Annoying Autonomous Rickrolling Device (For April Fools' Day)

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About: Winter Guerra, is a student living in Queens NY. He commutes every day to his school in Brooklyn and likes to, aside from hacking random stuff, read dystopian sci-fi novels and work in the theater in his spa...
 

Have you ever wanted to Rickroll somebody very important for hours while sitting in a comfortable non-culpable vantage point where you can watch all the fun? Do you also want extra points for only using some salvaged old parts (an old Arduino, $6 Chipcorder and a speaker) augmented with less than $10 of stuff from RadioShack? Do you want it to be able to (theoretically) endure some aggravated Rick Astley fueled rage and abuse before finally failing for maximum hilarity? High five! You think just like me!

I was originally going to pull this prank on my high school biology teacher for April Fools' Day, but had to change my plans at the last minute. My Biology teacher had already anticipated the prank (with what I can only fathom must have been his mind reading ninjutsu), and instead suggested that I pull this prank on the Dean of the upper-middle school. Since I was personal friends with the Dean, I knew that he would in no way be offended by the prank, but actually thought that he might actually enjoy the novelty of the prank.

Therefore, on the morning of April Fool's day, I took out my computer and set the current time and date on the Rickroll device (Codenamed "The Cinnamon Shaker") using an Arduino serial prompt. I made sure to set a trigger time sufficiently ahead of lunchtime to ensure that the Dean would still be in his office for the start of the prank; I didn't want him to miss it! Using a pinch of Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder, I hid the box in its new home in a obscure corner of the room.

I am glad to say that the device worked flawlessly. Even though the Dean was unable to shut off the device and had to shut it in a desk drawer with the speaker propped against the inside of the drawer to muffle the noise, he was really amused with the prank! He did admit that enduring an hour worth of Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" was not exactly enjoyable, but was alright since the device automatically shutoff due to an one hour anti-excessive-cruelty timer. More than one hour, and some particular metal box might have found itself defenestrated onto the street below.

Warning: This device is incredibly devious and annoying. It should not be used on somebody who cannot take a joke or who doesn't know what Rickrolling is. It might get you fired or yelled at. I am not responsible or liable in any way for how you use the information and Arduino sketches in this Instructable.

For all of you who do not know what Rickrolling is, this Wikipedia page sums it up quite nicely: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rickrolling

Drop me a line in the comments if you need any help with anything!

Update: Video coming soon! (I just need time to edit it and fix the sound quality.)

Update: The video is now up!!! Enjoy!!!!

Step 1: Parts List

For this prank we will need:

--From the Internet:

- An Arduino, Freeduino or equivalent (See note at bottom for Barebones Arduinos/Freeduinos alternatives) Price varies.

- ChipCorder I16-COB20 demo board from Winbond. Available from Digikey under part number: I16-COB20-ND $5.32
http://parts.digikey.com/1/parts/406898-board-demo-isd1620-i16-cob20.html

--From RadioShack/Hardware Tinkerer store:

- Pack of 10K resistors (although we only need two) $0.99

- 8Ohm speaker (I salvaged mine from a old tape recorder) $2.99

- Pack of 5 9V battery snap connectors (although we only need 3 or 4) $2.99

- Aluminum project enclosure $2.99

- NPN 5V Transistor (I used the TIP3055) $1.79

*A note about barebones Arduinos/Freeduinos: They must have a 5V voltage regulator that can use 9V batteries (Awww! No Diavolinos?). They also need to have a 3.3V output pin along with a 16Mhz crystal (not resonator!) to work for this project.

Step 2: Solder Together the Components (deadbug Style!)

 Here's how the prank is going to work:
There will be an Arduino, ChipCorder, Transistor, speaker and batteries inside of a aluminum box. This box should be planted inside of the target area the morning of the prank (or the day before) but you will first have to set the current time and date using a computer hooked up to the USB port. You will also take this time to choose a target time and set it via the computer. Come April Fools' Day, at the set time of the prank, the Arduino will trigger the device and the ChipCorder will play a 20-40 second loop of a song which, in this case, is Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up"  a well known Internet meme.

  By looking at the schematic and manual of the ChipCorder we can see that the PlayE playback button is hooked up to pin 3 on the ChipCorder and must be pulled low to trigger playback. Therefore we must connect the Collector of the NPN transistor to pin 3 of the ChipCorder and the Emitter of the transistor to ground on the Arduino while also connecting the Base of the transistor to Digital Pin 2 on the Arduino with a 10K resistor. We then must add a 10K pulldown resistor between the Emitter and Base of the transistor to make sure that the Base of the transistor does not float high unless we explicitly pull it high. This setup will cause the NPN transistor to allow current to flow beween pin 3 on the ChipCorder to ground triggering playback when the Arduino pulls Digital Pin 2 high.

Now we connect the power input pins of the ChipCorder to the 3.3V and Ground output pins on the Arduino and also connect the positive terminal of the 8 ohm speaker (Red wire) and the negative terminal to the SP+ and SP- pins on the ChipCorder (respectively).

Now solder the battery snaps leads together inparallel not series for added battery capacity. This means that all the red wires are soldered together and all the black wires are soldered together. When done soldering the wires together, plug the positive wire into the Vin port on the Arduino and the negative to ground. You might have to solder on a small breadboard wire here to plug into the power ports as the bundled wires would be too thick. 

