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Project Notes

#460 The CANary

Playing with a popular 74HC14 bird chirp effect by Wilf Rigter and making a CANary sculpture.


Here’s a quick demo..



Wilf’s Bird is a pretty famous “bird chirp” sound effect by Wilf Rigter. I last saw it used in Kelly Heaton’s wonderful bird sculpture, a Hackaday Circuit Sculpture contest winner.

Circuit Design

The effect is produced by the missing of a couple of Schmitt oscillators running on a 74HC14.

  • the primary oscillator is modulated by an LDR
  • a secondary oscillator mixes the signal for a piezo speaker

Note that the “HC” series 74HC14 Hex Inverter with Schmitt Trigger Inputs is really required. A 74HC04 without Schmitt Trigger inputs can just about work but is hard to stabilise, and an LS series 74LS14 will not work.

The circuit is optimised for around 3.3V supply. At higher voltages, oscillation can fail.

Breadboard Build

A quick breadboard build to verify behaviour..




Here’s a test on the breadboard..


CANary build

Wiring it all up on a an old coke can, here is the CANary:


Credits and References

About LEAP#460 BEAMOscillatorsAudio
Project Source on GitHub Project Gallery Return to the LEAP Catalog

This page is a web-friendly rendering of my project notes shared in the LEAP GitHub repository.

LEAP is just my personal collection of projects, usually involving an Arduino or other microprocessor in one way or another. Some are full-blown projects, while many are trivial breadboard experiments, intended to learn and explore something interesting (IMHO!).

The projects are usually inspired by things found wild on the net, or ideas from the sources such as:

Feel free to borrow liberally, and if you spot any issues do let me know. See the individual projects for credits where due. There are even now a few projects contributed by others - send your own over in a pull request if you would also like to add to this collection.