if there is a way to put a 555 timer on this thing that will send a pulse to repeat the song at 15 seconds. Basically, make it so that the card will repeat the song forever at 15 seconds so that you don't hear the fade out of the song for the last 5 seconds.  Can this be done and if so how? Many thanks!!! Wes

Question by wfunderberg    |  last reply



Thank you 4 the Halloween Greeting Card!

Hi all! I want to end my procastination of thanking you for the unexpected Halloween Greeting Card that arrived some days before Halloween. I am having a very busy schedule, so I only remember that I should publish something the day that I return for a while to the site. But, I know that for many people, receiving this greeting card is going to encourage them a lot to collaborate with the site. And even to post an instructable. Since, the card reminds you that you are important, and that there is a community that cares for you. I appreciate the good work that this administration is doing. How could someone achieve this level of contience? Is there an instructable to learn how to get there? Thank you, very much! (And sorry for the delay, but the greeting card arrived on time, even to this country, Argentina, in South America) Alberto love

Topic by Chanio    |  last reply



Replace sounds on greeting card sound module

Hello, I recently purchased this item from ebay. It's a "30s Light Sensor Record Device Module Music Box Sound Chip For Greeting Card" It comes with a pre-recorded happy birthday song. Now I want to change that song and I am pretty sure it can be done somehow, because I can see some connections available, except I am not sure what they mean and how to use them. The seller responded that there is no documentation and if I want certain sounds I have to send them the files and they will record them for me before shipping... which is ridiculous... I want to be able to change the songs when I please. The connections marked on the board say: TG1 TG2 TG3 GND VDD PW1 and PW2 Any suggestion could help.

Topic by danielpreda    |  last reply


OTP One Time Programme

Could any one point me in the direction to purchase greeting card sound module any and all info appreciated. Kevare

Topic by kevare    |  last reply



How would I Record an original song onto a Greeting card computer chip / transistor / speaker

I received a Hallmark Greeting card which played a song when opened. I want to record an original song and make my own singing cards. How would I do this? Does anyone know a manufacturer?

Topic by chipinventor    |  last reply


Do you use punches in making greeting cards ?

Today you can get so many different kind of punches to make any kind of cards so easily. But I always prefer to make whole card by my own.  Like this one -  Would love to know your thoughts on it. Thank you !!

Topic by craftvideos    |  last reply


Is there a way to make a small motorized greeting card opener ?

A friend wants to be able, at swap meets, to display greeting cards as people pass by, but in a novel way. That is, have a card slowly open, stay open for maybe 15 seconds, then slowly close. And repeat, ad infinitum. Is this doable with cheap parts, or maybe a disco ball motor ? Thanks in advance ! Alan, Quantum Leap Unlimited Onward, Upward

Topic by AlanL27    |  last reply


How to Hack a Greeting Card Sound Module to play entire sound clip

I bought a bunch of the recordable greeting card sound modules for a project.  The problem is that these sound modules only play when the greeting card (circuit) is open so only a portion of the sound clip is played if you close the card (circuit).  Is there an easy way to hack these sound modules so that the entire sound clip is played each time they are activated?

Question by DeKooy    |  last reply


can you replace the 'audio byte' that is stored in a pre-recorded musical greeting card?

The card I have has 2 unused solder plates.

Question by hylan32    |  last reply


Musical greeting card player - how to attach it to a door, so it plays when the door opens?

I hope someone can help me figure out how to remove the guts of a musical greeting card and somehow attach it all to a door frame so when the door opens, the song plays. Thanks!

Question    |  last reply


I want to make my own greeting card with music, like Hallmark. How do I do that? Thanks.

I don't want to buy a $7 Hallmark card for the recorder or buy a gazillion from China. Where can I buy the recorder?

Question by retired2AZ    |  last reply


Hacking an audio greetings card - to prevent erasure of audio-clip

I bought an audio greetings card as I wanted the recording device to put in a craft project. I've recorded the 20 second audio clip and I want to prevent accidental erasure of said audio clip. I have 2 short questions... Which wire or wires do I cut in order to disable the record button?? Can I chop the (now redundant) mic out completely (as I'm trying to reduce the thickness of the sound module as much as poss) without affecting the sound clip, will it still play if the mic is no longer in the circuit? I've included a photo showing the record and mic buttons, and the wires going to and from them. Many thanks for any advice offered :o)

Topic by badrobot-uk    |  last reply




Mini laser cutting machine for creating greeting cards and intricate paper napkin rings

Can anyone suggest the best mini laser cutter machine to purchase for creating greeting cards and paper napkin rings and is user friendly?   Thanks.  Andrea

Topic by andreasievert    |  last reply


Connecting two LEDS to a button without Micro controller or PIC? Is that possible?

I am making a card that will include two LEDs on the front. Simple greeting card and nothing fancy because of time constraints. Is there a way to include a button without a micro controller or PIC? Since it is a card including those things may be bulky. Any ideas? Thanks!

Question by wolfsheim_lvr1    |  last reply


hi- can i reprogram a musical greeting card to play an mp3 of my choice? (or make a similar tiny 1-song stereo)?

