This is one of the 48 projects for our Instructables: Made In Your Mind (IMIYM) exhibition at the Children’s Museum of Houston showing from May 26, 2012 - November 4, 2012. Produced in partnership with Instructables, IMIYM is an exhibit where families work together to build different fun, toy-like projects that help construct knowledge and skills related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics while instilling a “do-it-yourself” attitude in kids so they feel empowered to explore, tinker, and try to make things themselves. To learn more, check out the article here.
For this project, we were inspired by the $5 Dollar Burglar Alarm! Instructable created by johnnyrockstah, but there may be others on Instructables that are also similar. Often, the materials and process for building our projects are designed for use with a large number of visitors (we see over 800,000 annually) and the need to ensure safety in a mostly non-facilitated environment. So, yes, many of these projects have room for improvement in both materials and methodology, which is PRECISELY what we want to encourage the kids to do. So please do share your ideas for improvement and modifications!
Step 1: What You Need:
1 – 9V battery (we buy ours in bulk from BatteriesandButter.com)
1 – 9V battery clip (available at Radio Shack. We get ours in bulk from All Electronics)
1 – 9V buzzer (also available at Radio Shack. We get ours in bulk from All Electronics. You can also get much louder/more annoying buzzers. We didn't b/c I'd have to walk around the Museum listening to them...)
1 – Clothespin, spring loaded (these are pretty easy to find at grocery stores, Walmart, etc.)
4 inches – Aluminum Tape (available at hardware stores)
1 – 5”x7” Chipboard (this is the same cardboard many food products come in like cereal boxes)
1 – 1” Square of Double-Sided Foam Tape (we purchased small squares from U-Line in bulk, but you can get rolls pretty much anywhere)
12 inches (or more, depending on your intended use) of string (your basic, cotton-type is what we used - purchased large rolls from Amazon due to cost effectiveness. But, you can get thinner/darker to better conceal your alarm better)
Masking Tape (not pictured below)
Step 2: The Video
Step 3: Step 1
Step 4: Step 2
Step 5: Step 3
Step 6: Step 4
Step 7: Step 5
Step 8: Step 6
Step 9: Step 7
Step 10: Step 8
Step 11: To Use:
The Room Alarm is an electric circuit with a switch, in this case, the clothespin. When the chipboard tab is in the clothespin, the switch is open, meaning electricity can’t flow through the circuit. But, once the chipboard is removed, the two aluminum ends of the clothespin can touch, closing the circuit. When the circuit is closed, electricity can flow from the battery to the buzzer causing it to sound.