Jackin The Box
This is definitely one of the stranger pieces I’ve built. The original idea was pretty simple, the client wanted me to put a mic in a JackinTheBox to pick up the sound from the little music box. Then he wanted me to install a few sound circuits that would trigger when the top popped open. It was all going to be battery powered and the internal mic. would pick up the sound from each circuit which would have its own speaker. No need for mixing circuitry. Well that didn’t work…at all. So I ended up making a separate sound module and installed a special jack on the JITB for sending a trigger to the module when the top popped open.
The first thing I did was mount a piezo element in the JITB. I was able to actually solder the element to the JITB’s metal housing using short pieces of rigid wire. Then came the tricky part. I needed to install some sort of switch that would activate every time the clown popped out.
First I had to figure out how the popping mechanism worked. The simplified version is that there’s a little lever that holds the lid shut. At the end of the musical sequence it is pushed back, unlatching the lid and Mr. Clown busts onto the scene. The picture isn’t very clear, but you can see below where I mounted a little custom switch to the lever mechanism.
This is wired to a jack mounted on the wooden base I added.
The sound module contains four sound effect circuits, as well as an amplifier, an audio mixing circuit, a power supply with four different regulated outputs and a relay circuit.
- Power jack (120vac)
- Main power switch
- Internal Speaker
- Master volume control
- 1/4″ output jack.
- JITB connection jack.
- Power, volume, pitch, trigger for each of the four sound effects.
- Enameled plywood housing.
- Hand cut aluminum faceplate.
- Colored vinyl graphics.
- Etch on lettering.