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« Cinch It Up, Cheaters | Main | 5-Minute Project Video: Naked Flash Drive »


Matthew A Fisk

I'm wondering when I'll start getting the subsciption I paid for?

Robert Heintze

What if you want to play a different song snipet for each doorbell press?

Dan Mac

Where in the world do the 2 50v capacitors go?


I really want to try this but the instructions are kinda iffy. Is there something else to it that i can read. what about the capacitors?

how 2.0 wiz

i love how 2.0 but some of the instructions are kind of iffy. is there a way for better ones.


Iffy instructions are the best. They make you think and actually learn something.

@Matthew A Fisk: simply set the thumbdrive to shuffle and play one. Should get it, but who knows. Maybe I'm full of it.


Okay...that comment was supposed to say @Robert Heintze. Sorry.

michael curcio

i am very interested in making one of these but i have have very little experience with electronics of this nature. i have no clue on where to put the 2 capacitors and i am a bit confused on what the black box labeled as the 5v capacitor is because that is not what it looks like on digi-key. PLEASE HELP!

Ele E

How about instructions for a wireless doorbell system?


@Dash: The black box is not a capacitor but a voltage regulator. I believe capacitors are used on the regulator chip itself for voltage stability and are actually inside the black box.

This project indeed needs more detailed instructions for beginners...

Mark Jones

I agree, would love to look at this more. The instructions just seem a bit confusing. I think more detail would be great.


the capacitors the writer is talking about could also be in the amp in the picture

Shane S.

David Prochnow is the author of the piece and I appeal to him to give those less expert of us (I include myself) in electronic circuit building, detailed step-by-step instructions.

Thank you


I wish you'd post this on instructables!


if you just connect the play button, and you have multiple "digtones", all your sounds will play one after the other. there is no mechanism to stop the "digtones" after one has played. and if it's a long "digtone" you will annoyed yourself. but over all it's a cool project.

i recommend a timer on the stop button after a detected play button.

i hate the fingerprint idea.


Well I thought about building this but the instructions need some work....as is typical here I guess I spent $40 building a cantenna for my cell phone, but it only worked as a "cone of silence". I requested but never received help. Turns out it was for a 800mz signal and I needed to modify it, but never got any response to any of my emails. Why put these things in the magazine and not support them? Odd!


The instructions and diagram don't show the same thing, and neither are 'right.' First, it mentions a speaker but does not mention the amplifier that you see in the diagram. The modification Prochnow mentions involves using a 9v wall transformer. If you find a small amplifier that takes a 9v input, you can run the power leads directly to this. You can find a small speaker amp on All Electronics. You'll also need to run a feed from the transformer to your MP3 player, and you'll need a voltage regulator to drop it from 9v to whatever the player needs. Look at the player's batteries and add them up, and find a voltage regulator that will output that amount, and has an input range that accepts 9v. There's no need for the capacitors.


beginner instructions would be seriously awesome... i've been wanting my superman dingtone for awhile now.


H2.WHOA! Make sure that the household power is disconnected from your doorbell system before you begin this project. 1. RIG THAT MP3 PLAYER
Load the song snippet onto the MP3 player. Disconnect the doorbell button from its low- voltage transformer, and connect the wires to the inside of the MP3 player’s Play button. Replace the transformer with the nine-volt DC wall adapter. Connect the five-volt voltage regulator’s input to the adapter, and attach its outputs to the USB female cable. Plug the MP3 player into the USB female cable, which will power and charge the player’s battery. Then attach another line from the wall adapter’s output to the MP3 speaker’s battery terminals . 2. TAKE PRISONERS AND NOTES
Disassemble your doorbell. Take note of which wires are connected to the transformer (these notes will help you rebuild your doorbell, if you long for a dingdong, again). Remove the metal plates, electromagnetic coils, and movable plungers from the doorbell. Connect the MP3 speaker and squeeze both the MP3 player and speaker system into the doorbell housing. 3. THIS POSTMAN RINGS ONCE
Before you reconnect the household power, check all of your wiring with a multimeter. Restore power and program the MP3 player to play a song once (i.e., don’t repeat songs) and don’t power off (i.e., don’t power down or enter “sleep” mode). Run outside and press the doorbell button. Nah, go ahead, press it again and again. Your home now has a personality. It’s own dingtone.

Justin M

Wow that gadget looks sweet, I love building my own gadgets because no one ever has it. Like i once created a laser pointer that could burn things, pretty sweet. But this is most def one of the top coolest gadgets I've seen recently.

Dave Chapman

This sounds like a great project....I am not even close to being electronically inclined.....but I really would like to try this one.... to modify my door bell but I need more information that is more clear for me. Can you forward me complete instructions that are step by step (even a schematic would help)....
Thank you very much.


These instructions are vague and frankly they suck. The instructions do not correspond at all with the picture. Being that I actually subscribed to PopSci, I am very disappointed. The print article is just as vague. Good thing this isn't "How to take a crap", then we'd all be wiping our asses with our bare hands. Where's an editor when you need one?


This look like a great project. But I really don't see it working.

Does anyone have a similar working model?


There is a few items like this on the market already. but they are still a bit pricey for my liking. hopefully give it time we can all afford a ready made item. Follow this link to one of the many - made by friedland doorbells :


Mishafromrussia, 10 years old

Hello, how to be repeated by pressing play? If the call twice, then pause.

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