Elmo Live Dissected

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geogecko
geogecko's picture

Hi GW. Also looking forward to this. My daughters Elmo is doing the same thing. It doesn't help that she caries it around the house by the arms either, I'm sure.

Any idea what type of processor this thing uses? Just glancing at the photos, it looks like it's a die onboard with epoxy, so I'm sure that makes it a lot harder to tell.

GWJax
GWJax's picture

Read the full thread and I do believe that RetroPlayer had said what it is. I think it a SunChip but I would have to reread it as well.
The instructions should come out this weekend for you all.

Jax

tomandjo
tomandjo's picture

My sons Elmo's mouth stops moving sometimes when talking and his head doesn't look all the way up when telling the giant story, happened after replacing original set of batteries???
Seem to be corrected when elmo is leant forward???

Can rechargeable batteries be used or is voltage too low?

Tom

geogecko
geogecko's picture

Hey Tom,

I do not think rechargeable batteries are a problem with Elmo. I'm using Sayno Eneloops in mine for quite some time now. There appears to be an issue depending on if something is forced a certain direction when Elmo is moving that causes this. We are currently waiting on a kind of tutorial to fix this problem. My daughters has been this way for quite some time now. I'm just hoping that the fix is not too involved...

Jason

tomandjo
tomandjo's picture

Thanks for the reply, the problem only occured when batteries were replaced worked ok before then.
I wasn't sure if it was a voltage issue with the rechargeables.

Tom

Elaine
Elaine's picture

HELP - My little boys Elmo has died. It does not perform at all now - nothing, totally dead. Put new batteries in and still nothing. Help, there is a flood of tears happening and after buying it off Ebay it was new in the box and sealed but i now cannot find the shop details. How do you reset Elmo - what would make him stop working completely ? Can anyone help me xx

Andrew Olney
Andrew Olney's picture

sevik said:
There is really 6 of them (for 3 motors). I have forget about head last time.
On this picture only 2 of them present - R21 and R28
You can find similar pattern for other 2 H-bridges - R15,R27 and R26,R8.
You need to disconnect left sides of them from cpu, and connect them to your MCU.
You can unsolder them and solder them back vertically only to right pads.

Sevik & Retro

 Ok that took me a while

 Here are some pictures of what I've got so far, based on our previous conversations. I've disconnected the resistors and mounted them vertically on the pins on the opposite the cpu pins. I didn't use the stock resistors that came with Elmo b/c they are so small. These are slightly larger matching resistors.

I have 2 questions. First, does this look right? Second, when I hook up the digital outputs to these resistors, where do I connect the ground? Should I just connect the I/O ground  on my board to the ground on Elmo?

Thanks :)

board

Closer

GWJax
GWJax's picture

Andrew Olney said:

sevik said: There is really 6 of them (for 3 motors). I have forget about head last time. On this picture only 2 of them present - R21 and R28 You can find similar pattern for other 2 H-bridges - R15,R27 and R26,R8. You need to disconnect left sides of them from cpu, and connect them to your MCU. You can unsolder them and solder them back vertically only to right pads.

Sevik & Retro
 Ok that took me a while
 Here are some pictures of what I've got so far, based on our previous conversations. I've disconnected the resistors and mounted them vertically on the pins on the opposite the cpu pins. I didn't use the stock resistors that came with Elmo b/c they are so small. These are slightly larger matching resistors.
I have 2 questions. First, does this look right? Second, when I hook up the digital outputs to these resistors, where do I connect the ground? Should I just connect the I/O ground  on my board to the ground on Elmo?
Thanks :)
board
Closer

 This does look right and as for the the MCU ground the answer is yes. All system grounds from all power supplies boards ect must be connected. Also on the lower picture that I see yet it is blurred it looks like you have a blowen transistor, It looks like Q19?? double check this transistor and make sure that it does not have a blowen hole in the top.. Also if  you use some electronics cleaner on those resistors this will clean up your board from the flux after you soldered them in

Jax

Rosiesmum
Rosiesmum's picture

Having read all six pages of this thread - what amazing stuff this really is. Anyway, my daughters Elmo is being very shy at the moment and not opening his mouth. It does open when done manually but thats all. I'v carefully opened up the fur on the head and down his back to get a good look but there was nothing obvious so it looks like i'm going to have to get right inside. I'm really up for this so hopefully with a bit of re-alignment, things will get back to normal. I love this kind of thing - when I was a little girl, I was always taking locks apart, radios, you get the picture! This could be my first little project, although it will need to be done after dark lol, I don't think my 3yr old daughter will appreciate me doing this to elmo.

This is a fantastic place that I just happened to come across whilst looking for some information re fixing elmo. You guys are really awesome!

CharlieA
CharlieA's picture

I don't know if you could help me. I just bought Elmo Live for my daughter, and it worked fine when we opened it. The next day, Elmo's voice was muffed, as if the speakers are dying. It occasionally comes back to normal, but only for a second or two. Any ideas?

