Introduction: Prop Bomb Count Down Timer - Project Geek #1

Picture of Prop Bomb Count Down Timer - Project Geek #1

This is a simple one day project that i have made from 8051 microcontroller. The project can be easily ported to other microcontrollers or arduino.List of things that you would need
#1 Lots of old newspapers
#2 Book Cover
#3 8051 microcontroller board and 8051 microcontroller
#4 7 segment display board

#5 Piezo Buzzer
#6 4 switch array
#7 Microcontroller programmer
#8 5v Power adapted #8 Glue, Scotch Tape, Black Tape, Double sided Tape(literally every kind of tape), Jumper wires
#9 Loads of patience.

GitHub path for 8051 countdown timer source code: click here

Code can be modified easily to work as a Clock instead of a countdown timer.

Project costed me close to 500 INR

Bomb Count Down timer Video: click here

Please like and share ProjectGeek

Step 1: Bomb Base

Picture of Bomb Base

Roll the old newspapers into fat rolls of paper. It's not as easy as it looks.

Step 2: Cover the Rolled Newspapers

Picture of Cover the Rolled Newspapers

Wrap the old newspaper rolls with Book cover

Step 3: Combine All Rolls

Picture of Combine All Rolls

Tape all the rolls together

Step 4: Electronics

Picture of Electronics

Electronics needed for project.

#1 Piezo Buzzer

#2 4 Switch Array

#3 8051 microcontroller board

#4 7 segment display

Step 5: Wiring Electronics

Picture of Wiring Electronics

Connect all of these together with jumper wire. More colorful the jumper wires, the more it will look cool.

Step 6: Done

Picture of Done

Enjoy your bomb Count Down Timer


ProjectGeek (author)2014-04-17

I never thought it would cause such a diverse reaction between people before making this project. Even now i am not sure whether the project was a correct thing for a public forum like instructables. If i ever wanted to make a real bomb, I would never make it look exactly like a bomb. It's a gag, something that came to my mind and i just made it. We all are here on this page because, we all are creative in our own ways and we all are searching for some fun things to do. There are millions of toy guns which are made everyday that look better than the original. It's legal to carry a real gun. You can make a real bomb out of common household detergent. Electronics to trigger bombs from thousands of miles away are freely available over the internet. Everyone has a opinion and it's not wrong to share it, but be nice and polite when you share it is what i request. Instead of over thinking how the project will be misused, think of some kid who wants to learn coding and put electronics together; just because this project looks cool. Would i have received so many views and likes if it was just a count down timer. My facebook page was reported by many people and finally it was removed because some people did not understand what my project really is. I have replied to every single message i got on FB about the project, the code that i have used. I have even modified the code for few people who wanted the code for there projects.

ZAHN_1 (author)ProjectGeek2015-09-22

Im 16, and i agree. Ive been scouring this website for a simple entry level project to do, and so far, after looking through literally thousands of projects, this one is the best (and coolest) thing that i could easily make.

seigeeh (author)ProjectGeek2014-04-17

It's cool, some people have too much time on their hands.

jwhite78 (author)2014-04-17

Thank you for the Instructable.. it's a great prop. I can't wait to make one. Cheers

Flameofglory (author)2014-04-17

Thank you for teaching me all I need to make this. Reason being is, I go out with my friends to go airsofting/paintballing and we have been looking for a fake time bomb to play a game known as "search for the bomb," this Instructable is amazing and gave my friends and I a blast last time we went airsofting. I'd like to say again...

Thank you :)

khoirr1 (author)2016-05-17


khoirr1 (author)2016-05-17


acboother (author)2016-05-04

Anyone carrying this around with them is going to get into big trouble.

Take it off Instructables before the police or other enforcement agencies shoot a kid (who thought it would be funny to do this) in the best interests of everybody else because they couldn't be sure...

There will be one sad kid, parents, friends, relations and enforcement people, and the person who put it onto Instructables... And all for a laugh.