I want to make the smallest and cheapest possible music player for one song that i can fit into a bottle and hook a trigger up to so it will start/stop a song of my choice when a cork is pulled out/ replaced. is this a dream? could it happen? if anyone has any insight, i would be so grateful (i don't know enough about tech hardware to know how to do this myself!) thank you! -piper

Question by pd23    |  last reply


Sound modules?

How could I make my own sound modules like those in greeting cards and toys? And preferably easily, and cheaply.

Question by Zem    |  last reply




Instructables Halloween Postcards

Some people send Christmas greeting cards.  Since Halloween is our favorite holiday, we decided to send Halloween greeting cards.  About 1100 of them.  Check out the pictures of signing, stuffing, applying postage, and mailing them. We sent them to top authors by number of Instructables, by pageviews, top commentors, people who have previously won contests, and others.  Since we did all this by hand (and had a couple of snafus along the way!), if you didn't get one, that doesn't mean you're not awesome; it means we screwed up and forgot to ask for your address.  But, we'd still like to send you one!  So, if you'd like a Halloween card, and you haven't already entered your address, leave a comment here by Friday October 23 and I'll send you the link to submit your information.  If you have entered your address but haven't received your card, it's probably still on its way. Happy Halloween! This is the forum topic for Halloween 2009.  If you'd like a card for 2010, please see here: 2010 Halloween Postcards.

Topic by ewilhelm    |  last reply


How to pre-record voice module from PC, avoiding using microphone?

Hello. Could anyone advice me, please? I read all of the QA related, but my question would be a bit specific. My intention is to make a greeting card like device, using recordable voice module. Recording your own message by using the microphone is pretty clear. However my concern is, I would like to pre-record this module with any music or jingle from the PC and leave user the option either to record her/his own message using the attached microphone or let that pre-recorded jingle play. I would use any of this type or similar modules shown on picture. Thanks in advance.

Question by Ardu Tube    |  last reply


Sharing Pro Membership With Spouse

Is it possible to share my pro account with my spouse, where she has her own saved instructables and log in?   For example, at our greeting card website, American Greetings, I can add my spouse and my son (up to 5 household members) to my account with their own login and calendar reminders.  With Netflix, we can add each member of the family and we each have our own cue for things we want to watch.    If we cannot do this at this time, I would like to recommend this as a future feature to add.  My wife and I both enjoy Instructables, but it's silly to pay for 2 accounts when we are sitting together anyway.  The ideal situation would be what American Greetings offers, the ability to add my household members under a master account that allows them their own individual login and storage folder.  If you create this where any purchases are tied to the master account, it will help reduce fraud as people won't want others using their credit card.    I've never asked a question here.  I sure hope I get a notice when this is answered and where to find the answer!  Thanks for your time and consideration.

Topic by mcaustinsr    |  last reply


How can I make a box that when opened plays a short sound?

I'm trying to make a treasure chest that when opened plays the Legend of Zelda treasure sound.  The only idea I have of how to go about this is to use the sort of sound devices found in musical greeting cards.  Is there an easy way to do this?

Question by ValShizzle    |  last reply


Received Instructable.com request for my physical address to qualify to receive an animated holiday card. Is this Legit? Why know physical address for this? Anyone else get one of these notices?

I received a notice from Instructables.com with request that I identify my physical address to qualify to receive an automated greeting card...???  Is this legit? Why do they need to know my physical address? This really sounds odd to me.  Anyone else get one of these kinds of notices?  I really LOVE Instructables.com   Its awesome fun for those who like to do projects not just talk about them.

Topic by BudBump    |  last reply


Build Night at the Banjarapalya Makerspace with Chibitronics

Greetings from the Banjaraplaya Makerspace! We are a small makerspace located in the outskirts of Bangalore (India), in the village of Banjarapalya - https://goo.gl/maps/qz0BX . The space serves as a building as well as an alternative learning space where the local villagers can come and develop various skills in a very self-customised manner. Our participants generally belong to the under-served sections of society and have very limited exposure to technology. We help them develop skills in technology and to get into the habit of making while finding great projects online and using the low-cost equipment available at the space. The build night was a great experience. Almost everyone at the center got involved with the stickers and made greeting cards, wall designs etc. Also, this has helped us to get into the habit of writing more instructables. I feel build nights create great interest very quickly and also give a breather from the regular project work.  We are looking forward to hosting more build nights at our space. Happy Building, Abhijit Co-founder and Makerspace Developer, E4D

Topic by asinha13  


Button Activated MP3 Player

I need to buy or build a device to play a single song in MP3 format on the push of a button, similar to one of those used in stuffed animals or greeting cards. I need to be able to hook it up to a small external speaker to make it a little louder. I a building a Nickelodeon Guts trophy for a friend of mine and would like to put this device in the base with a button on the top or front to play the theme song. Any ideas how I can go about buying or building something like this? I'm on a shoestring budget here, and not terribly handy with electronics, so I really need some advice.

Topic by skane2    |  last reply


How can I make an LED proposal ring box power on when open?

