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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for an inexpensive amplifier for sound for props and came across this, do you think it is any good? I want to start building props with sound, that can be triggered via prop controllers. I would like to eventually use an Arduino or picaxe or some other type of affordable prop controller but I know nothing about how to get started with them. Would this amplifier work for props or am I wasting my money? I want to start collecting some items that I can use for props.

Power Supply: AC/DC 9-18V, Recommend 12V 2A
Output Impedance:4-8 ohms
efficiency: up to 90%
Output Power: 15W+15W
Chip: TDA7297 Dual-Channel Amplifier Chip

7115bC+HJ2L._SL1200_.jpg

61m7jVQwRYL._SL1200_.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Ski0204, this company makes many more amplifiers, this is just the first one I found. My problem is, I don't know which direction to go in... I want a prop controller, and I want an affordable one (I am comfortable with soldering) but I also don't want to buy a part like this if in the end it's not going to work with whatever prop controller I choose or if there is a better solution to getting the job done. I found an Arduino Uno for $29.99 not sure if that's a good deal or not, I know there are a lot of clones out there, and once I get one I don't exactly know what I need.... I do have a prop in mind, but don't know exactly if and how I would get the job done with a micro controller like Arduino and picaxe.

I've been looking at Youtube videos and looking at different sites and it just leaves me with more questions than answers!
 

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Fester,
Those amplifiers work very well and you can't beat the price. As for a good true programmable microcontroller, can't go wrong with the Prop-1 from EFX-TEK.com. They have some of the best product support you'll find along with a great forum where you can get help anytime you need it. Someone will even write your programs to get you started.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Fester,
Those amplifiers work very well and you can't beat the price. As for a good true programmable microcontroller, can't go wrong with the Prop-1 from EFX-TEK.com. They have some of the best product support you'll find along with a great forum where you can get help anytime you need it. Someone will even write your programs to get you started.
I saw the Prop-1 mentioned on a page yesterday, and it does look promising, I may get one to try out on the prop I am planning to build. Do you have any experience with the Prop-1?
 

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Before you go into prop controllers, you should realize that you can go a couple of ways...

- The "button banger" route, as the Arduino button banger project describes.
- The programming route, where you get an Arduino, Picaxe, Prop-1, etc and program it to do what you want.

Do you have any experience programming software? If you have never done that, and are not interested in taking the time to learn (there is a lot to learn!) then make a button banger. It will do most of what most people want in a prop controller. You do have to learn to use his software to set up the script but there are a couple of videos that will show you the basics.

As for the amp - that one you linked to is fine. There are tons of these things out there, that's a good one. You'll need to hook it up to a good speaker and get a regulated wall adapter for it.
 

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While I agree with most of what Jeff has said, I think beginners are much better off going straight to programmable controllers and here's why.
A true programmable controller can be very easily programmed to act like a "button banger" for your first project(s). A "button banger" on the other hand can never do what a programmable controller is capable of. I'm not knocking button bangers but most people that start out with them tend to stay in that comfort zone and never take the leap into true programmable controllers. Trust me, it's well worth learning and like I said, EFX-TEK has a great forum for learning and help. Good luck either way you go!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Before you go into prop controllers, you should realize that you can go a couple of ways...

- The "button banger" route, as the Arduino button banger project describes.
- The programming route, where you get an Arduino, Picaxe, Prop-1, etc and program it to do what you want.

Do you have any experience programming software? If you have never done that, and are not interested in taking the time to learn (there is a lot to learn!) then make a button banger. It will do most of what most people want in a prop controller. You do have to learn to use his software to set up the script but there are a couple of videos that will show you the basics.

As for the amp - that one you linked to is fine. There are tons of these things out there, that's a good one. You'll need to hook it up to a good speaker and get a regulated wall adapter for it.
My only programming experience was BASIC back in the 80's. But I have no problem taking the time to learn something new, and my job affords me some time to read up on things! But I am intrigued by both types of controllers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
While I agree with most of what Jeff has said, I think beginners are much better off going straight to programmable controllers and here's why.
A true programmable controller can be very easily programmed to act like a "button banger" for your first project(s). A "button banger" on the other hand can never do what a programmable controller is capable of. I'm not knocking button bangers but most people that start out with them tend to stay in that comfort zone and never take the leap into true programmable controllers. Trust me, it's well worth learning and like I said, EFX-TEK has a great forum for learning and help. Good luck either way you go!
I'm really thinking of getting one of the Prop-1 controllers and an arduino and play around with both.... I do have some time until my prop has to be finished so I can read up and learn somethings about each. I will definitely be checking out the forums on EFX-TEK, thanks for the info!

Like I said, I've got time... still waiting on the son-in-law to deliver my 2 - 55 gallon drums, and I'll probably have all the parts needed and controllers programmed before that happens! LOL
 

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That's good to know. The Prop-1 is programmed with a variation of BASIC. If you're willing to get back into it then you will have the opportunity to make much more stuff.

However, I've run into all kinds of people doing this hobby through our local group (Northern California Home Haunters) and some people are natural arts & crafts types, and others are techno types. Not everyone is interested enough to spend the time learning how to program.

However if you do get into it then we can give you lots of help, including sample programs. And JonnyMac on the EFX-Tek forums is a great resource, you just have to ask him for help and he'll write a program for you.

I would also suggest picking one platform, because you will want to learn one language and stick with it. The EFX-Tek controllers (Prop-1, Prop-2) use BASIC while the Arduino uses C. You will be amazed at how much you can do with BASIC and a Prop-1.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That's good to know. The Prop-1 is programmed with a variation of BASIC. If you're willing to get back into it then you will have the opportunity to make much more stuff.

However, I've run into all kinds of people doing this hobby through our local group (Northern California Home Haunters) and some people are natural arts & crafts types, and others are techno types. Not everyone is interested enough to spend the time learning how to program.

However if you do get into it then we can give you lots of help, including sample programs. And JonnyMac on the EFX-Tek forums is a great resource, you just have to ask him for help and he'll write a program for you.

I would also suggest picking one platform, because you will want to learn one language and stick with it. The EFX-Tek controllers (Prop-1, Prop-2) use BASIC while the Arduino uses C. You will be amazed at how much you can do with BASIC and a Prop-1.
Looks like I may just go the Prop-1 route then to make things easier! I'm already having one battle on the home front with my Blue Iris program for my home security video cameras! Don't need another battle with trying to learn C!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So I ordered the Prop-1 starter kit today, started looking at the online documentation. Can't wait to get it! I told my Wife I'll probably have the guts of the prop all assembled and ready to go by the time my son-in-law gets my 55 gallon barrels Lol
 

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Good choice, you'll really enjoy what it's capable of and also the satisfaction of writing your own programs and then seeing them come to life in your props. If you know what you need it to do for your first prop I'd be glad to write you a program to get ya started.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Good choice, you'll really enjoy what it's capable of and also the satisfaction of writing your own programs and then seeing them come to life in your props. If you know what you need it to do for your first prop I'd be glad to write you a program to get ya started.
Thanks J-Man, I will sit down and finalize my prop design and talk to you about it... maybe you can steer me in the right direction!
 

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How do you get any kind of volume out of such a small amp? Is this more like a preamp? Please explain it to me as would to a young child.
Ohms law states Russell will NEVER understand electronics. In my experience the "volume" of sound is directly related to the weight of the amplifier and according to the Holy Trinity of scaring (1 Fast motion, 2 a flash of light, and 3 a loud sound), the louder the scarier.
 
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