Repost the workings but as an egg timer or something.

pr0cesor (author)2016-05-03

This kind of instructable is not appropriate for the public. You actually shown how properly combine electronic devices to act as a count down timer, with proper of tweaks it's not a problem to create a real count down timer with a trigger. I suggest to remove this kind of instructable especially in 2016 knowing what is going on around the world.

quickpost (author)2015-10-10


firefightermeyer (author)2015-05-18

Really cool

packersmoversdelhi (author)2015-02-28

Too Good

galiliosharma (author)2015-02-22

Tooooo Good

olivia11 (author)2015-01-14

thanks for this

manishamalhotra (author)2015-01-06


BrianDean (author)2015-01-01


izzyspeaks123 (author)2014-12-22

I am not the instructable police. But I can say as a former E.O.D. tech I am not so sure that this is a smart one to offer. Just saying.

davis31 (author)2014-12-19


rose124 (author)2014-12-04

cool man

henryx7 (author)2014-11-21

Airsoft Counter-Strike anyone? Now if only someone made an instructable to make a de_dust2 map... hmm... lol

ProjectGeek (author)2014-11-06

Thanks a lot. New project coming this week. Do follow the page.

Was curious, this is an old project and I have been getting many views and comments. Does this project have a back link. How did you find this project

inqueba (author)2014-07-23

Best prank Ever.... Lolzz

BARNABASSABA (author)2014-05-23

Seriously Its Hard To Role A Paper.... Very Hard

ProjectGeek (author)BARNABASSABA2014-05-23


Dr. dB (author)2014-04-21

People, people, people! This is, in essence, as Chrmngblly has already pointed out, a dressed-up EGG-TIMER.

That said, the law-quoters and safety-mavens are ALSO quite right, IF certain conditions were to obtain:

...IF the finished project were taken out of your control (someone stole it from your home or paintball arena) and,

...IF it ended up someplace where it caused a real-world "situation" (they maliciously "planted" it in a public place) and,

...IF it was traced back to you, (after all, your fingerprints are all over it!),

...THEN you might have a knotty legal problem to unravel.

Otherwise, knock thy selves out, children! (Just KEEP CLOSE TRACK OF IT...!)

However, I think we're fully justified in seriously questioning the common-sense and timing of our intrepid moderators in "featuring" any such project at this particular time of year, when Boston is, understandably, on a major "brown alert".

... error? ...thoughtlessness? ...deliberate cruelty? ...a sick sense of "humor"?

...or just random, accidental stupidity?

Perhaps someone from Instructables should answer-up on this question?

...sometime SOON might be advisable....

@ ckanth1:

A well-done 'ible, entirely from off-the-shelf components, which probably would NOT have generated nearly so much vitriol, had it been featured in, say, AUTUMN, rather than a few days before the first anniversary of a major bombing....

@ dgant6:

"...most bombs have...", "...look like props..." ?!?!?!? Somehow, I very much doubt that you have ANY qualifications whatsoever to say what "...most bombs have..." , nor what items will "...look like props..." or not, to lay-people who lack experience instantly identifying IEDs. Does a pressure cooker in a backpack "...look like..." a "bomb" or a "prop"? No, it looks like a piece of ordinary kitchen-ware. A kilo of Semtex or C4 "...looks like..." a harmless blob of children's modeling clay - right up until the nanosecond it BLOWS YOU TO KINGDOM COME.

@ Arty Marty

My, my, what a very SNARKY, SMARMY and PUSILLANIMOUS attitude, from someone who then goes on to cite, and attempt to hide behind, the "BE NICE" policy... truly amazing!

Arty Marty (author)Dr. dB2014-04-22

Calm down @Dr.DB.. Seriously..

Lot's of big words there in capital letters to describe me... Try the word "satire" and then also look here

I understand that people in Boston might be celebrating the anniversary of a bombing. (Not really sure why you would want to but I understand some might. My sister died 3 weeks ago. I won't be remembering that day, or celebrating her death in any way. But I will remember her birthday and celebrate her life when it next comes around.)

What you need to understand, there are 365 days in the year. Now you suggest perhaps this could be featured in Autumn instead. And THAT underlines the whole issue here. Sorry to tell you this, but the USA is not the center of the universe. Or the world. Have a look at the top of your browser. See that "WWW"? Do you know what is an abbreviation of? WORLD WIDE WEB.
So you suggest Autumn would be a better time to feature this? Well, hate to break it to you... but Autumn started 1st of March.
We are in Autumn right now!
Oh you mean YOUR Autumn?
Oh, ok Thats September October and - Whoa. Wait a second. You do remember what happened in September don't you? Perhaps your suggestion is not the best after all.

