Help! I gotta make a golf ball activated, battery powered sound machine!

Hello all
I’m know programming and have dabbled in electronics, but new to Arduino-type stuff. I’ve been asked to make a crazy golf hole that plays sounds. The ball will drop into the top of a box, roll down several gutters, before coming out the bottom. On the way it needs to trigger three different predetermined sounds.

I got a proof of concept working using a windows laptop with a Makey Makey (which is a small usb-powered board that mimics key presses via crocodile clips - Makey Makey). I used cardboard flaps hit by the ball to connect the makey makey circuit to trigger each keypress and Processing code to get the sound files to play. However I’m a bit clueless about making the actual thing.

This is what I need it to

  • run off a battery
  • be able to play at least 3 different sounds loud enough to surprise people!
  • be triggered by somehow by a ball rolling down a bit of guttering
  • be easy to set up / turn off because someone else will be setting up and packing it up many times over several weeks.
  • be somewhat weatherproof (it will be enclosed, but there may be moisture)

Browsing the Spark Fun site I thought this looked possible:

Would that do the job do you think?
And if so, any advice about batteries, speakers, sensors/buttons to use with it?

Any help very much appreciated.

That looks like a really good choice based on what you want to do.
Do you want rechargeable batteries or will just regular AA or AAA do?
It says 3 to 5.5V so this should work

For detecting the ball going by this may work.

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If you want an actual switch that works as the ball contacts it you’ll likely need something like this.

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Wow thank you, that’s a great reply. I was really hoping for that type of answer.

I’ve got a couple of follow up questions if that’s not too cheeky. What would you recommend I do in terms of audio out and would this need separate power? So sorry for the probably silly questions.

Do you want mono or stereo sound? It has analog stereo output but you’ll need an amplifier to drive speakers. A mono amp will draw less power and will likely be fine for what your doing. Its just sounds not music per say.
This should work for mono

Or this for stereo

Both of those will run off of 4.5V or 3V. They won’t be as loud but they will work.
Any 2W or higher speaker(s) should work OK.
I have the stereo one wired up to the analog out of a Pi 3B+ and its not bad.

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Thank you once again. Mono will be fine for my purposes so I’ll go for that.
Thanks again X10

The batteries will last longer with the mono one, ~2 Watts out instead of ~4w. Half the power used / required. I’d go with double A batteries, C or D if you can find a 3 battery holder for that size. 4 batteries is 6V which is too much, bummer.

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The absolute easiest way to do a sound trigger board is this:

The idea being you upload the sound files you want to play, and hook up triggers to the IO pins on the board. How you name the sound files dictate how they behave- looped, single trigger, random etc.

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