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Dill_Pickle

Dill Pickle's electronics helpline

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An interest in electronics is apparent. Katelyn Anne has built a prototype spark generator out of scraps, and I extend my offer to everyone -- an expert to bounce questions off of. For any expert reading, I am not too proud to accept help, but I value accuracy very highly.

Do read my safety thread, as I don't like involuntary departures from Daily Di!

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I was thinking of trying to so some work with solenoids, I want to make them have sudden impact but I don't know how strong to make it, its to make a gizmo to cheat on a gba Zelda game that I cant get past because I cant match a rhythm the way it needs to me(ive spent 10s of thousands of rupees, the currency in the Zelda game, trying to match it and I cant so no key for me), and I need to be able to adjust the strength level of it, I don't want the slug or whatever you call it breaking the a and b buttons, do I need to use a special capacitor for this? and to tell the solenoids what to do, I want to record the tone it gives me to recreate, is there a gizmo that will do that and relay it to the solenoids to match the 2 notes it gives? I have to match a set of 8 rhythms' using 2 notes. ive considered trying to do this with a more mechanical option, but im not clear on how to do that

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FeralFreak:

I am not sure if I SHOULD answer your question.

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OK, then, lets keep working on a button pusher, then we will move on to the balance of the system.

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OK, then, lets keep working on a button pusher, then we will move on to the balance of the system.

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Feralfreak,

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@ feralfreak & Dill Pickle:

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wetman,

You are entirely and completely correct....assuming feralfreak is comfortable opening up his gameboy, has some skill at soldering, and knows where to get his hands on a reed relay.

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wetman,

You are entirely and completely correct....assuming feralfreak is comfortable opening up his gameboy, has some skill at soldering, and knows where to get his hands on a reed relay.

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Feralfreak

Where there is a will, there is a way. You aren't in far over your head, and there are ways to get access to workshops. My whole idea was to teach as I went, doing something interesting to those asking the questions, thus bringing up your level. Wetman will say "maker faire", since there will be a lot of folks who like doing things. I am personally involved in First Robotics at the high school level, and as a mentor I have a lathe, a mill, and materials I can play with. We are overwhelmed with electronic scrap. I don't know if hamfests are still around, this is another source for stuff.

So if you want to do it, you CAN do this. The question is how much electronics you want to learn and how much time you want to spend. But it is up to you whether and how you skin this cat, or even if you want to skin only part of it. Let me know how to proceed.

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Indeed, wetman has reminded me of yet another way to skin the cat...digitize the sound of the gameboy, have the computer figure out the time to press the button, beep at that time, and we use your finger to do the job, with your ear being part of the relay path.

That should simplify things significantly.

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It's very interesting that most people don't realize that the most sophisticated piece of equipment on the planet, is at the end of your arm.

Once you try and reproduce the functionality of the hand, it becomes apparent that modeling even a small function, is much harder than it appears.

Good luck with your project, no one ever knows where the next breakthrough will come from.

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@ feralfreak:

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it gives a series of 8 patterns that have to be followed exactly, cant be too slow, or too fast, it uses 2 tones, one for a and one for b, ill look for a youtube video later on it, I think maybe I am overthinking things or thinking things the wrong way, im an amateur woodworker, I should be able to figure something out, and my mom gave me a thing that has a slow moving motor on it, so maybe the solenoid idea a bit too big of a bite for me to take, im currently considering adjustable strips of wood, something with slots in them, and making use of button plugs as things to strike the buttons, I just need to come up with a drive system for it, that is what hangs me up, ive been wanting to get into inventing, the practically nonexistent chance that I could come up with a good invention and sell it might be the only way I can get off SSDI, I got a number of ideas but I don't know if I have any chance of pulling it off, do you have any inventing experience?

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OK Dill, apropos the topic I raised in chat. For

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So I understand that the sequence is 8 tones long, correct?

Is the sequence the same when you fail and try again? So, as an example, let's say you're at a specific lake. Do you have to play the "lake song"?

Like babaaabb? And if you do it wrong, will it be babaaabb again in the same situation? That would make things easier.

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Feralfreak,

If you want to become an inventor, you need to learn about and be around inventors. Invention, like the discovery of Penecillin, requires an accident to happen to a prepared mind. Bill Gates was prepared when IBM suits did not understand California culture. He had also done some programming. If you want a quick education, I recommend viewing "The Social Network", which is about Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook.

You will also benefit by a good education in science and math... Not because these are always critical to an invention, but because of the critical thinking, and the cause-and-effect mentality it imparts.