So back to what I said earlier. There are *365* days in a year.

Somewhere in the world on every one of those days a bomb went off.
Somewhere in the world on every one of those days a person was shot.
Somewhere in the world on every one of those days a person got electrocuted.
Somewhere in the world on every one of those days a person choked to death on food.
Somewhere in the world on every one of those days a drunken driver killed a child.
Somewhere in the world on every one of those days a person had a heat attack from cholesterol and eating too much bacon..

Should we remove all the bomb related, Nerf gun related, anything that uses electricity, food, alcohol and bacon related instructables too? or at least not feature them on any of the 365 days in the year??

You demand a letter from the editors of instructables explaining why they chose to release this instructable on a day of the year that was *near* (not even *on*) a day of a particular event, where 3 people died. (And I am not making light of that event. It's a tragic thing). Yet you suggest September is better, September where at the WTC around 3000 died?

You question their common sense, you accuse them of (and I quote) error? thoughtlessness? deliberate cruelty? a sick sense of "humor"? or just random, accidental stupidity? Yet you propose an even worse date.

Bad stuff happens 365 days a year. It has happened 365 days a year, it will happen 365 days a year. SOMEWHERE IN THE WORLD

So focus on the GOOD things that have happened instead of being sensitive about the BAD things. There is nothing wrong with this instructable. There is nothing wrong with the timing. Yeah, an editor of instructables might not be in Boston, they might not even be in the state of Massachusetts, they might not even be in the USA... So do they have to be sensitive to every area of the planet and how an event that happened there might be a touchy subject?

I'm not sure if you live in Boston, and if that is why you are sensitive about it, but people in New York could say your September suggestion was very insensitive, thoughtless, cruel etc. Boston is only 350km (220miles) from where the World Trade centre once stood. I would think if you are sensitive to one, you would be to the other as well.

I am not having a personal attack at you, I am trying to reason with you. open your mind to the fact that the world is a big and beautiful place. If you walk through the world with the need to not offend every single person, then you will not walk far. No matter what you do, someone will find it offensive. But it is their choice to be offended. It is your choice to not offend them intentionally. But it is not your job to not let them get offended. This instructable was not posted or featured to intentionally offend anyone. There was no intent of that. All the people who got offended CHOSE to be offended.
And no one has control over that except themselves.

Please understand that when you get on the WWW, you have to act like a WWW citizen.

You commented on a "magic wand" instructable in the past. You said it was great. There are a lot of die hard christians who would find that instructable (and you liking it) highly offensive, even blasphemous to their version of their god. They tried to get the Harry Potter books banned too. Is that your problem? nope. Did you have any intent to offend? Nope. If they choose to get offended is it their problem and theirs alone? Yep. :)

Again, not an attack on you. You seem like a nice guy, you were just the example I choose because you seem like a reasonable guy. I am writing this for everyone, because it makes me (sorry, I choose to be) sad when I see people on the internet being so unaccepting and wanting to take things down, remove them, censor them because it does not conform to their particular beliefs.

Again. Everything is going to offend someone. If we remove everything that has offended anyone, we are left with *NOTHING*

People: If you choose to be offended about something, and that thing is not harming anyone, then also choose to look at it through the eyes of someone who it doesn't offend.
The problem won't go away, it just might never have existed.

I am being positive here, I am being constructive. Think of this particular post of mine as an instructable for everyone in the world on "How to open your eyes and upgrade yourself from being a citizen of your country and promote yourself to become a citizen of the world"

Dr. dB (author)Arty Marty2014-05-05

There are notable differences between "suggestions" and "demands"; between "questions" and "accusations"; and "satire" is usually much more effective when applied with a feather duster - using a sledge hammer or pile-driver pretty much instantly converts it into "sarcasm", a rather different animal, and simply makes oneself a target for "return salvos".

