Chris Taylor's Door Project


First off, a small order of business. The National Weather Service is predicting a pretty hefty storm here in Colorado over the next couple days. This has its positive side for our beloved ski/snowboard industry, but we have also seen the effects on class attendance here at SparkFun. We have always proceeded with the policy that classes take place rain or shine, but in the interest of our customers safety we are instituting a rain check policy. If the weather makes class attendance a safety issue we will reschedule a class or refund with a pre-reserved slot in the same class at a later date. If we cancel a class due to weather we will contact customers via email the night before. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this going to cause, but we feel like taking our classes should not be a matter of life and death. And if the snow is that good you should be on a chair lift anyway! Now on to today's business...

One of my favorite movies (nay, films) of all time is "Young Frankenstein," so when I recently came across this project from SparkFun Engineer Chris Taylor, I was downright giddy. Whether your pronounce it "Frahnk-in-schteen" or "Frank-in-stine," I think all Mel Brooks aficionados will agree that this project is awesome.

Chris doesn't often work with his door closed, but when he does, his coworkers usually announce their presence with a ceremonial "rap-tap-tap" on his office door. Chris decided to have a little bit of fun with that.

Using a piezo sensor, an MP3 Player shield, an Arduino, and a healthy dose of duct tape, Chris rigged up a system that morphs a gentle knock at the door into a resounding bang - inspired by the sound created by the large Gothic door knockers in "Young Frankenstein." Check out the above video to see this project in action or read the tutorial for more info and to see how you can make your own.


Comments 28 comments

  • What Knockers!!

  • Chris, you’re a genius! And as I have based my life on the teachings of Mel Brooks, I look forward to adding this project to my home, garage, office, anywhere else I can think of! Thanks!!

  • I just finished writing an Arduino library that would make it easier to implement this project:

    http://www.billporter.info/sparkfun-mp3-shield-arduino-library/

    Check it out.

  • This looks like a good application for a surface transducer.

  • Wow, triple post!

    Apparently it’s not just IE9, because I’m using Chrome.

  • Double post.

  • Because of this project, I spent about an hour last night on YouTube, watching “Young Frankenstein” clips and bloopers, then today I watched the movie for the first time in many years. It’s as good as I remembered it! I also spent a lot of time today on Wikipedia reading Gene Wilder’s biography, as well as Teri Garr’s, Marty Feldman’s, etc…

    So, thanks!

  • “Penny” “Penny” “Penny”

    You know you can’t resist. Post the vids when you do. :o)

  • You may want to find something other then your Duct Tape, it will take off wood if you leave it on too long. You might want to look into those 3M tapes that release when you pull it.

    BTW- I am not the only one having problems with double posting. Something in the web code on SF websit is not playing nice with EI9. Not sure what it is.

  • you have done it again you never fail.

  • you have done it again you never fail.

  • you have done it again you never fail.

  • omg its the same in england its gonna snow a blizzard.

  • This is AWESOME.. I’m just today finishing up an RFID garage door opener project with XBEE control and reporting, and I had considered using one of these piezo sensors to wait for some kind of “secret knock” cadence, like some strange morse code, or “shave and a haircut…” or the lone ranger theme or something to allow me “keyless entry” into the garage… This is going to inspire me to AT LEAST write the code for it.. We’ll see if it feels secure enough to leave active all the time on an outdoor access point to my house! :-)

    What the heck.. maybe the MP3 player can play something intense and dramatic as the garage door opens!

  • I thought most modern cars did this.

  • sigh in Deutsch, “ei” is pronounced “I”. Einstein? So you would say it “Frahnk-en-shtine”. Oh and ‘by the large Gothic door knockers in “Young Frankentstein.”’? :)

    • The pronunciation thing I was saying is actually a joke from the Mel Brooks movie “Young Frankenstein.” Thanks for catching that typo!

  • Now you just need to have an audio sensor that sets of the horses whining when the words Frau Blucher are spoken!

  • I need this on the ceiling of my apartment. I’d turn it on every time I left. Eventually my upstairs neighbors would clue in, right?

  • Well done. Now combine that with, oh, say an EasyVR shield taught to recognize “Bl├╝cher.”

  • Another idea. Put the piezo sensor under a seat cushion and change the sound and you have an electronic whoopie cushion. (Who stepped on a duck?)

  • [duplicate]

  • you just made my day. /me wants it!! (Please sell)

  • lol that’s awesome.

  • I need to hook something like that to my floor to make people feel fat as they approach my office and I know they are coming.

    • When I first programmed it, I set the threshold too low on the vibration sensor, so even though it was on the door itself, it would activate every time someone walked by my door. It had kind of a “monster-walk” effect.

  • HAHA! This is frigging awesome, I have all the parts too. I’m hooking mine up to a 200 Watt PA :)


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