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Clap Sensitive On-Off Relay

3V Battery operated, Small portable unit

This circuit was intended to activate a relay by means of a hand clap. Further claps will turn-off the relay. An interesting and unusual feature of this project is the 3V battery operation. The circuit's sensitivity was deliberately reduced, in order to avoid unpredictable operation. Therefore, a loud hand clap will be required to allow unfailing on-off switching. Q1 acts as an audio amplifier. IC1 timer, wired as a monostable, provides a clean output signal and a reasonable time delay in order to allow proper switching of the following bistable circuit. A discrete-components circuit formed by Q2, Q3 and related parts was used for this purpose, in order to drive the Relay directly and to allow 3V supply operation.

Circuit Diagram:

Clap Sensitive on-off Relay Circuit Diagram


R1 = 12K
R2 = 1M
R3 = 6.8K
R4 = 220K
R5 = 2.2M
R7 = 100K
R8 = 22K
R9 = 6.8K
R10 = 100K
Q1 = BC550C
Q2 = BC328
Q3 = BC328
C1 = 220nF-63V
C2 = 22nF-63V
C3 = 220nF-63V
C4 = 22nF-63V
C5 = 22nF-63V
C6 = 47uF-25V
D1 = 1N4148
D2 = 1N4148
B1 = 3V Battery
IC1 = 7555 CMos IC
RL1 = DIL Reed-Relay SPDT
SW1 = SPST Switch
MIC1 = Electret Mic


A small DIL 5V reed-relay was used in spite of the 3V supply. Several devices of this type were tested and it was found that all of them were able to switch-on with a coil voltage value comprised in the 1.9 - 2.1V range. Coil resistance values varied from 140 to 250 Ohm. Stand-by current consumption of the circuit is less than 1mA. When the Relay is energized, current drain rises to about 20mA.

Source: Red Free Circuit Design