Hi all, I was intrested in placing an LED in a ring box, so that when I open it, it would shine on the ring. I cant figure out how to make it power on when opening and turn off when closed. Does anyone have any suggestions? I thought of maybe using the circuit board from one of those greeting cards but I dont think that would work? Here is an example of what I'm trying to do: http://www.jna-shop.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products;_id=7241

Question by nikkoo00    |  last reply


Reusable Invitations.(Especially for Indians)

At least in India, people generally print around 100 to 2000 invitations for marriages or such ceremonies. This is usually a simple sheet or a single fold sheet like that of greeting card. Guadier ones can have more folds. The front of the folded sheet usually has a Image of a God and OR or a simple painting of a marriage parade. On the Inside are a tonne of details. (The bride, the groom, the Venue, the date, Timings, a small list of well wishers, etc.And after all this, the only use of this beautiful piece of art made of cards made out of wood /bamboo are wasted the day the ceremony commences and ends. My idea is that making them into usable items during production itself would be a great idea . Think of it . Invitations that expand to become a tabletop foldable calendar, with the back of the invitation having (Even the ceremony could be marked nicely).. An empty slot which can be used to turn it into a photo decorator/fantasyfier..Those are the two ideas I can come up right now. If you can come up with more, please do post.

Topic by kamathln    |  last reply


Standard picture frame that plays a short piece of recorded music

I'm looking to attach some sort of audio playback device to the backside of a standard wall-hanging picture frame. I have the audio as a 30-second MP3 file and ideally someone would be able to walk up to the frame and push a button / flip a switch and the audio would play once through some sort of speaker - quality doesn't have to be great. Pushing the button again would make it play again. I've never built anything like this before and I'm not really sure where to start. My first guess was maybe to take apart a music greeting card, but there's no button to play with that. Anyone have any ideas of what I could do? Thanks.

Question by schwars1    |  last reply


Silhouette Build Night at the Taipei Hackerspace

Hi, We just had our Silhouette Build Night in the Taipei Hackerspace yesterday. It was a blast, I was totally blown away by the many ideas people came with, even though we barely knew how to use the Silhouette paper cutter. We had participants of all ages, and many different backgrounds. The projects that came out of it, in no particular order: Dog silhouette cuts: apparently wiener dogs and corgis were the most popular, most just to keep, but there's an ongoing project to do a corgi-fan (hand-held fan in corgi shape) Custom cut name tags: because it's more fun than writing (Instructable) Cipher grille: because secrets are always fun, and it's easier than with scissors (Instructable); in the future might try circles instead of squares, that would look much cooler (hindsight...) Party props: most popular were lips and moustache, as usual... Flipbook: characters were cut and glued onto the flipbook, called "The missing piece" (Instructable) iPhone sicker: using some kind of 3D effect sticker, cut a it in the shape of the iPhone, perfect fit Pop-up word card: know the kind of greeting cards that you open up and there's a quasi-3D scene or text? That kind! Vitruvian man decoration: use transparencies with printed Vitruvian man, cut it out, then assemble into globes  for home decor (Instructable) Greeting card: creating a design with generous negative spaces, and use two layer of paper to assemble. Font selection is important (Techno Overload works quite well!) All in all it was good fun. I think we've ruined our mat by cutting too deep occasionally, running test cuts without pulling in the mat to the right position, sticking the printed transparency with the printed side down, and these little things. The biggest issues were the cut setting selection (lots of trial and error), and creating the design (now we have much better idea how to make JPEGs that work well in Silhouette Studio, but sometimes it was tricky using images grabbed from the net) Cheers! Greg

Topic by taipeihackerspace    |  last reply


No Views - What am I doing wrong?

I posted an instructable about 2.5 years ago and other than the 2 people I sent the link to - no views and I still cannot find it on the site. https://www.instructables.com/id/Bike-LightsUSB-Charger/ I am planning to do a few more (IR beacon-tracking camera, 433 MHz Doppler RDF with PIC, Lights and Sound Greeting Card, and a few more that I have built and wanted to share. However, I actually want people (and myself at the bare minimum) to be able to find them. Maybe I chose poor keywords or an awkward title? I would like to get some advice on this before I take the time to make a few more.

Question by src1138    |  last reply


10 DIY Gifts for your Sweetheart this Valentine's Day

My latest Popular Mechanics article is up at 10 DIY Gifts for your Sweetheart this Valentine's Day.Okay, we all know that Valentine's Day is a manufactured holiday designed to sell insipid greeting cards and corn-syrup-sweetened confections that can't find their way to the trash can fast enough. However, there's a certain prisoner's-dilemma aspect that forces you to buy in: If your significant other's friends receive "I love you's" of various forms, and you don't also have one to give, there can be trouble. So, stick with what you know--building cool stuff--and think of Valentine's Day as an opportunity to make something special. From Instructables.com, here are some of my favorite DIY Valentine's Day projects.

Topic by ewilhelm    |  last reply


I want a circuit to close when I OPEN a glass jar ... Answered

I'm working on a project where I have a glass jar, and I want a circuit to close when I OPEN the glass. Need ideas on how I can solve that in clever ways...? I know how to program it in flash, but my current project is all hardware based, and I don't want to use a computer to solve it. I've tried using a photo cell, but for some reason it won't trigger on the circuit I'm circuitbending. I've used a photocell on another bend, and it worked there, but on this project I'm circuitbending one of those greeting cards where you can record your own voice, and it seems that it needs a good solid connection before it will trigger. Would greatly appreciate all tips. Addition: I need a solution that takes as little space as possible.