If you go back and read the first 90-ish percent of my post, you'll notice that I did not "demand", nor even "suggest", the "removal" of anything. I simply pointed out, as you and others already had, that this project shouldn't really be raising anyone's hackles anywhere near as high as it seems to have done, and that there are elements of truth on both sides of the equation, depending upon the exact conditions of any given scenario. I then advocated that some caution should probably be exercised, in re: retaining possession and control of any such finished mock-up, followed by a general congratulation to the author on his well-done Instructable.

As for my hint that, just perhaps, the moderators could have exercised a bit more discretion, and might like to weigh-in for themselves, rather than being the subjects of ongoing speculation, I leveled no "accusations"; I asked questions and made suggestions, some of them ironic, some of them satirical, all of them based solely upon the vast quantity of histrionic nonsense which had already permeated this thread.

As a long-time netizen (...since the very beginnings of the World Wide Web, in fact, when much of it was still DARPA-NET...), I'm well aware of the existence of the 195+ other countries on our planet, and take great delight in the ever-broadening diversity of the Web's population.

I'm also well aware that, in far too many of those countries, the mere possession of drawings, schematics, code sequences and/or photographs which might facilitate the construction of such a device, if "caught" with them in the "wrong place" at the "wrong time", could easily get one either forcibly "recruited" into a terrorist cell, or simply shot dead, not necessarily in compliance with local laws and not necessarily by official minions of those laws, but still, quite possibly both, and most certainly without anyone pausing long enough to determine one's "intent". (...perhaps not where you're from, and PROBABLY not here in the United States, but, then again, sad to say, people in the U.S. and elsewhere have, indeed, been killed by police, for considerably less than that....)

Now, I did take rather a snarky, sarcastic swipe, myself, at @dgant6, but, in my own defense, I must say it usually bunches my undies for me when someone makes foolish, sweeping generalizations, but their own words clearly show they haven't anywhere NEAR enough knowledge of the subject to actually render any such judgment(s).

Oh - I also make few apologies for my (admittedly, preposterously-enormous, occasionally-pedantic and intermittently-tedious) vocabulary.

Arty Marty (author)2014-04-18

I think its very cool.

Just a few things:
1) All those quoting various laws about things like this, it might help if you read the whole paragraph you quote especially the two words "with intent"

2) shock horror! Have a look on google maps where you live.
Zoom out... zoom out some more...
just a little bit more...
see all that blue stuff around America? Thats water...
now zoom out just a little bit more...
See all that other stuff that's in the blue stuff?
They are countries. sort of like yours but with less bibles. I know... Weird eh? And you thought that was just a misprint or smudge.. tisc tisc.

3) If this is such a terrible thing, then lets remove all the nerf gun and similar instructables too. Because lots of people get shot with guns and that could be disrespectful to their families.

4) the theme on instructables is BE NICE ... so try that out some time. Yep, people got killed in various bombings around the world. Any loss of life is a sad thing. That does not mean this is disrespectful to those people. If you thought of every subject and item that has ever killed anyone, and made that a taboo topic, instructables would not have any content. A lot of projects use electricity, that's killed people. A lot of projects use scissors, which have also killed people. What is disrespectful is to force your view of what should be censored on other people. That is taking away their right and form of expression. If you don't like something, and it is not hurting anyone, don't look at it. I don't really like horror movies, so I don't watch them. I love action and sci-fi movies, so I watch those.
* Horror movies are not disrespectful to people that have been murdered.
* Action movies that have bombs in them are not disrespectful to people killed in bombings.
* Science fiction movies are not disrespectful to christians
* Easter is not disrespectful to people that believe in science.

They are just all examples of something that someone is into, and you may not be. If you don't like it, don't look at it. But don't go around removing things because you don't like it.

If everyone did that, you would wake up one morning and there would be nothing there!

If you want to make a prop bomb, go for it.

if you want to make a knife go for it:

If you want to make a cover for your bible:

If I had your attitude about removing things from instructables id say start with all these:

...because I could say I find those disrespectful as I lost both parents and 3 weeks ago my sister to cancer.

drolfs (author)Arty Marty2014-04-20

+1 for the most intelligent, rational and spot-on comment. If I knew you in person I would buy you a beer.

