The TallyWhacker will seriously annoy your upstairs neighbour

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The facade of an apartment building with a repetitive pattern of windows on pastel-coloured walls. The building has alternating sections painted in shades of yellow and pink, with rows of white-framed windows. The perspective is such that no sky or ground is visible, focusing solely on the architectural pattern and urban living aesthetic.

Are you grappling with the challenge of a noisy upstairs neighbour? You're not alone. Reddit user /u/MealsWheeled faced a similar issue and ingeniously engineered a solution known as the TallyWhacker.


What is the TallyWhacker?

The TallyWhacker is an innovative, albeit slightly mischievous, device designed to send a clear message to your noisy neighbour. It harnesses the power of an ESP8266, a robust 20 kg RC servo, a battery pack for wireless functionality, and a spring doorstop – all neatly enclosed in a 3D-printed case. Once installed on the ceiling, it operates by pulling and releasing the spring doorstop, creating a resonating noise that's hard to ignore.

Tallywhacker 02 2

What You Need for This Project

Constructing the TallyWhacker

The ESP8266 board forms the brain of the TallyWhacker, controlling the relay and servo. The relay serves an essential function, only allowing power to the servo when needed, thus conserving battery life. With the 18650 battery holder delivering 7.4V, a buck converter is necessary to reduce this to a manageable 5V, suitable for powering all electronic components of the TallyWhacker. Ensure that the ESP8266 and the servo (via the relay) have separate power lines to avoid any potential damage.

Designing your own 3D-printed case may be necessary, as the original STL files are not publicly available. This also gives you the opportunity to customise the design, potentially improving the efficiency of the doorstop's oscillation.

A photograph of the inside of the Tallywhacker. An electronic device that annoys the upstairs neighbours by flicking a spring against the ceiling.

Programming Insights

The original TallyWhacker doesn't utilize ESPHome, opting instead for Arduino code, reflecting the creator's comfort with this platform. However, for those proficient in ESPHome, adapting the project should be straightforward, given its support for relays and servos. The original Arduino code can be found here.

Potential Improvements

For those embarking on more electronic projects, investing in a multimeter is advisable. While the creator used a buck converter with a display, a multimeter provides more versatility for setting up various projects.

In Conclusion

The TallyWhacker is a creative and slightly cheeky solution for addressing the universal issue of noisy neighbours. While it's an unconventional approach, it's an excellent project for those looking to combine their DIY skills with a bit of fun. Remember, while the TallyWhacker might bring some short-term satisfaction, it's always best to approach neighbourly disputes with diplomacy first. Happy tinkering!

A portrait photo oif Liam Alexander Colman, the author, creator, and owner of Home Assistant Guide wearing a suit.

About Liam Alexander Colman

is an experienced Home Assistant user who has been utilizing the platform for a variety of projects over an extended period. His journey began with a Raspberry Pi, which quickly grew to three Raspberry Pis and eventually a full-fledged server. Liam's current operating system of choice is Unraid, with Home Assistant comfortably running in a Docker container.
With a deep understanding of the intricacies of Home Assistant, Liam has an impressive setup, consisting of various Zigbee devices, and seamless integrations with existing products such as his Android TV box. For those interested in learning more about Liam's experience with Home Assistant, he shares his insights on how he first started using the platform and his subsequent journey.

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