Stop That Annoying Boombox!




Introduction: Stop That Annoying Boombox!

About: I've been taking things apart since I was 10. My mother wasn't impressed, even though I told her I knew how to put it back together... I've been making things since I picked up my first soldering iron (By Th...

Have you ever had a coworker that insisted on playing his/her boombox way too loud, or plays the most annoying music imaginable? Or worse yet, both?? Sure you have. Here's a way to send a not-too-gentle hint to said coworker that not everyone shares his tastes.

This assumes you've already politely asked him to turn the #%$ thing down, and gotten no response. If he's rude enough to play his music like that, he's also rude enough to ignore your requests for peace and quiet.

Unlike another trick I once considered (Using super glue on the volume knob), this will do no permanent damage to the noise bully, or his execrable equipment. The best part is that all you need is a tiny piece of transparent tape, and about a minute of time when he's away.

Step 1: Find Where It Plugs In

This will only work with things that are plugged in to AC power. Follow the cord to the outlet.

Step 2: Wait Till the Coworker Is Out of the Room

Wait until your coworker is out of earshot; This will only take a few seconds, so you shouldn't have to wait long for an opportunity.

Unplug the previously located plug.

Step 3: Get Some REAL Tape

This prank works much better if you use the transparent tape (The stuff that's clear and shiny), rather than the "Magic" tape. Magic tape is too easy to see, and more importantly, it's pretty flimsy. The clear stuff is a lot stronger.

Clear packaging tape will probably work too.

Step 4: Apply the Tape

Pull off an inch or so of the tape, and neatly wrap it around one prong of the AC plug. (No need to do both prongs, but you can if you want to!) Wrap it all the way around the prong once or twice. If you put it on neatly and don't leave a "tail," it will be virtually un-noticable. This forms an insulating layer that will prevent the radio from getting any power.

Step 5: Plug It Back In, and Enjoy the Silence!

Now, all you have to do is plug it back in the way you found it, and try not to smile when the coworker tries to figure out what's wrong! At some point in time, you might want to magically "fix" it, otherwise the jerk might just throw it away and buy another one. Then again, it depends on how big of a jerk he is...

Note: This may not work well in industrial-type outlets because they grip the prongs much more aggressively and may pierce the tape. Works well in household-type outlets, though.

If you like this and try it, post an "I made it" and first person gets a 3 month pro membership!

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24 Discussions

Build your OWN bigger boombox which is actually an anti-phase amplifier in disguise. Then you can nullifiy the noise they are making without touching their machine. And NO, I don't know how to build one. - Alternatives would be an amplifier disguised as a boombox with a slight delay or echo. Place it nearby. The resultant cacophony will stop them playing their music.

1 reply

I made it.
Thanks this is the kind of helpful simple stuff I love to find on this site

I have a variation on this at step two instead of wrapping tape around the plug just put the boom box in the recycling.

1 reply

Sure, that's an option, but as I stated in the intro, I don't like doing permanent damage to bullies or their equipment.

Great idea! If I can add. Piece of advice; if you find a polarized plug where one prong is taller than the other; wrap the smaller prong. The smaller prong carries the live power while the other prong is the much safer neutral. Interrupting the power before it leaves the outlet is the safest way to pull this trick off successfully.

3 replies

I actually disagree - In your example it might be fine; but in someone else's application of your instructable it might not. When you block the neutral; electricity still has the potential to flow into the device. If something happens; ie the annoying dude playing the boombox too loud opens it up (without uplugging it!) and starts poking around inside it - if they create a ground then electricity can flow and leave by the new ground; maybe the guy's finger; arm; chest; leg etc.
If it's a 3 prong plug (with a ground) then you are right, it isn't an issue as chances are the power will leave by the preexisting ground.

Of course, if someone opens a boombox or anything up without unplugging it first, maybe they were asking for it in the first place :)

The hot/neutral debate is only an issue with devices that have a metal exterior; the polarized plug is important there, and on light bulbs where the "shell" of the bulb socket should always be neutral. Otherwise, the only salient point is whether the circuit is completed or not.

Now if you could only invent something that will switch off the annoying tinny music that some people insist on blaring from their mobiles on public transport... ;)

1 reply


Now, is there a way to silence those infernal PA's that destroy the peace in so many restaurants and shopping malls????


1 reply

Congratulations on your shiny expensive radio. Now use it wisely and considerately and you won't accidentally get a hammer through it.
Oh, and on a jobsite, a radio is not a tool, it's a toy.

My instructor did this to a card in a computer I was suposed to trouble shoot.