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Assembling the SpeakJet Shield 1.0 - v1.2


Click on photo to enlarge.

Suggested Tools & Equipment:

Soldering iron. A good quality 25W solder iron is recommended. Do not use a "ColdHeat" soldering iron; it can damage components!

Solder. Rosin core, 60/40. Good solder is recommended. Bad solder leads to bridges and poor solder joints.

Adhesive tape or modeling clay. Helpful for holding headers in the right place for soldering.

Multimeter. Helpful for checking voltages and continuity (you can get by without one).

Flush/diagonal cutters. Essential for cutting leads close to the PCB.

Desoldering tool. If you are prone to incorrectly soldering parts.

Good light. Absolutely essential!

Assembly Instructions:

It's time to put the kit together! The SpeakJet Shield kit is not recommended as a first time kit. Because this kit has a few rather sensitive and expensive components in it, I recommend you have some experience in assembling an electronic kit. If you are a beginning first-time builder, please build another kit first. Adafruit.com has a number of good beginning kits (as well as some that are more complex than this one). There is a very nice soldering tutorial at ladyada.net if you want to read up on soldering. Please keep in mind I cannot offer free replacements if you damage the board or any of its components. I can offer replacement parts at retail cost.

Click on photo to enlarge.

First, check that you have all the parts! Look over the parts list and the photo shown above. You can also click on the photo above  to show a much larger image.


Step 1:

Put the small button (S1) in. When positioned correctly, it should snap in and should be flush with the PCB. The button is symmetric so don't worry about putting it in backwards!


Solder each of the button's 4 pins to the pads by heating both with the side-tip of the iron for 3 seconds and then poking in a bit of solder.


You may want to clip the pins a little if you can, so that it will sit better on the Arduino.




Step 2:

Next is the volume trimpot R1. Once the pins are aligned with the holes in the pads, it will slip into place pretty easily.

Once placed, bend the leads outward a little to help hold R1 in place as you solder it.

Solder each of R1's leads to the pads.



Use diagonal cutters to snip off the long leads so they are about as long as the legs of the button.



With a flat-blade screwdriver, turn the trimpot adjustment all the way counter-clockwise and then clockwise. Once you know where the "ends" of the adjustment are, adjust it to approximately half-way in between.


Step 3:


Next it is time to place the two 3mm LEDs. I use a green LED for "POWER", and a blue LED for "BUSY".

LEDs are polarized and if you put them in backwards they won't work!

The positive lead on an LED is longer. On the SpeakJet PCB you will see a small + sign next to the LED silkscreen pictures. Put the positive lead in that side.

Once placed, bend the leads out so the LEDs remain in place.

Solder both LEDs in place.

Use diagonal cutters to snip off the long leads so they are about as long as the legs of the button.


Step 4:


Next, solder in some of the many resistors. The 1K (Brown Black Red Gold) resistors R2 and R7 are first.

Form them into staples (as one is shown above, right), then place them so they sit flat against the PCB, in the correct locations. Resistors don't have polarity so they can go in 'either way' and work fine!

Once placed, bend the leads out so the resistors don't fall out.

Solder both resistors in place.

Use diagonal cutters to snip off the long leads so they are about as long as the pins of the button.


Step 5:


Next, we will solder the 10K (Brown Black Orange Gold) resistors R4 and R6. Form them into staples and place them in the correct locations.

Solder both resistors in place and snip off the long legs.


Step 6:


Next, solder the 27K (Red Violet Orange Gold) resistors R3 and R5. Form them into staples and place them in the correct locations.

Solder both resistors in place and snip off the long legs.


Step 7.


Next placed are the 0.1uF ceramic capacitors C2, C7 and C8. The tricky part here is that there are 0.01uF ceramic capacitors in the kit that look identical to the 0.1uF!

The way to tell the difference is look for the 104 printed on it. If it says 103 then it's the wrong part. Make sure it says 104!

Ceramic capacitors are non-polarized and can go in 'either way'.

Solder the small capacitor leads and snip off the long legs.


Step 8:


Next, solder the 0.01uF ceramic capacitors C5 and C6. These have 103 printed on them.

Ceramic capacitors are non-polarized and can go in 'either way'.

Solder and snip the capacitor leads.


Step 9.


Next, solder in the 100 uF electrolytic capacitor C1. It will have 100uF printed on it.

The electrolytic capacitor is polarized; make sure you put it in the right way! On the SpeakJet PCB you will see a small + sign within the silkscreen circle of C1. The long lead is the positive lead, make sure it goes into the hole marked with a +, as shown here.


Once placed, bend the leads out so the capcitor doesn't fall out.

Solder and snip the capacitor leads.


