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 Post subject: Santa's Marching Band
PostPosted: Jan Sun 26, 2014 2:02 pm 
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvkYQEwBJGI

I happen to have 2 of these made by Mr Christmas
Consists 8 Figures with 2 Bells each that play Christmas Music in 2 part Harmony using the bells

Well on both my units 2 of the Figures do not play the Bells, Looks like a maze of wiring and a Large PC Board with one IC .

Anyone tackle these ???????
Nothing available on Web or Manufacturer.

Any input ??

Bob T


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 Post subject: Re: Santa's Marching Band
PostPosted: Jan Sun 26, 2014 3:23 pm 
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Location: East Brunswick NJ,USA
I have a remote control halloween witch Made by "Mr Christmas" It didn't work well from the get go. In short order something failed in the "transmission' It is made from cheap plastics. I would look for mechanical problems rather than electronic.
Marty


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 Post subject: Re: Santa's Marching Band
PostPosted: Jan Sun 26, 2014 5:06 pm 
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Location: Wilmington, NC 28412 USA
Mechanics are simple and in good condition.
Small DC Motor in each Figure. + pulses drive motor to Ring Right side Bell - Pulses Drive Left Side Bell
Return to center with spring action

Problem is electronic.

Very fast Purse going +/- + for Right Bells - for left Bells.

Will need to put scope on it to catch the pulses.

Looks like MAYBE Signal from IC to Driver Transistor which fires an scr.
Was hoping someone was down this path.


Bob T


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 Post subject: Re: Santa's Marching Band
PostPosted: Jan Sun 26, 2014 7:36 pm 
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I worked on one of these last month . When it came in it would skip several of the figures . I found some poor solder under the board . After fixing that it was better but it still missed at random . Never got it fixed .


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 Post subject: Re: Santa's Marching Band
PostPosted: Jan Sun 26, 2014 11:35 pm 
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Ken G wrote:
I worked on one of these last month . When it came in it would skip several of the figures . I found some poor solder under the board . After fixing that it was better but it still missed at random . Never got it fixed .


I hooked a scope to it, looks like it is addressing the Figures, Do not know what Binary code they are using yet. 16 Bells so maybe that help figure how they are addressed

1 2 4 8 = 15 maybe one is addressed as 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 12 13 14 15
Hmmmm

Pulses are 3.8 V to 5 V PP

Just setting my finger on the IC cleared the signal up really nice. Sooooooo Pulled Board as Ken did.
About 6 bad solder joints, will fix them on next attempt at this.
I am thinking the IC needs a shield, or ground on the Chip is a poor solder joint.

Bob T


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 Post subject: Re: Santa's Marching Band
PostPosted: Jan Mon 27, 2014 7:41 pm 
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OK

Fixed all 5 Bad solder connections

Still 2 Figures DO NOT strike Bells

Tried to find a Pin Out of the DIP Chip
28 Pins
CHIP ID C11529N2 I can't find any information on the Chip https://www.google.com/#q=c11529n2+circuit
Made M.H. Segan 1990 , Holds Patent on circuit I believe
Other marking on Chip LFY9120
MRXMASSMB (MR Christmas Marching Band)

I have ID for 3 of the Transistors used on outputs from DIP CHIP
KSA928A PNP Audio Power Amplifier
KSC2328A Bipolar- BJT NPN Epitaxial Transistor
90131 (NTE123A) NPN Audio Transistor used for Med Speed Switching.

Gotta be some Digital Electronics Guys among us. JUMP IN

Bob T


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 Post subject: Re: Santa's Marching Band
PostPosted: Sep Mon 29, 2014 5:21 am 
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Hi Guys-
I've got one of these old Mr Christmas sets. I was going to make a new driver board for it so that I could play the music in any order I wanted. That seems to be the one key feature everyone wants. Most people have never heard the final song :) I'm designing the board right now. Does any one have interest in beta testing testing in about a month?


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 Post subject: Re: Santa's Marching Band
PostPosted: Oct Thu 02, 2014 3:16 am 
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Location: New York
Bob, if nothing else is found out about the circuit and you hit a wall, then try something else. :D

A lot of people are playing around with Arduino boards. Fairly cheap, they aren't hard to program I gather. And people have a lot of fun using them to control all sorts of things. Chasing lights, etc. I'm sure you can find a fair amount of support online.