Question by mskogly    |  last reply


Old headphones made into speakers

Hey guys. If you want to cur the crap skip to the third paragraph. So I found this speaker in a voice recorded message greetings card thing and it's pretty loud for it's size, so I decided to put it in place of a headphone on my old iPod headphones. I Took apart the right bud and soldered the + - wires to the speaker, and it worked first time. My problem is now that some songs have say guitar coming through the right speaker and bass through the left. I decided to try and mount the speaker below the split. The thing is, I'm not sure which are the + and - wires. I know that speakers work by changing between + and - to make the diaphragm move, but when I mounted the speaker where the ear bud was, it was easy as there were 2 wires. Below the split there are 4. So my question is. Does it matter what 2 wires I pair together to solder at one port? The colours are Blue, Red, Green, and Red/Green intwined.

Topic by Tibboh    |  last reply


Silhouette Black Friday Promotion!

Our latest winner has responded!!! Thank you everyone for participating! It is Promotion Time! All you need to get any of the following awesome deals is our super secret special code for Instructable authors only! Ready? Do you want to know it? ,,, ,,, It is... INSTRUCTABLES Just go here to start shopping!  Promotion runs November 28—December 8, 2013. You may be asking yourself, what can I get with this promotion? Well, I'll tell you! A Silhouette CAMEO®, Silhouette Studio® Designer Edition Software, a dust cover (the color is decided by Silhouette), a $25 download card, a hook, a scraper, a spatula, and a pick-me-up® tool for $229.99. Retail price for all of this would total $406.93 (over 40% savings!) A Silhouette Portrait®, Silhouette Studio® Designer Edition Software, a dust cover (the color is decided by Silhouette), a $25 download card, a hook, a scraper, a spatula, and a pick-me-up® tool for $129.99. Retail price for all of this would total $286.93 (over 40% savings!) A Silhouette CAMEO® and a Silhouette Portrait®, plus two $25 download cards for $299.99. That’s right: If you buy a Silhouette CAMEO® at full price, you get two $25 download cards and a Silhouette Portrait® ABSOLUTELY FREE! Retail price for all of this would be $406.93 (over 40% savings!) 40% off consumable products at silhouetteamerica.com. This excludes machines, subscriptions, download and gift cards. Cannot be combined with any other offers. Rain checks not available. FREE SHIPPING on orders over $25. This is Silhouette America's biggest promotion ever, so don't miss out! You may be asking yourself, what can I do with a Silhouette machine?  The answer is: Everything!  (or at least almost everything) I've gathered together some of the awesome projects you can do with a Silhouette Cameo or Portrait. Han Solo and Princess Leia Silhouettes DIY Stickers 3D LEGO Card Custom Embellishments from PNG Files Put a Bird On It! | Portlandia Apron - Cut Fabric! Iron On Shirt Stencils DIY Clear Playing Cards ...and that's just the tip of it!  There are so many awesome accessories you can use and so many materials you can cut! We have a Silhouette Cameo at Instructables HQ and I use it whenever I can!  I have done a bunch of projects already and I have so many more planned!  It is great for making greeting cards for every occasion, for decorating shirts, cutting transparencies, making stickers and cutting fabric shapes for sewing or ironing on fabric.  I love that Silhouette Studio is an easy program to use. There are tutorials all over the web to learn how to do everything or you can just mess around and discover all the crazy things it can do (like I did).  Not sure where to start?  Just go to the in application store and look at all the awesome designs they have available.  There is a free shape of the week and they always have awesome designs on sale!  I just bought the awesome 3d poinsettia flower by Lori Whitlock for a cute little project soon to come! Get a machine for yourself, and your mother, and your father, and your BFF, and your boss, and your daughter ..... these deals are pretty darn sweet and if you've ever wondered: Should I get one?, now is the time to do it! *The giveaway will be going until 11:59pm Pacific Time.  The Promotion starts at 12:00am Eastern / 9:00pm Pacific.  The winner for the giveaway will be announced here as soon as it is over! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Topic by Penolopy Bulnick    |  last reply


Printed Batteries Provide Paper-Thin Power.

Check this out! A team of German scientists has invented the world's first printable batteries. Thin, flexible and environmentally friendly, the batteries can be produced in large quantities for a fraction of what it takes to produce conventional batteries. The new battery is also different in other ways from conventional batteries. The printable version weighs less than one gram on the scales, is not even one millimeter thick and can therefore be integrated into bank cash cards. The battery contains no mercury and is in this respect environmentally friendly. Its voltage is 1.5 V, which lies within the normal range. By placing several batteries in a row, voltages of 3 V, 4.5 V and 6 V can also be achieved. The new battery was developed by a research team led by Dr. Reinhard Baumann of the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Electronic Nano Systems ENAS in Chemnitz, Germany. "Our goal is to be able to mass produce the batteries at a price of single digit cent range each," states Dr. Andreas Willert, group manager at ENAS. The batteries are printed using a silk-screen printing method similar to that used for t-shirts and posters. A kind of rubber lip presses the printing paste through a screen onto the substrate. A template covers the areas that are not to be printed on. Through this process it is possible to apply comparatively large quantities of printing paste, and the individual layers are slightly thicker than a hair. Therefore, the battery is suitable for applications which have a limited life span or a limited power requirement, for instance greeting cards. The researchers have already produced the batteries on a laboratory scale. At the end of this year, the first products could possibly be finished.

