Instructables
Picture of Build your own Auditory Augmented Seashell!
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In this Instructable I will explain how to build your own Auditory Augmented Seashell. Now, before we start, what is an Auditory Augmented Seashell?

Answer: basicly it's a seashell capable of producing other sounds than that it's already making. Normally a seashell produces a resonance, hearable when you put a shell against your ear. The folk myth is that you can hear the ocean in a seashell. Now, we know that this is not true, but what would happen if you had a seashell that could actually produce sounds of the ocean?

To answer this question I build, what I like to call, an Auditory Augmented Seashell. So far I made two prototypes which I like to share with you. I am very interessted in what you think and what kind of wild ideas you have with this peculiar seashell!
 
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Step 1:

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The first Auditory Augmented Seashell is a very simple project you can do. First grab what you will need:

-a small seashell
-a pair of earphones (maybe some old salvaged ones?)
-a hot glue gun or some ordinary glue
-some scissors or cutting pliers

We're first going to get rid of the earphone's housing as it is to big to fit in the seashell. Carefully use the cutting pliers to cut the housing away, be careful not to cut the wire! What you should finish with is just a small speaker that is still attached to the wires.

The second step is to cut one of the earphones off right were the cord starts separating. If you are using a salvaged earphone, make sure you don't cut the only working piece. You could also skip this step if you want a stereo seashell :P

Next, start tucking the small speaker in the seashell, it helps to use a strong magnet on the outside to really get that speaker as far in the seashell as it can go.

Apply glue to the earphone wire so that it doesn't come off.

Now surf to http://www.freesound.org/   connect your Auditory Augmented Seashell with your computer using the earphone jack, find a nice beach/ocean sound on the website, put the seashell against your ear and start relaxing! And of course, share it with others!
kgirl55231 year ago
Cool
Mackramer1 year ago
Never knew about freesound.org , very cool site and this is a cool project. Might try to make it cordless with a mercury switch so it comes on when you pick it up.

Thanks for sharing.
rayala41 year ago
Could you make a "shell"phone like this?
exstatosoma2 years ago
Thanks frits297, I should have read the whole thing first and saved you having to point out the obvious. I like it a lot.
wobbler2 years ago
I like the idea of not shelling out a lot on speakers! Shades of 1000 Leagues Under The Sea, Kirk and jules would be proud.

Maybe you could drill a hole at the small end of the shell and feed the wire out there instead of the front to hide it better? Or you could make a slightly larger hole that the earpiece just fits into to save destroying the earpiece. This could also work with your bluetooth, with the bluetooth hidden either in the stand or behind the shell, and just feeding the sound in.
exstatosoma2 years ago
Very neat idea. I like Kiteman's idea for using it in aquaria, too.
My partner and I run science activities in schools. In one, we pass around a large shell so the class can listen to the sea or, as one kid said last week, the toilet flushing (sigh).
Any idea how a sound source could be concealed in a good size shell, and either remotely triggered or triggered on a timer? That is, no cable or other sign it is there. It could be fun.
frits297 (author)  exstatosoma2 years ago
Hi, the bigger shell in this Instructable uses a bluetooth module, it has no wires going to it and the electronics are not visible from the outside. You might want to cover the blue LED which is causing the light hence it gives a clue that this is not a normal shell, but on the other hand, this might be more exciting for kids. Other than that, the sound source is concealed, timing could happen through your (bluetooth capable) phone or laptop
BudBump2 years ago
Lots of marketing potential here... thx.
rimar20002 years ago
I have such bad luck: found a seashell on the beach, put it to the ear, and it gave me a busy tone...
I do like the idea of a shell phone....
frits297 (author)  rimar20002 years ago
lol :P
That's so cool. Going to have to try that. I have loads of sea shells as well.
For other people who want shells like that they can get a pack of averaged sized shells at a dollar store, craft store or some garage sale.
ilpug2 years ago
This is perfect! I have a ton of big shells lying around, but nothing to do with them.
Kiteman2 years ago
This is awesome - I can see this idea being used at aquaria - pick up a big shell an you can listen to something interesting about the tanks you are near.
Very neat project!