Project #1

The Ticking Clock

The first invention we’ll be building with the Annoyatron is a ‘ticking’ sound that people will think is coming from a clock. This is an especially good prank to try in rooms that don’t have a clock – people will get super-confused as they try to work out where the sound is coming from!

Start by watching this video

The Kit

What you’ll need

Computer

Brain Board

Buzzer

USB Cable

Person to prank

Have you installed the coding software?

You’ll need to download the Arduino software to be able to code your invention. But don’t worry – click here for instructions.

This project only works in certain browsers.

Internet Explorer & Microsoft Edge will not work with this project.

Step 1

Let’s build this!

Watch assembly video

01. Connect the buzzer

02. Plug in the USB cable

03. Connect to your computer

Step 2

Set up your computer

01. Find and open the ‘Arduino’ application

You should have already downloaded and installed this earlier. The app is used to send computer ‘code’, or instructions, to the Brain Board for each invention.

02. Select your board

Open the ‘Tools’ menu and select the option that says ‘Arduino/Genuino Uno’.

Important!

Make sure you do this every time you connect the Brain Board to a computer.

Always select your Arduino board before uploading a program

Step 3

Code some chaos

Text-based coding

01. Copy and paste the sample code

The box to the right contains some sample code. Use your cursor to select everything in this box, right click, and select ‘Copy’. Switch to the coding application and delete any text already there. Right click and select ‘Paste’ to insert the sample code.

int buzzer = 11;

void setup() {

  pinMode(11, OUTPUT);

}

void loop() {

  digitalWrite(11, HIGH);
  delay(1);
  digitalWrite(11, LOW);
  delay(1000);

}

02. Upload to the Brain Board

Wow! That was quick. You’re ready to test out your code. Click the upload button to send it to the Brain Board. The button is near the top of the window and has an arrow pointing to the right. You should now hear a ticking noise.

03. How does this all work?

DigitalWrite is used to turn things on or off, like a buzzer or a light. A delay pauses the program for a certain number of milliseconds. Because the instructions are read from top to bottom, this means that the code turns the buzzer on for 1 millisecond (a thousandth of a second) to make a short ‘tick’ sound, before turning off again for a second.

Did you know…

1000 milliseconds = 1 second. In computer coding, we often use milliseconds rather than seconds when talking about time.

Codespeak

HIGH turns things on, like a buzzer

LOW will turn things off

delay pauses the program for a certain number of milliseconds