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Modifying a Singing Greeting Card Answered

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.
~Josh


I'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.

Discussions

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SheriDRM

2 years ago

I don't understand a lot of the technical stuff, but I would really appreciate it if somebody would explain how to recharge or repair a recorded greeting card in simpler terms. I have one that my husband recorded several years ago, and he recorded himself saying I Love You, in the card, to me. He passed away and I would give anything if I could "revive" that battery, or whatever is wrong, so I could hear his voice again! Thank you!

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Downunder35mSheriDRM

Reply 2 years ago

There are two types:
a) hold the data only with sufficient battery voltage present
b) hold the data even with no battery voltage at all

In any case the card will have a small battery attached to the electronics.
Common are the 3V lithium cells as used in calculators, scales or compter motherboards.
You will have to find this battery.
If all is glued and sealed you might have to seperate the paper layers or if you can see the insides with a lamp behind it cut them out.
On the battery is stated what type and voltage it is.
If you are lucky the battery has a clip otherwise it can be soldered in or held in place by the paper of the card itself.

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QuinnM2

3 years ago

Would anyone know how to re-record the message on one of these?

I've got a Hallmark greeting card and want to personalize the message.

thanks

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Caleb Nehrbass

7 years ago

I have one. Does anyone know how to turn it into an amplifier for my MP3 player? I've got an 1/8 inch stereo jack that i can use. I've been on the quest for a small amplifier for a long time.

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vcaballeroCaleb Nehrbass

Reply 6 years ago

https://www.instructables.com/id/Make-an-iPod-Speaker-from-a-Hallmark-Music-Card/

You don't necessarily need to use the cereal box idea, but the instructable clearly shows you what you need to do with the small speaker to use it as an amplifier for your MP3 player.

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alaskanice

10 years ago

Hi I am trying to attach a voice recordable greeting chip, like the one posted in this discussion, would anyone know how to: a) change the recording? b) amplify it? ( the link above for the ampified ear is pretty technical I am not sure how it can amplify it or if it can work as a speaker? c) attach it to a motion sensor? Is any of this possible at all? I am pretty new to this DIY stuff but I would like to learn the technical bits so if you could be specific and kind it would be cool. ANY HELP or links to other sites would be cool.

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Goodhart

10 years ago

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.)

The two biggest problems are the difference in power and the analog to digital conversion (plenty of A/D converter chips out there) you would need to do; let alone once digital, formating it into usable form so you can play it back.

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MrKltpzyxmGoodhart

Reply 10 years ago

Thanks for your comments. They've helped a lot so far. Any idea what I should try next. At this point I'll be happy if I can just make it play again. That analog to digital conversion sounds like something for a much later time.

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GoodhartMrKltpzyxm

Reply 10 years ago

Yeah, I would personally need to actually "buy something" myself to do that. Most of my efforts in younger years in this area have been pretty much failures.

Well I am glad I could be of some assistance, however minor it may have been.

Wait a minute....., what am I talking about......gah ! it has a speaker, it obviously has a D/A circuit on board <. duh .> I must have really been tired when I wrote my other post on that LOL

Your major problem, if you can get it working again, is driving a larger speak, yes ? An amp will do, but most commercial amps need more power to start with in order to amplify....so you may need to start with [http://www.redcircuits.com//Page38.htm something like this <link>]

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MrKltpzyxmGoodhart

Reply 10 years ago

Let me just get this straight. Assuming that I can get this card back up and running, I should be able to take an old headphone jack and wire the speaker wires up to that. Then, plug it into the "audio in" port on the back of my computer. Then, turn the power on and record the little sound clip. Correct? Still, the first thing I need to do is to make the sound clip play again the way that it's currently hooked up. I may need to invest in some soldering tools.....

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GoodhartMrKltpzyxm

Reply 10 years ago

Oh, I am sorry, I forgot you were going to try to record the analog as a digital signal.......(I think I need more coffee LOL). If there is an audo in, on the back of your computer, do you know if it is an analog in, or digital in ? I meant that, if you get it working, and can determine the chip's output before it goes through the Digital to analog conversion, you would have a digital output without need of conversion.. .. but my guess is that the black dot on the board contains most of the "chip(s)" and so access to the input and output would be impossible.....I am sorry if my recent bouts of being distracted have been confusing...... :-(

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MrKltpzyxmGoodhart

Reply 10 years ago

I'm not sure whether it's digital or analog. And don't sweat the confusion, you've actually helped a lot.

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GoodhartGoodhart

Reply 10 years ago

BTW: That one resistor (biggest one shown) looks like a 5.1 Kohm with 10% tolerance

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guyfrom7up

10 years ago

to the first question you should be able to, if possible look for a resistor on the circuit board, they look like a dumbell, or if it might look like a little black rectangle that has 2 contacts. If there is a resistor there should be no problems, if not you might have problems.

To hook it up to something like an audio jack all you have to do is follow these pinouts:

http://pinouts.ru/Home/Tele35s_pinout.shtml

attach the black wire from the speaker to ground, and the other wire to both left and right.

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MrKltpzyxmguyfrom7up

Reply 10 years ago

Thanks for the comments. As it turns out, both wires going to the speaker are white. Either way I don't think I'm quite ready to wire an audio jack to that circuit board, especially after Goodhart's helpful reminder that the signal would have to be translated from analog to digital. Any Idea how I can get past this problem?

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GoodhartMrKltpzyxm

Reply 10 years ago

I goofed, sorry about that.....if the wires go TO the speaker, they are already transmitting analog signals.......see my other recent post....

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Goodhart

10 years ago

It is likely that 2 AA's in series would not deliver too much current, and will deliver (about) 3 vdc. If you accidentally put them in parallel, you would only have 1.5 volts, but double the current.....not a desirable thing to do :-)

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guyfrom7upGoodhart

Reply 10 years ago

well, I was just saying check for a resistor because some really cheap ones just use the hgih internal resistance of button cells.

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Goodhartguyfrom7up

Reply 10 years ago

Oh of course, I didn't mean to step on your toes. By all means, it is best to check first. I just was setting up the warning about not accidentally putting the batteries in parallel.

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Goodhart

10 years ago

If you find one (normally pretty expensive) that records, like the speaking picture frames etc., you have all kinds of possibilities :-)