Electrically Adapted /  Enabled Toys for  Handicapped Disabled Special Needs Children

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Adapted Toys Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

Q: What kind of switches can I use to Adapt a Toy?

Q: How can I adapt an electric car so my child can use their hand instead of a pedal?

Q: How can I adapt a Bob the Builder Toy circuit board to use a hand switch?

Q: What are the steps to solder two wires together?

Q: How do you figure out the correct location to solder the wires into a toy?

Q: What is a battery Interrupter?

Q: Why doesn't a battery interrupter work for all toys?

Q: How do you figure out the correct location to solder the wires into a toy?

A: Electronic toys have a switching mechanism.  These switching mechanisms can be a pressure sensitive switch located in the ear of a dog like Blue's Clues Dog  Magenta, the hand of a Bob the Builder.  Also it can be a simple bush button on the front of the toy.   The challenge of adapting the toy with a switch is to find the two wires  going to that switching mechanism and then solder in  connections to a 1/8 inch jack so you can use the toy with an adaptive switch.  


Some times the best place to solder your wires will be down at the circuit board inside the toy.  Some times the easiest place to solder in your wires will be write at the switching mechanism. 


In the case of a button toy that lands on a electrical landing grid (See image below).  You will need to solder a wire to each side of the landing grid.  When soldering to a trace on a circuit board ,  you will need to very carefully scrape away the protective layer with a sharp blade.   This will expose the bare copper trace so you may solder to it.   


The other precaution you must take is to be careful that when you solder that you do NOT add solder to other traces or other points on the circuit board because the solder will short out these points.  If this happens you will need need to  use a solder sucker to remove unwanted solder from the board. 


Or you will need to use solder wick which is a braided copper material that attracts solder when heated up.  You have to lay the braid on top of the spot that has the unwanted solder, then press the tip of your soldering iron on to it.  WATCH OUT!  It gets very hot and you will need  to hold the solder wick 6 inches away from where you are touching the soldering iron to it.  The problem with using solder wick is that it will remove solder from all the soldering sites it is touching.   Unless you purchase very find 1/16" inch wide solder wick. 

  special needs adaptive toy soldering to circuit board with wire


Remember that before you solder any wires into your toy, you must get a test wire or paper clip  straightened out to test the two points out.  This will allow you to make sure that the two

 spots you have selected will work.  


Q: What is a battery Interrupter?

A:  A battery interrupter only works with certain types of toys.  If  you want to see what types of toys click here


A picture of an interrupter is shown below.  There are two parts to this device. One is the 1/8 inch female jack that allows you to plug in the switch of your choice to activate the toy.  The end is a small disk about the shape of a dime.  This piece installs into the battery compartment of your toy.   This device is costs about $10.00 (U.S. Dollars) .   Click on this picture to see some battery interrupters that you may find useful.


battery interupter adaptive switch for toys or radio  by ablenet special needs handicapped

  Battery Device Adapter - C or D batteries





Q: Why doesn't a battery interrupter work for all toys?

A: There are two types of toy categories when considering a toy to adapt for a special needs / handicapped child. 



Smart toys that have printed circuit boards in them with a built in timing circuit that will run the toy for a 20 or 30 seconds after you trigger it.



These are toys that were dominant 10 years ago.  These toys come in as soon as you turn on the "ON" switch.  They will keep running until the batteries die or run out.  \


The battery interrupter for special needs / disabled kids will work only with simple toys.   This is because the simple toys simply turns on when power is applied to it.  The smart toy requires a different approach which is more complex.  Click here if you want more info.