Tower bell controler

Hello to all from a very old but new to Arduino and programming in general. Please bear with me as I get my feet wet and perhaps even help me come up with a solution to a simple???? problem. I have in my care an electronic carillon which uses endless tape cartridges. In the mode it is used in it plays 2 tunes from the tape and stops. On the next clock contact closure it plays the next 2 tunes on the tape. The tape player is getting ready to expire and some key parts are not available any longer. We have a rather extensive library of tape cartridges and the office help simply plug in the correct one for the liturgical season. Everyone is happy with this simple approach.

I've made some repairs to the tape transport and expect it to work for a while. Meanwhile I have copied the cartridges to individual compact disks and investigated modifying a CD player to replace the tape. Simple contact closures do start and stop and play as well as track selection. The CDs have their contents divided into tracks of 2 tunes each separated by markers. On command from a clock with pin actuated contacts,the cd player will play whatever track is selected and stop. On the next clock pulse it will repeat that selection (2 tunes) and stop again. The only way I can get the player to advance to the next number on the playlist is to reprogram the CD player to the next player program number. This requires clearing the program. Resetting it to the next and playing. In all it takes 5 sequential pulses to make this happen.

Can any one out there determine whether or not Arduinos are suited to performing this sequence of events and suggest a block diagram describing the setup?

Thanks in advance

Churchbells (AKA BillG)

To use any device with buttons, you could use reed relays parallel to the buttons of that device. The Arduino is good with sequences and controlling things. Add one or more push-buttons to the Arduino, and make a sketch that runs a sequence with the reed relays if a that push-button is pressed.

Start with an Arduino Uno, that is the easiest Arduino board.

But reading about your post.. What if you can place all the tunes on a micro SD card (up to 16 or 32GB). Use an SD shield for the Arduino, and let the Arduino play the tunes. You could easily make 2 or 3 of of those. So if something is broke, you can swap it for a new one.

A Real Time Clock could be added to the Arduino. Or perhaps a LongWave time signal, but that depends on the country you are in.

Hi Erdin, Thanks for your reply. I like your suggestions and am planing to implement the cd player approach for the first generation system. I'm very familiar with reed relays and will use them to provide the push button contacts. From what I am learning through this forum (great place) the Arduino should easily handle the track selection and play functions of the cd player. What isn't clear yet is whether these 4 or 5 closures can be implemented for successive times with only one of the steps changing the track number from the #2 to #3 to #4. The output would actually be energizing the reed relay for the appropriate track number. It would be nice if I didn't have to provide a separate Arduino for each track number.

I assume that there would be a finite number of play tracks that could be actuated before it would be necessary to carry on to the next Arduino. Once I get the interim CD system working, I will charge ahead with your suggested SD card approach. Thanks for your inputs,

BillG (Churchbells)

Changing the number would not be hard. Perhaps you need to attach a LCD display on the Arduino, so you know the next track that the Arduino is going to select.