Topic by YourSolarLink    |  last reply


Digital Patches

You may be asking yourself (or everyone else around you), what are these "digital patches" I hear so much about? The answer is quite simple, digital patches are online greeting cards that you can send to other users which will show up on their profile page as a small picture icon. When you click on these little icons, it will display a larger sized image with a personal message explaining why the patch was awarded. There are a number of default images you can choose from, or you can upload your own.For instance, if you really like a project someone has posted, you can send them a digital patch to let them know how awesome it is.Or if someone subscribes to your feed, you can thank them by sending them a digital patch.Or perhaps you just want to send lots of people virtual cookies for a good time. You can use digital patches to do that too!Or if you want to start a club to honor everyone who has ever posted how to make a pocket protector, you can do that!Or you can use it as a way to say hello to old friends by sending them a patch with their two favorite things.Or perhaps you just want to brighten someone's day with some flowers.Whatever is your impetus, by signing up for a pro account, you can receive a number of digital patches to distribute as you see necessary.

Topic by randofo    |  last reply


Advice required for audio playback from an IC

Hi All, I'm new here so go easy on me :) I need to throw together a circuit to play an MP3 when a switch is closed (Think musical greeting card rather than iPod).  The fundamental issue is a lack of knowledge re: mp3 playback on ICs. Is there a handy light-weight MP3 playback chip kicking around? Presumably I'll need to provide memory, an amp and various other bits. Does anyone know of an SoC that does something this already? I've seen the SOMO-14D (http://www.sparkfun.com/products/9534) but it seems to be very low quality and temperamental. Does anyone have any experience with this? If so, any recommendations? > Quality is important-ish - I know it's never going to sound like my Technics sound system but I'd like it good enough that a non-audiophile wouldn't complain. I'm guessing I'll need at least 128Kb/s for semi-decent audio. > Format doesn't have to be MP3 as long as the quality isn't _too_ low and there's an easy way to convert. > Small size (form factor) would be nice but isn't required. > If needs be, I can get PCBs etched _relatively_ inexpensively so that's not a major consideration. > Any suggestions for a good quality, small speaker would also be appreciated. Skills: I've got a degree in Electrical & Electronic engineering (but haven't touched a circuit since Uni) Budget: ~£300 tops (I'm hoping for considerably less) Time: Within a month or so. Many thanks in advance Basic

Topic by Basiclife    |  last reply


(newsletter) Twittering Office Chair, Commodore 64 Laptop, Glowing Alien...

Sign-up for this newsletter: WARNING: LAST CALL to submit your awesome projects to win an Epilog Laser and Ponoko gift certificates, or books from Klutz! Klutz Rubber Band-Powered Contest - Open to any rubber band-powered contraption. Win cool books from Klutz! Closes for entries this Sunday, April 19! Epilog Challenge - Enter any awesome project with a green twist for the chance to win an Epilog Zing laser cutter or gift certificates from Ponoko! Closes for entries this Sunday, April 19! Earthjustice United States of Efficiency Contest - Create an energy-saving Instructable and you could win a MacBook Pro! The April Fools Contest and Burning Questions 7 winners have been announced! See who won here and here. The ThinkGeek Hacks Contest winners will be announced tomorrow. Press Aluminum Cans into Wall Tiles Toothpaste Squeezer The Green Twist Machine Commodore 64 Laptop Closes for entries this Sunday! Win a MacBook Pro! Glowing Alien in a Jar Build an Eskimohut in wood! Movable Record Player Greeting Card Sharpen Your Drill Bits Featured questions from our new Answers section: How can I get crispy french fries at home? Could a prism and lenses be used to make a stereoscopic video with only one camera? Needle Tatting a Necklace Vehicle Efficiency Upgrades Auto Spy Remote Make a Brass Bird Cage Dress Closes for entries on Sunday! Dozens of tips Foot Operated Computer Mouse Recycled Cardboard Lamp - This Way Up! Make a Ceramic Sphericon The Twittering Office Chair Sign-up for this newsletter:

