Bellerade: The Masked Doorbell

Bellerade : The Masked Doorbell


Bellerade is a masked doorbell, designed to shake up the workspace at 205 Richmond a little. It’s my take on a more interesting, pleasing way to enter a room. I’ve often forgotten my student card when running around 205 Richmond, and for a while my card access was denied for room 7610, so I was constantly knocking on the door. It started to feel a bit intrusive and annoying – maybe because I’m extremely sensitive to sound, and maybe because of the stink eye from Curatorial students I’d often get on entry. I thought one day about how instead of a traditional knock or bell to signify that I’d like to enter a room, wouldn’t it be neat if at the push of a button, and dependent on the position of a variable resistor, a different song or sound could play as a “doorbell”. It could be humourous; it could be soothing; it could be scary – sounds and music can be so lovely and nostalgic sometimes. Most importantly, it could be unique and changed at the turn of a knob and the push of a button….or a quick and easy upload of new tracks to an SD card.


Hallowe’en’s just over a fortnight away, and it’s definitely one of my favourite excuses to throw on a getup. I’ve been costume clad every year since I was 1. Sexy costumes have never been my thing and are generally lame, so when thinking about how to disguise an unsightly tangled mess of wires and microprocessors that I intended to make into a sound and song spewing doorbell, I thought, what better than a gory mask?  It worked well in terms of my ability to incorporate LEDs as eyes and a mouth, mostly by virtue of the fact that I couldn’t get the button to work with the variable resistor in order to toggle tracks. The resistor would work on its own to change wav files, but the button for some reason only wanted to STOP the music that would automatically play, and not start it…I was stuck.  And while aesthetically the volume knob worked well as a makeshift mask nose, and as a way for the user to turn the sound on and off, it encouraged a type of awkward nasal assault-like user interaction. Digging for gold is an understatement. And most importantly, the doorbell mechanism didn’t really work. Shino was over trying to save me. We tested a number of button code examples and no dice. So LEDs came through in the clutch as a way to increase the mechanisms for non nasal assault-like user interaction, and the variable resistor seemed to work well at controlling the LED high / lows with a few simple if / else statements. So it’s a doorbell in progress. For now, it’s a scary mask that can live on the door for Hallowe’en that flashes lights and plays strange sounds when you turn knobs. I think it’s fun.


– Adafruit Waveshield kit for Arduino

  • Can play any uncompressed 22KHz, 16bit, mono Wave (.wav) files of any size. . Check out the demo video/audio at the webpage
  • Output is mono, into L and R channels, standard 3.5mm headphone jack and a connection for a speaker that is switched on when the headphones are unplugged
  • Files are read off of a FAT16/FAT32-formatted SD/MMC card

– mini speaker

– Arduino Uno x 2 (1 to plug into Waveshield, another for LEDs)

– breadboard for LEDs

– 6 LEDs

– 1 variable resistor

– 1 9V battery to power LEDs

– 1 5V battery to power speaker

– 1 weird looking mask


  •  (For LEDs)
  • Arduino > Examples > Wave HC > daphc   (For sound)


Wave HC library comes with the Adafruit WaveShield

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