Introduction: Home April Fools Joke....pranking Everyone That Comes to Your Front Door, Harmlessly.

Picture of Home April Fools Joke....pranking Everyone That Comes to Your Front Door, Harmlessly.
This prank is pure shock value, but will not offend anyone. The effect comes with the first time you see it or actually, when you first "hear" it.

I wanted to add a video here of the expected results of this before describing it, as I want to demonstrate it first. The first time I witnessed the results of this, I nearly wet myself laughing so hard, and soon after it "went off", those that had "set it off" also were laughing at the novelty of this. Happiness all around :-)

So, with out further ado: Imagine you are coming up onto the porch of front stoop of your friend's house. You reach up to ring the door bell and this is what you hear (play video):

<I am sorry, I can't get my video converter to work, and YouTube is not rendering my video properly at all >

This one is audio only, and poor at that. My mic does not seem to be sounding so good lately....


Step 1: Here Is All You Will Need....

Picture of Here Is All You Will Need....
One digital voice (sound) recorder / player (pre-built or one constructed yourself of from kit; NOTE: do NOT bother with Radio Shack's little pre-built module. It does NOT record well enough for this, playback is not loud nor clear) UNLESS you wish to build a playback Pre-amp and amplifier (and add a larger speaker,
one door bell unit (minus the bell)
one step down transformer (if necessary because of voltage difference of door bell and digital play back module); OR a relay

Depending on the voltage of your doorbell, you may need to regulate it so you don't fry your voice recorder/player.

Some solid and hollow pieces of wood, or door to create your "sound" from. My wife's desk, inside the drawer, was the perfect "hollow" sound chamber for a "knocking" effect (pictured below).

Step 2: Creating the Joke

Picture of Creating the Joke

Set up your recorder/player to record.

Finding the best and loudest sounding "knock" from your wood, or door, record a good solid 4 knocks on the recorder (knock knock, knock knock).

Now, play it back to make sure this is fairly loud. If it is loud enough to hear, while standing outside the front door, while being played just inside the front door, we have success (if it is not loud enough, one may need to add an amp before the speaker, and possibly a speaker also with greater capacity) .

Wire this all up to the existing door bell unit, using either the step down transformer (and any voltage regulation you may need), or the relay (make sure the regular "bell" is not connected).

Now, we are ready for the final step.

Step 3: This Is Best If You Can Observe the Person "ringing" Your New Door "bell"

Picture of This Is Best If You Can Observe the Person "ringing" Your New Door "bell"

Now, think of this.

Imagine going up to a person's door, and when you "ring the bell" you get a Knock, Knock, Knock sound ?

Can you imagine how startled people will be at first ? :-)

It is really overly simple in it's application. But the effect is awesome (I think, but then, I have a fairly ODD sense of humor :-).


dokcal (author)2014-03-23

LOL! I got really confused reading your description, and I thought your doorbell recording literally said "I am sorry, I can't get my video converter to work, and YouTube is not rendering my video properly at all."

I thought "That's kind of meta, but not really a hilarious joke..."

EtCetera112 (author)2013-03-30

EPIC! for this extreme amount of epicosity i reward you with THIS:

Goodhart (author)EtCetera1122013-04-01

Why thank you very much :-)

AngryRedhead (author)2009-12-18
I just had a terrible (hilarious?) idea.  Change the doorbell to say (in a really high pitched voice), "OUCH!  That hurt!  Hey, wait, could you help me out?  I got stuck in this button back in the factory.  Send help!"

My SO wants a doorbell of a pump-action shotgun...  Tempting.  However, I love the doorbell that knocks.  Instant classic.
EtCetera112 (author)AngryRedhead2013-03-30

*doorbell noise* *gun load sound* "Ring that doorbell one more time and see what happens!"

Goodhart (author)AngryRedhead2009-12-18

Oh I agree, any variation could be really funny, but the ole knocking doorbell is still the most ironic :-) 

AngryRedhead (author)Goodhart2009-12-18
Very true, and I love it.
Biggsy (author)2010-01-30

Very Funny... well done Sir I am AMUSED! hehehe

Funnily enough... my cellphone knocks when i receive a text message... Just as I clicked this I'ble.... I got a text... spooky no?;)

anyways very good... very funny :D

Goodhart (author)Biggsy2010-01-30
the first time I heard/saw this done....I had difficulty breathing (catching my breath, I was laughing SO hard :-) 
Biggsy (author)Goodhart2010-01-30

hehe brilliant. If you ever re-visit this I'ble, can you for the sake of those who perhaps can't work out what you have used show  us how to wire things up and what you have used?....... Is that a pipe/wire  wall sensor?

Goodhart (author)Biggsy2010-01-30
I haven't been more specific since so many door bells (run on rectified A/C OR on straight D/C  OR on lower voltage A/C) and there are so many different voice / sound recorders out there....the two that many Radio Shack's carry are only two examples,  and one is quite PITIFUL.

In fact, to use the "other one"; the one that is pitiful from RS, on another project, I had to wire up a pre-amp and amp in order to get any quality sound at any volume from it.  I have another ible that describes hacking that particular RS item.   I used a little over-kill however, creating an amp with about 100x gain, and so "voice" can get a little garbled, but "noises" are amplified tremendously.

It can be found here
Biggsy (author)Goodhart2010-01-30

nice one

I_am_jesuspeanut (author)2010-01-01

whats the sound of the doorbell

A digitally recorded Knocking on wood, sound.