Topic by fungus amungus  


Show Your Heart Valentine's Day Contest Winners

Thanks to everyone who entered the Show Your Heart Valentine's Day Contest and congratulations to the winners! The Greeting Card Association sent some guys over to break my kneecaps, but after a quick look at all the awesome Valentine's Day projects, they went scurrying home with arms-loads of materials to work on projects for next year.We stayed home and made an elegant meal of Tuna Poke, painstakingly getting the emulsion of sesame oil, soy sauce, mustard, and ginger just right (Instructable forthcoming...).Valentine's Day is a great excuse to go the extra mile and make something great for a loved one, but with all these wonderful projects to inspire you, you'll be looking for any excuse.First PrizeThese ten projects win a Leatherman Juice XE6 Pocket Knife with personalized laser-engraving. In random order:Beating soapy love heart by fallscrapeCustom paint Your Old Snowboard!!! (for your Valentine perhaps) by jonnysoupsBe a Romantic Scientist: Distill your own perfume oil by KitemanDuct Tape Rose by HerrozerroPulsing Hubby Detector by daenrisInflatable Love Seat by randofo"Beating" LED Heart T-Shirt by T3h_MuffinatorRecycled Copper Butterfly for V-Day by LegionnaryAnatomy of a Chocolate Truffle by ianCustom make; shaped, flavoured and colored chocolates by thydzikSecond PrizeThese twenty projects win an Instructables T-shirt and patch. In random order:Light Bulb Vase by samEtched Minty Valentines Candy Box by photozz{Collegiate Meals} I Love You (Virus) Burgers by trebuchet03Mint Chocolate Chip Valentine Card by outofthewoodsSolid Perfume by rapiertwitRose in a heart of ice by Dominique UnruhPowhatan Dream Catchers by SugarTeen52Southwestern Style Sterling Silver Necklace by edAgGeeky Circuit Board Earrings by CameronSSA power remote controlled RGB LED mood light by 5VoltWeb Controlled Valentine by gschoppeSt. Valentine's Day Proposal by Maddhatter3"TouchTimer" EggLight (valentine's gift) by ProteusOpposites Attract: A Magnetic LED Valentine Heart by technick29Blue Heart by ZujusEasy DIY Valentine Gum Dispenser by GregDDCPaint Her Fire Extinguisher Pink! (or any other color) by gelstudiosIn Love With Turquoise Necklace by annanomsaValentine Tiger: Show Some Love! by evy-wevyValentines gift with nifty LED effect by x29aWe asked some winners of previous contests to help us judge, and they did a fantastic job. They scrutinized each project, spent hours agonizing over their selections, and in some cases sent us complicated judging documents. This was especially impressive because we asked them to judge extra-fast so we could get the results out quickly! Thanks so much for your heroic efforts: neelandan, BobbyMike, Robyntheslug, LasVegas, ryzellon, randofo, noahw, kinawera, photozz, eleraama, Zujus, Tool Using Animal, T3h_Muffinator, lilo, mdhaworth, FrenchCrawler, trialex, tetranitrate, jamesh, ian, rbhays, outofthewoods, albetcha, sam, HeresyOfTruth, Zieak, mever, and nak. Judges weren't allowed to vote for their own projects.If you won keep an eye on your inboxes; we'll contact you via personal message with instructions for claiming your prize.Here are the original contest instructions.

Topic by canida    |  last reply


First Day Interning at Instructables

Today is my third day as an intern at the downtown SF Instructables office. I thought I'd recount Day 1 as a day-in-the-life! It starts off with: "Don't come in before 10am" from Eric, and a mention from Noah (my more direct boss): "We recommend that folks bring their computers, a contractor trash bag, a good pair of running shoes, a banana and hard hat on their first day - that way, they are prepared for whatever challenges may await them at Instructables." So I walked out to the office, found the robot-painted door wedged between the liquor store and the Mexican restaurant, and walked up the stairs. It's one big room- open tables everywhere covered in stuff of all sorts: duct tape, paper towels, electronics, crocheted Pac-Man, a giant styrofoam face, an electric toaster. Everyone is at their workstations- one folding a 3D paper alphabet, another fiddling with a breadboard. The devs coding on one side of the room while walking on treadmills at the computer and DJ'ing the room. Anyway, I walked in and looked around, and was greeted with a tentative "Hello?" from someone at a desk*. I clarified that it was my first day of work, and that cleared things up. Bilal, the artist-in-residence, gave me a shoulder tap, and I was welcomed by Eric and Noah. *Apparently random strangers occasionally wander up the stairs. We now have a laser cut "days since a random stranger walked up the stairs" counter for the office. Noah showed me around, introducing me to the editors' corner, the marketing team, showing me the rooms along the back wall: "Office, sewing/electronics lab, office, store room, office, prize room, woodshop/laser cut room, 3D printer. Probably ask someone before you use the 3D printer. Test kitchen, game corner." And that was it. Back at his place in the editor's corner, he nodded. A brief pause, and then I asked, "Is there anything in particular I'm supposed to do?" Noah laughed. "Good question! Since you're just here for the summer, you'll be doing a lot of making stuff. You can use any of the supplies, or if you need to buy anything, let me know." There are a few other things I get to do, too. I can feature Instructables, and am encouraged to do outreach to people who aren't on Instructables but ought to be. But right now, most people in the office are working hard on entries for the Make it Real contest. So I got to work. You can check out my page for the fun things I've begun to make here at the office. A few other key points of the first day experience: -2pm check-in: everyone in the office meets around the lunch table to say what they've been doing that day. -Membership at TechShop- lots of fun toys for making things! -Picking up things from the MakerFaire -Getting project cards Since then, I've gotten some fabric and done some sewing for a project I haven't posted yet and worked with CNC paper cutting, 3D printing, taught myself Google SketchUp and Silhouette, and have begun to list all the things I'd like to work on this summer All right, that's enough writing. Time to make!

