Wanted to take advantage of Black Friday/Cyber Monday so I grabbed a few Amazon Echo-Dots to hack on! This is a super simple hack thanks so a lot of the code base from the wonderful folks at Adafruit and it works similarly to Donald Bell's Billy Bass hack.
There are three quick steps to this build: printing the parts, wiring the LCD screen/Aux connector, and then putting everything together and testing it out!
Check out https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3239394 for the 3D-printable files. Make sure to print the enclosure with support.
I used Adafruit's 1, 44 Color TFT LCD for this project, which I would recommend because it is fairly cheap and easy to use. Place the LCD in the 3D-printed enclosure and follow the image below in order to wire the TFT to the Teensy 3.1/3.2 board:
After correctly wiring up the LCD screen we have to attach a 3.5mm headphone jack. Solder one of the pins to ground and the other pin to A0/Pin 14.
Now that everything is soldered/wired you can place it inside the enclosure
Now we need to power the Teensy on and program it using the Arduino IDE. If you have never used a Teensy board before make sure to install the supporting board software using the Teensyduino installer.A really important gotcha's:
- Do not install the Adafruit_GFX, Adafruit_SSD1351 or Adafruit_ST7735 libraries offered by the Teensyduino installer! Use the Arduino Library Manager or install these manually from Github code. The Teensyduino-installed libraries sometimes diverge from the latest Adafruit code and might prevent this project from compiling.
After you have everything installed load the sketch from the Github repo and power on the board using a microUSB cable from your host machine. From the Tools menu, select Board→Teensy 3.2 and CPU Speed→72 MHz.
You should be good to upload the code at this point! After you upload the codebase you can go ahead and throw your Echo Dot ontop and plug everything up. Simply plug a microUSB cable into both the Teensy and the Echo Dot. You can then use a 3.5mm splitter to branch the audio from your Echo Dot into both the Teensy and an external speaker. If you don't do this you won't be able to hear any of the output from your Echo Dot device.
***OPTIONAL*** I opened up my Echo Dot and followed AFTV's guide on how to play audio through both the internal and external speakers on my Echo Dot so I wouldn't have to use a splitter/another speaker. I would only advice doing this method if you are experienced at soldering.
1. Kind of rushed the design of the 3D enclosure, so I'm going to go back to it in the next few days and clean it up a bit/make some through hole points for the Teensy.
2. For my design I didn't get a chance to use Arcylic cabochons to add for a more realistic/3D effect. Definitely want to see how the design looks with those in place.
3. Tone recognition. For fun things like "excited eyes," "rolling eyes," etc.