Introduction: Urban Cricket 2

Picture of Urban Cricket 2

The Urban Cricket 2 is a solar powered sound generator built on low-end, analog electronics and produces sounds like a cricket. I developed Urban Crickets to practice Sound Tossing with it. Sound Tossing is an alternative type of street art that uses sound as a medium of creative expression in a public space. As the streets belong to the people, the intention is to appeal to anyone who wants to shape their acoustic space.

As tiny sound generator we use an Integrated Circuit (IC) called “Hex Schmitt Trigger Type 74HC14” which was never intended for making sound. It consists of six identical inverters and with two of them we will build one simple oscillator by using 1 resistor, 1 capacitor, 1 diode (optional), 1 solar cell and 1 piezo speaker.

It is a very cheap, loud and simple project that can be made in about 30 minutes.

Step 1: Tools and Parts

Picture of Tools and Parts


Soldering Equipment
Wire Cutter
Drill Machine
Double-sided sticky-tape


A 1 x CMOS IC SN 74 HC 14 N DIP
B 1 x Capacitor 10 uF
C 1 x Resistor 1k or 10k Ohm
D 1 x Diode BAT 43 (optional)
E 1 x Solar Cell 4,5 V / 35mA (or use an old garden light panel)
F 1x Piezo Speaker (PIEZO-SUMMER KPI-G2313L-6260) or similar
G 1 x Wires
H 2 x old mini Speaker Cases, for Piezo Speaker and Circuit

Costs ~$5.00

Step 2: Integrated Circuit (IC)

Picture of Integrated Circuit (IC)

Take a short wire and strip of bough ends of the isolation.
Start with soldering it to Pin 1 and Pin 4 of the IC.
Make sure that the mark of the IC is on the left side!

Step 3: Capacitor

Picture of Capacitor

Solder the capacitor to Pin 2 and Pin 3 of the IC. Don’t care about the polarity.

Step 4: Resistor and Diode

Picture of Resistor and Diode

Next on our soldering list are the resistors and the diode.
Solder the resistor to Pin 3 and Pin 4 of the IC.
Even if it is not necessary you can also solder the diode (in parallel to the resistor) to Pin 3 and Pin 4 of the IC.
This will make a nice saw tooth wave sound.

Step 5: Solar Cell and Case 1

Picture of Solar Cell and Case 1

Take the red and black wire.
Solder the black wire to the solar cell (-) and the red wire to the solar cell (+).
Drill a hole into case 1 and make sure that the there is enough space to fix the solar cell with a Double-sided sticky-tape.

Step 6: Solar Cell and IC

Picture of Solar Cell and IC

Solder the black wire of the solar cell (-) to Pin 7 of the IC (-)
Solder the red wire of the solar cell (+)to Pin 8 of the IC (+)

Step 7: Long Wire and IC

Picture of Long Wire and IC

The 50 cm to 70 cm long wire is the speaker cable.
Take it and strip of bough ends of the isolation.
Solder (-) to Pin 7 of the IC (-)
Solder (+) to Pin 4 of the IC

Step 8: Case 2 and Piezo Speaker

Picture of Case 2 and Piezo Speaker

Drill a hole in case 2.
Solder wire (+) to piezo speaker (+) red.
Solder wire (-) to piezo speaker (-) black.
Put the piezo speakers inside.

Test your urban cricket by holding the solar cell into light.
If you here some chirping sounds your urban cricket is alive!

Step 9: Toss It!

Picture of Toss It!

Now let’s toss it!
…as high as you can….
And send me a picture and the location of your urban cricket.

Any problems?
Don’t hesitate to contact me!
At least I can send you a ready-made Urban Cricket for free.


Follow Sound Tossing activities under:


Sound circuit inspired by Ralf Schreiber


JohnC20 (author)2015-06-18

Best thing to try is using old tennis shoes lined with foil for sound travel and light catching. This less disturbing to people than seeing boxes hanging around.

tzq33tdq (author)2012-06-04

do you have a schematic?

soundfiti (author)tzq33tdq2012-06-05

Look... here is a new version of a more sophisticated urban cricket...
incl. schematic...

RetroPlayer (author)2011-08-03

All this guerilla art is likely to do is cause laws to be made to jail and fine people vandalizing and harassing the public. And do not own the streets. We have a government, which we the people created and fund to manage our streets to protect us from obnoxious, self-centered, self-interested people like these guerilla artists.

Sorry, but I would be one of those people saying 'send him to jail.' You have a right to express yourself and say whatever you want, but that doesn't mean there will not be consequences.

This idea is simply obnoxious. It's not art when you force it upon me. It's harassment.

snotty (author)RetroPlayer2011-12-22

Yeah! It's true there's a whole army of crickets by my house. They really should go to jail, damn insects.

