KaboomBox Is A Firecracker Of A Music Player

Ka-chunk. Let’s face it, 8-tracks were not that great. But the players, that’s another story. The Panasonic RQ-830S, aka the dynamite or TNT player is just one of many lovely designs that used to grace the shelves of electronics stores. Hackaday alum [Cameron Coward] came across a non-working model and used it to create the KaboomBox.

Just like before, all [Cameron] has to do is stick a tape in, and music starts playing. But now, instead of using rust on tape, the music is accessed via RFID and lives on an SD card inside the 8-track player.

Power it on, and a tiny LCD screen showing through the track number window first displays the KaboomBox logo, then shows a timer whenever it’s waiting for a tape. And just like before, pushing down on the plunger skips to the next track.

The new guts include a Raspberry Pi Pico and an RFID reader, plus a DF Player Mini to handle the digital-to-analog conversion and amplify the signal, and an SD card to store the music. Now, [Cameron] is only limited by the size of the SD card. Check out the demo video after the break.

We’ve seen all kinds of boomboxen around here, from the lit to the Bluetooth to the payphone variety.

Continue reading “KaboomBox Is A Firecracker Of A Music Player”

DIY PECS Board Uses Pictures To Communicate

One way of communicating with autistic and non-verbal people is through the use of a Picture Exchange Communication System or PECS board, which they can use to point out what they need or want throughout the day. However, the commercial versions of these boards have their share of problems — they’re expensive, and they’re fairly rigid as far as the pictures go. [Alain Mauer] has created an open-source PECS board that is far more personalized, and has audio to boot.

The number one requisite here is sturdiness, as [Alain]’s son [Scott] has already smashed two smartphones and a tablet. [Alain] went with a laser-cut MDF enclosure that should last quite a while. Inside is an Arduino Pro Mini and a DF Player Mini that plays corresponding clips from a micro SD card whenever [Scott] presses a button on the 16-key copper foil capacitive keypad. This PECS board is smart, too — it will sound a turn-me-off reminder after a few minutes of inactivity, and issue audible low battery warnings.

So far, [Scott] is responding better to photographs of objects than to drawings. Watch him interact with the board after the break.

This is far from the first thing [Alain] has built to help [Scott]. Be sure to check out this Pi-based media player built to engage and not enrage. Continue reading “DIY PECS Board Uses Pictures To Communicate”