6 years, 2 months ago.

Billy Bass Cookbook HW requirment

Hi, I would very much appreciate some advice on the Billy Bass Cookbook.

I'm a EE and I am planning on helping a high school student develop his interests in technology. His desire is to build this Billy Bass Cookbook project and then use it as a way to gain a better understanding of what is going on in the HW and the SW.

In order to get this started, as easily as possible, we would like to follow the cookbook as much as possible. Do we need to by a specific Mbed module to do this? I was concerned that the new Mbed modules will have a different pin out then is in the cookbook example. Can we use the LPC1768 module?

Thanks in advance for the advice!

The full set of connections between Billy Bass and the mbed are as follows:

Driver PCB signal Function To MBED pin

Control/Driver pin 1 Ground 1 (GND) 1 (black end) Control/Driver pin 2 Light sensor 15* Control/Driver pin 3 Push button 24 Control/Driver pin 4 Tail motor 23 Control/Driver pin 5 Mouth motor 22 Control/Driver pin 6 Body motor 21 Control/Driver pin 10 Audio 18*

Vbatt, taken from the positive end of the 4 C cells Power 2 (VIN)

Question relating to:

The Big Mouth Billy Bass program bass, big, billy, BMBB, mouth, player, wav, wave

1 Answer

6 years, 2 months ago.

The LPC1768 is what this project was built around, so yes, your best chance for success is to use the LPC1768. I found difficulty in deciphering his control files, but I found assistance in these forums and got it working. My biggest problem is that the current draw is so large when moving the motors that it causes my mbed to crash. I have not resolved that issue yet.

Accepted Answer

Hi Ken, Thank you! It's good to know you were able to get it working. I am planning on having the kids buy a 5V-2A supply so we should have plenty of current to move the motor's and hold the voltage up on the M3.

Is there a specific thread that discussed deciphering the control files, and do you think I can see it?

Thanks again, I do appreciate your help.

posted by Dean Cafora 07 Aug 2014

I have a 6v 2A power supply and it is not enough, sadly. I have not done a lot of debugging to see where the current is going. I wanted to build a new motor controller instead of re-purposing the billy bass circuit, but I do not have the skills at this point. I am probably not hookings things together optimally either.

Here is the info for the fish.txt decoding:


I used a ready-made audio amp from SparkFun to boost the audio since it was very weak directly off the LPC board.

posted by Ken Kirchner 08 Aug 2014

Hi Ken,

Thanks for code pointer.

That seems like a lot of current for a toy. I am thinking your fish my have a lot of mechanical resistance in the joints which may be causing the motors to draw more current. An electric motor can theoretically draw infinite current until it starts running. If the fish joints are holding the motor stopped, even for a short period of time, it can cause a voltage drop which would crash the M3 micro.

posted by Dean Cafora 10 Aug 2014