Gaming at Work? Secret Panic Button!




About: A Northern Ireland based maker with a propensity to cause trouble and freshly constructed family.
Your fingers are pounding on the board at such a speed it sounds like a single note, your score's flying towards your hi-score, a bead of sweat runs down your brow as you twist those blocks in to the perfect spot all the while keeping an eye out for the boss. BAM another four rows with a long brick, the BEEP BEEP BEEP sounds like victory as the wall crashes down, along with your previous record.

You've already got the next set lined up, you slam a square brick in to place when you see it - your stomach drops, your skin prickles and you imagine the scenario playing out already, all in a nanosecond, the wiley old man has seen all your tricks, no shortcut can save you now.

You calmly reach over and tap on your biscuits. The browser's closed, your spreadsheet on the cost analysis report for the filing system of the accounting department is sitting there, as uninteresting and soul crushing as ever, but you know, you know that you've shattered your favourite score, enjoyed honing your tetris skills on their time and you aren't caught.

You too can live this life now!

This little button is essentially an Alt+F4 button, you can use this technique to make any button or buttons you want and it'll work on any computer* you need it to with no installation.

You can read more stuff like this on my website - including my Blog which makes as much sense as I do. 


*This is true, though PS/2-USB adapter may be needed.  

Step 1: Materials Etc.

You'll need: 

 - An old keyboard, this one donated to my CAPS LOCK KEY BADGE after it broke from being in the dishwasher
 - Tin Foil 
 - Glue
 - Scissors
 - Bits of wire - use single core if you have it - I grabbed an already chopped USB cable to scavenge wire and stranded is far trickier for this
 - some card
 - A crisp packet/biscuits pack/envelope - an appropriate hiding vessel

Step 2: Wires!

I'm not sure what keyboards are like in terms of uniformity but I've marked the pins you need in the image below... 

Until the image notes bug is fixed just look at where the wires are coming out of, those are the ones you want. 

This is a Dell USB keyboard from a few years ago. 

If you want to make a different purpose button or have a differently made keyboard you'll need to trace the pins combinations yourself, it's not hard but it's boring... 

If you find a keyboard with wired keyswitches you're in luck, you can make this thing in a single step by only keeping the two switches... 

I threaded the wires through the holes above the pin connectors and just twisted them up and glued them, mainly because I couldn't find my solder and this works fine since they're under no strain really and they take up the entire hole meaning constant solid contact... 

Step 3: Start the Switch

Cut one of the squishy spring things from the keyboard's innards and a piece of card. 

Leave some flat space on the spring for sticking it on later. 

Step 4: Pokin' Holes

Poke four holes in the card and thread the wires through them. 

Step 5: Tin Time!

Glue four pieces of tin foil, one for each corner over the wires. 

They should almost meet in the middle. 

Now glue a piece of foil in to the springy thing's bottom as shown... 

It should be wide enough to span the gaps between all four... 

Step 6: Assemble the Button

Glue the spring over the tin foil contacts like the picture. 

Plug it in to the computer and test it out on an open window... 

Should do the trick - if not check all your connections... 

Step 7: Hiding It.

Cut a hole in the bottom or back of your chosen hiding place and thread the USB cable through it... 

Now pull it through and arrange inside. 

If you're having trouble hiding it you can always tape the wires down - same for the USB cable... 



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    91 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    And someday when you are paying workers to do their job - will you fire people who use this at work?

    3 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I was thinking the same thing... I guess some people really don't realize what roll they play in a company, or that their job is still important.

    Good side to that is, if you're gaming all the time that you need a panic button, then you likely don't have the throughput to keep the job anyways for a extended period of time.

    I just don't get why this ible couldn't have said "Never get caught watching porn" or something like that, at least then people wouldn't be getting the idea it's a good practice to game at work.

    Good ible, horrible application in my opinion


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Just saw this comment, well the last line mostly. I was going to go down the porn route instead but I wanted to write a fun intro and going in to detail about that probably would've been kinda nasty... Plus family site, so...


    7 years ago on Introduction

    This is entirely meant to be positive and constructive. While I understand the lightheartedness of your post, I'll bet there is someone in your area who'd love to actually do what you are paid to do and not play games instead. ;^) Someday when running a biz of your own and trying to find good help you may understand what I'm getting at. Not trying to be mean, but several months of unemployment have changed my outlook on people "pretending to work". It isn't a matter of not getting caught, it is a matter of either earning your paycheck, or getting it through a confidence scam and who/what you want to see in the mirror. When your job goes to India or China you will have plenty of time to think on what you could have done differently. This is entirely meant to be positive and constructive and to save you and those readers who could damage their incomes some grief.

    1 reply

    It is entirely lighthearted, I don't work in an office in fact I work for myself at the moment, certainly slacking at work is a bad thing, especially for your job security - at the moment I'm job hunting for something for some extra work (a steady paycheck is hard not to miss) and I won't be playing games at work...


    8 years ago on Step 7

    if you make a foot pedal out of it, it will be even more hidden. Great Instructable though

    3 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 7

    Yeah it's been mentioned a lot in comments - my thought is that sticking it under the desk as a knee button would also be good...


    Reply 7 years ago on Step 7

    But if you needed to hit it with your knee wouldn't your boss ask why you just spasmed and banged under your desk???


    Reply 7 years ago on Step 7

    It doesn't need to be hit hard, granted if you freak it's just going to look really weird... Not so much suspect


    8 years ago on Introduction

    doom? what if someone trys to clean it up? also, what if you hit it by mistake?
    several companys make foot pedles that can be programed so when you hit it, a command is sent.......

    3 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    This site is about building and making things. You can buy everything under the sun, or you can make it, which is way more fun. And that rhymed, so It has to be true! =)

    About half the pedals I've seen need installed - also this is made from a dead keyboard which most people can find easily so no money down.

    The not needing installed and being a standard keyboard to the computer means that it's more likely to work in work too...