Urban Cricket 2




About: Sound Tossing is an alternative type of street art that uses sound as a medium of creative expression in a public space. As the streets belong to the people, the intention is to appeal to anyone who wants to...

The Urban Cricket 2 is a solar powered sound generator built on low-end, analog electronics and produces sounds like a cricket. I developed Urban Crickets to practice Sound Tossing with it. Sound Tossing is an alternative type of street art that uses sound as a medium of creative expression in a public space. As the streets belong to the people, the intention is to appeal to anyone who wants to shape their acoustic space.

As tiny sound generator we use an Integrated Circuit (IC) called “Hex Schmitt Trigger Type 74HC14” which was never intended for making sound. It consists of six identical inverters and with two of them we will build one simple oscillator by using 1 resistor, 1 capacitor, 1 diode (optional), 1 solar cell and 1 piezo speaker.

It is a very cheap, loud and simple project that can be made in about 30 minutes.


Step 1: Tools and Parts


Soldering Equipment
Wire Cutter
Drill Machine
Double-sided sticky-tape


A 1 x CMOS IC SN 74 HC 14 N DIP
B 1 x Capacitor 10 uF
C 1 x Resistor 1k or 10k Ohm
D 1 x Diode BAT 43 (optional)
E 1 x Solar Cell 4,5 V / 35mA (or use an old garden light panel)
F 1x Piezo Speaker (PIEZO-SUMMER KPI-G2313L-6260) or similar
G 1 x Wires
H 2 x old mini Speaker Cases, for Piezo Speaker and Circuit

Costs ~$5.00

Step 2: Integrated Circuit (IC)

Take a short wire and strip of bough ends of the isolation.
Start with soldering it to Pin 1 and Pin 4 of the IC.
Make sure that the mark of the IC is on the left side!

Step 3: Capacitor

Solder the capacitor to Pin 2 and Pin 3 of the IC. Don’t care about the polarity.

Step 4: Resistor and Diode

Next on our soldering list are the resistors and the diode.
Solder the resistor to Pin 3 and Pin 4 of the IC.
Even if it is not necessary you can also solder the diode (in parallel to the resistor) to Pin 3 and Pin 4 of the IC.
This will make a nice saw tooth wave sound.

Step 5: Solar Cell and Case 1

Take the red and black wire.
Solder the black wire to the solar cell (-) and the red wire to the solar cell (+).
Drill a hole into case 1 and make sure that the there is enough space to fix the solar cell with a Double-sided sticky-tape.

Step 6: Solar Cell and IC

Solder the black wire of the solar cell (-) to Pin 7 of the IC (-)
Solder the red wire of the solar cell (+)to Pin 8 of the IC (+)

Step 7: Long Wire and IC

The 50 cm to 70 cm long wire is the speaker cable.
Take it and strip of bough ends of the isolation.
Solder (-) to Pin 7 of the IC (-)
Solder (+) to Pin 4 of the IC

Step 8: Case 2 and Piezo Speaker

Drill a hole in case 2.
Solder wire (+) to piezo speaker (+) red.
Solder wire (-) to piezo speaker (-) black.
Put the piezo speakers inside.

Test your urban cricket by holding the solar cell into light.
If you here some chirping sounds your urban cricket is alive!

Step 9: Toss It!

Now let’s toss it!
…as high as you can….
And send me a picture and the location of your urban cricket.

Any problems?
Don’t hesitate to contact me!
At least I can send you a ready-made Urban Cricket for free.

Email: soundtossing@gmail.com

Follow Sound Tossing activities under:

Blog: http://www.soundtossing.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/soundfiti
Facebook: http://facebook.com/soundtossing

Sound circuit inspired by Ralf Schreiber



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    50 Discussions


    3 years ago on Introduction

    Best thing to try is using old tennis shoes lined with foil for sound travel and light catching. This less disturbing to people than seeing boxes hanging around.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Look... here is a new version of a more sophisticated urban cricket...
    incl. schematic...



    7 years ago on Introduction

    All this guerilla art is likely to do is cause laws to be made to jail and fine people vandalizing and harassing the public. And no...you do not own the streets. We have a government, which we the people created and fund to manage our streets to protect us from obnoxious, self-centered, self-interested people like these guerilla artists.

    Sorry, but I would be one of those people saying 'send him to jail.' You have a right to express yourself and say whatever you want, but that doesn't mean there will not be consequences.

    This idea is simply obnoxious. It's not art when you force it upon me. It's harassment.

    2 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah! It's true there's a whole army of crickets by my house. They really should go to jail, damn insects.

    Frogs too.


    7 years ago on Introduction


    Boston isn't exactly the most descriminating city. But then again, this doesn't have a lite brite attached so maybe they'll ignore it


    7 years ago on Introduction

    This is an interesting concept. I would have liked to read your July 25th reply in your first post. The idea of this being implemented in response to those area noise deterrents for people under a certain age is cool. The idea of this being deployed randomly, not so cool. Art for the sake of annoyance without a purpose is just annoyance.

    I must also agree that in the current state of the world rigging one of these is dangerous for you. Please remember in Boston where Turner Broadcasting put out weird little electronic devices that people thought were bombs.

    2 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! I'm really careful by choosing Sound Tossing locations.

    I didn't know about this curious incident in Boston.
    Wiki says "It is not known why the devices took police several weeks to notice, nor why the devices were believed to be dangerous."


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    The fact that they were identified as potential explosive devices is still considered by many, including myself, as somewhat silly.

    But the average person on the street is likely to be excitable, particularly when it comes to things like weird looking/sounding electronics.

    It would suck if your act of peaceful social protest landed you in a cell for a night and or a large bill for city services including bomb disposal.

    Still a nifty device. Good luck with it!


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Yes, and it's easy to change frequencies by using different capacitors, resistors and piezo-speakers. Good luck!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Nice job!!!
    i'll try to make it if i can find the parts in this part of the world...

    and some funny comments you've been collecting there.. lol..

    nothing that small and simple will cause an alarm, who would be terrified at a simple speaker making chripping noise??
    and if i understand correctly, it's far from annoying, cricket sound would be a lovely ambiance sound.. rather than hearing other peoples' thoughts... :)

    keep posting man!

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction


    I'm really afraid that this safety paranoia will spill over to Europe.

    you got it! Crickets are good luck!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Put it in a pair of shoes. Although, wind chimes would be more acceptable to the public if you wanted sound art. But I know nothing about art I just like commenting on stuff.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Good idea! But I'll stick to my speaker objects... everyone should know it's about sound.


    7 years ago on Step 9

    I am not understanding the point of the project. I am a person who is pretty observant when I go walking around, I listen to everything, and if I were to hear something like that on the streets it would do nothing but annoy me and make me want to leave.