Model Scenery Tutorials

Comprenshive Tips. Hints And Techniques For Budget Minded Diorama Maker, Model Train Enthusiast And Wargammer

Audio Animation Using The DFMini Player With A Switch

How to set up and use DFMini player with switch control.

The DFPlayer mini is capable of auto starting being controlled by Arduino boards, special manufacturer’s switcthing devices as well as  a simple switch as is described in this pages.

In this page we focus on switch control as would be used by a model railroader and diorama maker.

Specific Ideas For Use

The following are popular uses.  Use them as starting points for your idea generation process.

  • Provide voice description of the model – what it is represents, who made it, how it was made, etc.  This is particularly useful at model shows.
  • Provide sales information for particular items you have displayed on your table.
  • Start and stop a sound enhanced accessory like a Christmas Village Display, carnival activities like a Merry Go Round, or other activities visitors would  turn on a switch to watch.


Circuit Board

Player switch circuit board

This circuit board is the basic control point for your audio player.

To use it, all that you have to do is add the elements listed below and make the external connections also described below.





Circuit Board                                      1
DFPlayer Mini                                     1
2 Pin Screw Terminal Connectors     5
Dupot Pin Socket                                1
Pin Header                                           1
Speaker .5 watt                                   1
32 GB SD Card                                    1

Get all these parts and the circuit board here. 


All connections between parts are made via traces on the circuit board.

The circuit board shows exactly where the elements are placed on the board,

So it is a simple matter of inserting the parts, soldering them in place with a fine point soldering tip on which there is a minuscule drop of solder and finally trimming off any protruding wires or pins to a comfortable length.

The screw terminals come as 2 pin units.  They are designed to be joined by using the slots on each side. So, for example to make a 4 pin screw terminal, join two two pin terminals.

The Arduino board comes without pins. Cut pin headers to proper lengths and solder them in place.

The pins on the DFPlayer and Arduino board (now with pins you just soldered on) connect to the circuit board via Dupont pin sockets. Cut the pin sockets to length and insert the pins into the sockets.

The sockets will be soldered to the circuit board. With the pins or the DFPlayer and and Arduino board inserted, you can be sure that the pin sockets will be vertical when soldered to the board.

Now add all the elements to the board and solder in place.

The SD card is loaded with the recommended sounds for this project. If you wish to use different thunder sounds, this page shows how to load them on the card .

The Arduino mini pro is fully programmed.



Connect a 5 volt power suppl where indicated on the board.

Mount a SPST or latching push button switch on the skirt of your model. When the power is on, if you put the switch to the on position, your audio will play.

The Rx and TX connections are used to connect to a bluetooth module so that you can play your audio on a bluetooth speaker at some remote distance from the model. How to do that is here.

Alternatively there are S+ and S- connections for your mini speakers. The volume will be satisfactory for most applications.  Place them where they can best be heard.

If you want to increase the volume. add a 5 volt amplifier.  How to do that is here.

Load your sounds onto the SD card. How it is done is here.

There are terminal connections labeled ACC1 and ACC2.  They will give a HIGH signal that you can use to trigger other applications.

You are ready to go.


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