Picture of How to make a prank musical caps-lock keyboard
Kipkay has a number of great DIY videos, but my favourite has got to be the keyboard prank.

The gist of it is to fit a fun music module from those musical greeting cards inside a keyboard and wire it to the caps-lock key to trigger the music each time the key is pressed. Do it on a friend's keyboard, unbeknownst to them, and wait for them to press caps-lock by mistake. Genius!

I'm in the ideal situation because many of my colleagues have the same standard issue Dell keyboard at work, so I took one home, wired the caps-lock key with some cheesy Christmas music and took it back to work ready to put my colleagues in the mood before the holidays. Once one is bored of it, I could simply move the keyboard to someone else!

Here's how to make yours!

- Ingredients:

  • Keyboard with caps-lock LED
  • Musical greeting card
  • NPN transistor
  • Thin wire

- Utensils:

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Solder iron & solder
  • Electrical tape

(Version francaise)

Step 1: Choose the right keyboard and take it apart

Picture of Choose the right keyboard and take it apart
Let's start simply:
Here we have a USB Dell keyboard with the caps-lock LED next to the wire connection.
Turn it over, remove the many screws holding it in place and keep them in a safe place for now.
Take the cover off and keep it close by.
The caps-lock LED is likely to be marked as such on the circuit board. It will be easy to locate.
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Gypsyman7 years ago
it seems like it would be easier just to program it so when you press the button your computer makes the noise. I have actually seen people do this, seems cheaper and simpler.
agent Gypsyman6 years ago
I'm going to make a program that whenever you push ANY key it plays a different sound. I'm going to put it in my flashdrive, and have it that whenever I plug it in it'll copy it to the startup programs. >:D Maybe people should learn not to leave there comps logged in when they walk off!
iambrad agent6 years ago
send me that program when its finished, if you ever write it.
agent iambrad5 years ago
If you're still interested, I'll write it.
iambrad agent5 years ago
 yeah, im still interested
agent iambrad4 years ago
I never really got around to making it. The main problem is that any program like this that hooks global key input is registered as a key logger in most antiviruses.
Redgerr agent5 years ago
im interested as well, would be really funny to have in your back pocket
If you make it make the caplock say "STOP TROLLIN''
You can still get in if you know how. No i'm not telling here. If you want to know, go read 101 spy gadgets for the evil genuis.
mman15066 years ago
KipKay's 'ible: November 6, 2007 jgillick's 'ible: April 3, 2008 How did he plagiarize from something written 6 months before it was written?
his organial blog post was posted before kipkays instruuctable
it is here and check the time stamp
4 months and some ott......to be relatively exact....
lol, mman got 0wned
read 2nd coomment
lolcat3606 years ago
I would hook it up to the E key.
omg that would be halarious! that would be so annoying and would be a great gift ahahaha... totaly
as would i
most used letter in the english alphabet...good idea....i would prefer shift or space....there also used quite often....
oberpriller7 years ago
Awesome. My only problem is that the Caps Lock LED doesn't light up on the keyboard anymore. I guess all the current is going through the NPN transistor now. Next time I'll see if a resistor in line with the switch is enough to get the current running back through the LED.
llemarie (author)  oberpriller7 years ago
Very true! It's a shame that the LED isn't working, that's the only visible change of the keyboard. If you do try the resistor (which should go between the + connector of the LED and the Base of the transistor), I'd be interested to know if it's enough to fix the problem. The resistor of about 8k should give you 0.1mA through the transistor which is enough to trigger it, and hopefully not stealing too much from the LED.
I can't get my head around resistor colour codes... can someone give me a rough idea of what bands a 0.1mA resistor would have?
My keyboard doesn't even have a LED to light. A little box in the corner says, "CAPS LOCK ON" or "CAPS LOCK OFF" when I hit it.
downs7 years ago
Has anybody every heard of being able to re-record one of the musical greeting card chips? there are recordable ones out there but can the standard, one song chip be re-recorded? anyone? Bueller ?
thegeeke downs6 years ago
Ya, it's possible, but it's extreamly hard and I can't and won't explain it in a thread.
DYLEGO6 years ago
does the caps lock still work?
llemarie (author)  DYLEGO6 years ago
Yes, the caps lock ley works as usual. The musical interlude is a bonus, not a replacement for the uppercase. Lionel.
smashbob6 years ago
great i'ble. imagine the look on the person's face when they press caps lock. it must be hilarious. +1
ekulmeekul7 years ago
do you know what would make this circut perfect? power it from the keyboards 5v supply it would never die. Although you would need a voltage regulator. Great instructable.
fd937 years ago
there is a thing avalible on THinkgeek.com that makes an annoying beeping when activated or a sonic grenade but my friend wont tell me how he did it
punkatsub fd937 years ago
just click the shift button 5 times
locofocos fd937 years ago
The annoyatron or somethin like that? It's a preassembled circuit, battery and everything, that will make a little noise at random intervals. I think the intervals are between 2 and 8 minutes, but I'd have to check. It has a magnet on it to attach it to a metal surface if u want. You might be talking about the sonic grenade. When the pin is pulled, it will make a noise, whose frequency and volume can be changed. It stops when the batteries run out XD or when you put the pin back in.
jgillick7 years ago
Great instructable walk through.

Here's the original post which Kipkay got the instructions from:
jaypee42277 years ago
I've actually made two of these keyboards, and they are in place for tomorrow. One is for my boss, and the other is for a friend's co-worker. I would post pictures, but you can't tell a modification has been made! Thanks for such a great idea. I'll let you know how they go.
llemarie (author)  jaypee42277 years ago
Excellent! Bear in mind that it takes most people a while to press the hilarious key. My co-worker kept me waiting for 2 days before he finally pressed it (: Good luck and have fun.
tom0047 years ago
tiuk7 years ago
This would be awesome to do to somebody who uses caps lock too much (read: at all).
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