Every so often someone has an idea that is just too great not to be a part of. My friend Abdul is a comedian, and out in Vancouver, British Columbia is creating this interactive comedy ghost tour called Fake Ghost Tours. I knew I had to make something for the project, it was too cool not to be a part of.
We started brainstorming and eventually came up with the idea to make a classic 80s looking walkie-talkie, but instead of acting like a walkie-talkie, it would play audio files when the users reached a specific location. I knew this was going to be fun, but there was one problem, I only had two weeks to build it!
Cue build montage! Oh wait, this is a story.
I started looking around at some older walkie-talkies and discovered some old Ghostbusters brand ones. I took some design references from them and came up with my own take on the design.
Once I had the design and a general size to work with I could get working on the custom circuit board. Something like this doesn't need a custom circuit board, you could technically flywire all of the individual store bought components, but since this has potential to be a real product for them, it was the right move to make.
I ordered a bunch of stuff from Adafruit, and did a quick breadboard prototype. This just lets me make sure the pins I'm going to use are going to work properly. I also knew I was going to be using my HCC Module, to speed up the development process.
I got the schematic designed in KiCad.
Then with a mad rush managed to get the board layed out in record time.
Once the boards arrived, and I had my parts from Digikey, I threw them all on the board. Surface mount, then the through hole components.
To my surprize, everything worked right away, not bodges, flywires, or cut traces. Whew, lucky!
With only a day or two to spare, I quickly wrote some Arduino code to get it all working. Basically the code looks at the users position, compares it to all other positions, and sees whether they are in a boudary(radius) close enough to let them play an audio file. So for example, if you are at location #1 and within 20m of that position, it will let you play audio file #1. Simple as that. There are some other things like lighting up LEDs and beeping when you're at a location, and the stuff to control the audio player, but overall its pretty simple. I go through the code breifly in the video.
With everything working, I printed out a quick sticker, cut it out and stuck it on.
If you want to build your own I have provided to resources on GitHub. Even if you're not in the area local to the Ghost Tour, you can still download and listen to the files, they are hilarious on their own(and free!) - http://bit.ly/FakeGhostTours
If you enjoy my free open source projects,subscribe to my YouTube channel! - http://youtube.com/seanhodginsfilms - if you enjoyed this you will definitely find more enjoyable content there.