Doorbell of Doom might make you wish you never played a trick on Halloween

Conor O’Neill

Earlier this week, we brought you a few impressive Halloween hacks, from a Nyan Cat hat to a Tetris arcade cabinet carved into a pumpkin. Even after the spooktacular event, there are still plenty of successful hacks that deserve a bit of attention, including this Raspberry Pi-powered Doorbell of Doom. Ooo, spooky.

The main idea behind Conor O’Neill’s Doorbell of Doom (its full name is actually "Doorbell of Dooooooooommmmmmmm!") is to give local Trick-or-Treaters a choice of doorbell buttons to push for their sweet treats. Of course, there is no right buzzer to press to keep from being spooked: Results include a scream, a wolf howl, a thunderclap, “release the hounds”, and one of the best quotes from Home Alone.

A Raspberry Pi board powers the build, and Conor followed an Adafruit tutorial on how to use the Raspberry Pi as a soundboard of sorts. After you program the audio and solder the buttons to the Raspberry Pi, you’ll need to write a fair bit of Python code to get the project up and running (though Conor stresses that this part is easy). The code runs in a loop on the Raspberry Pi to check if anyone has pressed a button; if someone presses a button, the Raspberry Pi plays the sound associated with that button.

For audio, Conor uses a battery-powered speaker taped to the postbox and a Fiio amplifier, plus audio equipment inside the house, so he knows when someone just got tricked. The unsuspecting visitor then gets a small fright, and maybe a laugh.

Conor hopes to build an improved version of the Doorbell of Doom next year, but with a better audio library instead of the external one used in the coding. Also, he wants to randomize the sound effects it plays, since to people usually only press the top button only. Hopefully he builds a sleeker version of the project, too—one with less tape!

[Conor O’Neill via Adafruit]

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