Frogs too.

DeanGallegos (author)RetroPlayer2011-08-11

I couldn't agree more

djbarista (author)2011-08-12

haters gonna hate,

R.A.T.M (author)djbarista2011-08-29


srilyk (author)2011-08-02

Boston isn't exactly the most descriminating city. But then again, this doesn't have a lite brite attached so maybe they'll ignore it

srilyk (author)2011-08-02

Just don't use these in Boston... ;)

teknojo (author)2011-07-28

This is an interesting concept. I would have liked to read your July 25th reply in your first post. The idea of this being implemented in response to those area noise deterrents for people under a certain age is cool. The idea of this being deployed randomly, not so cool. Art for the sake of annoyance without a purpose is just annoyance.

I must also agree that in the current state of the world rigging one of these is dangerous for you. Please remember in Boston where Turner Broadcasting put out weird little electronic devices that people thought were bombs.

soundfiti (author)teknojo2011-08-01

Thanks! I'm really careful by choosing Sound Tossing locations.

I didn't know about this curious incident in Boston.
Wiki says "It is not known why the devices took police several weeks to notice, nor why the devices were believed to be dangerous."

teknojo (author)soundfiti2011-08-01

The fact that they were identified as potential explosive devices is still considered by many, including myself, as somewhat silly.

But the average person on the street is likely to be excitable, particularly when it comes to things like weird looking/sounding electronics.

It would suck if your act of peaceful social protest landed you in a cell for a night and or a large bill for city services including bomb disposal.

Still a nifty device. Good luck with it!

sdcharle (author)2011-07-28

Nice, I like this one better than v1. Cost is a bit lower and it's simpler.

soundfiti (author)sdcharle2011-08-01

Yes, and it's easy to change frequencies by using different capacitors, resistors and piezo-speakers. Good luck!

londobali (author)2011-07-30

Nice job!!!
i'll try to make it if i can find the parts in this part of the world...

and some funny comments you've been collecting there.. lol..

nothing that small and simple will cause an alarm, who would be terrified at a simple speaker making chripping noise??
and if i understand correctly, it's far from annoying, cricket sound would be a lovely ambiance sound.. rather than hearing other peoples' thoughts... :)

keep posting man!

soundfiti (author)londobali2011-08-01


I'm really afraid that this safety paranoia will spill over to Europe.

you got it! Crickets are good luck!

tjesse (author)2011-07-28

Put it in a pair of shoes. Although, wind chimes would be more acceptable to the public if you wanted sound art. But I know nothing about art I just like commenting on stuff.

soundfiti (author)tjesse2011-08-01

Good idea! But I'll stick to my speaker objects... everyone should know it's about sound.

Arsaces (author)2011-07-28

I am not understanding the point of the project. I am a person who is pretty observant when I go walking around, I listen to everything, and if I were to hear something like that on the streets it would do nothing but annoy me and make me want to leave.

soundfiti (author)Arsaces2011-08-01

The idea is to develop an alternative type of street art that uses sound as a medium of creative expression in a public space.

hodavame (author)2011-07-28

I really like the idea!!
But we need a circuit to produce a softer sound, like cricket 1 with fewer components. This cricket 2 sounds like an alarm, and many people can be scary.

soundfiti (author)hodavame2011-08-01

I´ll experiment with different capacitors, resistors and piezo-speaker to produce a softer sound.... people will love it!

crapier (author)2011-07-28

I noticed that they have a 'be nice' comment policy so I'll try to 'be nice' while still figuring out why anyone would think something like this is constructive or useful in anyway:
So is the idea to start a conversation?
A conversation with who?
What does one hope to achieve with this conversation?
Wouldn't it make more sense to start a conversation with the people deploying the mosquito devices?
Or, alternative, making people aware of which locations are using them and encouraging people not to patronize these places?
Are you really trying to start a conversation or are you just doing something you think is 'neat' and trying to pass it off as 'art' in order to steal some sort of validity and post facto justification for doing this?
What are your real goals and reasons for this? Explaining this in English as opposed to artist statement-ese would be helpful.

soundfiti (author)crapier2011-08-01

So is the idea to start a conversation?
The idea is to develop an alternative type of street art that uses sound as a medium of creative expression in a public space.

Wouldn't it make more sense to start a conversation with the people deploying the mosquito devices?
The mosquito sound system was just an example how sound is used to oppress people.

Are you really trying to start a conversation or are you just doing something you think is 'neat' and trying to pass it off as 'art' in order to steal some sort of validity and post facto justification for doing this?
I think developing and sharing audio devices like the urban cricket is a good start to question the use of sound in urban space. Sound Tossing is not a careful consideration but subtly provocation.

Sorry for my bad english.... if you want we can switch to german.