Step 10.


Next to go on are the 10uF electrolytic capacitors C3 and C4. They have 10uF printed on them.

Remember- electrolytic capacitors are polarized, so make sure you put it in the right way! The long lead is the positive lead, make sure it goes into the hole marked with a +, as shown here.

Solder and snip the capacitor leads.


Step 11.


Install the stereo headphone jack X1. It snaps into place right at the right edge of the PCB. The label on the PCB says "3.5mm," which refers to the size of the stereo jack.

Solder the jack into place.


Step 12.


Next, carefully insert the appropriate sized IC sockets into IC1, IC2 (and for the TTS version, IC3) on the PCB. The notch on one end of the socket should be in the same location as the the drawing on the PCB. When positioned correctly, they'll snap in and should be flush with the PCB. The pins should be inserted all the way through the holes in the PCB board. If any pins bend and don't go through the hole, remove the socket, straighten the pin and try again.

Solder each of the pins on the sockets.


Step 13.


Next, solder the header strips. When you look at the SpeakJet Shield, you will see two sets of 3-pin pads and two sets of 2-pin pads that have not had anything loaded into them. The drawing on the PCB will be labeled "SJ/TTS", "BHalf/Busy", "SJTest" and "SPEAKER".

Insert both of the 3-pin header strips into the 3-pin pads. A strip of adhesive tape or some modeling clay can be used to secure the strips so they will not fall out while you solder them.

On the underside of the PCB, solder each of the pins to the pads.

Insert the 2-pin header strip into the 2-pin pads next to the label "SJTest". A strip of adhesive tape or modeling clay can be used to secure the strip so it won't fall out when you solder it.

On the underside of the PCB, solder each of the pins to the pads.

Remove the adhesive tape or clay you used to hold the strips.


Step 14.

This step is easier if you have an Arduino/Freeduino (or another shield with stacking headers) available to help line up the stacking headers, but it's not necessary to have one to complete the step.


Place the SpeakJet Shield PCB on top of the Arduino so that the stereo jack is oriented to the side opposite of the Arduino power jack and USB connectors. Line up the holes so they match up with the female headers on the Arduino.

Carefully insert the 8-pin stacking headers so they go through the holes on the SpeakJet Shield PCB and plug into the matching female headers on the Arduino (if you don't have an Arduino handy, carefully align the headers and solder them to the pads on the underside of the SpeakJet Shield PCB - just be aware you may have some minor alignment issues when you do plug into an Arduino).

Next, carefully insert the 6-pin stacking headers so they go through the holes on the SpeakJet Shield PCB and plug into the matching female headers on the Arduino.

While holding the Arduino and SpeakJet Shield stack together, flip it over and "tack solder" a center pin of each of the stacking headers to a pad on SpeakJet Shield. At this point it doesn't matter if you fully solder the pin to the pad, just as long as it is bonded enough so you can pull the SpeakJet Shield off the Arduino without the headers falling out of the Shield.

Pull the SpeakJet Shield off the Arduino board. Solder in each pin of the stacking headers to the pads on the underside of the SpeakJet Shield PCB (be sure to re-do the ones you "tack soldered" in the step above).



Step 15.

Except for loading the ICs and the post shunts, you are nearly finished assembling the SpeakJet Shield. "Smoke test" the board before adding the ICs. This is where you will power the board for the first time!

Smoke test: Plug the SpeakJet Shield onto your Arduino/Freeduino (or clone).

Supply power to your Arduino.

The "Power" LED should light, as shown in the photo below.


If the "Power" LED did not light...

Does the Arduino have power? (check the power LED on the Arduino itself)
Are the SpeakJet Shield pins properly seated in the Arduino connectors?

Step 16.

Now come the exciting steps!
Insert the audio amplifier IC1 (LM386N) into the 8-position socket. The chip has a notch in one end and that notch must line up with the notch in the silkscreen.



Step 17.

Next insert the SpeakJet synthesizer IC2 into the 18 position socket. The chip has a notch in one end and that notch must line up with the notch in the silkscreen.



Step 18.

The final "smoke test!": Plug the SpeakJet Shield onto your Arduino/Freeduino (or clone). If you have a stereo headphones with a "mini-plug" or ear-buds (like the ones used with an I-Pod), plug them into the stereo jack of the SpeakJet Shield.

Supply power to your Arduino.

The "Power" LED and "Busy" LED should both light as shown in the photo below (note, the photo does not show the optional TTS-256 loaded - both LEDs should light anyway). Put on your headphones/ear-buds. You should hear a series of spoken vowels/consonants, beeps,  and other noises.


If both LEDs did not light...

Check that the Arduino has power. Check that all components were loaded with the correct polarity.

