Introduction: ThinkGeek Annoy-a-tron 1.5
Runner Up in the
ThinkGeek Hacks Contest
The ThinkGeek Annoy-a-tron just got better! Now when your prey discovers it they get a nice shock.
This hacked annoy-a-tron uses the shocking component from the thinkgeek shocking pen to shock anyone who touches the annoy-a-tron, making it even more annoying.
Note: pictures in this instructable will not always show exactly what is being explained. That is because they were taken the first time I ever did this and therefore I did not know what I was doing. Some of the steps that I took were not in the same order that I explain them in. The order I explain them in usually makes them easier to do.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
Here are the materials for this project:
Roll of electrical tape
Super Glue or Krazy Glue
Plastic Straw (unless you have a reed switch)
A few paperclips
Spool of wire (22 gauge is probably the biggest you want)
ThinkGeek Shocking Pen
Suggested materials and alternatives
1 container of ThinkGeek Wire Glue (soldering would work but wire glue is safer and allowed in dorm rooms)
ThinkGeek Curiously Strong Magnets (or a relatively strong magnet and possibly another weaker magnet)
Nice to have materials (but my no means required)
Normally closed reed switch
Here are the tools used for this project:
Hole Punch (or be really good at cutting small circular holes with scissors)
Probably some more I forgot
Suggested tools and alternatives:
ThinkGeek 19 in 1 multitool (or wire cutters, wire strippers, pliers, and a small drill bit)
Needle nose pliers are nice to have
Step 2: The Box
In order to shock your victim the annoy-a-tron must be covered in a conductive material. For this I used aluminium from an aluminium can. Before you can use the aluminium you must cut it out into a sheet. Using scissors cut the top and bottom off of your can. Now try to flatten the piece of aluminium the best you can. In order to make the aluminium work the way it is intended for this project a little more work must go into it. The inside of the aluminium can is coated with a material to prevent the aluminium taste from getting into the drink. This coating is not conductive so it must be sanded off. A semi high grit should be used and the sandpaper should always move in the same direction. This gives the aluminium a nice brushed look when it is done. Do this to both sides to take off the coating on the inside and the color on the outside.
Now you have to cut out the pattern for the bottom and top of the box. The bottom is just the exact size of the bottom of the annoy-a-tron, so trace the annoy-a-tron base and cut it out of your sheet of aluminium. The top is a little harder. It has to be able to encapsulate everything inside the annoy-a-tron, and everything that gets added. The picture helps show what it should look like. The sides are half an inch, and the middle is the same size as the base. The sides get folded up and the tabs are superglued to the inside of the box to hold it all together. I found that pliers helped hold the tab tightly to the side of the box while the superglue dried. (about 1 second) Pliers and a straight-edge also helped get near perfect folds in the aluminium.
To make the edges of the box less sharp, and to make sure the top of the box does not touch the bottom and short out the shocking mechanism, apply a small strip of electrical tape to the edge. It should only go up the outside edge by about an 1/8 of an inch.
After the box is glued together, and looks like a box, get out your wire glue (or soldering iron) and wire. Glue or solder a piece of wire to the inside of the box and leave a few inches sticking out of the box to be used later.
Now to make the bottom of the box. This part is much easier, it is just a rectangular piece of aluminium with a small hole punched out of it. Cut out a piece of aluminium the exact size of the base of the annoy-a-tron. (make sure that both sides of the aluminium are conductive) Now carefully mark where the speaker is and using a hole punch cut out a hole for the speaker. The hole will probably be a little smaller than the speaker but it should not effect what is heard all that much. (when used in normal operation the speaker is usually up against a wall anyway) Now in the same maner that you attached the wire to the top of the box, attach a wire to the bottom of the box. It works best if the wire is going off the side of the base near the speaker. (unlike how the picture shows) this way the wire does not get in the way of the switches for the annoy-a-tron
You now have your box which will be used later on in this instructable
Step 3: The "Shocker"
This step requires the thinkgeek shocking pen. The shocking device in the pen must be removed from the pen casing. This is kind of a pain. I ended up using needle nose pliers and prying the case off of the shocking part, but it took at least 5 minutes to do, probably longer. You may also want to avoid being shocked during this process, so I suggest you remove the batteries first. The entire mechanism must be removed, including the battery compartment, so try to keep everything intact and working. I do not know how you will get it out, just get it out and move on to the next part of this step.
Now that you have the shocking device, you can begin to extract the necessary parts from it. There is a relatively large black device attached to a small circuit board, these parts are needed. There is a button on top of the black device, this button is not needed, but the wire attached to it is useful. Cut the wires on the battery compartment as close to the battery compartment as you can, and cut the wires on the button as close to the button as you can. The batteries from the pen are another part that will be used, so make sure to keep those. I wrapped some electrical tape around the circuit board to prevent it from shorting out if anything on the annoy-a-tron were to touch it. When you are done it should look like the picture.
