Introduction: 'Sound Graffiti'

Picture of 'Sound Graffiti'

This is a simple electronic gadget you can build for yourself using old electronics and cheap kits. Connect the components, protect them with polyurethane foam and install them in the street. Record a message and let others record their own message.

//// Vox Populi is an open source project based in DIY interaction designs to fight advertisement and corporate branding in our streets.////

Step 1: Connect the Components

Picture of Connect the Components

This is what you need:
_Voice synthesizer type Cebek ref. C9701 or similar. (Basically a 20seg voice rec+play)
_Speaker (as big as you want, consider 4 cm /1.6inch diameter minimum)
_Infrared sensor (I used CROW ref. SPR-100, but any alarm infrared sensor should work also tiny like cebek ref.7288)
_5V Relay
_Batteries (depending of synthesizer and infrared)

_Polyurethane foam, sold in spray avaliable in any drugsore
_Half plastic bottle

_soldering iron
_Silicone mould (optional)

Step 2: Change Speaker and Rec Button

Picture of Change Speaker and Rec Button

Usually voice synthesizer are provided with tiny speakers, change the original one and connect a bigger one to obtain louder sound. (I used one as big as my bottle screw top as they have to fit together)

Change also the rec button for a lamp switch to make an easier interaction.
The switch is going to work better if you stick it to a piece of wood or plastic as a lever.

At the end, secure the connections with the gluegun to make sure it's going to work.

Step 3: Change Play Button

Picture of Change Play Button

Change now the play button for the infrared sensor. That means that the gadget is going to play the recorded message when pedestians walk close to it. That makes a much more interesting interaction that through buttons.

Follow the connections of the original play button and exchange them for the infrared. Remember to use the Relay.

Step 4: Protect

Picture of Protect

Before putting it al into foam, protect the sensible/mechanic parts to avoid foam disables them. Protect the speaker, microphone, sensor and switch. (follow the sketch)

Step 5: It's Foam Time

Picture of It's Foam Time

Now that the electronics are done make sure they work as planned.

If everything it's ok, then find a silicone mould (any pastry-mould should work) or any other PP / PE packaging (foam is not going to stick to it). You can also work without mould, by putting trhe foam directly on the electronics.

*Foam is not only going to keep things together but to protect them from weather

Wait util the foam is completely dry (also inside) - usually takes from 6 to 12 hours (see foam spray instructions)

Step 6: Battery Location

Picture of Battery Location

When the foam is completely dry it's easy to shape simply by cutting it with a blade (cutter).

Step 7: It's Done!

Picture of It's Done!

Now do a hundred of them and spread them away!
(stick them to the walls with some more foam)

*depending on the batteries should work for a week at least


rah187 (author)2017-01-03

Intresting idea! I have a feeling you could turn a few heads with this project (and freak a few people out...)! It's a shame that I don't have a recording module and an infrared sensor on hand, otherwise I could throw this one together in a few minutes (excluding the foam, of course; that could take an entire day).

Wasagi (author)2011-03-20

I love this idea! Fantastic!!

artonline (author)2010-10-01

a truly revolutionary idea! not even heard of it!

Art gallery

Sputny (author)2010-04-19

 was wondering instead of using 12 volt battery could a small solor panel work the ones you get from radio shack  and also if u can like add a flash drive that has sounds or music and to be able to put it in a loop

Younggun (author)2009-06-21

thats cool as H3ll you should make them to play Death metal and put them outside old folks homes/nursinghomes lol

abadfart (author)Younggun2009-11-29

ya my granny almost has a heart attack every time my phone goes off (my ring tone is the sex pistols)

skatelong (author)2009-07-18

Any1 heard of Geocaching? Any way, how but using one for a digital logbook in a geocache? the first voice recorder logbook by placing one in a tic tac container and putting one in a cache, LOL.

vandal1138 (author)2009-07-01

what are we lookin at price wise.....

eneergcam (author)2009-06-08

I thought of this same thing! a built a protype that would play a song when it detects someone pulling it of the wall, but it looked too much like a roadside bomb to put outside:(

BladedZealot (author)eneergcam2009-06-10

Eneergcam, you should definitely put that roadside bomb lookin prototype outside. Just picture some swat guys going to pull it off the wall and it starts playin "Its raining men" or something. I think that would be hilarious.

