Build a Doctor Who Themed TARDIS Doorbell



Doctor Who and Raspberry Pi-based projects go hand in hand. Both are British, and both have links to Cambridge (writer Douglas Adams studied there, and was Doctor Who script editor at the time Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy hit the airwaves).

Over the years there have been many Raspberry Pi projects with a Doctor Who theme, from K9 replicas to Daleks that respond to tweets. But this is the first time we’ve seen a Doctor Who doorbell.

Built with a Raspberry Pi Zero (masquerading as a doorbell) and a Raspberry Pi 3 to play the chime, the doorbell outputs MP3 sound clips from the series whenever the doorbell is rung. Housed in a laser cut miniature police box, the Raspberry Pi 3 also has a USB sound card attached.

The Pi Zero, meanwhile, has GPIO pins attached and is housed in a compact case with a TARDIS-shaped button. This is the ‘doorbell’ that visitors to the house or room will see mounted outside. With both devices linked up, and startup scripts prepared, the project is ready to run!

Designed by Brenndan Sweeney for his stepsister, this project features sound clips from the Matt Smith era of Doctor Who (2010-2013), but of course, these can easily be swapped for whichever audio clips you want to use. The full steps for this build can be found in the Instructables page (although Brenndan’s video is also very useful).

If anything, this project proves that even with projects inspired by TV shows, there’s no end to the possibilities. Daleks, robot dogs, police box-shaped doorbells – they might have appeared in the show, or in your head – it doesn’t matter, just have fun with it!

Christian Cawley

Christian Cawley spends a lot of time with Raspberry Pis and scours the web looking for interesting DIY electronics projects and news for ElectroMaker. He's currently trying to show his 7 year old son how to get to grips with Scratch, but so far to no avail.


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