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Help with an electronic geocache project

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MrDEB

Well-Known Member
The dancing LEDs can be done with a 4017 very easy.
As for the lid switch, you will find that the switches with the safety covers are not cheap. Thats one reason I think the ON/OFF/ON switch would be better.
 

vne147

Member
Those are approximate but not final. When will you need to know?

I don't need to know right away. The only reason I was asking was because I was planning on hard wiring the displays that will show the "given" numbers when I made the schematic. That part of the project isn't that complicated so if you're confident you can figure it out yourself, I can leave it for you to do or I can just modify the schematic once you've figured out the final numbers. Also, you may decide to just write the "given" numbers and not use displays for them based on how much money you want to spend for the project.

Here's what I've picked out so far.

Bi-color LEDs: WP59EGW Kingbright Standard LED - Through Hole

7 segment displays: HDSP-313E Avago Technologies LED Displays

On/Off lid switch: KM3301RR05Q C&K Components Pushbutton Switches

I didn't search around to make sure that these were the absolute lowest prices but I don't think you'll find significantly cheaper parts although you're welcome to look.

Things that will affect the total cost of the project aside from the switches is the number and length of the sounds you want and obviously, the number of LEDs and displays you decide on. The example picture I threw together in post #25 had 38 LEDs. You can have more or less, just let me know how many you want so I can design the circuit accordingly.

Also for playing sounds, I plan to use 2 I/O pins that will be connected to several resistors and a capacitor that will act as a sort of DAC (digital to analog coverter). The sound won't be CD quality but it should be good enough. What I'm thinking of now is to have 3 sounds.

  1. The first sound will play after a short delay when the lid is opened. It will be a voice that explains what the user needs to do. Maybe, "set the switches correctly to display the coordinates", or something like that.
  2. Second, a sound will play when the correct solution is reached. You mentioned something about snoopy's red baron theme.
  3. A third and final sound that plays after the second sound that instructs the user to reset the switches before closing the lid.
You can have more or less sounds. The number and length of sounds you decide on will dictate what PIC you'll need. I won't know the price until I choose the specific PIC but I'd estimate it will be between $5 - $10. What I need from you now is to decide on which sounds you want to play and when. Send me the sounds in a .wav file format with the highest bit rate possible (I'll PM you my email address). The higher the bit rate the better the final sound quality. Once I get the .wav files from you, I'll test them out. I may need to add a filter and/or amplifier but I won't know that until I try everything out.

As for the switches, I just did a quick ebay search. You'll need SPST toggle switches. If you don't buy the guards and switches together, just make sure they'll fit one another. Here are a few links to get you started.

Switches: SPST toggle switch, buy and sell Parts Accessories on eBay Motors

Switches and guards: Switch safety cover, buy and sell Parts Accessories on eBay Motors

If you find a switch that you want to buy, just post a link here beforehand so I can make sure they will work.

The dancing LEDs can be done with a 4017 very easy.
As for the lid switch, you will find that the switches with the safety covers are not cheap. Thats one reason I think the ON/OFF/ON switch would be better.

It's true that an LED chaser can easily be made with a 4017 but the PIC leaves the capability to have different patterns and to dynamically adjust the speed. These are both things that would complicate a 555/4017 circuit beyond the point where using a PIC isn't the easier solution. Not to mention that a 4017 can't be used to add sound the the project.
 
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