Arduino solenoid concert

[jay] reminded us of this old video of solenoids banging rhythms on furniture and household objects. There’s no schematic, but in the video it looks like an Arduino drives a bunch of solenoids through relays. The PC interface is run on Pure Data, an open source programming environment for audio, video, and graphic processing. Thanks [Jay].


  1. isa de leener says:



  2. Jingo says:

    That’d be a good way to get me up in the morning, my *entire* apartment making noise.

  3. Nitori says:

    I should try this I do have a couple of pic controllers and a bunch of solenoids on hand.

  4. Takato says:

    This is quite the epic noise maker. What be even more epic would be if some one cut a bunch of bamboo rods so they play notes when struck with solenoids.

  5. Jay says:

    never tought you would put it,i’m impressed ^^

  6. DarkFader says:

    Hurray for duct tape! this is a permanent set-up, no? :)
    Today I saw an actuator-operated guitar. but that was probably pneumatic.
    Try putting the solenoid in the center of the window and then resonate.

  7. mike says:

    Now just rig this up to the door bell button by the front door of your house and it will be even cooler.

  8. sol says:

    I have been attempting a similar project, but in the form of a one man band. I have had some problems finding affordable solenoids as powerful as those in the video. Any suggestions?

  9. sly says:

    careful with the glass… if the solenoids get too punchy there could be an unintended crash

  10. spaceballs3000 says:

    sol, go to digikey 527-1000-ND can be had for $16 in more than 25, or $15 on mouser for more than 10 units.
    I’m sure you could find used surplus for much cheaper elsewhere.

  11. spaceballs3000 says:

    oh for mouser, part # C8-14C24DC-AP

  12. Ken says:

    Go to for cheap pinball solenoids or just grab a bunch of doorbells and rip em apart…

  13. uncle walter says:

    remember the tunnel dwellers who lived below the city from beauty and the beast (tv series where beast had lion face). they used to bang on pipes to communicate with each other. imagine if they had a system like this. they would have been banging out some sewer techno and the lion would have danced!

  14. pie lord says:

    ace this is great programing

  15. JB says:

    Now THIS is creative !!

  16. therian says:

    that what I do to my neighbor

  17. pip says:

    Wait a second… didn’t this article already come up on hackaday awhile ago?

  18. Rob says:

    This guys neighbors probably want to inflict bodily harm with him pounding on the pipes like that. I wonder how long it took before someone knocked on his door…

  19. Black_Angel says:

    Considering that it is probably a college dorm room, not very long

    Still it is epic.

  20. Black_Angel says:

    Why wouldn’t he have used Triacs instead of relays to control the solenoids? Seems to me that it would give more resolution and they only require 5v @ 40ma to trigger.

  21. reduzent says:

    yoyo.. thanks for all the comments. there is indeed no good reason to use relays instead of triacs or the like. i just had the relay board ready and at hand. next version will be driven by mosfets with probably even velocity control (need some more testing).

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