Picture of Miniature Beeping Circuit Prank

This little device is a fun tool for pranking your friends and coworkers. Every few minutes it emits a brief, high-pitched beep. The beeping gets annoying after awhile, but what is really frustrating is not being able to find it. If you choose a good hiding spot, it can take hours to figure out where it is.
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
Jumper Wires
3 Button cell Batteries (I used LR932 cells but other sizes will work)
Printed Circuit Board (RadioShack #276-159)
3-16V Piezo Buzzer (RadioShack #273-074)
100μF 10V Capacitor
555 Timer IC (RadioShack #276-1723)
1kΩ Resistor
4.7MΩ Resistor
Large Paperclip

Soldering Iron
Dremel (optional)

Part Substitutions:
The values of the capacitor and resistors are not critical. You can easily replace them with capacitors and resistors of similar values. The only effect will be that it changes the time between beeps. See Step 2 for a better explanation.

The PCB can also be replaced with any other PCB with enough holes to fit all the components.

Step 2: Circuit

Picture of Circuit
The circuit is a basic 555 timer circuit in astable mode. In this configuration the IC sends a brief pulse to the buzzer every few minutes. The values of the resistors and the capacitor determine how often the buzzer will sound and how long each pulse will be. Increasing the value of either the capacitor or the resistor between pins 7 and 8 will increase the amount of time between beeps. Increasing the value of the resistor between pins 6 and 7 will increase the length of each beep. Decreasing these values will have the opposite effect. With the values that I used, it beeps about every 6-7 minutes. (If the capacitor is completely discharged, the first beep may take up to twice as long.)

Step 3: Battery Connector Pins

Picture of Battery Connector Pins
The only parts that you need to make are the battery connector pins. To make these, cut off two pieces of the paper clip that are about an inch long and fold each of them in half. The bent end is where they will contact with the battery. The cut ends will be soldered to the board.
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I want to make a device which beep when I press a button, can someone help me how to build up such a device.

Just get a 3 volt piezo buzzer and connect it to a battery with a switch.
lashultz25 days ago

I am a novice, but this seemed like a do-able project for me. Your instructions were very easy to follow and detailed, so I was very surprised when I couldn't get this to work. For some reason, I keep getting a static/chirping type sound from it, but no beeps. Any idea what could cause this?

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)  lashultz25 days ago
Make sure that you are using a piezo buzzer and not a speaker. The beep pulse may also be to short for the buzzer to really sound. Try adjusting the values of the smallest resistor.

It is a piezo buzzer. In fact I used all of the same parts that you described except the largest resistor (10M was the closest I could find). I started with the 1K for the smallest and changed it over to a 22K and still nothing :-/ I've looked over your pictures several times and everything looks right. Just wondering if perhaps there is a common mistake that I'm making or what?

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)  lashultz25 days ago

Replace the buzzer with an LED and see if it blinks when it is supposed you. Then check the buzzer with a battery to make sure that that is working.

mykuls made it!1 month ago

Worked out great. I powered it with a usb cable. Going to plug it into the back of someones computer or tv ;) Used a 1M resistor to decrease time between beeps and a 2.2k to increase length of beep.

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)  mykuls1 month ago

Awesome. Thanks for sharing.

Nice use of the standard astable mode. On a side note I am making around 30 of them for April 1st, parts are ordered now to wait the 2 weeks from china shipping. Only I am using an hour interval for longer run time and to make it harder to find them.

Sounds like fun. Let me know how it turns out.
ethan.bristow2 months ago

I dont know how to read a circuit diagram well. Where do the - in and + in go?

Here is a tutorial on how to read circuit diagrams.

The + in is the 4.5V supply voltage from the battery.It is connected to the speaker, pin 4, pin 8, and the 4.7Mohm resistor.

The - in is the common ground and is connected to pin 1 and the capacitor.

