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Toy Fire Alarm #NationOfMakers

by JackANDJude

Published on July 1, 2016

The fire alarms at Jack's school sound like this: ON, ON, ON, (OFF), over and over again - a rhythm we could not imitate with the pulse Bit.  This toy fire alarm uses a rotating paper sequencer, which we learned about from BitCaper and Yuziana during National Week of Making.  It is made from the Gizmos & Gadgets kit.

Making and having this toy fire alarm helps Jack deal with the stress of having such a loud sensory experience happen over 10 times per school year.  

Duration: 1 hour

How To Make It


Sketch The Idea Jack drew some fire alarms with glitter crayons, because everything is better in glitter.
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Assemble Circuits The pull station circuit is on a mounting board: p1 power + slide dimmer + wireless transmitter. The alarm circuit is on three brick adapters on lego plates set at a 90 degree angle: p1 power + wireless receiver + tethered DC motor + light sensor + buzzer + bargraph.
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Make Paper Sequencer We made a circle on cardstock paper and then cut out 3 holes to make the beat sound like the fire alarms at school. This circle is taped to a wheel and attached to the tethered DC motor.
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Attach to Wall The pull station is attached to the wall with 2 push pins through holes in the mounting board. Two colored pieces of paper cover the circuit. The alarm is taped to a shoe box with it's lid attached to the wall with 2 push pins. Masking tape keeps the shoe box attached to its lid.
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Test & Adjust in a well lit environment Test & adjust the light sensitivity on the light sensor with a purple screwdriver. We tested this in the kitchen where the overhead lighting has a dimmer, and then had to readjust the light sensor for the fire alarm's final location by the front door.
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Have a Pretend Fire Drill Everybody leave in an orderly fashion!
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