Identify this Deelybobber (electronic)

I need to acquire a small electronic device that emits a sound when a current is passed across it. I live in New York City. This should not be difficult.

I go to Radio Shack:

“I need to acquire a small electronic device that emits a sound when a current is passed across it.”

“What’s it called?”

“I don’t have any particular ‘it’ in mind. I have a device that needs to be able to emit a sound under certain circumstances. The device is electrical and is already set up to pass a current through a gizmo such as I’ve described. The gizmo in question is missing.”

“Oh, well we could sell you a doorbell kit with a mounting bracket and a cover plate and a button to push…”

“No, no, what I want is more like the little noisemaker that is INSIDE of your doorbell kit. I need something about the size of a quarter and maybe 1/4 inch thick with two wires coming out of it that can be connected to the little terminal connectors.”

“Well, I never heard of anything like that, sorry.”

So I call a couple dozen electronics stores as listed in the yellow pages, with similar results. Then I get a brainstorm: why not call an auto parts place instead? I could probably use one of those “keys in the ignition” / “seat belt ain’t buckled” beepers.

So I call an auto parts store:

“I need to get a small electrical device that produces a sound when a current is passed across it.”

“What’s it called?”


“I could probably use anything that does that. Perhaps one of those buzzers for when your key is still in the ignition, that kind of thing.”

“Oh, we don’t stock anything like that.”
What the bloody hell? Doesn’t anyone construct or modify their own devices any more?

OK, I posted this in GQ instead of the Pit because I’d rather get a hot tip on where to acquire the above-described noisemaker than accumulate responses to my rant. Help?

::currently calling hardware stores, obtaining roughly identical results so far::

It’s a sad day when you can’t walk into a Radio Shack (aka Nerds 'R Us) and find a knowledgeable electronics dweeb. They must have all been at home watching Lone Gunmen.

What you probably want is a piezoelectric buzzer. It doesn’t have any traditional moving parts like an electromechanical buzzer or doorbell.

What you’re looking for is a piezo-electric buzzer. (pronounced peezo) It should be available at any Radio Shack. I’ve never had trouble getting them at any Radio Shack location I’ve visited. Then again, don’t assume that just because some some kid works at Radio Shack means he knows an electron from a hamburger.

By the way, they go for about $1.50 for one that operates on 5 to 18 volts.

doh! I missed it by just minutes.


Go back to Radio Shack and smack the clerk in the head. They certainly carry them.

Go to and click the electronic components link on the left. At the very top of the components category you’ll find buzzers.

I might have been a tad slow with my response, but I am the only one who provided the top notch suggestion of smacking the radio shack clerk in the head.

The piezoelectric buzzer should resemble this, although this particular buzzer isn’t generally available in the stores. You typically find them in the components section, near the security stuff.

Padeye, the last time I saw someone find a knowledgable electronics dweeb in Radio Shack was the time one nice lady mistook me for a RS employee.

Sheesh. See what happens when you don’t preview? Skip the link, BTW–the parameter died.

If this thigy doesn’t need to be very loud, why don’t you just rip the tiny speaker out of a musical greeting card?

I bow to LanceTurbo.

It’s probably DC current, which wouldn’t make much noise …