LOL Yeah kind of like those LED robot looking things in Boston that freaked people out! Including the bomb squad!

pdub77 (author)psyteknology2009-06-11

that 'robot looking thing' was a mooninite! But don't worry about it. Nobody in Boston knew what it was either.

jmeister15 (author)pdub772009-06-12

Where can i get one(LED thing)

radiobath (author)jmeister152009-06-16

You're gonna have to make your own now. They were selling on Ebay for thousands of dollars (genuine Adult Swim "bombs"). I felt like such a numbskull for not actually leaving my house that week and grabbing one of my own, what with living in Boston and all.

phoenix124 (author)BladedZealot2009-06-11

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH, YES DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! make sure there's a video camera somewhere though :D

mgordi (author)BladedZealot2009-06-10

hahaha, I vote for this too!

jeff-o (author)eneergcam2009-06-09

Yeah, it's a shame that people these days would freak out and immediately jump to the worst case scenario like that. I'd hate to build one and stick it on a wall, only to have the bomb squad called in and blow it to pieces!

mgordi (author)jeff-o2009-06-09

hey, where do you live? I made the instalation in the middle of barcelona and the feedback of pedestrians was great. I guess the aestethics of the object looks innocent enough... I've seen similar actions in Berlin and they work great too.

jeff-o (author)mgordi2009-06-09

I live in Canada. I'm certain that pedestrians would love it here too, but all it takes is one meddling person to call the cops and then the fun is over. It's a shame that we're so reactive over here.

FunkNattidelic (author)jeff-o2009-06-09

I alos live in Canada, and indeed it is a shame. The people across the street from me called the cops because they thought that the pink floyd i was playing on guitar was too loud. it was 2:00. PM. On a saturday. it seems like everyone hates any creativity.

w0ot! (author)FunkNattidelic2009-06-11

For a long time I thought we (US) should just bomb Canada but lately I'm hoping you guys bomb us.

FunkNattidelic (author)w0ot!2009-06-11

XD why is that ? =P

radiobath (author)FunkNattidelic2009-06-16

As a fellow American, I agree with w0ot!. And Luki, if you don't understand why, you should listen to some Brits talk about us.

FunkNattidelic (author)radiobath2009-06-16

Great Britain and Canada are across the ocean from each other, the way they think about america and the way Canadians think about america COULD actually be different believe it or not =P

Although, after bush i think any country would think terribly towards the U.S.A. XD

radiobath (author)FunkNattidelic2009-06-16

Exactly. xD But in my experience, Euro-bro's hate America more than anyone else. I personally think it's because we dumped all their tea, but what do I know? I failed history.

jeff-o (author)FunkNattidelic2009-06-10

Pink Floyd is never too loud, nor should it ever be illegal for any reason!

FunkNattidelic (author)jeff-o2009-06-10

I entirely agree !! Some people just dont respect talented musicians =P<br/>

McGrep (author)jeff-o2009-06-10


Goodhart (author)jeff-o2009-06-09

Indeed, it is that very trait, sadly enough, that attracts terrorism....the reaction they get from us is much more profound and worthwhile to them.

mgordi (author)Goodhart2009-06-10

What it's a shame is that politics and media use fear to control population. That's why our streets have become advertising showrooms. I did not know the situation was that hysterical in canada too. greets and thanks for the comments

jeff-o (author)mgordi2009-06-10

I don't think it's quite as bad here, but we certainly take a "better safe than fun" approach with a lot of things.

Goodhart (author)jeff-o2009-06-10

Yeah, the USA has moved from the melting pot into the age of being fearful of one's own shadow. The government doesn't help much either, creating laws that allow for search and seizure with out just cause or warrant, would put anyone on edge.

The Ideanator (author)jeff-o2009-06-09

Its even worse here in the US, its a shame that even the pretty stuff would be thought of as something "dangerous". For the most part, its ignorance that makes things like this scary to some people.

jmeister15 (author)eneergcam2009-06-12

Make an instructable on how to make it! At least post a picture!

Default117 (author)2009-06-08

What program did you use to make the second picture?

mgordi (author)Default1172009-06-09

photoshop cs4

Default117 (author)mgordi2009-06-19

That's it? I wouldn't have guessed.

pdub77 (author)2009-06-17

aqua teen hunger force

srilyk (author)2009-06-11

You know, you could also probably add a little solar panel (which would up the cost of course) that would charge the battery - or at least power it when the sun is shining :)

mgordi (author)srilyk2009-06-12

yes, i got this idea in mind too

teslafan100 (author)2009-06-11

tick,tick,tick, BOOOOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*records watch ticking* lol

gdsmit1 (author)2009-06-11

I guess it's kind of cool and a nicely done instructable, but I don't understand why someone would want to do this.

mgordi (author)gdsmit12009-06-11

Well, I know wat you mean. Basically the intention was to make people think about the kind of messages we let advertisement agencies put in the space that is suposed to be 'public' (so, everyone's space). And to give them the oportunity to put something personal in this space for free.

gdsmit1 (author)mgordi2009-06-11

Ok, I guess that makes sense. Thanks.

hot-fresh-rider (author)2009-06-11

great instructable :D

Dadatronic (author)2009-06-11

Wow, nice project. Greetings from Colombia.

volquete (author)2009-06-10

what exactly does it do?

mgordi (author)volquete2009-06-11

records and plays sound

About This Instructable




Bio: Open design advocate. Maker of things, collector of comics.
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