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how to build my own buzzer? (or other noise maker)

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Hi All

I am pretty green so please bear with me. 

I am doing a project/experiment/goofing around with solar-powered sound making.  I have been able to power a small store-bought 5V buzzer with some photovoltaic cells and I am very happy about that.  What I want though is a whole bunch of small sound making "things" and there are only so many different kinds of pre-existing buzzers out there.  The idea is for these things to be scattered about a room so that as the sun moves during the day, the room “sounds” different, depending on which things are getting sunlight.  I'm wondering if buzzers are easy to make, then I could make my own with different properties that would sound different.  I'm also wondering what other things make a noise when a weak electric current runs through it.  The more pleasant the noise the better but if all I can do is make an annoying buzz, that'll have to do. 


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  • 1 month later...

Glad to see young people developing an interest in electronics, Sarah.  Hope it's not too late for a few suggestions.

You have probably seen the novelty caps with a small solar cell powering a fan blowing air into the cap.  Consider using a small, low power motors like that with beaters or flails of various sizes and styles beating on metal or plastic sheets, pans, cups, etc., to get various sounds.

Some Mallory Sonalert alarm sirens operate on very low voltage and current.  They come in a variety of steady and warbled tones.  Check out Mallory Sonalert, Projects Unlimited Sirens, Murata Piezo Alarms at www.mouser.com.  If you can drive a mechanical buzzer with your solar cells, you can drive some of the lower power versions of these piezo alarms.

You can also build very simple, very low power oscillator circuits with CMOS gate arrays or with CMOS 555 timers and drive speakers or piezo sounders.

Have fun.


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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

You already have the solar cell to buzzer working. Just add a comparator circuit between the solar cell and buzzer so you can adjust the threshold. In fact, you could even use a separate photo cell or LDR to trigger the circuit from light.


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If you take awright's advice (which is great), I'd advise you to keep an eye out for some old computer motherboard's at flea market's, garage sales, etc., and strip off the speakers from them to use.  They can easily be desoldered and used in the circuit you are using.  Besides, the cost on these old, junk, motherboards can be cheaper than buying a new buzzer/speaker, and you can salvage additional parts for your projects.  I've seen old motherboards for $1.

Depending on your need's, this will help keep the project small.

Just food for thought!!!!


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