Arty Marty (author)drolfs2014-04-21

Cheers buddy. I'll by myself one and drink it in honour of you not being a self centered idiot like many on here.
..... I hope that my drinking of a beer will not be found as disrespectful to people who live in countries that have had someone be harmed by alcohol ;)
if it is found to be disrespectful, I will research "non alcoholic, non exploding beer" and make an instructable

awawawaw (author)Arty Marty2014-04-23

Arty Marty, Cheers to you my friend! I don't drink beer, but I think I will go pop the top off a Smirnoff Ice in your honor. Thanks for the dose of sanity, I appreciate getting to see it on the net.

As for the Instructable, it's done pretty well and clearly meant to be a prop. There are much more generally offensive items on Instructables then this, so I will keep it straight and just say nice job on the Instructable, keep making things.......

monkeykatt (author)2014-04-18

To everyone freaking out because they can't understand how this guy could be so nonchalant about posting this, considering the way most of us feel when we see things like these, click on his picture in the upper right corner, and notice his location -or take a very close look at the newspapers in the picture of the rolls.

He's from a region where this sort of thing is sadly accepted and acceptable (in their culture.)

Arty Marty (author)monkeykatt2014-04-22

Yes there are different thoughts from countries around the world. I'm from Australia, and a friend of mine recently got back from Texas. He went into a chemist (or drug store as they call them) to buy some sorbolene cream. It's a moisturiser. In Australia I can get 1kg tub for about $3 In Texas it's illegal as they think it's dangerous. Yet you can easily buy a gun and bullets in Texas. In Australia we think a gun and bullets are dangerous.

So in Texas / USA, dry skin, eczema, guns and killing living things with bullets are sadly acceptable (in their culture)

Arty Marty (author)2014-04-21

Not sure why you felt the need to quote a law from a random state in one of the 195+ countries in the world, but thanks for the trivia.
another piece of trivia, they also sell this product in that very same state which says a lot about people that live there ...

skrappyjon (author)2014-04-17

The problem with this is that a regular civilian isnt going to know its "just a prop"... then they call the police, and the police call EOD or the local Bomb Squad.... then we deal with it, and you get arrested. Whether its "functional" or not, whether it's meant to cause harm or not, in the US building a "device" will get you alot of attention you dont want and all around a VERY bad idea... especially with all the recent events (Ft. Hood shootings and what not). I'm all for doing cool projects for Airsoft and Paintball, but dont post the instructions on the net.... just a thought.

-US Army EOD

Arty Marty (author)skrappyjon2014-04-21

Can you please explain how a fake bomb that can do no harm to someone (well unless you try and eat it and choke on it) is a problem, while a fake gun like an airsoft or paintball gun that can take an eye out or kill someone is in your mind considered "cool"?
While you're at it, please explain why you think US laws regulations and paranoia need to be quoted to a person in another country, and why did you choose only that one random country when there are actually 195+ countries in the world, of which the statistically the USA is by comparison not that high in any one area?

Oh and why you felt the need to type "US Army EOD" at the bottom of your post? To try and garnish more credibility?
I find this fascinating...

chuckvideo (author)2014-04-19

I really like this build, and I understand your concern that you're showing someone how to (I suppose) potentially build what could be an actual bomb.

I once made a fake bomb for a halloween costume (don't even ask) but I used highway road flares I bought at my local auto parts store to stand in for sticks of dynamite. They look like the real thing until you get up close and read the writing printed on the sides of each flare. If someone wants to focus their time and energy on the timer circuitry and doesn't want to roll up newspapers to make the "bomb" part of the count down timer, I suggest using road flares as well.

yrralguthrie (author)2014-04-18

Read this post about a week ago. It's been bothering me since. While it may not be against the law in your country to make this, it is not a good idea in the US. It may or may not be illegal, BUT, it is considered an act of terrorism to make a threat with a bomb. Since this is made to fool someone into thinking it is a bomb, I suspect it is by default a threat. If this did fool anyone and they called the police they are almost certainly going to arrest someone. They might turn you loose later or they may charge and prosecute.

If I saw it, I wouldn't investigate it enough to see if it were a fake, I would can the cops.

