Cause and Effect Toy 1



This post describes the first revision of the Cause and Effect Toy I made. To see the original, go here.

After using the original toy a while, my wife had a few suggestions for improvement. These included the ability to easily switch between different videos, an enclosure to hide the wires and make it easier to carry, and a different power source. I also wanted to make it out of something less brittle than acrylic.

Again with the help of the TI Innovation Lab at UCF, we looked at a few different designs for an enclosure. I decided that a small box form factor. This would allow it to be compact with the ability to adjust the viewing angle. The sides of the box would have removable panels that would contain the plugs and switches. Removable panels were chosen for the sides to allow the functionality and user interface to be easily changed in the future. Originally, I was going to put a three-section lid on top, but I abandoned this idea. A CAD rendering of the model is shown below.

To make the power source cleaner, I decided on a rechargeable 12V battery pack. I soldered a DC barrel jack to the screen to be able to connect the battery.

I made a decision to make it highly configurable. It would require more work on my end, but I thought it would be worth it. Instead of the one 1/4" jack, there would be 4 jacks, each with a 6 position switch that would be able to activate any of the 5 PB inputs from each jack, and also had an OFF position. In other words, different videos could be played without changing the input jack. To do this, I made a board with Molex connectors that acted as a bus.

Everything worked as expected and it was used successfully. I later took it to the Orlando Maker Faire, where I was recognized as a Maker of Merit.