Introduction: Let’s Make an Intercom!
I’m embarking on a project to create another TOS intercom unit, and I had some requests to do a build log. So I created this post to introduce the project and get started. I hope someone will benefit from it. Please, if anyone has any feedback or suggestions for doing something better, as the Ferengi say, “I’m all ears.”
So what do I want to accomplish with this build? My goals are:
To have the intercom built into a box which represents a section of Enterprise corridor wall. The unit can be hung on the wall or sat on a table top or shelf. This will require care in planning where the power adapter will plug into the unit. I prefer to use a “wall wart” DC power supply because I detest having to change batteries, although having a wired connection to the prop can be cumbersome as well.
Function like the screen used prop.
- Obviously I want the white oval next to the speaker to toggle from the white Captain’s chair type button. That’s a given.
- The “big red button” should toggle the flashing alert beacon.
- Some extra “bells and whistles”
- A momentary switch on the side of the unit can be pressed to play the intercom whistle sound effect.
- You can toggle the alert mode from another momentary switch on the side of the unit. By default the flashing will be fast and silent. The other mode will be a slower flash with the red alert sound effect.
- Another momentary switch on the side of the unit to activate continuous audio mode. I have a library of intercom dialog MP3 files I have recorded from various episodes. I edited each one to be preceded by the intercom whistle. When this mode is active, every 5 or 10 seconds (I haven’t decided at this point) one of the intercom dialog files will play. They will be played in order, starting from the beginning when the end of the list is reached. Also, when this mode is active, no other sound effects will play.
- A volume up/down switch.
The electronics will be built using an Arduino Mega and an MP3 player shield available from Adafruit. The faceplate for the intercom will be laser cut acrylic from Ponoko.com. MDF wood will be used to construct the box, aka Enterprise corridor section. Other parts and my sources for them will be in the next post.
Please join me in this journey and let’s have some TOS prop fun!