Introduction: The IRritator

Picture of The IRritator

What sound does annoy you most?? Well in my case it is the Nokia Tune. So I made this little gadget for the April Fools' Project Prank Contest (So if you like this little Instructable then please vote for it).

Its principle is very simple. You hide it somewhere in the living room and every time someone hits a button on any IR remote control, it will play the Nokia Tune. You might expect two possible reactions:

  • They will look where they left their mobile or ask who's mobile is ringing.
  • They get annoyed once they find out that the remote control triggers it, resulting in a frenzy search for the source of the sound.
So whatever they do it will be funny and thats what we want ;-)

Step 1: What Do I Need to Make This Prank?

Picture of What Do I Need to Make This Prank?

You don't need much to make this little gadget.
  • A buzzer
  • An attiny13
  • An IR - receiver
  • A small battery (3V)
  • A soldering iron and solder
  • A bit of wire or a batteryclip to connect the battery
You might ask why I used these parts and there is only one reason: I had them in my parts-box!

The IR-receiver didn't have an id-number on it but a PNA4601M should do the trick.

I used the attiny13 because it runs on very low voltages (2.7V-5.5V ant the attiny13V even starts from 1.8V)so it runs from a tiny 3V battery and ofcourse the small size is a plus in this project.

If you don't know how to program an atmel microcontroller, I should suggest you to browse around in the Instructables here. There are very good Instructables about making programmers and how to program.

Please be careful when soldering. Children should always work under adult supervision!

Step 2: Wiring This Up

Picture of Wiring This Up

Connect the + of the buzzer to pin 5 of the attiny13 and the output of the IR-receiver to pin 6.

Connect the - of the buzzer to the - of the battery.

Provide power to your microcontroller and IR-receiver by connecting the VCC/VS and Ground to the according terminals on the battery.

I added the hex-file so that you can program your attiny13.

Step 3: The Result!

Picture of The Result!

I tested my IRritator and it worked pretty good. In fact there where only a very few number of spots in the room where it didn't react on the remote control.

I added a little video here for you to enjoy but you might turn the volume very high cause my camera doesn't have a good mic. In reality the sound is rather loud so I guess my mic is broken.

There is a minor inconvenience about this circuit and that is that the IR-receiver I used is in high state when it doesn't detect any IR. So even when idling the circuit will use power from the battery but It should easely last long enough to enjoy the prank the whole day long ;-)


jasara (author)2015-04-20

Congratulations on winning the Pranks Contest!

Ploopy (author)2015-02-21


I made a Fritzing file for it with single sided PCB.

quipquip (author)2014-03-21

Hi! I was curious, is there a way to get a c-code instead of the hex file?

janw (author)quipquip2014-03-22

Sadly the only way to get one is to write one. The originaliteit code was a basic ( bascomAVR ) code. But I don't think that I still have that one.

AmpOwl (author)2014-03-08

I didn't think the attiny has enough memory to play a ringtone. Is it an audio file, or is it just a series of beeps that you sequenced to sound like the ringtone?

janw (author)AmpOwl2014-03-08

It is just a series of beeps indeed. Mind you, this is an older project. Back then, ringtones were just series of beeps.

pabhilash (author)2013-02-01

Hi! Great I'ble.. so i have a question. I have a spare ATMEGA328 i can use(got it off an arduino clone). Can i use that instead of the ATTINY? (p.s, i'm assuming it already has a bootloader installed because i have uploaded sketches to it a few times.)

janw (author)pabhilash2013-02-01

Sure, you can use a mega328 but you will have to write a new hex-file as this one is specificly written for an attiny13.

jonrb (author)2011-10-30

Great instructable, I love this thing

This could EASILY be combined with

janw (author)jonrb2011-10-30


kylekosan23 (author)2011-07-20

does the remote still work when the sound goes on like a person pressed a button on the remote would the tv still change the channel and the buzzer still make the noise

janw (author)kylekosan232011-07-20

Yes it still works

kylekosan23 (author)janw2011-07-20

o ok cool

critterfluffy (author)2010-04-09

I wonder how hard it would be to wire it to respond to a incoming/outgoing cell signal.  In a classroom this means anytime someone texts or gets a text it would go off.  Would get really annoying and I bet a teacher would love to use it.

ubr.bzkr (author)critterfluffy2010-04-09

Wow that's terribly evil. It would be funny though, except in order to do that you would need a cell phone reviver (such as another cell phone) that will react to and and revive any text frequency. that may require some pricey equipment. also it would only receive signals from other cell phones meaning that with out some sort of filter it could go off for cell phone calls  anywhere within miles.

janw (author)ubr.bzkr2010-04-09

It is not very difficult to make working with cellphones I guess. You have all kinds of gadgets that make leds blink when you have an incoming call or text message. It works by induction I guess.

critterfluffy (author)janw2010-04-10

As sad as it is I thought of this based on an Adult toy.  It vibrates when a cell within a few feet gets/sends a signal.  The electronics shouldn't be to complicated since it has been applied to something like that.  The internet has some weird stuff.

overblast (author)critterfluffy2011-04-03

Would you be able to adapt their item in the toy? Or find out who makes it for them and contact them?

