Fridge Door Alarm Schematic 2nd Version

Fridge Door Alarm Schematic 2nd Version

Circuit Description

The main purpose of this design was to obviate a small defect of the
very popular Fridge Door Alarm circuit, available on this website since
1999 and built by a lot of hobbyists. Unfortunately, that circuit stops
operating when the battery voltage falls below about 2.6 – 2.7 Volts.
This is due to the 4060 CMos IC used. In some cases, devices made by
some manufacturers (but not Motorola’s) fail to operate even at nominal
3V supply voltage.

A simple cure to this shortcoming could be the substitution of the
original IC specified with a 74HC4060 chip: this should allow circuit
operation down to 2V but, unfortunately, this IC is not easy to locate.
For this reason, an equivalent circuit using about the same parts
counting was developed, in order to allow safe operation even when
battery voltage falls down to about 1.3V.

Circuit operation:

The circuit, enclosed in a small box, should be placed in the fridge
near the lamp (if any) or close to the opening. With the door closed,
the interior of the fridge is in dark, the photo resistor R2 presents a
high resistance (>200K) thus clamping IC1 by holding C1 fully charged
across R1 and D1. When a beam of light enters from the opening, or the
fridge lamp lights, the photo resistor lowers its resistance (<2K)
stopping C1 charging current.

Therefore IC1, wired as an astable multivibrator, starts oscillating
at a very low frequency and after a period of about 24 sec. its output
pin (#3) goes high, enabling IC2. This chip is also wired as an astable
multivibrator, driving the Piezo sounder intermittently at about 5 times
per second. The alarm is activated for about 17 sec. then stopped for
the same time period and the cycle repeats until the fridge door closes.

Circuit diagram:

Fridge Door Alarm Schematic 2nd Version Circuit


  • R1 = 10K – 1/4W Resistor
  • R2 = Photo resistor (any type)
  • R3 = 2.2M – 1/4W Resistor
  • R4 = 1M – 1/4W Resistor
  • C1 = 10µF – 25V Electrolytic Capacitor
  • C2 = 100nF – 63V Polyester Capacitor
  • D1 = 1N4148 – 75V 150mA Diode
  • IC1 = 7555 or TS555CN CMos Timer IC
  • IC2 = 7555 or TS555CN CMos Timer IC
  • BZ1 = Piezo sounder (incorporating 3KHz oscillator)
  • B1 = 3V Battery (2 x 1.5V AA, AAA or smaller type Cells in series)


  • Delay time can be varied changing C1 and/or R3 values.
  • Beeper repetition rate can be varied changing C2 and/or R4 values.
  • Stand-by current drawing: 150µA.
  • Place the circuit near the lamp and take it away when defrosting, to avoid circuit damage due to excessive moisture.
  • Do not put this device in the freezer.

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