Lunkenheimer Steam Whistle, Doorbell

We’re going to straight out agree with [Pete] on how surprisingly quiet doorbells are now a days, and if we had it our way we would put his Lunkenheimer train whistle doorbell in every home*. The setup he uses is surprisingly simple, opting for a pre-built wireless doorbell that signals a microcontroller which in turn drives a relay and solenoid. While he does include a video, we felt it didn’t quite show the intensity of these whistles.

*HaD is not responsible for hearing loss and subsequent melted brains.

30 thoughts on “Lunkenheimer Steam Whistle, Doorbell

  1. I really need one of these too.
    I have definitely missed the door few times and ended up being called on the phone.
    Great work, simple and effective…

    So what effect does it have on unsuspecting visitors? Or the neighbors?

  2. I like it. It’s juste the kinde of simpel but awesome build or hack i like. Of course building everything form the bottom is nice but as often as not it’s better just to stick with KISS(Keep It Simpel Stupid).

  3. At first glance a uC seems over kill. But they are so cheap and the eventual plan was to have clock function so it wouldnt go off at 3AM and it also has the benefit of being able to blank out repetitive rings before you can make it to the door before your asshole friends blow a train whistle in your house 6 times.

    At least I didn’t use an arduino…

  4. ziegler:

    I plan to make another vid. My dog is just very unhappy with me at the moment. I played the video on my computer while he was eating meat and he jumped up and ran upstairs after just hearing the Eeyore part of the doorbell.

    I think firing it inside while I am outside may work. We will see.

  5. No one should copy this. Welding on a pressure vessel and using it without having it hydro tested is a recipe for disaster. There is an incredible amount of stored energy in a tank of at at 100 psi.

  6. @macona

    Yes, because hydro-testing facilities/equipment are available to everyone for dirt cheap. Yes, it *should* be done, but on a tank that size, it’s more than likely overdesigned, since most people that run those little compressors don’t take care of them too well, and they’re much more prone to rusting-out due to not draining the tanks. The worst possible way that tank would fail is the elliptical cap blowing off or the lengthwise seam failing, but it would more likely just shoot off the steam whistle and vent, if it did fail.

    For anyone wanting to do this, if you’re concerned about safety, hook it up to the standard air hose outlet, just remove the 1/4″ connector or whatever is on there, and screw directly into the tank. You’ll get enough airflow.

  7. It would be cool to PWM that thing, within the obvious frequency’s limitations.

    Kudos to Pete for not using an Arduino!, I bet there are quite a few guys wondering: how does the damn thing work without one??!


  8. “Then the train whistle kicks in so it is like the whole thing goes from depressive to bat shit hyper in 3 seconds.”

    does anyone have any idea what is meant by this?

  9. Even a tank that small can kill you. Dont kid yourself.

    You can have a tank hydroed in most cities.

    Hydro does not check for leaks. It tests for structural soundness of the container. For high pressure gas cylinders they are placed in a concrete well with water and pressurized. Based on the amount of water displaced in the well the cylinders condition can be determined.

    Basic testing can be done at home by plugging all ports except for one. Fill the tank completely full of water, no air. In the remaining port you put a plug with a pressure gauge and a grease zerk. Use a grease gun to inject grease to raise the tank pressure to your test pressure. More detailed procedures can be found.

  10. I had one of those crappy wireless doorbells once, when the battery in the sender got low it would start to go off at random, so if this thing goes off at 3 A.M., well you were warned.

  11. @John Doerman:

    “those welds” are no more dangerous than the welds that hold on the end caps of the compressor from the factory.


    Don’t worry about it; it’s not in your basement.

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