Kiteman (author)2011-07-24

(Watches news feeds for reports of suspicious devices causing terrorism panics.)

soundfiti (author)Kiteman2011-07-24

Let me know if you find something about devices hanging from overhead wires!

ironorr84 (author)soundfiti2011-07-25

Shoes can be easily identified, and therefore the general public won't be in panic if a tied up pair of shoes are strung over wires. However, a strange looking device emanating weird noises? That's going to get a different reaction.

Plus, it's a pretty dangerous and stupid act of entangling anything on overhead wires. I know your picture shows it on a pole, but the way this device is built suggests that it be flung and caught on anything overhead, including the wires off telephone poles. I just hope to God that when and if someone flings this device and catches the power line, they don't get hurt and the power outrage isn't for long for the surrounding area.

IMO, this isn't art's an irritant. The noises this device is only capable of producing would be obnoxious at best. You insult true artist in their own media by calling this art.

soundfiti (author)ironorr842011-07-25

Well, thanks for the constructive criticism! I'll keep your inspiring comments in mind.
Let introduce some new terms: "Street Art" "Sound Art" "Guerilla Art"
and yes, I studied fine art!

shantinath1000 (author)soundfiti2011-07-25

Please don't take my comment the wrong way- I think the idea is very clever - I just think that people should have a choice about some things-- Imagine that you work nights and someone puts this up outside your house. I am all for art and expressing ones self- as long as it does not impinge on another persons rights as well.

OK- not to beat a dead horse-- i just checked out your other video- the ambient noise in that setting was so much that the cricket was hardly noticed- that was a great example (to me) of how this would work as an art installation. I see your point- I just don't think the "frame" suits the "picture" in the second video.

soundfiti (author)shantinath10002011-07-25

Sound Tossing is a resistance movement. It is aimed a countering the dominance of acoustic advertising and new sound security tools intended to prevent young people from congregating in specific areas such as in public places and outside shops. Sound Tossing is instead a subtle sound intervention. It impacts and alters the normal course of urban life while encouraging discussion of topics such as acoustic overstimulation and public well-being. Moreover, Sound Tossing increases public awareness of the acoustic environment.

sipsake (author)soundfiti2011-07-28

Opposing acoustic advertising by sound tossing is like opposing the war by shooting civilians.

I've found an mp3 player and headphones to be a terrific (and non-intrusive) way of battling noise pollution, acoustic advertising, and tribal rainbow warrior acoustic arteests.

If I want to encourage a discussion on acoustic overstimulation, then I walk into the pub and say, "Gosh, it certainly is noisy outside these days, and that insipid chirping certainly isn't helping. What say we find the bloke who tossed the speakers in the tree and discuss with him his public well-being."

soundfiti (author)sipsake2011-08-01

What an extraordinary comparison! I have to mention your comment in my master thesis.

ironorr84 (author)soundfiti2011-07-26

I Googled "Street Art", and I looked at the images it produced. Strangely, many of the images were of the kind where it's an optical illution. I've seen these, and read many stories about the artists, especially the artist who made it popular. I think they are really creative and very well done, but these artists still need to be responsible and get permission to create this art on the streets! Either from the owners of the privately areas, or the city government. Otherwise, no matter how awesome it may be, it's vandalism...a crime, and that should be shameful to anyone who continues to do it.

Googled Sound Art. Got a good feeling that this form of art is hard to categorize. The images suggests that sound art could be anything, from what colored liquids look like when they are photographed as they are bouncing on a speaker, to old vinyls glued together to look like a wave from an ocean. The examples I would think would be true "Sound art" would be neat to experience. Like the array of speakers in a room. Definitely better then 7.1 Surround sound...more like 18.1 it looks like, lol. That would be awesome to hear.

Finally Googled Guerrilla Art. This is something I actually like to a point. This stuff can be insanely creative, and usually has a point that suppose to send a clear message the artists is trying to say. I like the stuff...sometimes I love it. Just as long as it's not infringing on anyone's property or rights. I don't think it's right for anyone to mark up and deface property that someone has paid for and owns, or a place that is public property. If it's public, they should still be respectful and responsible enough to go and get the proper permissions to display this art, and to again, be responsible enough to remove it after a certain amount of time...

What I'm trying to point out is that this device, while it may be considered art to one and an irritant to another, still has the design to be used in an irresponsible and defacing fashion. Even if your intentions are to mean no harm, and to try to enlighten any passer-byes, 99% out of the time it'll be just tossed up with no respect to property. Plus, the intentions suggests that your "audience" will be pleased that it's can this be? Most may not notice it's there, or will see/hear it and not care. Out of hundreds of ppl passing by, I can only believe that a small few will be positively effected by it.