Here is a little music supplied by one of them....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H13pIS3ZXO8

For those who have never seen or heard this kind of music, pulse speed and duration is used to drive the stepper motors.

John S.


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 Post subject: Re: Santa's Marching Band
PostPosted: Oct Mon 26, 2015 7:59 pm 
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Hi, don't know if you guys can use it or not, but I've got a bit of reverse engineering on the control board. I decided to make a "replacement" for the IC that drives the whole thing. So, the idea is to pop out the IC and the plug in this control board. I'm attaching a schematic for the interface board I made that is the link between a general purpose microcontroller (like Ardruino) and the Santa's Marching Band. Just in case there are different versions out there, the IC that I'm replacing says "980 MRXMASSMB" C11529N2 LFY9215 C1990 M.H. SEGAN 2031123 Phillipines"

What I found is that the IC runs on -6 volts so, put the opto couplers in to translate b/t 3.3V and -6V. I'm actually using a Synapse Wireless module and interfacing it with MIDI on my computer. I've got the controls up and running but don't have any custom MIDI files to drive it yet.

Hopefully this helps somebody.


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 Post subject: Re: Santa's Marching Band
PostPosted: Dec Sat 19, 2015 7:02 am 
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Not sure if anyone is still interested in this but I think I will write up the HW/SW of the design I have. There are so many ways to make this toy cooler.
CptZenon- I like the idea of depoping the controller IC. I was originally thinking of a seperate board, but I'm not sure what is easer for people to do. Remove the IC or cut the wires and screw into a header on a new board?
Thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: Santa's Marching Band
PostPosted: Dec Sat 19, 2015 11:49 pm 
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EmbeddedGuy wrote:
Not sure if anyone is still interested in this but I think I will write up the HW/SW of the design I have. There are so many ways to make this toy cooler.
CptZenon- I like the idea of depoping the controller IC. I was originally thinking of a seperate board, but I'm not sure what is easer for people to do. Remove the IC or cut the wires and screw into a header on a new board?
Thoughts?



I still have 3 of these, one is parts the other 2 work as intended.

Good to hear You are keeping the Band Alive
Interested in your ideas

Bob T
MERRY CHRISTMAS


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 Post subject: Re: Santa's Marching Band
PostPosted: Dec Mon 21, 2015 12:10 am 
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EmbeddedGuy wrote:
Not sure if anyone is still interested in this but I think I will write up the HW/SW of the design I have. There are so many ways to make this toy cooler.
CptZenon- I like the idea of depoping the controller IC. I was originally thinking of a seperate board, but I'm not sure what is easer for people to do. Remove the IC or cut the wires and screw into a header on a new board?
Thoughts?

Just found this thread after finding out our old set gave up the ghost (haven't been able to diagnose it yet, but it sounds like something burnt out plugging it in this year). Would love to see any design you could provide. Had the idea to wire it into a raspberry pi and have it play MIDI files.


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 Post subject: Re: Santa's Marching Band
PostPosted: Dec Tue 22, 2015 5:07 pm 
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Hey guys. I don't know why the attachment didn't work, but here is a dropbox location where you can find the schematic. Also, I put some of the MIDI files that I ripped from the controller. I got about half of them so far.

Keep posting and let me know what you guys do. I'll try to post of youtube video of what I've got. Although its really just playing the same old thing with a new controller right now.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/un089tx9jdrh ... vxeAa?dl=0

Enjoy!


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 Post subject: Re: Santa's Marching Band
PostPosted: Jan Wed 06, 2016 6:03 am 
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CptZenon wrote:
Hey guys. I don't know why the attachment didn't work, but here is a dropbox location where you can find the schematic. Also, I put some of the MIDI files that I ripped from the controller. I got about half of them so far.

Keep posting and let me know what you guys do. I'll try to post of youtube video of what I've got. Although its really just playing the same old thing with a new controller right now.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/un089tx9jdrh ... vxeAa?dl=0

Enjoy!


Thanks for posting all of that! I have a few questions (mostly pertaining to the schematic) if you don't mind as I'm fairly new to all of this.