Finally, you want to be persistent and see things through. Building this little toy gives you building blocks for the next invention, as well as practice with issues such as figuring out how to move forward. It lets you see possibilities.

Now, as to being in the right environment on a shoestring, you want to get in touch with your local FIRST high school robotics team and volunteer. Woodworking is similar enough to metalworking that your skills will transfer, and you will have access to tools and meet people who can introduce you to other people who need help implementing THEIR ideas.

Another truth is that there are FAR more shopkeepers and business owners in the world making a good living than inventors. The skills can be divergent. As a trivial example, you are a woodworker already....what if you made a drop dead beautiful holder for your Gameboy and sold it for a couple of hundred on eBay? Suppose you sold a hundred of those a year? There is ZERO invention in that, but quite a bit of profit, since there is no chance of finding it in Walmart.

And, back to the invention department....ONE of the proposed solutions was to have a more experienced gamer sit next to you and hit some extra buttons for you. Can you build something from wood to make that possible without being uncomfortably entangled with the person helping, without passing the gameboy back and forth, where either of you can press a button? (if we turn your helper's finger into an electric machine, we can use a computer to control it)

Time for me to watch some video...I am home early from work on account of the snow. I can teach you the electronics.

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shows the problem im having

That video is almost as bad as the problem....waaayyyy to long, too much talk when we can read the screen perfectly well, and we never see the guy's hands. Signal analysis is pretty straightforward if you can keep quiet, we only need to discriminate two sounds, one seems to be a pure tone in an envelope. Do find us a video or pic where we can see the gameboy itself, rather than just the screen.

Also, we are going to need a digital computer....it CANNOT be your current main computer, as we are going to have to ask it to do stuff that Windows, iOS, or Android simply aren't going to support easily. An old, but working PC will do, but it will need a working microphone input to analyze the sound, and an easy way to get your programming onto it. The disadvantage of this approach is that we need to find out how these parts of a PC work in practice, whereas if we get a Raspberry Pi or arduino, we aren't fighting to find the documentation and sift out the small parts we need.

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Smarti

You finally made it here! So what's with those HUGE eyes?? Lol

Running under Win 8 is definitely going to require a virtual machine, as it did under Win 7 pro. Look up "Windows virtual XP mode", or try a real XP machine. Until the first of last year, I could have sent you a working Win98 machine! Part of the problem with virtual XP mode is microsloth keeps changing how it works, breaking simple stuff as they go, like suddenly deciding not to support a parallel port, or only allowing the VM access to a certain area of the host hard drive.

So, I think the easiest way to hack the serial port is to use an actual Win95 hard drive in off-network mode and feed the result to, say, hyperterm or a serial port monitor on a second machine. The idea is to reverse engineer the protocol.. At a guess, I would think we are looking at speech synthesizer commands to Miss GoldJacket.

Another approach is to use a debugger and Wine (under Linux) and figure out what the sequence of system calls is, perhaps by reverse engineering the disk image. I would doubt, in the end, that it is really all that big.

Finally, we can do some research and see if we can get, for example, numbers off the chips inside the doll, or find someone else on or near this path, or even get the manufacturer to tell us about the doll. I doubt you are the only person in the world interested in this toy. At worst, we can give her a new heart and engineer our own sound protocol and play it on the speaker. A wireless sound system might be easiest of all...then Diva Barbie can be a whole symphony orchestra!

What to do here depends, of course, on your values, inclination, and sense of aesthetics.

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I think i will go to the computer junkyard and put together a Win 95 machine just for Barbie.

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Smarti

Might be easier to get wine running under linux...but it very much depends on what you find in the junkyard!

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That video is almost as bad as the problem....waaayyyy to long, too much talk when we can read the screen perfectly well, and we never see the guy's hands. Signal analysis is pretty straightforward if you can keep quiet, we only need to discriminate two sounds, one seems to be a pure tone in an envelope. Do find us a video or pic where we can see the gameboy itself, rather than just the screen.

Also, we are going to need a digital computer....it CANNOT be your current main computer, as we are going to have to ask it to do stuff that Windows, iOS, or Android simply aren't going to support easily. An old, but working PC will do, but it will need a working microphone input to analyze the sound, and an easy way to get your programming onto it. The disadvantage of this approach is that we need to find out how these parts of a PC work in practice, whereas if we get a Raspberry Pi or arduino, we aren't fighting to find the documentation and sift out the small parts we need.

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Jason:

There are a minimum of nine ways to skin any given cat, and it is entirely possible all of them are good.

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Unfortunately, there isn't a way to get Labview without spending an arm and a leg for the license, unless you only need it temporary, because you can always download it for free and use it for 7 days until the trial expires.

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