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I need a component which is small and light-weight, but which can emit a loud sound. I don't care what sound it makes - only that it be loud enough to hear outside from 20+ ft away.

Unfortunately, my brief searches didn't come up with anything, and I'm assuming this is because I don't even know what the name of the component I'm looking for is. (It's not "speaker", or "siren", I suspect).

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2 Answers 2

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Try "Piezoelectric sounder" or "Piezoelectric beeper" or "Piezoelectric buzzer"

Here is a Manual from Murata who are masters of such things. A wealth of information.

These can be very small and also can be very loud. Good attention grabbing can be obtained with a warble or gliding tone. For a one time application you can get many items with these in them. Often eminently hackable.

You can get sounders only or units with electronics built in.
Often available as part of a personal security system so you get sounder + electronics + battery + switch.

I could point you to specifics BUT better is to show you the general idea and let you have a look at what's available. Then you can ask locally or ask us for more input as required.

Here is a Gargoyle image search which will give you visual leads to pages of relevance. Much better than a text search.

Example of what's available.

enter image description here

Ask if more information required.


All done for you

enter image description here

Many such here

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @Russell - How come the change back to Murate? I thought it was a typo? \$\endgroup\$
    – Oli Glaser
    Jun 12, 2012 at 18:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Russell - LOL, Thanks for the "all done for you"... but I think that'll be a bit too big for my model rocket ;) ... Thanks again for your help!! \$\endgroup\$
    – Steve
    Jun 12, 2012 at 18:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Steve - that demonstrates a major problem with people not telling us what they REALLY want. Knowing it was for a rocket (and knowing the rocket size) would have made it much easier to provide a targeted answer rather than using a 12 gauge. \$\endgroup\$
    – Russell McMahon
    Jun 12, 2012 at 19:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @OliGlaser - Don't know about Murate. I saw it as Murate and changed it to Murata so maybe we were editing at same time or summat? \$\endgroup\$
    – Russell McMahon
    Jun 13, 2012 at 2:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Russell, I still don't like those Google Images screenshots. 80% is redundant, and some of the schematics are useless because too small to read, even at full size. As a photographer you should see how messy this is? I prefer you would pick one item and give info on that. OP will then be able to look further for himself. This is close to a downvote. \$\endgroup\$
    – stevenvh
    Jun 13, 2012 at 3:32
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Russell is right, you want a piezo buzzer. Digikey lists about 50 devices that produce 100 to 110 dB (I skipped the more than 110). Like this one:

enter image description here

This one has a built-in oscillator and only requires a 12V DC power supply. If you want it thinner you can go for the piezo element itself:

enter image description here

These are only half a mm thick, but you'll have to add a few components to make an oscillator. The sound pressure depends on the mounting. Best way is to glue on a not too stiff panel that can act as a soundboard.

Further reading
Murata Piezoelectric Sound Components: more complete version of the catalog Russell linked to.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ How can you tell between those that have a built-in oscillator and those that don't? Haven't seen anything relevant in the datasheets. Is it the package? \$\endgroup\$
    – m.Alin
    Jun 12, 2012 at 18:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @m.Alin - No, not the package. piezo elements come in packages too. It's the operating voltage. If it says DC it has a built-in oscillator. \$\endgroup\$
    – stevenvh
    Jun 13, 2012 at 3:26

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