Great post! I actually have a "nicer" use that I'm to build for... My cousin works with blind kids and they've been looking for a beeping hockey puck so this could be perfect for it! Any recommendation on a capacitor for a one second beep interval? Also, any idea how to ruggedize
The easiest thing to do is use a 555 timer calculator like this one.
Perfect! Thank you
100ohm made it!5 months ago

Outstanding instructions! I used a 555 CMOS and dissected an A23 battery to get the (3) button-cells. If you follow the pics...everything goes together perfectly! Didn't have to breadboard, the schematic made it very clear. Thank you

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)  100ohm5 months ago
Awesome. Thanks for Sharing.
mark999 made it!10 months ago

I made it! I powered it with a 9v battery and made it on a breadboard soon I will put it in a pcb board or stripboard. Thanks!

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)  mark99910 months ago
mark99910 months ago

Can this be powered by a 9v battery?

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)  mark99910 months ago
Yes, all the parts that I used can handle 9 volts.
mark99910 months ago

Up to how much voltage can this circuit handle?

krich2 years ago
I built one of these, but added a photocell so that it would only chirp in the dark. Much harder to find!!
I'm curious as well. Where did you place the photocell so that it would only chirp in the dark?
Now THAT is mean!
Especially if you put it somewhere around the bedroom where the victim goes crazy to its beep and can't sleep from it... imagine it shutting up every time you open the lights to search for the annoyance!

Did you just add it serial after the battery?
kschmidt21 year ago
I want to make one of these but with a vibration motor instead, if I were to replace the piezo buzzer with a transistor switch connected to the electric motor, would that work? I'm just not sure about the negative connection from the buzzer going back into 3. Is that a necessity for that to happen?
The 555 timer IC can output 200mA of current. So if you can find a motor that runs on less than that, you could just hook it up directly in place of the buzzer and you wouldn't even need a transistor.
you reckon a vibrator motor from an xbox controller would be less than 200mA? because I have no clue. if not, I've got plenty of old phones I can steal one from, that'd work, and it'd be a very small amperage.
I don't know about that motor specifically .If you can't find the specs and you are brave, you could just try it out and see if it breaks. Alternatively you could take a motor that you already know the power rating for and turn it into a vibrator motor.
I pulled one out of an iPhone, should do the trick, really, it's tiny, and it wouldn't be in a phone if it was high current. Thanks for the help.
Thank you DIYHacksAndHowTos for this wonderful instructible.I modified your circuit to successfully make an indicator for my bike.
Eirik10101 year ago
Mine works fine. Short beep every 6 minutes or so. My problem is the battery life. The 3 button batteries only lasted a few hours. Switched to a 9v and only lasted about 10 hrs.
kosmar1 year ago
You are absolutely right. Even I have a bill with 1k resistors on it, I have a 100k resistors instead. Problem solved. Thank you. This works with 3V CR2032 battery, but times are longer.
kosmar1 year ago
I make the same circuit as described on protoboard and have a problem with beep duration. Duration between two beeps is about 12 minutes first time, then it takes about 6 mins for next beeps. That is ok. But beep duration is too long, about 6 seconds. As I sad, I use the same components for circuit. What is the problem?
DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)  kosmar1 year ago
The first beep should take twice as long if it has been off for a while and the capacitor discharged. Also, double check your resistor values. That sounds like the timing thatyou would get if you are using a 100k instead of a 1k. Here is a helpful calculator that might help.
Ploopy1 year ago
If you go to the website home page ( there is 55 circuits to do with a 555 timer.
Ploopy1 year ago
If You put a photocell in the circuit and then put it in some ones bedroom, while at the same time hide a camera to film their face and posting it on YouTube at April's fools day would be cool!
Ploopy1 year ago
Thanks !
Ploopy1 year ago
Wich value would r1 have to be to beep every 5 minutes?
DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)  Ploopy1 year ago
Here is a web page with a calculator for 555 timer circuits
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