Doorbell Hack Makes Coworkers Less Annoying


Hackaday reader [Sprite_tm] works in an office building that used to house several businesses, and as a remnant of the previous configuration, a doorbell sits in the hallway just outside his office. Several of his coworkers get a kick out of ringing the doorbell each time they enter the office. While not annoyed at the practice, he was getting tired of the same old “ding-dong” and decided to shake things up a bit.

He wanted to modify the doorbell to play random sounds when triggered, but he was pressed for time as it was March 31st, and he wanted to get it installed for April Fools’ Day. Without any real plan or bill of materials in mind, he pieced things together with whatever he happened to have sitting around.

He used a design borrowed from Elm-chan in order to play wav files from an SD card with an ATTiny85, and used an L293 H-Driver as an improvised sound amplifier. After sorting out some power-related problems, and configuring the circuit to be as stingy with its battery as he could, he declared the project complete. He originally aimed to deadbug everything on the metal sleeve of the SD card socket (which is awesome), but considering the size of the speaker and the battery he selected for the project, he ended up stuffing everything into a cardboard box.

We don’t care too much about how he packaged it, we just wanted to know what his co-workers thought of his doorbell augmentation. In the end, they loved it, but we imagine this doesn’t do anything to discourage any of them from hitting the doorbell multiple times a day.

Stick around to see a quick video of his doorbell hack in action.


6 thoughts on “Doorbell Hack Makes Coworkers Less Annoying

  1. This is a perfect basis to use for a hack that I plan on working on soon. My buddy has an electric scooter, and for fun he wants to make it so it makes the Jetson’s vehicle sound while he is driving around and when he presses the horn it will play the Jetson’s theme tune.

    The idea is partially for safety so that his scooter does make some sound that other people walking around can hear and know that there is a vehicle approaching. I’ve played around with the idea in my head of how I can make a wav file repeat to do that constant hum of the vehicle without any skips or sounds of an end file. But using this idea as a basis should work great. We just have to find a way to amplify the sound enough so it is loud enough on the road, but even that should be easy.

    Great job though. I like this.

  2. I’ve been thinking about a hack like this for a long time… my condo is hard wired for “buzzer” intercom doorbell.

    I’d like to change the buzzing to a real doorbell.

    Also, I tend to use headphones and miss door buzzers. That’s not so good in the winter when we have to move our cars or get towed. So my idea was the buzzer also throws a RF signal (similar to the tweet-a-watt) and that could remotely trigger a second non-audio buzzer event (toggle a light or put a notification on my PC).

    Power is the main issue. These intercom buzzer panels are probably have very low voltage DC, and a basic speaker which might not be enough to self-power a hack. Providing batteries or a power supply would work but isn’t as seamless of a solution.

    OK, I am off topic but if someone’s seen this type of doorbell hack, let me know!

  3. This is a really cool hack, but if he wants people to stop ringing the bell all he has to do is record a wav saying “Hey, some a$$hole is ringing the doorbell again!”

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