I understand, "one man's art is another mans irritant!" comment. But by nature, this thing will be displayed irresponsibly and with little positive effect.

An irritant most will say.

shantinath1000 (author)ironorr842011-07-25

while I agree with much of what you say (including that the noise is is irritating) I would like to point out that one man's art is another mans irritant! I would most certainly not want that thing hanging outside my window! While art can take many forms -not all of which I like- I find this work problematic in that the people subjected to the noise are not being subjected to it by THEIR choice but rather having it forced on them. This (for me) crosses the line from art to noise pollution. Having said that, I would like to add that this a very clever use of the IC chip.

DavidKaine (author)2011-07-31

Congrats on your fairly well made, well documented instructable. However, I agree with the majority of other commenters that the solution to unwanted urban noise is not to add yet another noisemaking device to the mix. If it played a bit of classical music occasionally, that would be one thing, but a device that does nothing other than, as I understand it, chirp like a smoke detector with a bad battery (universally agreed upon as one of the most irritating sounds in the known universe) is downright acoustically malicious.

I also disagree with your statement that the streets belong to the people - the streets belong to the municipalities that spent the money to build them for our convenience and spend money (our money!) to keep them maintained, clean, and free of debris (silent or otherwise) strewn about. The areas surrounding the streets also belong to the people or businesses who purchased the property. I'm pretty sure that a cafe with outdoor seating would be pretty unhappy with a noisemaking device like this sitting where it can disturb, discomfort and drive away paying customers.

dguerin hanlon (author)2011-07-29

i thought this was for playing a game of cricket

agis68 (author)dguerin hanlon2011-07-29

yeah me too and I

Damascene (author)2011-07-28

The thing about guerilla art is that the creator must also accept that it may well be destroyed. In fact, its destruction at the hands of the public or the authorities is intrinsic to its nature and does not devalue it. It's why I get so angry when councils decide to protect street art they deem to be valuable. All art like this is essentially transgressive and that's a good thing.

soundfiti (author)Damascene2011-07-28

That's a good point!

Damascene (author)soundfiti2011-07-28


I like the idea actually, but I can also see why lots of people would find it annoying and definitely NOT art. But so long as it's not dangerous or seriously annoying (near someone's bedroom or something) I don't think that really matters. It's not going to last long anyway....the batteries will run out, the cops will remove it, or someone will lob a shoe at it.

What would be much worse is if you got really famous and people started selling their houses at a premium with a "genuine soundfiti work" When that happens (I'm thinking of Banksy here) it's all over!

zurkuhlenm (author)Damascene2011-07-28

i think as soon as someone steps up and says it's not art, it begins a discussion and a reaction to the piece which instantly makes it art.

the street artist JR has a good Ted Talk, and (i'm paraphrasing) he tells this story: he was in a slum in Africa somewhere and was pasting his pictures. A crowd formed and newcomers would be informed by people who had been standing there what was going on. One man walked up and said 'what is this? this isn't art. they're just people's eyes. i don't think this is art.' to which a man standing next to him said 'since you've been standing here, what have you been thinking about? not the food you don't have. not the lack of water here. you've been thinking about this man and his work. and that is art'

i love art. and i think what makes it so appealing is that behind all art was a definite series of actions carried out by another person. Nature is beautiful but art is the outpouring of natural human creativity that binds us.

iwoodinspire (author)2011-07-25

lol. There is an emergency light that lost its power at the store, and it beeps incessantly like this. I quit going to the store, it's been beeping for like 2 weeks! Absolute torture.

soundfiti (author)iwoodinspire2011-07-25

go to the store! Talk to the shop assistant if you feel annoyed...

mu_humpy02 (author)soundfiti2011-07-27

Who does one talk to about the noisy cricket noise come from the overhead wires.

soundfiti (author)mu_humpy022011-07-27

You can talk to everyone and start a discussion about noise pollution. And now you are talking to me. But as already mentioned in our discussion, most people even don’t notice this small device and its chirps.

“I hear a lot of cars and honking, better then my neighborhood full of the sound of shots and screaming. You must not live in a city. Adding sound to a city street is like using a flashlight at noon, only those who know what you're doing will really notice it. “Crabby 9. April 2011

And it is really not made to annoy your neighbors!
Look…these are alarming tendencies

iwoodinspire (author)soundfiti2011-07-28

Fair enough. I'm not trying to anger or offend you, I just thought the idea to be amusing because it reminded me of that local store near me.

Carry on, eccentric one :)

The Papier Boy (author)2011-07-24

Urban cricket 1 can be made in an hour and cricket 2 in 30min?

soundfiti (author)The Papier Boy2011-07-24

Yes! less part, less soldering... that makes the work much easier!
I can do it in 10 min, but if you rebuild it, let me know if 30 min are too ambitious.

About This Instructable




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