FAQFAQ   GalleryGallery   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in   Forum RSS Feed   Hacked Gadgets Main Site 

Popcorn: Customizable Talking Clock

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Hacked Gadgets Forum Index -> New Projects Currently Being Developed
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
nmcclana
HG Contributor


Joined: 12 Oct 2008
Posts: 34

PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:33 pm    Post subject: Popcorn: Customizable Talking Clock Reply with quote

Just finished this on Sunday, thought I'd put it up and share it. I did a little project I call Popcorn as a tribute to the time-of-day announcement service. Here's a demo video;



BACKGROUND
Starting around 1950, you could dial 'POPCORN' anywhere in Northern California and you'd get an automated time-of-day announcement. In 2007, AT&T stopped offering the service because of decreased usage and because the equipment was no longer serviceable. I always thought it would be fun to do my own version of popcorn using different voice samples, and finally got around to putting it together. If you're curious what the original popcorn sounded like, here's a sample mp3.

THEORY OF OPERATION
Popcorn uses an LCD UI module and Propeller Platform SD. The only hardware I added was a headphone jack that goes out to a computer speaker. Everything else is stock.

The microSD card holds the code and voice samples as 16-bit mono wav's. Each number has its own wav (00.wav - 19.wav, 20.wav, 30.wav, etc) and so do the supporting phrases (morn.wav = "Good Morning", pst.wav = "At the tone, Pacific Standard Time Will be", and so on). You can switch out the samples by changing the files on the SD card.

One cog manages the screen, updating it continuously, and checking to see if the 5-way d-pad has been center-pushed. Pushing center will enter a time update mode to let you change the time and date. A second cog manages the audio announcement. It checks to see if the big red button has been pushed. If so, it asks the RTC for the time and plays the appropriate wav files.

If you've got a Propeller Platform SD and LCD UI, you can try it out by downloading the code + samples. Just copy to a microSD and turn it on and it will start up. With a Parallax Protoboard or demoboard, you'll probably want to change the pin assignments and you'll need to add a DS1307 Real-time clock.

DOWNLOADS
code archive
Code + samples
Here are the schematics for the Propeller Platform SD and LCD UI.

Edit - forgot to add a photo;
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger

Anothercoilgun
Semi Newbie


Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 6
Location: CA, USA

PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the historical aspect POPCORN. We called it 856-any 4 numbers in socal. 856- any 4 numbers would connect to the same time service yet this stop some 4+ years ago. Shame. The lack of use and old equipment is just the states way of lying. Only takes one person like you to remedy that.

I did a similar project for a frequency and a velocity counter, broke the number into individual sounds and phases, using different chipset. Only real difference is no use of microSD back then, sounds were burned into flash through RS232-USB converter.

These days, microSD is so cheap, small and readily available, it cannot help but gives rise to great projects such as this.

Now it would be awesome if you tied this into a phone number so that people could call and put POPCORN back into service. You would get some 15 minutes in the news and make the state look bad.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
nmcclana
HG Contributor


Joined: 12 Oct 2008
Posts: 34

PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's the same in norcal - POP + any 4 numbers. I don't know why, but I learned it as popcorn.

There has been a lot of work on voice synthesis on the Propeller - but I'm sure you can attest that it's a lot more work than just playing back a wav Smile

It would probably be easier to tie it to a phone. Just have the thing read off times continuously. Setting up the phone line might be complicated though.

One correction, though - AT&T (not the state) shut it down because no-one used it. I can't blame them, I never really used it myself.

Also, I put up the schematic right here, if anyone else would like to build it;


Full size
_________________
Gadget Gangster - Share your Electronic Projects
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
tronixstuff
Newbie


Joined: 06 Aug 2010
Posts: 4
Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 6:18 pm    Post subject: Speaking clock Reply with quote

That's awesome in its simplicity - a perfect example of people taking control of technology for the good of all. Nice one. Luckily in Australia we still have the "speaking clock" telephone number. Now I'm going to have to get some equipment and make my own Arduino version. Cheers!
_________________
plenty of fun at tronixstuff.wordpress.com and youtube.com/tronixstuff
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Hacked Gadgets Forum Index -> New Projects Currently Being Developed All times are GMT - 6 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum



Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group