The TP (test points?) on the far left are going to GPIO pins on some kind of controller?
What's going on on the far right? I assume CH1+ and CH1- coming out of the LTV-847 mean left and right on the first bell, but how is that actually wired into the motors?

Appreciate any info you can provide, thanks!

Edit: Got it, the part on the right is the MRXMASSMB. Makes sense now.


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 Post subject: Re: Santa's Marching Band
PostPosted: Feb Thu 11, 2016 12:13 am 
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Yes, the TP (Test Points) are where I connect the Synapse RF Engine that I'm using as a controller, but you could use any kind of microcontroller.

The far right are headers that I plug in where the MRXMASSMB chip was plugged in. So, all the the transistor drivers that are on the original board are the ones actually still driving the bells.


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 Post subject: Re: Santa's Marching Band
PostPosted: Aug Wed 02, 2017 1:04 pm 
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CptZenon wrote:
Yes, the TP (Test Points) are where I connect the Synapse RF Engine that I'm using as a controller, but you could use any kind of microcontroller.

The far right are headers that I plug in where the MRXMASSMB chip was plugged in. So, all the the transistor drivers that are on the original board are the ones actually still driving the bells.



This post is a couple of years old now but I am curious to know how people got on with repairing the marching band?


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 Post subject: Re: Santa's Marching Band
PostPosted: Dec Mon 04, 2017 8:45 pm 
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I have one band member that lights up, but does not turn. Does anyone know how to get the bottom off so that I can look inside? I removed (3) screws from the bottom, but cannot remove it. Is there anyone on this site who knows can do repairs on this set, or can give any insight regarding why the band member wont turn to ring the bell, but his light does go on when it is his turn to ring. All other band members work properly. Thanks so much to anyone who can advise.
Coleen


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 Post subject: Re: Santa's Marching Band
PostPosted: Dec Thu 07, 2017 3:09 am 
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I have a 5 man bell Choir that I purchased some 15 or 20 years ago. I used it once and it has been in storage all these years. I decided to get it out as i now have a three year old Niece my wife and i have been watching regularly. To my surprise I had only one bell ringer working. I was upset and went to the web to find this page to be the only information on the internet. I decided I would take a look for cold solder joints as I repair arcade circuit boards for a living. I opened up the unit and did not find any cold solder joints however i decided to put my scope on the output wires to the belle ringers and to my surprise all the bell ringers were getting pulses to them and yet only one worked. I marked the wires to the ringers and decided to unsolder the one bell ringer that worked and solder him in place of a nonworking ringer. As I suspected the working ringer continued to ring in the nonworking spot. I was even more curious as to there only being two wires going to ring two separate bells. I decided to open up the non working bell ringer and I found that there is a small electric motor moves the arms that rings the bell's simply by powering the motor one way and then to ring the other bell they reverse the polarity of the wires, Very similar to a Servo but much simpler. On the non ringing unit I simply moved the motor back and forth by hand and after doing so the motor started responding to the pulses coming into it. I then put it back together and proceed to do the same thing to all the other ringers that didn't work. I know have a 5 bell ringing Mr. Christmas "Santa's Marching Band" working again as it did when I purchased it many years ago.


Attachments:
santa.jpg
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santa2.jpg
santa2.jpg [ 76.72 KiB | Viewed 325 times ]


Last edited by dragster73 on Dec Thu 07, 2017 10:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Santa's Marching Band
PostPosted: Dec Thu 07, 2017 5:35 am 
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Dragster, It sounds like you know what you are doing. Would it be possible for me to send you my set so you can take a look at it? If you are not able to fix it, no big deal. Having one bell ringer that does not work is making me crazy. I will pay for shipping to you and back, and I will also pay you to take a look at it. It is only one bell ringer that does not move to ring the bell, but his light does light up, so minimally he is getting power to at least his light. I tried to contact the company that makes them, and I was told that they do not repair them at all.
Thank you very much.
Coleen


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 Post subject: Re: Santa's Marching Band
PostPosted: Dec Fri 08, 2017 7:27 am 
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Location: St. Cloud, Minnesota
Hi Would or can someone post a picture of this Santa's marching band thing so I can see what you all are talking about..Please I am very interested!! Thanks in advance!!

Linda


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