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Discussion Starter #1
Is this possible? Seems that the animated props I see all have little speakers and would not sound very good if used outdoors.
 

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Most of them actually aren't too bad as far as volume goes. That being said, anything that has a speaker output can be upgraded with an amplifier, a better speaker, and the proper power source to feed it. That's if you can get at the existing speaker leads.
 

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David_AVG is right - disconnecting the existing speaker and adding a larger speaker does make the sound much more impressive, but I need more amplification because I also have loud background sound effects. I'm also a little concerned about overloading the little circuit that comes with the prop. David_AVG; have you had any issues with your setups?

I've two examples for adding amplification.

My first is a new giant skull (Lowes) that will hang in the front trees. It will move back and forth and the head will swivel back and forth. When it's triggered (home made PIR), the eyes light (also have a bulb that lights the entire skull), and audio begins. I used a $3 mono 18W audio amp module; the audio output from the skull goes directly into the amp input. The amp outputs to a spare speaker that will be up in the trees. Everything checks out so far in the garage, so I'll find out if everything works within a couple weeks.

I have another ghoul whose speaker is not loud enough to be heard over my background sound effects. I'll be using an old amplified computer speaker for that. I'll try a direct connection between the ghoul audio output and the input to the speaker. If that seems like it's too high an output for the computer speaker, then I'll add a simple resistor circuit to lower the ghouls audio output voltage.
 

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If you use a separate amplifier for the added speaker, you won't overload the existing circuit board. Replacing the small speaker with a larger speaker directly to the existing circuit board can be risky.
 

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One thing to be note is that it's possible that neither side of the speaker output is connected to the battery (or power supply) negative.

When connecting an external amplifier, this could be an issue if the prop power and the amplifier power share any common wiring.

One way around this is to use a small transformer to isolate the audio output of the prop. Search for "audio transformer" on eBay and you'll see the little red ones selling 5 for $2 or so.

Connect one side of the transformer to the prop's speaker output and the other side to your amplifier's audio input.
 

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I agree. Some of the sound tracks are a horrible mess of sounds.

When I make my own props (or modify bought ones) I try to have clean audio.

For background sound I prefer a separate low level track playing over a separate speaker system.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Pre-built. I just ordered the Scorched Scarecrow animated prop and want to use it outdoors....only temporarily.
 

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Now in 2018 and I'm still trying to simplify things... I just tried two different speakers on a new store-bought prop. I tried a small and a big one. The big sounds better but not much louder.

Has anyone tried to change the speaker impedance, e.g., replacing the 8 ohm speaker with a 4 or 2 ohm speaker? I know that might tax the on-board amp, but since it's not on for long, it may work.

If you have an opinion, let me know before I buy a 4 ohm speaker to try... Thanks!
 

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Now in 2018 and I'm still trying to simplify things... I just tried two different speakers on a new store-bought prop. I tried a small and a big one. The big sounds better but not much louder.

Has anyone tried to change the speaker impedance, e.g., replacing the 8 ohm speaker with a 4 or 2 ohm speaker? I know that might tax the on-board amp, but since it's not on for long, it may work.

If you have an opinion, let me know before I buy a 4 ohm speaker to try... Thanks!
I doubt it will hurt anything but the real issue is that I also doubt you'll get much of an improvement without adding an auxiliary amp.
 
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