I've been working recently on this project, I've come to some results and I think so far it's pretty interesting.
There is this small community of geeks and fanboys that we like to build Star Wars' Lightsabers hilt replicas and original designs from scrap, or prefab parts from specialized online stores. Until a few months ago there was this problem of providing sound effects to the sabers. The only options available were to rip off the chips from a Hasbro toy, or an original FX replica, or buy this other expensive (but apparently pretty neat) electronic sound board somewhere in europe.
The latest hasbro toys had an acceptable sound quality but there were poor for modding, and would only be useful for the already effects built in. Tearing apart an original FX replica just for the sound card doesn't make much sense. And this other board from europe seems to be a top choice, it's really configurable and supposedly(did't buy it) great sound quality, but it's quite expensive, €100. So after a lot of thought -somehow :? - I came to the conclusion that I could build my own prototype of a soundboard for less the money I'd spend buying one of the expensive ones. The advantage would be clear: by basing my design on Arduino I would get an extremely configurable soundboard. And so far I think I was quite right.
I based my design on the Waveshield for producing the sound output (thanks Ada!). Of course everything is open source -thought, not like there was much of a secret on my design- but you may give it a look at my personal webpage: http://www.cero-uno.com/projects/lightduino/lightduino.html
(it's home-based webserver so give it a few seconds if it doesn't load instantly or give it a try later if you think is down).
I also made a couple of videos with the board in action playing some sample sounds and my first one finished lightsaber hilt with the board inside:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Li-RwzkJNsEhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xnPlv4SSVc
Originally I thought of build these boards for sale, but after reading a lot of posts in this particular forum hall (and since just recently a new -not so expensive- soundboard came into the scene) I realized that I might not be well ready to produce them for the average saber builder enthusiast, so I probably just stick to build some custom saber hilts from time to time to sell at expos and cons, and taking advantage of the fact that since it's Arduino based, I can try a lot of more interesting features not implantable with the other boards like fancy battery indicators, extra sound effects, on-hilt battery chargers, etc...
So let me know what you think about it. It's a work in progress, so any design faults you may find in the schematics at my webpage are welcomed. Overall I'm very eager to listen to your general opinion, ideas and suggestions.
thanks and regards!