Building the „the speach“ took me about 1 year (not consecutive). The idea of it was there for years, but the realization took ages. I first got an mp3 player which I took apart according to the how-to from Make Magazine. What I didn’t think of was the internal voltage of this player. USB delivers 5V, but the power from the battery was 4V. While wiring the boards battery connectors + and – to the power supply I fried the mp3 player. May it rest in peace.
While browsing through catalogues I found a new mp3 board that could play mp3s directly from an SD card. I got 2 of them and started wiring on the breadboard. Soon I found out that the so called mp3 player can’t handle mp3s but only ad4 and wavs up to 16000 Hz, though I converted the mp3s to ad4. Some days later I had to find out that the player is only capable of playing short audio files. My idea of playing hours of speeches was gone again.
I went back to my first idea, using cheap mp3 players. This time I got 2 of them. While working on the sketch I burned one of them. Though I got lucky ordering 2. The rest is history.