If you do not hear sounds from your headphones...

Check that the headphones are plugged completely into the stereo jack.

Try turning the trimpot adjustment more clockwise with a small flat-blade screwdriver  (the volume  increases as you turn clockwise).


Step 19 (skip this step if you are building the Basic version).

Next insert the TTS256 text-to-speech processor IC3 into the 28-position socket. The chip has a notch in one end and that notch must line up with the notch in the silkscreen.



Step 20.

The next step is to put on the post shunts. There are several options available, depending upon how you plan to use your SpeakJet Shield. Don't worry though; the post shunts are easily removable, and you can change the configuration at any time!

Closeup view of the post shunts (you will need three).
Note: your shunts may be a slightly different type!

Place one post shunt on the 2-pin header nearR3 and  C2 labelled "SJTest." Press the post shunt on both pins until it is fully seated all the way down. When this post shunt is removed, the SpeakJet Shield is placed in "self-test" mode. This post shunt MUST be installed in order for your Arduino to properly communicate with the SpeakJet Shield!

Click on photo to enlarge.
The next post shunt goes on 2 pins of the 3-pin header near R3 labelled "Buff-half SJBusy." For now, push it down on the two pins on the "SJBusy" end of the header. This header is used to select which handshake method your software uses. For some projects, you may not need to use handshaking at all!

Closeup view of the SJTest and BHalf/Busy shunts.
This is setup the same for both SpeakJet Shield Basic and TTS versions.
Where the last post shunt is placed depends on the version of the SpeakJet Shield you are building. This shunt is used to select whether the Arduino will communicate directly with the SpeakJet IC or with the TTS256 Text-to-code IC.


Step 21.

For the SpeakJet Shield Basic:
The post shunt goes on 2 pins of the 3-pin header labeled "SJ TTS" on the "SJ" end (nearest to C8).

Closeup view of the SJ/TTS shunt for SpeakJet Shield Basic

For the SpeakJet Shield TTS: The versatile TTS version can be configured to run as a SpeakJet Shield Basic or as a SpeakJet Shield TTS. The choice depends on whether you wish to use the text-to-speech feature or not.
This can be changed at any time, depending upon what you want to do with your project.

Normally for the SpeakJet Shield TTS, the post shunt goes on 2 pins of the 3-pin header labeled "SJ TTS" on the "TTS" end (nearest to C7).
To run it without text-to-speech, the post shunt is placed the same as for the SpeakJet Shield Basic, on "SJ". You do not need to remove the text-to-code chip (IC3)!

Closeup view of the SJ/TTS shunt for SpeakJet Shield TTS.


Step 22.

If you do not have the SpeakJet Shield TTS Deluxe kit, you may skip ahead to step 25...

If you have the SpeakJet Shield TTS Deluxe kit, the following components are in a separate bag that came with your kit.

1 - 2 pin right-angle header.
1 - 50mm 8 ohm speaker.
1 - PTH black/white jumper wire.

SpeakJet Shield TTS Deluxe Speaker Completion kit components.

Insert the 2-pin right-angle header into the holes in the SpeakJet Shield PC board, near the headphone jack labelled "SPEAKER". The shorter portion of the pins go into the holes (the longer part of the pins are for the speaker connection). Be sure the long pins face outward from the board as shown in the photo below.


You may use a piece of transparent tape or clay to secure the header on the board for soldering.


On the underside of the PC board, solder the header pins to the SPEAKER pads.


Remove the tape or clay used to hold the right-angle header.


Step 23.

Poke the bare wire ends through the speaker terminals; white wire through the + terminal, black wire through the - terminal, bend them in half so they hold.



Solder the wires to the speaker terminals as shown.



Step 24.

The speaker is connected to the SpeakJet Shield by pushing the 2-pin speaker connector onto the right-angle header as shown in the photos below; black wire should go to terminal closest to the headphone connector.




Step 25.

If you do not have the SpeakJet Shield TTS Deluxe kit, you will need to add your own speaker, use headphones/ear buds or plug in an amplified computer speaker set. More information on adding a your own speaker can be found in the adding a Speaker to the SpeakJet Shield tutorial.

Step 26.

It is recommended that you remove any soldering residue from the SpeakJet Shield kit PC board. The rosin used in many solders is sticky and may be corrosive. Most rosin core solders will clean off with alcohol, or if you use an "aqua core" solder like I do, it may clean off with water.



Next: Programming tutorials...

Programming the SpeakJet Shield Basic
or
Programming the SpeakJet Shield TTS


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SpeakJet Shield TTS/Basic by Galen Raben is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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© 2010 Galen Raben/DroidBuilder.com