D5quar3 (author)2010-04-08

 i burnt my whole finger and my thumb. shudder

StuNutt (author)D5quar32010-04-15

First, check out the instructible on:

"Soldering 101 - which end to hold the soldering iron"


overblast (author)StuNutt2011-04-03

Very funny!!!!! :D Thanks for the laugh!

D5quar3 (author)StuNutt2010-04-15

 my hand slipped

janw (author)D5quar32010-04-08

And just why did you do that?

D5quar3 (author)janw2010-04-09

 my hand slipped

spaztec (author)D5quar32010-04-10

 mmhmm. children, :D

tmcalhoun (author)2011-03-31

Is there a way to set this up without the IC? i haven't a clue how to program and i took the ir receiver from an old dvd player. i would like to connect it to an annoying greeting card so when they (my in-laws) use their remote it plays the greeting card sound.

janw (author)tmcalhoun2011-04-01

My design is not possible without the microcontroller as it contains the tune. But I know that there are kits for sale where you can prerecord a message to put un a card. You could try to modify tht circuit so that it is triggered by a remote. For that you have to keep in mind that most idling IR sensors have a high output so you probably will need a NOT gate too.

pravardhan (author)2010-04-06


Nice idea. But, can you provide the firmware for PIC16F84A, as it is available with me. And, i also have a programmer for the PIC microcontrollers.


HarveyH44 (author)pravardhan2010-04-09

PIC?  You can't be serious...

beehard44 (author)HarveyH442010-12-02

he is, apparently

snowluck2345 (author)beehard442011-02-02

whats wrong with pic?

mutput7 (author)snowluck23452011-02-14

It'll come eat you in the night.

quirch23 (author)2010-04-09

 Can you repost the firmware it keeps coming through as a .tmp file rather then a .hex. 

beehard44 (author)quirch232010-12-02

rename it into .hex

janw (author)quirch232010-04-13

I will put the code here soon but as I work in Bascom it will not be a C-file.

JaredsProjects (author)2010-08-02

Now just put two of them in the room, so once they find the first one they think the sound is over...but the other one will keep on annoying people. AI

justbc4u (author)2010-06-11

what is an equivalent to the ATtiny13 or ATtiny25 that is made by Texas instruments since I can get free samples from TI. You can send it in an PM to me. thanks.

janw (author)justbc4u2010-06-11

honestly, I wouldn't know. But attinys are not expensive i buy a tiny45 for 2 euros and a 13 for 1.80 euros

xanthyops (author)2010-05-19

 Can you please post the source code?
Also, I use AVRStudio... how can I get this to work with it?

888hilly (author)2010-04-15

wait..... adult supervision?

elelove (author)2010-04-11

I'm also interested in the source code~

thedude7053 (author)2010-03-23

 Hey would you mind posting the source code for you firmware

HarveyH44 (author)thedude70532010-04-09

You could save power by putting the Tiny13 into power down mode, the IR module could trigger a pin-change interrupt, wake the chip, play the tune.  

janw (author)HarveyH442010-04-10

hey, your are so right indeed! An attiny13 uses not even a uA in powerdown mode.

tomtom4388 (author)2010-03-31

i am going to connect it through a transistor to an old pcx power supply to a car horn; its so loud...

thx for the idea

absolute zero (author)tomtom43882010-04-07

now hide it under the most used couch/chair in your house.

janw (author)tomtom43882010-03-31

I bet that it will be loud indeed. I bet that your target will need a chair to sit for a little while after that thing blowed his brain to one side of his head.

MACKattacksnipe (author)2010-04-06

can i just put a IR reciver and a battery and the thing so when ever some one presses a button it just beeps

janw (author)MACKattacksnipe2010-04-06

You will need something to generate an audible frequency for the buzzer but a simple 555 timer can do the job.

ANDY! (author)2010-04-06

 I made one with just the whistling thing and it annoyed the h... out of people. I gave it to my friend and it went bezerkin their classroom. 

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm mainly interested in music, food and electronics but I like to read and learn about a lot more than that.
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