Turn Nearly Anything into a Speaker

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Step 1: Turn Nearly Anything into a Speaker

You can turn nearly any object into a speaker by using a piezo disc and a handful of additional components. While this may seem like magic, there is actually a rather simple technical explanation. By driving a piezo disc using an amplifier, the disc vibrates and then resonates the sound wave through whatever object the disc is attached to. When the object vibrates, it disturbs the air and makes sound. This is not only a fun trick, but also allows for a lot of interesting experimentation and creative projects.

Step 2: Materials

You will need:

(x1) Audio output transformer (radioshack #273-1380)
(x2) 1/8" mono jacks (radioshack #274-0251)
(x1) 3" x 2" x 1" project enclosure (radioshack #270-1801)
(x1) Piezo transducer (radioshack #273-0073)
(x1) 6' stripped-end audio mono cable (radioshack #42-2434)
(x1) Mini audio amplifier (radioshack #277-1008)
(x2) 6' audio mono cable (radioshack #42-2420)
(x1) Assorted shrink tube (radioshack #278-1627)
(x1) Audio player with output jack
(x1) Roll of double-sided tape

Step 3: Solder

Solder the red wire from the audio output transformer to the ground tab on the mono jack, and the white wire to the signal tab. This will be the input jack.

Solder the green wire from the audio output transformer to the ground tab on the other mono jack, and the blue wire to the signal tab. This will be the output jack.

Trim the black wire to remove any exposed uninsulated wire.

Step 4: Holes

Make a mark centered upon each of the 1" x 2" sides of the project enclosure.

Drill both of these marks with a 1/4" drill bit.

Step 5: Install

Remove the mounting nuts from the mono jacks, and then pass each of the mono jacks through one of the 1/4" holes.

Finally, mount them firmly in place with their mounting nuts.

Step 6: Glue (optional)

To keep the audio output jack from rattling around inside the enclosure, hot glue it in place

Step 7: Close

Place the lid back onto the project enclosure, and fasten it shut with the included set of screws.

Step 8: Piezo Disc

Carefully remove the lid off of the piezo buzzer enclosure to see the piezo disc.

Carefully break away pieces of the enclosure until you can fully free the disc. Be careful not to bend the fragile piezo disc, or it may not work.

Step 9: Solder

Trim the piezo disc's wire leads to be about 1" long, and then strip away some of the insulation.

Slide a little bit of heat shrink tubing onto each of the leads.

Solder the ground lead to the mono cable's outer insulation wire.

Next, solder the red signal lead to the cable's inner insulated signal wire.

Cover the solder joints with heat shrink tubing, and briefly use a heat gun (or other heat source) to shrink it into place.

Step 10: Plug

Plug the mono cable with the piezo disc attached into the transformer enclosure's output jack.

Plug one end of a standard mono audio cale into the transformer enclosure's input jack.

Step 11: Amp

The Radioshack mini amp not only amplifies an audio signal, but also has a jack to drive an external speaker.

The external speaker jack should receive the mono cable already plugged into the audio input on the transformer enclosure.

Plug a new mono cable into the audio input jack on the amplifier.

Step 12: Audio

Insert the other end of the audio cable connected to amp input into your audio player.

Step 13: Tape

Apply two small pieces of double-sided tape to the flat side of the piezo disc.

Step 14: Stick the Piezo Onto Something

Once everything is wired up, stick the piezo onto a surface that you want to make music.

Don't forget to turn the amp on, and the volume up.

Step 15: Stick the Piezo Onto Everything

Stick the piezo onto any item you want and discover its hidden musical potential.

License: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike.

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