Instructables
Picture of Build your own speaker from scratch!
After stumbling across a couple of tutorials I decided I would try and build my own speaker. This attempt succeeded and it surprised me at how well it  actually played. This is a lot of fun and can be built for next to nothing. 
It's also really great to show younger children and students to explain how speakers work. It would be ideal for a science class as there are very few components and all that can be found around the home. To assist in the learning side of it, I'll be sharing how I understand it works in the last step.
 
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Step 1: What you'll need:

Picture of What you'll need:
When assembling this list bear in mind that basically all of can be improvised for e.g. the battery can be replaced by any other round cylinder of roughly the same size, depending on your cup (another item that can be replaced with other things).

- A Styrofoam/paper cup (don't try a plastic one, it won't vibrate well enough)
- A small magnet. Doesn't really matter as long as it's small, and a magnet.
- A 3.5mm headphone jack. This can be salvaged by cutting it off a broken pair of headphones or similar item.
- Some copper wire (can be attained by taking apart old TVs, stereos,  but you'll probably have some lying around). It must be copper, as it is the most magnetic and conductive material that's readily available to be scrounged from around the house. 

- A C or D battery/Any smallish cylinder that has a radius a cm or two smaller than the girth of your cup
- Sticky Tape and popsicle sticks (it turns out you don't really need these, so don't bother if you don't have any lying around)
- Some alligator clips. If you have some wire and a soldering iron, they'll work too for a more permanent solution, but that makes much more work.
- Something that you can plug the speaker into. I used an iPod touch just to test it, but you'll find an older stand alone radio works better as the iPod had only enough power to make the speakers whisper quiet.

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Really great instructable! We've included a link to it from our blog :)
http://blog.first4magnets.com/how-a-speaker-works/
aeszok (author)  first4magnets10 months ago

Thankyou!

Hats offf
Hats offf
Hats offf
Lil Peii10 days ago
I really Like This Experiment
Lil Peii10 days ago
I really Like This Experiment
Lil Peii10 days ago
I Have One Question I Use Subwoofer Coil wire Plzz Tell Mee?
Lil Peii10 days ago
I Have One Question I Use Subwoofer Coil wire Plzz Tell Mee?
AngelL12 months ago

what do you do if u are using the aligater clips

ede oliveira2 months ago

Awesome! I'll be trying these tomorrow with my middle school science classes! Thanks a lot! I loved it!

Spantac3 months ago

Is it possible to make stereo speakers in this way?

When I stripped my audio jack it had 4 wires. Could this still work if I identified the wires?

Alpha 234 months ago
Just wanna say thanks for the great tutorial:-)
aeszok (author)  Alpha 234 months ago
i really appreciate that

just made an account to say thanks!hey can you go more advanced?like providing the speaker without more electricity so that its louder?thank you

aeszok (author)  Ephraimthegreat8 months ago

You could. You feed it much more electricity though and it will bounce around and break itself from the vibrations, or if you really went over board, melt. Then there's the issue of inserting an amp or something to provide the electricity. It's really just a proof of concept.

metalshiflet8 months ago

Will this work if I just take a coil of copper wire that I found in a computer power supply rather than coiling the wire myself?

aeszok (author)  metalshiflet8 months ago

of course it will, you think I coiled all that wire myself? I'm flattered

WYE_Lance2 years ago
Neat idea! Do you have a video of the speaker in action?
aeszok (author)  WYE_Lance2 years ago
I really didn't think of that at all. I might do that in the future. Like I said though, it's pretty quiet and more of a proof of concept educational thing rather than practical.

The speaker is not powerful because you didn't connect any kind of powerful
external power source such as :- you can use an
USB cable and cut it from the side which goes into the phone and connect
the +ve(black) and -ve (red) wires to the copper wire, then insert the
other side into a 5V USB adapter and switch it on.
trust me, it goes really loud.
Nice tutorial.

aeszok (author)  Hamir Shekhawat10 months ago

I understand this. Unfortunately I wasn't all concerned with how loud it was, more that it worked. If I had made it much more powerful, it may have bounced around or broken rather than vibrate the cup.

Here's a video of mine that I made based off of a video by kipkay: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V76q45usiO0.

The speaker is not powerful because you didn't connect any kind of powerfule
external power source such as :- you can also use an
USB cable and cut it from the side which goes into the phone and connect
the +ve(black) and -ve (red) wires to the copper wire, then insert the
other side into a 5V USB adapter and switch it on.
trust me, it goes really loud.
Nice tutorial.

Really enjoyed reading this tutorial. Well done my friend.
cool one
zwells1 year ago
Nice Instructable it only took five minutes and an extra large pizza.
zwells1 year ago
No hobbyists for you
what will happen if the magnet is placed below the copper wire? and how this can be applied to an earphone..? this stuff cool
tritian2 years ago
You wrote :
"iPod had only enough power to make the speakers whisper quiet."
I had lost power for 8 days last week due to "super storm sandy" here in NY, and was really bored. During the night time, I had hooked an old headphone jack's cable to a 5-1/4" 2-way car speaker (Infinity Reference 5022i), plugged it into my iPod and amazingly, it was MUCH louder then a little alarm clock speaker I was using beforehand. I even plugged the same setup into my laptop and it was 1/4th the loudness as the built-in speakers. Not really sure why it powered it better then your homemade speaker though lol. (iPod is a 5th gen aka the first video ipod) Nice instructable, will show it to my nieces and nephews next time I babysit them.
aeszok (author)  tritian2 years ago
Yeah, it sounds like those speakers would have had amplifiers in them. Some of those have amplifiers built into them so that you can plug it straight into a source (like an ipod). I have been trying to find a cheap amp so I can put my ipod through some old Yamaha speakers I have lying around. Interesting find though, also interesting about the hurricane, I had no idea that power over there was out for that long as I live in Aus.
tritian aeszok2 years ago
it sounds like they have amps built in for sure, but they dont. they are just high quality. was a pleasant surprise thought, made watching stuff on a tiny screen much much better lol
Attmos2 years ago
I like this one.
vpawar2 years ago
what's the use of battery....?
aeszok (author)  vpawar2 years ago
Just to wrap the wire around, it's a good size and a common household item.
DIVYA GARG2 years ago
nice...................and coollllllllll
theTick1972 years ago
Is the wire uninsulated?
aeszok (author)  theTick1972 years ago
I think mine was, but I'm not really sure. I don't think it'll make much of a difference, at the end of the day it's only an experiment. I used copper that I salvaged from an old TV if that helps at all.
The wire will be "magnet wire" and is insulated with a coating of shellac. any winding on a transformer used in a TV or any other electronic gizmo will be such. Uninsulate copper wire would not work at all since since contacts between the windings would short it out. It needs to be insulated so that the many turns on the winding can build up a usable magnetic field to push the magnet back and forth. I think I can see where you have scraped the shellac off of the ends.
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