Annoying Cicada Magnet Is Nonetheless Authentic

We’ve all heard of those chirper devices that randomly make annoying noises for no other reason than sending people insane. This project from [Kousuke Saito] brings altogether more art to this idea, while still being quite annoying indeed.

The build is essentially a replica cicada. [Saito] was inspired to build the device as the sounds of the insect remind him fondly of the summer. His design consists of a 3D-printed housing that roughly approximates something like a cicada, with two wings attached to a central body. In this case, the layer lines of the 3D print actually added to the realism of the ersatz insect The housing is nicely painted to serve as an adequate simulacra to those who aren’t up on their entomology.

Inside, there’s an ATTiny 85 paired with an MP3 playback module and a small speaker. It’s charged with reproducing the noise of various cicadas. It’s setup with an ingenious mechanism to switch it on. There are magnets installed in the base which allow it to stick to metallic objects. There’s also a switch in the bottom of the device. When it magnetically attaches to a surface, that switch is depressed, and the cicada starts playing, well… cicada noises. [Saito] notes that a patent has been secured for the idea.

We’ve seen other cicada-themed projects before, astoundingly. Video after the break.

17 thoughts on “Annoying Cicada Magnet Is Nonetheless Authentic

  1. Hey ya’ll, Born and raised in the south and honestly I hate hearing that sound. Just reminds you it’s hot as balls out, mother nature’s verbal thermometer. Although it’s fun to see new yorkers freak out.

  2. I once built about 10 timers with 9V batteries, a 4060 and buzzers and hid them in the bedroom on the weddingnight of a young couple. And of course we also removed all the lightbulbs from the house.

    The 4060 timers were pretty simple and just turned on after a few hours. It was years ago and uC’s were not that common or cheap, but making the sounds intermittent would have been even better.

    Also nice:
    Hide something like this in the kitchen or bathroom and let it play the sound of a leaking water faucet at varying intervals :)

  3. There was an article in Popular Electronics magazine around 1970 for a similar device to produce the sound of a cricket chirping. I built several of them for friends (and enemies).

    A 2-transistor circuit produced the chirp-chirp sound. It was built on a small speaker, whose magnet conveniently attached it to a hiding place. A photocell only turned it on in the dark, so it was devilishly hard to find!

  4. Only effective at annoying younger people. Kinda like the hangout area that shopkeepers try to drive away youth from with sounds at 16kHz. I heard bits of the demo enough to recognize some of the bugs. There is one daytime grasshopper here that is more electronic sounding higher pitched piercing with a nonstop zizz.

    A room or patio area with many would be something. Also tree frog sounds in a frog shaped model. Havana zizz.

    I can make the annual cicada sound rather well and quite loudly too. Teeth and lips whistle with a hum tone and that modulation wah wah. A short burst of the same sound makes a nighthawk sound. I’ve been followed twice on my bike downtown by a raptor thinking there was a low flying meal.

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