Lowering The Volume On A Child’s Toy

This is an older project, but I thought I should share since I couldn’t find anything like it when I was searching the web.  The problem arose when a grandparent bought this loud fuzzy thing that sang the chicken dance and shuffled around the floor.  I’m sure it seemed like a cute gift in a large noisy store, but when it was brought inside a smaller, relatively quiet house we all found out just how loud it was.  The grandparent apologised and told us we could just toss it in the garbage, but I thought I’d see what I could do to quiet the thing down a little.

Fuzzy Loud Thing
Fuzzy Loud Thing

The picture above is a rough approximation of what it looked like.  I didn’t think to take a “before” picture.  This is it without anything on the inside, but you get the idea.  I was left with an interesting looking creature.

Odd Egg-Looking Thing
Odd Egg-Looking Thing

So I opened it up with a plan.  My thought was to add a resistor inline to the speaker, as long as the wires to the speaker were easily accessible.

Toy Guts
Toy Guts

I pulled the wire off and played around with a small bucket of resistors to try and find the right one.  Anything too big killed the sound altogether.  For this particular toy, 100 Ohms was the sweet spot.  It brought down the volume just enough.  I tested it just by holding the resistor in place with my fingers.  Then I took to soldering it in place and used a bit of shrink wrap to make sure there wouldn’t be any unexpected shorts when I put everything back together.

Soldering Part 1 Soldering Part 2 Soldering Part 3

I re-assembled everything and ended up with the same, odd looking, egg-like thing I started with.  Putting the fur back on it wasn’t an option as it would have required a lot of gluing and stitching.  The button to activate the music and dancing hung off the head at the end of a couple of long-ish wires, but it looked like it could survive in that state.  So I left it as-was and gave it to our little one as “their robot”.  They had expressed a lot of interest in the robot I was building and they were super excited to have their own now.  So it all worked out for the best.

This was a really easy project to do, but I also didn’t bother fully re-assembling the toy. The final volume was a little louder than I would have preferred which is due to the fact that I didn’t have proper contact when testing the resistor because I was holding the connections with my hands. I eventually repeated this fix on another toy where I improved upon the resistor testing. But that’s a post for another day.

Categorized in: DIY

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