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I wish to design a mobile app that will allow me to touch parts of the screen, generate a music tone that will be converted to an electrical signal to move part of a toy. By touching different parts of the screen, different music tones will be generated which will move different parts of the toy. The toy will have hold batteries to move the parts. Can it be done without a processor chip? If not, can anyone recommend how I would go about manufacturing the chip? Thank you for your help.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So you want the toy itself to respond to tones? In that case it will respond to tones whether these tones are coming from the mobile device or not right? \$\endgroup\$ – angelatlarge Apr 1 '13 at 3:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Correct, although the toy will respond to input from a smartphone or tablet (via screen touches), or laptop/PC (via mouse clicks). Thank you for help Angel! And thanks if that's your DTMF suggestion below. Sounds like a workable solution. \$\endgroup\$ – Mark Apr 1 '13 at 5:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you absolutely need the music tone? Is it being played somewhere? If not, you can convert the audio channels of the arduino into kind of a serial system which will send out bits. That will work without any additional hardware \$\endgroup\$ – Rick_2047 Apr 1 '13 at 12:18
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One approach would be to use DTMF (Dual-tone multi-frequency signaling) the same as used by a 'tone dialling' telephone. Although sometimes they can take a little tracking down from regular suppliers Holtek manufacture a range of DTMF receivers / decoders that can be used without a processor, for example the following:

Holtek HT9170 DTMF receiver

Application circuit 1 would be similar to what you require and when a DTMF tone is detected you'll get a binary output on D0-D3 as per page 7 of the datasheet. If you need 16 outputs you could use something like a 74154 4-to-16 line decoder or otherwise if you only require four outputs you could use directly.

For initial testing before you've done the software development I see there's a free app called "DTMF Pad" in the app store that may be useful if you decide to go that way.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm totally off to make things that talk to each other using tones. Very cool. \$\endgroup\$ – geometrikal Apr 1 '13 at 12:14

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