Around the end of 2016 I got some PCBs made that would hold ATtiny85 chips, and I used them in a sound installation. I was trying to figure out how I might reuse the piece(s) for Maker Faire Milwaukee, but I didn’t want to hang things, and I didn’t want to do the same thing again…

After I made SpringTime4 I thought about using the ATtinys in various noise-making devices, and so the journey began. (I also convinced Maks to join in and the idea for NoiseMaster 3000 was born. Oh, and along the way we recruited Dustin to join us.)


I started digging up all the speakers I could find, and grabbed lots of wall warts from Milwaukee Makerspace, and I’ve always got scrap wood on hand, so I started building. At first I just slapped things together fairly haphazardly, but as I built more devices, I started making design choices. (You’ll see these in future posts.) In this post, we’ve just got a simple noisemaker. You press a button, it makes noise. (One of the criteria we set was that everything would be momentary, so no on/off switches. Sound could only be activated temporarily, so no one could turn everything “on” and then walk away. Sound should only be present when a person was engaged with it.


In nearly all of the noisemakers I built, I chose to keep the wires and electronics exposed, or on display, as it were. If I used enclosures, they were typically open on multiple sides. Speakers were almost always visible. I didn’t stray too far from that aesthetic as I built things. Most of the buttons provided power to the unit, which started the noise, though later there were a few that used the button to enable the speaker. A subtle difference most people would not notice, but if you did, you probably know how microcontrollers work. :)


I started working on the noisemakers in June, and thought that would leave plenty of time to make a dozen before Maker Faire. I came pretty close too, and along the way ended up doing some interesting things (at least I like to think so.)

I plan to write up posts showing each noisemaker (hence the “Part I” in the title of this post.) I’ll include photos and a short video, and notes about construction.

Enjoy the Noise!

This is just one post in a series about noisemakers. Check out the other posts as well:

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