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The prank box is basically a sealed wooden box with an electric bell inside that is activated by a key switch. Once it is turned on, a relay inside the box is latched and it cannot be turned off without knowing the secret trick (Spoiler Alert:magnets). Quite understandably, a completely sealed box with a ringing bell inside that doesn't seem to stop can quickly become maddening. It is very funny to watch people ponder the implications of the device, reluctantly turn it on, and then stress out when they cannot turn it off. It is even funnier to get panicked emails from your friend in Canada after you mail it to him without any explanation, and he decides to ignore the directions on the box and turn it on.





Step 1: Go get stuff

You will need:

(x1) Laser cut 1/4"-thick plywood box template**
(x1) 6V electric bell
(x1) 4 x D battery holder
(x1) Reed switch
(x1) Latching DPDT relay
(x1) Key switch
(x1) 9V battery holder
(x1) 9V battery snap
(x1) 4-40 x 1/2" wood screws
(x8) 8" zip ties
(x1) 4" x 4" x 1/8" matte white acrylic
(x1) Black and red acrylic paint
(x1) 5-minute epoxy
(x1) 30-NF Fastbond contact cement
(x1) Wood glue
(x1) Masking tape
(x1) Red and black wire
(x1) Wood stain and 220 sandpaper (optional)
(x1) Shrink tube

**The laser cut template should be etched (when appropriate) and cut. The "DO NOT INSERT AND TURN KEY" shape should be etched and cut from 1/8" acrylic.
This is amazing! Though if someone sent this to me and I activated it I would probably just burn the box. ;)
<p>There is one major problem with sending these things through the mail, especially airmail. Think about the emotional climate we live in today. Half of the stuff I used to make as a kid would now be labeled as terroristic items. I have been through a lot of Homeland security training courses with my Emergency Management degree, and they really don't have much of a sense of humor these days. It isn't impossible to do these things, just be very, very careful about how you build it and think about what it would look like to someone x-raying the box. Just a FYI.</p>
<p>Ditto. That was my first thought. Remember the kid that built a clock?</p>
<p>...except the kid who built a clock was fishing for a litigious incident with the guidance of his elders.</p><p>Having gone through TSA training on x-ray identification, a person would have to be in quite a hurry to inadvertently identify any of these components (separate or assembled) as a threat.</p>
<p>I started to mention that.... :)</p>
So don't put it in your carry on luggage?
<p>Love this. Going to make up a couple, LOL. I have a feeling though the people I will send it to will most likely destroy it instead of looking for a sensible solution.</p>
<p>The problem with this is that the batteries will run down.</p><p>You could add a solar panel to recharge it !</p>
<p>lol are you entering into make a box contest? (if its still open : ) )</p>
<p>did pretty much the same thing, with a push button and led display and a flash charging circuit quite a few years ago. with the led display, reading &quot;Do not push button&quot;. and if anyone pushed the button, the flash strobe charger would make that whinning noise and the led display read &quot;Release to detonate!&quot;. but today you! might just get in trouble with doing something like that.</p>
<p>This reminds me of another prankbox . It was a &quot;shocking&quot;nudes photoalbum. Outside there was a picture of a lady in a teetsee bikini. Inside a simple contact batteries and a modified buzzer. The buzzer had a thin wire overwinding that developed a high voltage that was connected to metal strips. The high voltage from the overwinding give the opener a nasty shock. Had a lot of fun with this gadget</p>
<p>So you're saying that if you turned the key you cannot turn it off?</p>
<p>Your instructible is inspirational! It inspired me to do this search: </p><p><a href="http://www.instructables.com/tag/type-id/keyword-axe/" rel="nofollow">http://www.instructables.com/tag/type-id/keyword-a...</a></p><p>:D </p>
<p>I laughed so hard when I saw that :)</p>
<p>Made one of these when I was 6...now Im 55, The only difference is I didnt use a relay , I used a SCR, c106D...with only 3 pins, probibly cheaper and easier to wire up than a relay..and less power consumption.</p>
I remember seeing a circuit utilizing an SCR back when I was a kid - probably close to 25 years ago... I've wanted to build something like this for the office - now is as good a time as any!
<p>For an even nastier prank, try it with a car horn inside.</p><p>Battery would need to be upgraded though.</p>
It's got the batteries to run for a week <br />It's simple <br />It's tough enough to take a beating <br />There's no expensive circuit boards to get damaged when it is thrown against the floor <br />And it's almost impossible to figure out <br /> <br />The only ting it needs is a computer socket type power jack to recharge the batteries <br /> <br />The only thing better would be a clock so when they get it they turn the switch and it does nothing, so they leave it sitting there, but after the switch has been turned it triggers at 2AM. (adjusted for their time zone) Imagine trying to get it to stop at 2 AM!
<p>12 gauge 00 buck and it would magically disappear.</p>
Or, better: They turn the key, the bell goes off. Some small button on the side or under the box, under a lid that needs to be unscrewed with some weird bit, stops the bell. PHEW! Found the button! Finally, peace! <br> <br>A clock triggers the bell again at 2AM. <br> <br>Don't blame me if you end up with an axe planted firmly in your skull though.
Also add a fake unscrewable panel with a set of AA's that do nothing when removed or even make it louder stressing the victim of the prank even more
Wow you must be a good wood worker
<p>programmed the laser cutter not a wood worker! </p>
<p>Next version could be lower power, with a sound chip playing a Justin Beiber song on repeat. </p>
<p>Brilliant!</p>
<p>Great instructable! Perhaps it was the hilarious Canadian jokes that reminded me of the &quot;History Eraser Button&quot; episode of Ren &amp; Stimpy. I found a clip on Vimeo, https://vimeo.com/126720159 Glad that your version punishes with a loud bell rather than erasing all of history...</p>
Pandora's box is brilliant as is your comment about Canadian healthcare.
<p>I was working my kit up and am fairly new to this electronics, my bell rings as soon as I put the D batteries in, any thoughts on where I may of crossed my wires?</p>
Make sure the key is not engage. Try again.
<p>How do you charge the battery?</p>
<p> Remove the word &quot;NOT&quot;and the bell is turned off.</p>
<p>It will be a good thing if the red &quot;NOT&quot; word is the deactivator. Maybe with a magnet sheet...</p>
I'd put it into a welded steel box, with shock mounts or foam padding so if its hammered or drowned it'll survive I'd add a reed switch which needs a super strong magnet to activate, not your average hdd magnet strong but something even stronger
<p>Very interesting prank, i found a &quot;prank&quot; on stumbleupon, mixxloud dot com, you can troll your friend or enemy with beeps all day long, it's crazy!!</p>
<p>Oh nice prank I can keep my important things </p>
I have another idea: oscillating solenoids attached to weights to make the box shake.
A weight attached to a motor is usually an easier solution.
<p>If they shake it it should get louder</p>
<p>wow... i would hate to have you all you guys as my enemies</p><p>great ideas from all..</p>
Rad man!
<p>Try using the car horns from &lt;a href=&quot;http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10966&quot;&gt;Sparkfun&lt;/a&gt;. That would be LOUD and hilarious...</p>

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Bio: My name is Randy and I founded the Instructables Design Studio. I'm also the author of the books 'Simple Bots,' and '62 Projects to ... More »
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