GWJax
GWJax's picture

CharlieA said:
I don't know if you could help me. I just bought Elmo Live for my daughter, and it worked fine when we opened it. The next day, Elmo's voice was muffed, as if the speakers are dying. It occasionally comes back to normal, but only for a second or two. Any ideas?

It sounds like one of two things. 1. the speaker connector has a bad solder joint or the connector is not plugged in all the way. The only way to find this out is to remove the fur from him. read over the entire thread to learn how to do this.

 

Jax

Grace
Grace's picture

Hey guys,been reading all these thread..I have problem with our elmo live..it does not finish any of his talent..every button u press,he will start few words and stop..and wont do anything..any idea what's the problem?(it has brand new battery)

gcangioli
gcangioli's picture

Hi, i have a problem, i´m live in Argentina, my local languaje is spanish, a person who live at NY send to my son a Elmo but speak in english ¿it´s posible change de languje for spanish? ¿if necesary change any chip (ROM)?

mengsk
mengsk's picture

i Bought an elmo live but all it says is the kiss phrase if i press the leg same phrase if i press the belly samephrase and the nose and the back does nothing can it still be in try me mode even after i have pulled out the tag

Tania
Tania's picture

My son has managed to bend Elmo forward and appears to have broken his 'bendy' leg, Elmo is now a hunchback and doesn't stand up therefore is useless. I am yet to show my partner this site but have started to unstitch Elmo for him to be 'operated' on, any suggestions on how we could go about fixing this. His leg is totally floppy and when my son bent him over, it made clicky sounds. Has Elmo done his dash in our house or are we able to give him a new lease on life at the same time, making one three year old boy very very happy... Thanks

AzOutlawBabe
AzOutlawBabe's picture

I was wondering if anyone happens to have a diagram of how the string is routed exactly.

GWJax
GWJax's picture

mengsk said: i Bought an elmo live but all it says is the kiss phrase if i press the leg same phrase if i press the belly samephrase and the nose and the back does nothing can it still be in try me mode even after i have pulled out the tag

It sounds like the back push button is stuck. Open up Elmo and check the back button. If the button is stuck then all he will do it blow kisses no matter what button is pressed.

 

Jax

Freakamation
Freakamation's picture

RetroPlayer, great post! My Elmo live clicks like mad and last night I think my 10 month old broke Elmos left leg, the one that he crouches down on, I can feel a loose part underneath the fur and Elmo now tilts forward rather than into his sitting position. I'd like to fix it. What links can you send me too in your post about taking the fur off and what kind of plastic glue should I use to put the leg back together... I've had bad experiences with plastics and crazy glue so I'd like to do this right.

Thanks for your help! I know my daughter will be heart broken if I don't get this fixed quickly. She loves Elmo Live and I can't afford to purchase the Encore version right now...

GWJax
GWJax's picture

Freakamation said: RetroPlayer, great post! My Elmo live clicks like mad and last night I think my 10 month old broke Elmos left leg, the one that he crouches down on, I can feel a loose part underneath the fur and Elmo now tilts forward rather than into his sitting position. I'd like to fix it. What links can you send me too in your post about taking the fur off and what kind of plastic glue should I use to put the leg back together... I've had bad experiences with plastics and crazy glue so I'd like to do this right. Thanks for your help! I know my daughter will be heart broken if I don't get this fixed quickly. She loves Elmo Live and I can't afford to purchase the Encore version right now...

Start here at this location in the thread. The only thing you need to do is pull out the battery box and you can lift the fur from this point. Pay close attention to how the spring go back inplace and follow my instruction in doing so. As for the repair of the plastic I would use Gorilla Super glue for this which is stronger and will flex just a bit. If you want to re-enforce it then on the inside back it up with 2 part epoxy glue and some wire or better yet de-soldering braid that can be bought at Radio Shack or any orther electronics store that sells electronics components. Let us know if you need anymore help and Photos helps us out big time.

Good Luck

Jax

GWJax
GWJax's picture

AzOutlawBabe said: I was wondering if anyone happens to have a diagram of how the string is routed exactly.

Nope we have not done that yet. I may do that when I rip down my elmo for a small article repair which I think is a good idea to include it. Thanks for the idea. when I have the article done I'll post it here to let you all know it's ready. RetroPlayer will pop in from time to time but with his new born he has his hands full right now.

Jax

sahm8108
sahm8108's picture

My elmo live only says "will you help elmo up please?" no matter what button is pushed. There is a rattling noise coming from the batter compartment foot. I took out the battery compartment and the rattling is coming from the spot where the black button sits. This is all glued shut. Could the sensor that tells elmo whether he is up or down have come loose? I don't know if the rattle was always there or not, he's been at my mother in laws. No other part of elmo moves except for his mouth when he speaks the one phrase. I have no idea how electronic work, is there a simple way to fix this?