The surprise for the person ringing the doorbell is that Knocking sound they will hear, instead.   It makes for some really surprised looks, for sure :-) 
An Villain (author)2009-12-14


Goodhart (author)An Villain2009-12-14

Hmm,  now that I think about it....that is played late at night on Adult Swim, on cartoon channel (the age range has changed so many times since they started that it is nearly impossible to keep up with it), so maybe that wasn't such a good thing to post. . .

An Villain (author)Goodhart2009-12-14

problably not.

Goodhart (author)An Villain2009-12-14

I am in has been deleted.

An Villain (author)Goodhart2009-12-15


An Villain (author)2009-12-13

why is that guy holding a turtle and looking slightly disturbed?

Goodhart (author)An Villain2009-12-13
That's a scene from a cartoon called The Oblongs   :-) 
An Villain (author)Goodhart2009-12-14


yahooti12 (author)2009-08-23

Great idea! I've been wanting to hack my wireless doorbell but could you explain or post some pics of how to disconnect the "bell"? Also, it would be really helpful if you pointed out where to wire the voice recorder up in the pictures (for electronics beginners like me).

Goodhart (author)yahooti122009-08-23

Many doorbells will be different (especially your wireless one) and the voice recorder, unless you use the voice recorder from Radio Shack (a REALLY poor one) I also wouldn't know where else to wire of the bell.

I simply took the installed doorbell button, removed the wires and used the doorbell button as the Play Back button for my player.

There is definitely more to this, I wired in an amplifier so the Knock could be heard; just like I did in this Ible at this link.

Bigev (author)2009-08-11

I'm thinking, Disassemble a cheap bell ringer, position a piece of wood in front of the hammer, and Voila! A knocking doorbell.

Goodhart (author)Bigev2009-08-12

You may have to increase the length of the arm's arch in order to get it to be loud enough to be heard; OR use a hollowed out and acoustically resonant piece of wood....that might work (but I work in electronics in my hobbies, so I naturally thought of my way first).

Bigev (author)Goodhart2009-08-12

Hmm... yes... Would a longer swing arm slow the swinging of the arm though? If so, then that would be desirable. Slower knocks are more realistic.

Goodhart (author)Bigev2009-08-12

Yes, but I still think the bell's power will be limited and the knock will be in need of some amplification whether it be electronically, or acoustically :-)

soulcalibur (author)2009-07-13

it would be better if you recorded something else. the knocks seem a little boring. try recording a gun shooting or like record you saying "what?" real loud lol. i'd be real funny if you said "ring that bell one more time and see what happens" :P

Goodhart (author)soulcalibur2009-07-14

Sure, but believe me, if you are watching the faces of (a cam comes in handy here) the ones pressing a doorbell button, expecting a ding-dong and getting the knock knock they'd hear if they knocked.....well, some of the looks are just precious.... ;-)

soulcalibur (author)Goodhart2009-07-14

uh ok by the way if you had a peep hole in your door you could just look through it rather than having to buy a cam and get all techy about things.

Goodhart (author)soulcalibur2009-07-14

Yes, if you happen to be at the front door when your guests arrive, that is totally plausible. If you aren't sure when they will arrive (or if they are coming in at random times), the record of the reaction is priceless :-)

PKTraceur (author)2008-08-18

? Was there a joke?

Goodhart (author)PKTraceur2008-08-18

More of a "surprise!" than anything. One Expects a door Bell when they push the button, and they can knock if the Bell doesn't work, but if one pushes the button and hear a loud Knock, Knock, Knock........that is both surprising and hilarious.

PKTraceur (author)Goodhart2008-08-18

? what?

Goodhart (author)PKTraceur2008-08-18

Pressing a doorbell button, and instead of a bell, you hear three loud knocks.

soulcalibur (author)Goodhart2009-07-13

you mean four :P

Goodhart (author)soulcalibur2009-07-14

Hmm, I just listened to is, and I hear: knock, knock, knock. The sound isn't so good though sadly.

AnarchistAsian (author)Goodhart2008-09-22

lol, what if you replaced a knocker with a doorbell? they would use the knocker, and hear a doorbell!

Goodhart (author)AnarchistAsian2008-09-22

Hmm, that has a bunch of possibilities too hmmm :-)

acaz93 (author)2008-05-09

That gave me the idea of putting an Easy button instead

Goodhart (author)acaz932008-05-09

Yeah, good idea. Replacing that annoying voice in them with a knocking sound (or if you have a voice module of some quality and can record a few seconds more, you could record something like: "You took the EASY way out? Didn't your Mom ever tell you that their IS NO EASY WAY !" ). Really freak someone out LOL

acaz93 (author)Goodhart2008-05-09

or vice versa a bell that says "that was easy" xd

Goodhart (author)acaz932008-05-09

LOL I LOVE it ! very good :-)

acaz93 (author)Goodhart2008-05-09

That remembers me , to pick up the easy button i had in my locker , great Stress relief after Spanish And Local geography tests

soulcalibur (author)acaz932009-07-13

remembers you? you mean reminds you :S

acaz93 (author)soulcalibur2009-07-13

heh, you are right!

acaz93 (author)Goodhart2008-05-09

That was easy , lol

About This Instructable




Bio: I am, most definitely older than 00010101 and to put it simply, still curious about nearly everything :-) I then tend to read and/or experiment ... More »
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