Toys - Recent Questions, Troubleshooting & Support


A friend of ours gave our son a hand-me-down Woody doll with no string at all. I decided to see if I could fix it...about 4 hours, 1 soldering iron, and the realization that my eyes are failing faster than I thought, I was able to return Woody's voice. I'm sorry I didn't take any pictures, but here's what you'll need to do depending on what you find as you operate.


0. Perform of these steps over some sort of container to be sure that you don't lose any of the small pieces that may be liberated in this operation (particularly a small spring that comes later).
1. Take out the battery pack through his lumbar Velcro. There is a black wire that carries power into Woody's thoracic cavity to a module that houses the electronics.
2. You will have to untie, or otherwise get the string through the hole in Woody's back so you can work on it...I don't know what's at the pull end of the string since the Woody we inherited had no visible string.
3. Cut open the white fabric inside Woody that separates battery pack from the electronics module.
4. Take out the two screws that hold the two halves of the module together. CAREFULLY separate these as there are a couple of wires that run between the half with the electronics and the half with the speaker.
5. If you are lucky, which I was not, all the wires will be intact and you will only have to restring Woody. (Nervous sytem work (i.e. wiring) will require a soldering iron and perhaps the assistance of an additional set of hands...)
6. The string is wrapped around a spindle which is spring loaded on one side (it's the big spring - not the little one). With the spindle side of the module towards you (big spring to the lef), the string *should* come up in front of the spindle, over the top and down through the hole..at least think it should. Again the string was broken in ours and once I opened the module, I couldn't tell which way it was originally.
7. On the right side of the spindle is the mechanism that completes the circuit when the spring is pulled. This includes a small spring, and metal piece that makes intermittent contact when the spindle winds back up after pulled.

So, depending on what you see when you take the module and battery pack out you may find:

0. Oh, of course, replace the batteries just to be safe.
1. The string was just hung up in Woody's back and simply removing the module allowed it to be come free again. Piece of cake.
2. The string was bound up around the spindle in which case you just need to clear it and be sure that it winds up properly when pulled. You may need to rewind the string, in which case you need to lift the right side of the spindle (take care to observe how the spring and metal piece are configured...and DON'T LOSE THE SPRING..it took my 10 year old daughter's eagle eyes 5 minutes to find it after it went shooting off the table)
3. The spring mechanism is somehow stuck. This will require tweezers and some patience to sort out the cause.
4. You may have to replace the string. I found some laying around the house that was close to the small shred that remained in our Woody.
5. Finally, I actually had to solder down 3 wires to get the circuit to work. If you're in this predicament, let me know and I will draw a picture for you of what goes where.

In the end, I got Woody to talk again, though he tends to speak without being pulled from time to time. But I gotta tell you, the feeling I got when he burst out with, "Howdy partner, my name's Woody!" was about the best feeling I've had in a long time.

Good luck, and let me know if you need any more information.

Shawn


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