Katie
Katie's picture

I'm sure you have written this already, I just don't have the time to read it. But I broke my sons Elmo Live doll. The leg is broken, is it fixable? Or should I just suck it up and buy a new one. Thanks..

GWJax
GWJax's picture

Katie, yes it may be able to fix. Please post a few photos and explain which leg has been broken and what it does. I'll see if I can help you out in the repairs.

Jax

ReactorKeops
ReactorKeops's picture

My Elmo just repeats the phrase "help Elmo up" with any button is pressed, I put it in demo mode and stands up and repeats the phrase "elmo kiss ..." remove demo mode and leans a bit but ... "helps Elmo get up" I'm from Bogota - Colombia sorry for my English .. Thanks for the help and I read all the forum ... and I congratulate them are geniuses.

Lilmomma82
Lilmomma82's picture

Hey is there a way to actually reset the doll? my daughters just bends in half and makes a noise like it is stuck and cant move....let me know what i can do thanks :)

Lilmomma82
Lilmomma82's picture

Hey has anyone figured out how to reset this? my daughters elmo just bends over and makes the chatering noise....thanks for you help! her other one (yes i tried to replace it with no luck) came with a broken arm :(

bree
bree's picture

hi. i need assistance. my daughter's elmo is malfunctioning. i took the fur off the head to see if i could see what the problem was, but so far, i have not had any luck. let me try to describe the problem (i don't know what she or her friends did to cause this). elmo works well, except, when his head comes forward to talk, there are numerous clicking sounds. i though it had something to do with the jaw. and i was hoping when i opened it, that there would be something clearly out of place that i could pop back in place. but i don't see anything. it seems to be related to the white plastic piece - and it may be coming from in the torso? i just can't figure it out... any help appreciated.

Tiffany
Tiffany's picture

Hi Jax and RetroPlayer,

I've carefully read this whole thread. WOW! I'm guessing you two are pretty busy, as I haven't seen either of you post since last year. I realize you've gotten lots of requests for help too.

Still, I'm hoping with the reading I've done and the video I made of our Elmo Live problem that helping me would be something you'd see as quick enough to do. In case so, the video is at: http://www.youtube.com/user/keeganwclark?feature=mhum#p/a/u/0/NEcyjjaOLTw.

I believe Jax' detailed directions/photos about repairing the left leg may be what you'll suggest we follow. BUT I wanted to be sure before opening him up, as our Elmo Live's leg injury is a bit unique it seems.

Fingers crossed that you get this and are willing to take a moment with it. In any event, THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO TO HELP PEOPLE!!! :) Tiffany

GWJax
GWJax's picture

Tiffany said: Hi Jax and RetroPlayer, I've carefully read this whole thread. WOW! I'm guessing you two are pretty busy, as I haven't seen either of you post since last year. I realize you've gotten lots of requests for help too. Still, I'm hoping with the reading I've done and the video I made of our Elmo Live problem that helping me would be something you'd see as quick enough to do. In case so, the video is at: http://www.youtube.com/user/keeganwclark?feature=mhum#p/a/u/0/NEcyjjaOLTw I believe Jax' detailed directions/photos about repairing the left leg may be what you'll suggest we follow. BUT I wanted to be sure before opening him up, as our Elmo Live's leg injury is a bit unique it seems. Fingers crossed that you get this and are willing to take a moment with it. In any event, THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO TO HELP PEOPLE!!! :) Tiffany

Tiffany,

Yes you are correct the leg is the problem, The high strength springs have popped out of location causing Elmo to bend over. With out these springs the motors are not strong enough to pick it back up in the standing possition. It also looks like the plastic leg that holds the springs in place is also broken. So the first thing to do is to break down the leg as I instructed earlier in this thread and repair the leg shell. Use epoxie and a lot of it then brace it off with some metal strips placed on the outside of the leg at the broken point and secure it with some small blots and nuts that can be found at your local Radio Shack. Since the leg is covered up you don't have to worry about what it looks like as long as it's strong enough to hold those springs in place. After you give the repairs a good 24 hours of curing time reinstall all parts back into the leg via the instructions. Hope this helps out.

I would show you how to do this type of repair but since my MS has now effected the use of my hands I am limited in what I can do to help others with.

 

Jax

Tiffany
Tiffany's picture

Wow, I'm so sorry to hear about your MS. I'll bet that's so hard, when your into working with your hands (with robotics). :(

ESPECIALLY in light of this I am deeply grateful for your help. I'm having a bit of trouble visualizing the outer leg repair you described just now, but I'll go over your instructions with my husband, who's more mechanical than I. We'll do our utmost to follow your tips without further requests for help. After going over the instructions with him I could see us having a clarification question or two before we dive in, but hopefully nothing requiring much typing, if you're moved to help at that point. I think I'll also try to video our work, so we can trace back our steps if need be.

Thanks again Jax. I so appreciate your assistance and wish you well in coping with your MS.

:)Tiffany

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