Babblebot USB board works, sort of
March 23, 2012
I purchased one of these voice synthesis chips as kind of a knee-jerk reaction to Maxhirez's bot but I didn't know that they were so finicky and questionably documented. It seems the nature of breadboards cause a lot of problems with this chip as well, some of which I am very familiar with. With the challenges presented it seemed best to design my own PCB and have the pro's through Dorkbot fab the board. I would have considered buying the dev board from the Babblebot guys themselves but it only comes in RS232 flavor! So I went ahead and made mine with USB connectivity in mind. Who uses serial, honestly? In the end the chip seems to work fine (even after reverse voltage!) but the v0.9 boards are a disaster. Battletesting was rough but I have video proof that it works. The v1.0 will involve some important redesigned elements. You can kind of see what I'm going for in the video. Breakout all the pins, blinky lights, etc. I'm considering selling the extras through JAKTEK possibly.
Anyway, in the computer software provided you can make the Babblebot play "Carol of the Bells" via serial commands, so that's what I got for ya :)