Instructables
You may have seen the DIY altoids amp somewhere else, but this one is easier than the other plans I have seen. This project can be completed in one sitting, depending on how long that
sitting is and how precise you make everything. It will cost you about 10-15 dollars depending on what you have lying around the house. Sorry the pictures aren't up, I am having a problem uploading them.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Time to void a warranty!

Tools:

-small Phillips head screw driver
-electrical tape or duct tape
-hot glue gun (optional)
-wire strippers (won't be mentioned, but they will come in handy)
-drill or dremmel tool (to cut through altoids can)


Supplies:

-cheapest cassette walkman you can find (get one without AM/FM, that requires more space, and it won't fit in the altoids can. It should cost around 5$, mine is a Durabrand model 820M...real high quality stuff here folks)
-altoids can (empty, eat up)
-toggle switch
-audio in jack (like what you plug your guitar into)
-x2 AA battery holder (side-by-side, not end to end )(x2 means holds two batteries, not two holders)
-extra wire (not neccessary, but will probably come in handy)

NOTE: If you don't use the same exact stuff I do, yours may not fit into the altoids can, if it won't fit, find another case, I recommend the cassette player case.

Take the tape player apart, do it carefully, you may need to know how it goes back together later. Get the chip with electronics out IN ONE PIECE. The motor and switches may be
attached, these will need to be removed in a later step, but first, you need find out how pressing the play button connects power to the amplifier. Follow the power wires from the
battery compartment, one of them should be interrupted, when you press the play button, it will become uninterrupted, this is where you will hook up the toggle switch, in the place of
the play button. Also, in my tape player, there was a switch labeled "bass boost", I had to cut a little of the case plastic to get the switch out in one piece, but I guess if you wanted, you could just remove it.


ccoslor9 months ago
I used your plans to build a preamp. Thanks dude!

It is also very similar to this design but I found yours first and saw this after making it: http://www.instructables.com/id/Cassette-Player-Guitar-Amp/

A brief demonstration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XRAcdE_XgQ
can you please put pictures , your not helping any body
I think that you could just leave the playback head in tack and add some wire to the existing connection. Then it could still play tapes and if it had a recording feature then you could possible record what you play as well. Just find a spot not in the way to mount your 1/4" input jack and leave it all mounted in the walkman case. Just a thought, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong though.
so, when you call this an amp, is it an actual amplifying coil? or does this just connect the output from a (guitar, aux input, etc...) to a set of speakers or headphones?
Charger_066 years ago
you can just connect the motor wires together to by pass it. Thats just like a closed circuit.
I agree.
collince2 years ago
I am not the best with tech stuff... So do you have any pictures? If not that's fine there are plenty of YouTube videos! Really cool project anyway! Thanks!
Can someone help me out? I am trying to do this with a radio (from the dollar store) and i have no idea where to put the 1/4 jack.
try this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dr_6F22HGY
bust open the cassette deck (if there is one) if you're doin what i think you are doin and this radio is only a radio, then i'm not completely sure but i think you can bust it open and solder in the jack after removing the leads to the radio tuner. on the radios i've gutted it was a cylindrical coil of copper wire. I think your gonna have to improvise a bit
knex_mepalm3 years ago
This is awesome! and Hi from http://www.ipodtouchfans.com/forums/showthread.php?p=2405333#post2405333
wooowmeato3 years ago
try using the macro setting on your camera next time it will help drastically, thanks for the guide! cheers! :)
chessdude33 years ago
can I use a portable CD player?
Sick_Nixon3 years ago
it would be better to plug a speaker right to the output, at least if you are going to use it for  guitar. you coud put this in a bigger case and solder a 1/8 male jack to the speaker (and plug it in the output jack)to make it simpler. you should also shield it with foil if you choose to do so. what would be nice is to add distortion of some kind. if anybody knows something...
guitarfan4 years ago
 could i use a old computer speakers?

mdog935 years ago
How could you adapt this to amplify a guitar?
i think you use a jack converter?...
k, i dont rely know what that is- is it just a component? mdog
well if your jack is like a headphone jack you can buy a converter from the ipod section at the store like wal-mart. looks kind of like that drawing
_
<===(_() <-- bigger jack for mikes and other stuff!
lol u just made ur first 3D ASCII drawing!!!
a cylinder!
(_()
lol
oh yh, sorry i know bout that but i think thers sumthin bout the elelctronics which means it wouldn't work with a guitar. ther has been discussions bout using it with a guitar in the past and they have come out as it wudnt work. but i'd like to know how you could make it work. mdog
i built this for a guitar. it doesnt work very well and i think its because of the fact that when you amplify, say, an ipod, you are amplifying an already strong signal, so you dont have to amplify it very much. On a guitar, you have to crank it up so loud that it gets very distorted and there is a lot of feedback. afterwards i tried it with an ipod and it was very static, although i think i fried something while using it because i dont think it always sounded this bad.
ahh but active pickups like EMGs have an internal preamp so the signal is still strong
yeah, i still think there must be a solution to it, i just don't know enough about it to work out the electronics side of things. mdog
not really sure
kk thanjs anyway
1578bb4 years ago
Hey i made one and it works great. Found the amp chip on a broken tape player outside and everything worked as said. THanks =)
adamgillies4 years ago
 Is this a headphone amp? Or does it actually amplify out loud?
 In one of the steps it says there's a headphone jack, but you could send it through one of those mini speakers to make it audible without any headphones. I suppose you could conceivably turn the volume up all the way and route it through speakers inside the tin instead of a headphone jack, but I'm not sure if the voltage would be high enough for that. 
i want to make one of these and an "altoids electric guitar"!!! that would be cool.
Jodex4 years ago
Yes, hot glue is very much super useful.
kdennis6 years ago
hey there.. i followed your instructions.. connected it to a jack to my ipod. problem is.. there is a loud buzzing sound. i was looking for short circuits but i dont have any my amp works fine without the motor..just that the sound is distorted.. I am working on it open without a case yet. hope somebody can help me. thanks :)
ive been having a similar problem. when my amp is turned on but no music or sounds are played throug it, it gives off a fuzzy feedback sound and i can hear voices ( i'm not crazy). I think its picking up a radio frequency. Is their any way to correct this?...Shielding certain wires possibly? Please help us (kdennis & myself). Thanks
Try disabling the radio (if there was 1 already) by just desoldering it, or cutting it off. (dont know if it would mess the amp up)
batman96 IdrisB4 years ago
mine is a stock amp from the store with no changes
theres no radio with mine either..mine came from computer speakers
You're using unsheilded wire, and you're picking up AM radio in the wires and then your amp is making it audible. I used to be able to pick up the local sports radio station on my guitar cable when I was at my friend's house, until I got a new, sheilded cable. Connect with sheilded cable, and your voices will go away.
my guitar amp like i said earlier pickups radio when i don't and i can tell it is our local fm radio station because when i tune a regular radio to our local station i can hear the same voices and sounds!
avwos batman964 years ago
That must be really creepy, if you don't know where it's comng from :L
Oooohhhh... I've never picked up FM before. This bears testing. Fun fun!
Pro

Get More Out of Instructables

Already have an Account?

close

PDF Downloads
As a Pro member, you will gain access to download any Instructable in the PDF format. You also have the ability to customize your PDF download.

Upgrade to Pro today!