PC-B-Gone V1

Introduction: PC-B-Gone V1

I really like the TV-B-Gone and thought it would be neat to create a similar prank like device. What i have created is a USB device that can trigger several actions on a computer, the idea being you have this device plugged into a computer you are wishing to prank and then you trigger the device and it then will preform a variety of operations including but not limited to.
  • Closing the active window on the computer. (this is what i use on the demo)
  • Locking the computer screen
  • bringing up the the Ctrl-Alt-Del screen
  • Shutting down the computer
  • move the mouse around the screen
  • type something out
  • Anything else you can do with a keyboard/mouse
I will be playing around in the future to give it more options(this is only version 1) and different methods of triggering but for this first device i have it triggering a single operation using a photocell(a resistor that's resistance value changes with the amount of light hitting it) And i will be using a laser pointer to trigger the device. 

This idea came to me after watching Irongeek's Defcon presentation on the Teensy i would encorage you to check out his page on the teensy as well as the talk he gave over it: Here is his page

Please note: This is meant as a prank, and its funny to close a friends facebook page from accrost the room sure... not so funny to close someones term paper night before its due so keep this in mind before use, i hold no responciblity for any harm that may befall you in inproper use :P

Step 1: Supplies

Supplies needed
  • Teensy(any teensy will work i'm using the 2.0, available here http://www.pjrc.com/teensy/)
  • Photocell(10k Ohm)
  • Enclosure(I am using an Altoids tin although there are much smaller less conspicuous ones you can use) 
  • Cable(USB A male to USB B mini)
  • Computer to program it
  • Resistor(10k)
  • Hook up wire
  • zip tie
  • Hotglue gun
  • Duct tape
  • Drill w/ bits

Nice to have
  • Female header pins to attach to teensy
  • Prototype board/male header pins

Step 2: Installing Software

The device will work on most all computers without any software, but you will need to install some in order to program the device.
If you have already used the Arduino software there is a simple plugin that allows you to use that software for programming the teensy.
Please refer to the teensy's website for further information: http://www.pjrc.com/teensy/index.html
If you have the arduino software already installed there's a simple installer to add in the teensy board to the arduino software. 

Step 3: Assembling the Hardware

  1. First drill two holes in the Altoids case, the first for the USB cable, the 2nd for the photocell.
  2. Next we cut the end off the usb cable off, run it thought the hole and then reattach the end. Make sure to put heat shrink on the cable before resoldering them together
  3. Next we solder wires to the photocell, mount in to Altoids tin using hotglue, and cover its leads with heatshrink/tape to prevent shorting
  4. Attach Resistor to teensy (refer to schematic)  
  5. Attach Photocell to teensy (refer to schematic)  
  6. zip tie USB cable on both sides of the tin, this will prevent it being pulled out/pushed in
  7. Line the inside of the Altoids tin with duct tape to prevent shorting
  8. plug in USB cable
Refer to the notes on each picture for a better idea of whats going on. 

Step 4: Program the Teensy

Attached is a simple program i have, simply write it to the teensy using the software installed in step 2.
  1. Plug in the teensy device to a usb port.
  2. Copy attached code into the arduino development environment.
  3. Click the verify button in the arduino software(looks like a play button)
  4. You will be Promoted to push the reset button on the teensy, do so.
  5. The program will then write the software to the teensy
In the code attached it makes the teensy send the ALT-F4 command when enough light hits the photocell. It is very simple to change this command from ALT-F4 to any other keyboard or mouse command you wish, so dont be limited by my example play around there is TONS more that can be done, this is just a real short example to get you started :) 

Step 5: All Done!

Ok now were all done, time to test. As you can see in the video as i use the laser pointer to trigger the devices photocell.

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    Jamie Toeg
    Jamie Toeg

    6 years ago

    Is there any way of making one of these with an arduino?

    Have you thought of using some sort of rf remote so you do not have to try to shoot a laser pointer across the room to his a small target?


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Yes i have thought of that, a bit easier solution is to install a IR receiver then set it up to use a IR remote control to trigger functions I am working towards a 2nd version of this project that will focus more on some more advanced code rather then the hardware side of it, but i do like your RF idea and maybe down the road something along those lines will be added.