Topic by SelkeyMoonbeam    |  last reply


Did you notice how the internet and mobile phones totally changed our culture?

Go back just 20 years and on a busy shopping street you saw the poeple walking around as they do today - or did they?I remember poeple talking to each other, standing in front of the shop windows and checking the offers.People greeting each other or stopping for a chat.Now all you see it zombies staring at their phone screen or texting.Even the dreaded "self talker" with a BT earpiece seems to die out.You like fast food don't you? ;)But did you ever bother to waste some time watching people going through the drive through?Back in the days they mostly tried to keep their cigarette going or the girls were busy with the make up.Today it is almost impossibe to spot someone making it through a drive through without playing on his or her phone.The shopping is finnished and all you want is to pay once your trolley was emptied onto the conveyor going to the register.If it were not for the person in front of you...On hand holds the phone to the ear, you hear the latest gossip you don't want to know anything about...And then painfully slow one hand tries to load the trolley again and then finally tries to find a credit with still some money left on it.My favourite are however all those people who are fully addicted to their phone and go mental if you try to tell them.You are having a cold beer with your mate and just want to reflect about the great day fishing.Hold on a second....Oh, did you see this today? ....Ok, just quickly checking FB...Your beer is already number three while your mates beer went warm and stale.Fair enough, was a long day...Then you knock at his door at 3AM to take the boat or or go on a trip.Still half asleep but the phone and all social media must be checked before even making it to the toilet...You get the picture, hopefully not by looking in a mirror now ;)When the "internet" started to be a thing I was already long on the wagon of "online".And back then some big players in the game said "One day we will all be connected in real time!".Of course everyone had a good laugh and moved on.No chance "everyone" could afford a computer, let alone get the skills to go "online".But look at today:You call your provider, tell them you need internet at home and you just plug a box in and have it.Oh, moible is prefered?No problem, just pick the phone you fancy, add a sim card and off you go minutes later.I remember libraries not just as a place to read books but also as a place to learn new things.Explore the world, see other cultures...If you could afford it you might have seen it all for yourself and in real.Today all this is replaced by a single term:"Google it!"What we have today is a simple money scheme created through the totally useless "need" to be connected.So how do you know that you are already addicted to you electronic friend and failed to realise it?Quite simple actually and in the same way as maybe your grandparents did with your parents - if they are old enough ;)Yes I mean the goggle box, the good old TV.Back in the day we said that 4 hours of TV time for a teen is already quite much.We can't escape screens for work or school needs anymore.What we can though is ask:How many hours per day do you spend on yo phone? The time that is not work or school related...How much of your daily life do you organise through your phone by texting, social media or just notes, reminders and so on?Do you complain that even the newest phone newer has enough charge for your "needs"? ;)Do you get cramps in your hands or fingers? ;)Or just plain simple: How long could you really be totally without mobile phone, computer and internet?The answers you give yourself might shock you ;)What are your thoughts on the mobile phone zombies of today?

Question by Downunder35m    |  last reply


McMADSAT make and do, show and tell. Scotland's first Maker Event 2009. Full report

