Introduction: Bite-sized Boombox
Have you ever been sitting on the bus, and thought, "Man, I'm looking way too cool"? Well you can turn all that around with the BoomBiteBox, the sound system that goes through your teeth!
This is one of my favorite mini-projects, and explores all sort of concepts in electro-magnetism. The most exciting of which are that motors can work like speakers and vibrating bones can work like ears. Pretty neat, huh? Let's make one!
- What: BoomBiteBox!
- Time: ~ 15 minutes
- Cost: ~ $2 for supplies
- Concepts: Sound, Resonance, Electro-Magnetism, AC / DC currents
- Two wires
- Dowel (medium size)
- Mono 1/8" Audio Jack
- DC Motor 1.5-3V
- Wire Stripper
- Soldering Iron + Solder
- Drill w/ 1/16" drill bit
Step 1: Strip the Wire Ends
Start with two pieces of wire. They can be any length, but I chose somewhere around 18" each. Strip off the plastic coating of each end, leaving about 1" of metal exposed on each of the four ends.
Step 2: Solder One End of Each Wire to Motor Tab
Take one end of each of the two wires and solder it to either motor tab. You should have two wires unconnected, each of which has one end attached to the motor tab. Solder it up!
Step 3: Solder the Other Two Ends to the Audio Jack
Attach the two open ends of the wire and solder them to the two tabs on the audio jack. Make sure they don't touch, or the circuit will cut out.
Step 4: Drill a Hole in Dowel and Push on to Motor
Before this step, your BoomBiteBox is already capable of resonating with music. The dowel makes for a great bite plate.
You'll want to use about a 1/16" drill bit, and drill out a tiny hole in the end of your dowel. Push the motor spindle in to the dowel hole for a tight fit.
Instead of the dowel, you can use all sorts of things! We've used cups, metal rods, paper clips, tables, paper cones, the works! Find out what's best.
Step 5: Bite for Boom and Enjoy!
Look how happy Coby is listening to his BoomBiteBox. Awwww.
There are all sorts of experiments to do from here. You'll find that bass makes for better music, and that the volume depends on the power of the amp that is playing music in to it. Try it on phones, computers, sound systems, and see the difference. You'll also find that plugging your ears makes it work a lot better.
For design, if you're going to have lots of people try it out like in a classroom, choose a dowel which is small enough to fit a straw around. Or have each participant put plastic or a napkin over the dowel before biting.
With a powerful input, you can have someone plug one ear and their other ear will function as a speaker so other people can listen to their ear. Weird, huh? Resonance and hearing are amazing things. Check out this write-up of how hearing works for more.