Think of it this way: What would happen if you point a realistic looking plastic gun at someone and they call the cops?

I'm not an alarmist, but this is a very bad idea.

zindy29 (author)2014-04-18

It might be a good thing for a clock in the house but otherwise not a good idea.

ned103 (author)zindy292014-04-18

I was thinking of using it as a kitchen timer. LoL

dgrant6 (author)2014-04-17

I love this, I have wanted to make something similar, more as just as desk/shelf ornament or similar, just funny to see peoples reactions.

All these people making comments saying it's illegal and wrong are coming off as ignorant, they don't know what it is so their first thought is that it is wrong and illegal, anyone with any common sense will be able to tell that it isn't real, firstly it only runs of a power pack, most bombs have batteries, secondly the sticks of "dynamite" look like props, they don't look real, enough to pass the prop test but not to fool anyone with any sense, third there are no wires going into the sticks, again anyone with sense know that's how bombs work.

Maybe I should stop, obviously these haters are just annoyed that you made something awesome and they haven't.

congrats, keep on making cool stuff that pisses people off.

labdude (author)dgrant62014-04-17

I refer you to Massachusetts General Laws Part IV, Title I, Section 266, Chapter 102, paragraph b; regarding 'hoax devices':

(b) Whoever, without lawful authority, has in his possession or uses or places, or causes another to knowingly or unknowingly possess, use or place, any hoax explosive, hoax destructive or incendiary device or substance or any hoax chemical, biological or nuclear weapon, with the intent that such hoax explosive, device or substance or weapon be used to cause anxiety, unrest, fear or personal discomfort to any person or group of persons, shall be punished by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 2 and one-half years or by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 5 years or by a fine of not more than $10,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Still think I'm coming off as ignorant?

I'm not a hater. I think its really cool. I'm just saying there are lots of folks out there that might have other ideas, and just because YOU don't think it looks real doesn't mean there aren't some very reasonable people out there who would very quickly believe that it was. And, just in case you haven't been watching the news lately, there are a bunch of folks in Boston who lost their lives and limbs a year ago to bombs that looked like frackin' *cookware*. If you think its worth going to jail for, by all means, go ahead and make one.

sebleblanc (author)labdude2014-04-18

Keyword: intent

"with the intent that such hoax explosive, device or substance or weapon
be used to cause anxiety, unrest, fear or personal discomfort to any
person or group of persons"

dgrant6 (author)labdude2014-04-17

Yes I do, not everyone lives in the US, there are other countries, most of whom are a little more tolerant of such things. Also most sane people aren't going to go out in public toting this in their bag, so if it's in your home, no one has the right to say you can't make or have this prop, unless you live in America, where you can't do anything fun unless it's government sanctioned.

seigeeh (author)labdude2014-04-17

So, if you were to go to the store in Mass. and buy an actual pressure cooker, you should be arrested? Or renting a Ryder truck, because it looks like the explosive device Tim McVey built should cost you a $10,000 fine? You people actually elected people who make these laws, that language is so abstract. You can make a bomb look like anything, ever watch Caddy Shack? Wow, Boston Strong is really Boston Thin Skinned. And your whole argument here falls apart with the clause "with the intent that such hoax explosive, device or substance or weapon be used to cause anxiety, unrest, fear or personal discomfort to any person or group of persons." That's obviously not the intent here. It's a novelty, a prop. Sheesh, grow up.

abtrooper82 (author)2014-04-18

Schematic please

mrademeyer1 (author)2014-04-18

If the ppl look then they will see there is no wires going to the brown paper rolls which will be the detonators for the bomb so if you know what to look for you can see this is not a bomb these stupid ppl you know this is a great prop

1651101501 (author)2014-04-17

很好玩 但是太危险了 美国政府不会来管么?

it's funy,but is too dangerous,How us gov thinking,??

1651101501 (author)2014-04-17

真厉害啊 哈哈哈

seigeeh (author)2014-04-17

This rocks! What's with all the hyperbole? I wouldn't suggest carrying it in a backpack in the airport, but turn it into a clock or use it for a kitchen timer, what men's dorm room would be complete without one? Definitely going to build this one.

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