Step 4: Batteries
To make it more interesting I used the batteries from the pen to power the shocking device instead of the one on the annoy-a-tron. (this conserves battery life too, and allows your annoy-a-tron to shock even when it is off, or the battery dies) Using thinkgeek wire glue, I glued the three batteries together in a nice stack (the way they were in the battery compartment) then taped them together by wrapping electrical tape around the batteries as seen in the picture. (make sure to not cover the ends of the batteries with electrical tape, or use too much glue on the batteries so it comes out of the sides and shorts out the batteries)
Step 5: Magnetic Switch
If you have a normally closed magnetic reed switch you can skip this step, otherwise read on.
This step requires working with small parts (that may not be suitable for children under 3 years of age) so small tools usually help. The concept behind this switch is simple. A piece of magnetic wire is set to touch another non magnetic piece of wire. When a magnet comes near the setup the magnetic wire is pulled away from the other wire, opening the circuit. This will prevent the shocker batteries from draining until the annoy-a-tron is moved (if you don't care that your batteries drain in about 1 day then you can skip this step)
To start you must prepare some rubber cement. I used old rubber cement so it was "pre-prepared". Basically you have to dry it out a little. The way it comes, rubber cement is more runny than we want it to be. So take some out and place it on a piece of paper. Try to spread it out as little as possible. Wait for it to be dry enough to roll into a small ball that will just fit in the end of your straw. Once that is ready cut your straw to a length of about 5/8 of an inch. Stick your ball of rubber cement into one end of the straw, and your paperclip into the other(straighten out the paperclip as much as possible first). Pull the paperclip through the ball of rubber cement until the other end of the paperclip is just inside the straw. Move one end of the paperclip to the top of the straw and the other to the bottom of the straw (when held horizontally) (see picture for clarification)
Now take a small piece of aluminium foil or aluminium from an aluminium can and glue (using wire glue) a wire to one side of it. Cover the place where the wire was glued with another piece of aluminium. After it dries put it inside the straw top half of the straw. (so that the paperclip touches it when in its rest state) (if using an aluminium can make sure to sand both sides of it)
Now when a magnet comes near the paperclip from the non aluminium side the paper clip will move away from the aluminium and open the circuit. When the magnet moves away the paperclip should spring back into place and close the circuit again
If you have trouble getting the paperclip to spring back up to the aluminium after the magnet moves away you can try putting a smaller magnet on top of the aluminium to attract the paper clip when the larger magnet is out of range.
You can now cut the other end of the paperclip so you have about a quarter of an inch sticking out of the end of the straw (near the rubber cement) and solder or wire glue a wire to the end of the paperclip (that you just cut)
Step 6: Assembly
First get out your annoy-a-tron and the rest of the parts you just made. The annoy-a-tron is the base for mounting everything else and then the box will hold it all, make it conductive, and look nice.
You need to find a place to put all of these pieces. In the picture I marked where I put my pieces, but maybe you can find better places, or just want to move them. Either way, get them to all fit inside the box.
After all the pieces are in the box they need to be taped down so they can be worked on. So wrap all the pieces together with electrical tape, but make sure all the wires are still accessable because you need to connect them in the next part.
Now connect together the wires in this way:
The positive side of the batteries connects to one side of the magnetic switch. And the other side of the magnetic switch connects to the positive wire on the shocking device (the red wire). The negative side of the battery connects to the negative side of the shocking device (the black wire)
Now the bottom piece of the box connects to the negative side of the battery. (yes, 2 wires connect to the negative side of the battery) and the top of the box connects to the 3rd wire on the shocking device. (the uninsulated wire)
Now your annoy-a-tron 1.5 should be working. (ie shock you if you touch the top and the bottom of the aluminium box)
Now cover the bottom of the annoy-a-tron with electrical tape to prevent shorting out of the annoy-a-tron circuit by the bottom of the box. Then glue the bottom of the box to the bottom of the annoy-a-tron. (the side with the wire glued to it should be facing the annoy-a-tron)
Next place the top of the box over the annoy-a-tron and secure it down in any way you like. (superglue works fine here but will make it hard to open again if something doesnt work)
Step 7: Use of Annoy-a-tron 1.5
Place a magnet to the surface you want to attach your annoy-a-tron 1.5 to and place the magnetic switch part of the annoy-a-tron directly over the switch. (this conserves battery life in the shocking part) Now when your victim finds the annoy-a-tron they will remove it from the wall and thereby reconnecting the magnetic switch and getting shocked.
The victim will have to touch both the top and the bottom at the same time so any way you can encourage this improves the chance that they will get shocked. One possibility is to wrap strips of aluminium around the top and bottom of the opposite polarity (be careful to insulate them with electrical tape)
We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.