Don't forget to set the power input jumper on the Arduino to EXT to power the board off of the 9V batteries!

Step 3: Prepare the Aluminum Indestructobox!

Lay out the Arduino and all of the components (including the speaker and batteries) inside of the aluminum box and mark their positions with a quick scratch from a screwdriver. A Sharpie also works but is more noticeable than a few screwdriver scratches.

Proceed to drill out some holes for the speaker and also a square hole for the USB port. I used a power drill and metal file to create the USB port hole.

Beware of inhaling metal dust! It is extremely advisable to do this part outside with a respirator or other adequate filtration device. Take my advice, you do not want to breathe this stuff. I inhaled a small amount of dust by accident and it irritated my lungs for many hours.

Beware of sharp edges! It might also be advisable to smooth any rough and sharp edges you come across with a metal file so that your April Fools' victim does not become a victim of a deep laceration!


Here is what it should look like after all of the drilling and filing: (See pictures)

Step 4: Insulate the Electronics

Insulate all of the exposed bits of wire using black electrical tape and then insulate all the exposed pins on the bottom of the circuit boards with globs of hot glue. The Indestructobox is made out of metal and therefore conducts electricity, well... Like metal!! Really bad things could happen if all of the pins on the bottoms of the circuit boards are not insulated properly (think shorted-out batteries and magic blue smoke).

Step 5: It's Like Packing a Tiny Suitcase!

Carefully pack all of the electronics inside of the case and glue it all securely in place! You do not want any electronics flying around inside the case should somebody decide to smash the device on the ground. Remember! More glue = more time Rickrolling.

Step 6: Almost There! Upload the Software Via USB Serial.

Upload the Arduino Sketch that can be found at my Github repository here: https://github.com/xtremd/Rickrolling-Arduino-Sketch  by using the Arduino IDE found here: http://arduino.cc/en/Main/Software  
Enter in the password "hahaha" (Without quotes) into the Arduino serial terminal and the Arduino will prompt you for the current time and date before also prompting you for the target time and date. After you are done entering the information required, unplug the USB cable.

Step 7: Laugh Like a Mad Scientist

That's it! Done! Laugh like a mad scientist and hide your new April Fools' Rickrolling annoyance device! (Preferably when someone isn't looking!)

Have a Happy April Fools' Day and Happy Rickrolling!

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    50 Discussions

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    vincent7520

    4 years ago on Introduction

    Why do you link us to a private video we can't see ???

    Where's the fun ?

    0
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    Robot Lover

    7 years ago on Introduction

    if you replaced the mic on the recorder with a stereo jack you could plug it into the headphone port on your computer, then the sound would be cleaner.

    5 replies
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    johnseweRobot Lover

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Hey, interested in trying this project. Is it possible to completely eliminate the need for the chipcorder and load the music file directly onto an sd card for the arduino to read? (this is my first big boy project with arduino, so forgive my lack of knowledge)

    0
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    winterfreshjohnsewe

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Hello again!

    It is not currently possible to play music off of an SD card with only a stock Arduino but it is possible if you use something like LadyAda's Wave Shield for the Arduino. Take a look here for the shield: http://www.adafruit.com/products/94

    You could also look at my other instructable where I make a talking robot head to see how I used a Wave Shield to play audio files using an Arduino. It would require some changes to the Rickroll code but is definitely possible. Here take a look:
    https://www.instructables.com/id/Build-an-Arduino-powered-talking-robot-head/

    Goodluck!

    -XtremD

    It is possible to play sounds with a lonely Arduino, but not that anyone has done that with an SD card. This one loads it from the internal flash:
    http://playground.arduino.cc/Code/PCMAudio

    0
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    Robot Loverjohnsewe

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I saw a project one time that communicated directly to an SD card using a PIC microcontroller to play music. Perhaps a little try googling PIC SD card reader or something of the like.

    0
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    VirtualBoxer

    5 years ago on Introduction

    What? It doesn't mean there are ten thousand resistors in the package. It just means the resistors are rated for ten thousand ohms.

    0
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    winterfreshChowmix12

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    There is now a link to my Github Repository that is hosting the code in step 6. Apparently Instructables.com does not like people uploading code in zip files and the code never got uploaded.

    Thanks for pointing this out!

    -XtremD

    0
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    Chowmix12winterfresh

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    The link still doesn't work. Here's the correct link: https://github.com/xtremd/Rickrolling-Arduino-sketch/blob/master/RickRollAlarmR2.pde

    0
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    winterfreshChowmix12

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Huh, I've never noticed that the "Git Read-Only" link that Github gives you does not direct you to the Github repo's splashpage. (*Facepalm* Well obviously! The link ends in .git! it's only meant for public pulls/merges!) I've now added the real HTML link to the repo's splashpage (only one level down from your link) in step 6.

    Thanks a million sir! You deserve a medal for your efforts.

    XtremD

    0
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    winterfreshChowmix12

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Yes, and congrats on your age 13-18 win! It's nice to see someone else here who is in the same age group as me doing the same awesome robotic stuff! Keep it up! Also, are you planning on entering in the Adafruit contest?

    0
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    Chowmix12winterfresh

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I am not.. I want to focus on my projects right now and I have a huge list to attend to after school gets out.