Planning a prank

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by someonesdad, May 17, 2011.

  1. someonesdad

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Jul 7, 2009
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    Soon I'll have an opportunity to visit a relative in another state. As usual, I've been asked to bring an assortment of tools for some simple maintenance tasks around the house.

    It occurred to me that this might be a good opportunity for a little fun -- as in a harmless prank. I need a little creative help in designing something for this prank. Any ideas?

    One thing that has occurred to me is to make a small, battery-operated device that I can hide somewhere. It will have a clock in it and will be acoustically coupled to something like a water pipe. I'll set it to not do anything until 6 months after I leave so that there's no suspicion. Then it will make strange noises in the night at very infrequent intervals.
     
  2. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    Basically a decent wristwatch with multiple alarms coupled to a sound generator? The sounds would be the fun part, things like jacobs ladders, rodents, or the occasional phone buzz.
     
  3. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
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    Just get one of those cards that play the worst song you can think of. Pull the card apart and get the guts in hand.

    Tape it to a door somewhere so when the door is open the thing plays.

    Be creative as you can as useable doors are everywhere, in kitchen cabinets, furniture, everywhere.

    Hey, how about is toilet seat?
     
  4. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

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  5. magnet18

    Senior Member

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    If you're willing to sacrifice a pic, you can have all sorts of fun ;)
     
  6. Wendy

    Moderator

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    An intermittent rattle snake sound under the bed? Too mean? :D
     
  7. someonesdad

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Jul 7, 2009
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    I like the cricket idea, beenthere.

    One thing I should mention is that it's an 8 hour drive to reach my relative's house and we'll only be there two days. Thus, whatever it is has to be installable quickly and innocently. And it has to work for a long time, preferably years.
     
  8. someonesdad

    Thread Starter Senior Member

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    Bill, the snake idea is perfect because my victim HATES snakes (she's my twin sister). However, the noise would happen once and it would be hunted down and found. Of course, I'll get her with a rubber snake when I'm there, but I want a gift that keeps on giving.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2011
  9. StayatHomeElectronics

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2008
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    I looked for an old beeping cell phone for about two hours this morning. Of course I didn't know what or where it was at the time. I was all over the house, including the basement and attic. The battery was dying so it beeped every 20 minutes or so, but it was not loud enough to give me much to go on. Pretty frustrating...

    The only thing that could make it worse if it had stopped for a long time and started up again later. :)
     
  10. KJ6EAD

    Senior Member

    Apr 30, 2011
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    Just some audio prank tips: Low frequency sounds are harder to localize. Things hidden in normally inaccessible places are harder to find (inside walls, electrical boxes, attics, crawlspaces, etc.)
     
  11. magnet18

    Senior Member

    Dec 22, 2010
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    A true texan right there ;)

    About the frequency, I can never find high frequency things, like when smoke detectors beep with a low battery. And it sucks because it only beeps like every 3 minuets :mad:

    Idea, at some point slip a known old battery into a smoke detector to figure out what it sounds like, then set the device to that frequency and interval, and hide the device in the ceiling or a wall or something.
    If you really want to get crafty you can patch it in to power itself off a wall wart from within the wall, that would be about the best :D
     
  12. someonesdad

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Jul 7, 2009
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    I felt that if I could attach something acoustic to a water pipe, then the sound could be conducted quite a ways away from that location, making it harder to locate. I'm thinking of an eerie sound in the middle of the night -- and maybe it only happens every couple of weeks. That makes it spooky and lets the batteries last a long time. I also love the idea of not having the first occurrence until 6 months after my visit, so it's unlikely I'll be a suspect.
     
  13. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

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  14. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
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    Get one of those remote control fart boxes they sell at spencer gifts in the mall (at least they sold them there about 10yrs ago so I assume they still do). replace the AA batteries with a wall wart so it'll always be ready to go & put it in an air vent (might have to run the cord through the wall) or other inconspicuous area. rig the remote up to something infrequently used, like the sink drain stopper plunger handle in the guest bathroom.
     
  15. someonesdad

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Jul 7, 2009
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    Ooooh, I like the air vent idea, Strantor. I remember those remote control fart machines, as one of our secretaries once got me and another engineer really good with it in the late 90's. It drove us crazy until we found it. It wasn't easy, as our cubicles were filled with noisy equipment and computers.

    Remember, I'll be 400 miles away and I'll have little time to place anything, so it almost certainly has to be battery-operated. I've also not seen the house, so I'm going to have to fly blind until I get there.

    What I'm leaning towards now is either the electronic cricket (redesigned to work for years on one set of batteries) or a small PIC-controlled DC motor with an eccentric that I could clamp e.g. to a water pipe or toss into an HVAC duct. Simple and evil. <grin>
     
  16. gerty

    AAC Fanatic!

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  17. someonesdad

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Jul 7, 2009
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    Yeah, I've seen those devices and they'd be the way to go if they gave you some control over the period and power consumption. But because this has the requirement of "set and forget", I'll probably have to design my own.
     
  18. steveb

    Senior Member

    Jul 3, 2008
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    This reminds me of the prank my roommate and I played on one of our dorm-mates back in college. My room-mate and I were both engineering students, and our friend next door was a late-partying business major. After more than one night of being awoken in the night by his stumbling in the hallway, we decided to get back at him.

    One day we "borrowed" his TV and installed a remote controlled and very loud buzzer. Early every morning, for a couple of weeks, (at about 5:00 am, because we rowed crew) we would hit the buzzer to wake him up.

    Eventually, although he didn't know why, he figured out the sound was from the TV and we found the TV in the hallway after practice one morning. We held on to the TV for another week before returning it with a full explanation and a request for him to be more quite when he stumbles back into his room at night. We assured him we could find even better hiding places if he didn't behave.
     
  19. someonesdad

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Jul 7, 2009
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    I lived in the dorms for two years. One prank people used to play was to "penny someone in". This meant bending the top and bottom of the door inwards while the latch stayed fastened and inserting a penny in to keep the bends in the door. Then the poor schmuck couldn't get out of his room because of the force on the lock's bolt.

    Another tool of choice was to fill an album cover with shaving cream, slip it under the closed door, and stomp on it, sending shaving cream into the room.

    Strangely, I can't think of any more pranks we used to play, although I'm sure there were lots of them.

    My roommate and I in our freshman year bought a squirrel monkey and kept it in our room until we got caught. Then I took it home to my parents and let them keep it. It lasted for a while, but that monkey was a holy terror when he got out of his cage. The only way to coax him back in was to use meal worms. One of the funniest things I ever saw was when he was sitting on my dad's shoulder. The monkey lifted his leg like a dog and whizzed on my dad's neck. The monkey was given away not too long after that... :p
     
  20. magnet18

    Senior Member

    Dec 22, 2010
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    in hotels, the bathroom door opens in, and they give you an iron, with a long cord...
    Tie it to the room doorknob and the bathroom doorknob :D
     
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