Report of the McMADSAT event 14th March 2009, at the Glasgow Science CentreWe had a fantastic day. Outside it was a grey gale of a day, but inside was a riot of colour and activity. The aim was to enthuse the public with the fun of making things from a variety of technologies. Anyone who wanted to, could join in, make something and take it away with them, and all for free. Hundreds of people of all ages came along and had a great time. A general video of the event can be seen at https://www.instructables.com/community/Mc_MADSAT/ (Thanks to Les Oates for making this excellent film for us).I am happy to discuss further with anyone planning their own event, and you can see more about it and the process by which I got the event going, at http://mcmadsat.blogspot.com/ExhibitorsStar Guest, all the way from London, was Professor Maelstromme (AKA Amanda Scrivener), who brought her beautiful creationsWhat can you make from a dead umbrella? Display of the possibilities for reusing the fabric and structure of dead umbrellas.The Tea Party. 1950s style tea party made from a combination of hand made fabric and edible pieces.Cardboard structures from the students of the department of Architecture at the University of Strathclyde.Greensteam's steampunkery, 101 uses for a dead keyboard and other examples of her work as shown on Instructables.The Offline Mechanical Blog – a very old manual typewriter with continuous paper available for the public to type their messages and thoughts on for all to shareLemonie (another Instructables enthusiast, who travelled up from York especially) brought his amazing conversion of a VHS player-into-toaster that makes toast with VHS imprinted in it. He also brought his nice LEGO USB stick, a lantern made out of a tin-can & glass. and his *untested* wind-turbine, made from VHS player parts.On the Young Makers stand we had a display of virtuoso Lego constructions and an extensive collection of home made Steampunkery.The self-replicating machine from the department of Design Manufacture and Engineering Management at the University of Strathclyde, the Reprap, was on display and moving but sadly not reproducing on the day.ActivitiesThe public were offered a wide range of free hands-on activities, which ran continuously all day, to 'Make and Take'Soldering - make a solar theremin (or a robot). 16 of these were made and all worked first time. Some were taken for a trial run in the sun and a video of this can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzUZMon3vpA The Stemnet ambassadors helped visitors to make their own Musical Straw Oboes.One of the most popular activities – especially with children – the Stemnet ambassadors supervised the making of many handsfull of Gloop.The Stemnet ambassadors used the plastic Polymorph for visitors to make a fingerprint keyring to take away.Fishy things - Busy Bees Art studio provided painting and collage fishes to make, particularly for our very young visitors.The Glasgow Crocheted Coral Reef invited visitors to try their hands at crocheting and contribute to the growing coral reef, all made from wool and even strips of plastic bag. Many total novices not only tried their hands but actually completed a piece of coral to contribute to the reef. This workshop area was very busy throughout, with visitors typically spending 30 minutes or more participating. Many thanks to my civil engineer pal who ran this.House of Cards - visitors could make and take their own set of the design classic 'Eames cards', which slot together to form fantastical structures. Ideal for recycling old greetings cards.Cable necklets, keyboard bracelets and keyboard film wallets. All made from recycled/repurposed materials from dead keyboards. Popular with adults and children alike.Risk assessments were provided to the Glasgow science centre, for all the activities. There were no injuries and the 'emergency first aid bucket of water' was not needed as there were no soldering or gluegun burns.Participant Presenters30 people were involved on the day, either as exhibitors or as workshop facilitators. An essential component of the team was the group of11 Stemnet ambassadors, most of whom were there all day. It would have been impossible to run so many activities without them. Another group in the team was the members of the Glasgow Electron Club who, with some friends and a Stemnet ambassador, ran the soldering workshops continuously all day. We were particularly fortunate to have two exhibitors travel up specially to take part. Several exhibitors were entrepreneurs who gave their time for nothing, even though the venue rules meant they could not sell anything, nor charge for the activities being provided. This was especially generous given the harsh financial climate just now. Everyone said they had lots of fun.PublicOver 1,000 people visited the Glasgow Science Centre on the day. The BSA/NSEW assessment forms collected only represent <10% of the visitors to the McMADSAT area. Stallholders and workshop facilitators estimated a total of about 425 active participants (people who did an activity, or asked questions and generally interacted with the displays) by 1530 (GSC shuts at 1700). However, even these only represent a proportion of the people visiting the event which, although not recorded, probably amount to about double that, since most of the activities were taken up by children accompanied by other family members. The numbers at any given time were variable, depending upon the GSC's own activities/talks etc. I would estimate that the McMADSAT area was visited by at least 700-800 during the day. From the few assessment forms returned, and from chatting to the public, it was clear that most had come simply because they were coming to the GSC anyway, but some (mainly young adults) had come as a result of internet and email information or because of the Metro article. The GSC visitors seem to be mainly families with children of primary school age. The University of Glasgow Steampunk Society had come especially to make contact with the steampunk element, as featured in the Metro article. We also collected some contact details for future events. BudgetThe total budget for the event was the £500 grant provided from NSEW Scotland scheme. This had to cover all the exhibitors' costs and the costs for the free make and take activities, plus all publicity etc.In-Kind Sponsors:The Glasgow Science Centre provided free space, tables, cloths, technical assistance, without which the event would not have been possible at all.The publishers of Make and Craft magazines, O'Reilly's, did not feel able to sponsor us in the same extent as they did for the much larger event in Newcastle on the same day, but did send boxes of back issues of their magazines to give away, which probably amounted to an equivalent of about £300 at UK newsstand prices.Clockworkrobot.com provided more theremin kits than contracted for, which were themselves at cost price.Madlabs provided free batteries for all the kits they supplied at cost.Instructables.com assisted with publicity and allowed the use of their logo.VenueNone of this would have been possible at all, particularly on this minimal budget, without the kindness of the Glasgow Science Centre. The Director agreed immediately to offer us the space free, plus the use of tables and technical help to enable this event to take place. We were able to partially set up the night before which was very helpful in avoiding a scramble on the day. We were able to get the loan of 4 GSC soldering irons which avoided us having to get personal ones PAT tested. This was the ideal venue for us as it meant we really didn’t have to do a great deal of publicity as we could be sure of an audience from the GSC's normal throughput.PublicityThe event was listed in the NSEW diary and in the university of Strathclyde's NSEW information. Posters were distributed around venues in Glasgow and information posted on relevant websites. A blogspace http://mcmadsat.blogspot.com was set up as a temporary web presence to refer people to. The Metro published a small piece which was a wonderful boost.Lessons for the futureNeeded more helpers and more exhibitors. Outdoor displays would have been impossible as the weather was dreadful, but it is still necessary to have some more dramatic displays as well as the hands on activities. Successful soldering for novices really needs 1:1 or 1:2 supervision. The budget only worked because minimal publicity was done at low cost and all the participant presenters were generous with their time and resources. Anything more ambitious than what was done on this occasion would need a larger organising team and significant sponsorship.

Topic by greensteam    |  last reply