Mike’s Talking Skull Project (JawDuino)

This project uses an Arduino and KA2284 LED sound meter module to create a cheap, yet effective talking skull. The cost of this project will vary depending on which type of skull you use, etc.. but the prototype I built while creating this ended up costing about $20.

Theory of Operation

The KA2284 LED sound meter module acts like a little 5 segment peak meter that lights up proportionally to the volume of the audio. It takes audio input from one channel.
I have found that line-level audio works well, as does speaker-level audio. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. Using a speaker-level signal means that you would always need to play at the same volume. If you use line-level, you may vary the volume at the amplifier.
Either way, you will want to adjust trim pot on the KA2284 so that the LED’s bounce while the audio is playing, and so that the peak/red led only lights up on the loudest of sounds.

We will pick off the led voltages on 3 of the 5 LED’s to give a 3 bit resolution servo position:

Sample wiring diagram:

Download Manual and source here:

This project is presented as source code and info. It assumes that you know how to compile an Arduino sketch.

If this project has helped you to create an army of killer props at a fraction of the normal cost, and you are feeling like sharing a fraction of a fraction of all that $$$ you just saved, we’d appreciate your kindness! Extra funds will help keep this site up and running.

This project is what it is. As with any other freeware project, I receive a continuous stream of requests to make it do this and make it do that. If it does not meet your expectations, all I can do is remind you that it is free.