Escape Room Prop Feasability

Hello!

I am new to the world of Arduino. I worked in the haunted house industry and used Picaboo controllers for a few years but they have limitations. I am building an aztec-themed piano prop for an escape room and would like to know what equipment/electronics I would need to do the following...

1) There are eight piano keys. I am planning on using snap action switchs or small spring contact switches to send a low-voltage signal to the controller when a key is pressed down. I need eight inputs and outputs so each key when pressed can play a unique audio clip.
2) I also want to program an output (like a door opening) when a certain sequence is played on the piano.

I was planning on getting this Elegoo starter to kit to learn some of the basics. Something tells me I would need a bigger board with more inputs/outputs?

Your link corrected: https://www.amazon.com/ELEGOO-Project-Tutorial-Controller-Projects/dp/B01D8KOZF4

Probably a reasonable idea for a starter kit. Get it and do a whole host of fun projects.

For your end application, a Nano and certain "expander" modules. Of course you are good at soldering?

you can use an arduino uno or mega with an mp3 player sheild (to play sounds) 8 tactile switches can be used for the keys, which can be read by 8 arduino input pins. For the door opening, you could use a solenoid lock, holding down a spring loaded door. The solenoid needs much more power than an arduino output provides, so you can get an arduino compatible relay board for cheap. The arduino uno has 18 io pins, all of which can be used as a digital input, so there will be enough pins to control most prop projects

here is a link to such a board:
https://www.lightinthebox.com/en/p/arduino-5v-relay-module-for-scm-development-home-appliance-
control_p903299.html?
currency=CAD&litb_from=paid_adwords_shopping&country_code=ca&utm_source=google_shopping&utm_medium=cpc&adword_mt=&adword_ct=200053044854&adword_kw=&adword_pos=1o5&adword_pl=&adword_net=g&adword_tar=&adw_src_id=4674349488_854267215_50280392144_pla-325855099825&gclid=CjwKCAjwnrjrBRAMEiwAXsCc46g1JaTrN4BUuMKebrfqEJKnZl4wcQyuDZyOslSn1qZFi2HbCayakxoCHmMQAvD_BwE

Piano: 8 regular switches (push buttons, microswitches), connected to the keys. Easy to read.

Output: get a DF Player Mini, place the sound as mp3 files on MicroSD card, and you can play any sound based on the key press or sequence thereof.

You can program the Arduino to read the sequence of the keys, and upon the correct sequence do something - some kind of solenoid for the door may be a good one indeed, it can actually push it open a bit.

What gauge or type of wire to connect the switches to the board? With Arduino do you always use the same? (I realize a question like this likely will be answered once i start using the kit and watching tutorials but I want to purchase everything ahead of time)

How does the controller deal with wrong entries? Can someone tap 500 keys but then all of a sudden the sequence is played uninterrupted and ta-da!? No reset?

ELEGOO vs Arduino? The former seems cheaper from what I can tell but still is quality

This is great guys I am glad that I discovered this forum!!

You aren't dealing with much current when detecting switch closures, so almost any wire gauge should work. If you use #28 or smaller, the wire run could be fragile (considering your usage), but easier to hide. #22 or #24 is pretty common.

Your second question is not clear. When you plan your program, think of worst case players. You basically write your code to catch and handle error conditions. If someone is playing a concerto and you want to trigger an event when a particular bar is played- no problem. You haven't said what the piano keys are supposed to trigger, and how. This is kind of what I think of for a piano prank.

I have some Elgoo parts, never an issue, but I prefer the original equipment. The price difference is minimal and it's the main source of income for Arduino development and support.

trickst3r:
How does the controller deal with wrong entries? Can someone tap 500 keys but then all of a sudden the sequence is played uninterrupted and ta-da!? No reset?

That completely depends on how you program it.

Many options.
E.g. require it to be done within a certain time; reset the sequence when there's too long between keypresses. Or add a reset/clear button to start playing again.
In the end it's up to you, the programmer/designer, how it reacts.