Despite a few fires to be extinguished (both metaphorically and literally), production has ramped back up here at the Surf Shop. Project Woz is a go, and--so I think--far less intensive than I had initially feared. That will be coming some time in the future, as I still have a stack of projects before it. I also have a line on a couple Heathkits that I'll be taking a look at sometime soonish--depending on scheduling conflicts, of course! Tomorrow is Halloween, but that's not the scariest thing looming as the winter holidays are just around the corner! This should prove to be an interesting (and probably terrifying) next few months if SARS-CoV-2 has anything to say about it. For now, though: COURAGE!
The voice changer module had a few hiccoughs that had to be beaten out. Initially, my redesign of the Velleman kit was not working for whatever reason, then after much futzing around with different RC values trying to change the overall sound, I couldn't get Google Assistant to sound much like 2XL by any stretch of the imagination. I went back to my good ol' standby technique--the tried-and-true toy hack--and cannibalized one of those cheap megaphone-style toys with the gloptop-chip-on-bakelite innards which I got to sound very close to the voice effect I wanted. Now I just need to run audio from the Pi, through the modulator, to the speaker and I'm set! Next week I'll be in the shop building the power distribution bus (12V/500mA for the 8-track, 5V/2.5A for the Pi, and 9V/300mA for the modulator), then performing final assembly. I'm SUPER stoked to finally be done with this project (and to have a custom voice assistant just like I always wanted)!
Initial function tests have been completed and passed. There are a few key switched to be repaired and, of course, the whole case needs a good dose of the RetroBrite treatment. More to come when that happens!
More videos added every day! Keep checking to get your requisite dose of nostalgia!
I've had a preview copy of the first 3 chapters of this novel (written by the founder of the Rhapsody music service) sitting on my shelf since meeting him at San Diego Comic Con in 2012, and I finally got around to reading through it. The critics rave that it's a new Hitchhiker's Guide, but I find that comparison to be a bit exaggerated. It promises to be a rousing send-up of US copyright law, but it felt extremely dated reading less than 10 years later. Perhaps at the time, I may have considered it hilarious, but the one-dimensional characters and their forced alien-ness takes me right out of the story. You may enjoy it, but I lost interest quicky.