Coffee Cup Phonograph

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Posted in PlayMusic

Introduction: Coffee Cup Phonograph

We all may remember a little experiment from childhood, A pin in a cup can be used as a cheap phonograph. Well I never tried it, but I figured if it works why not try and make an actual player out of it. This would be a great use for scrap that can be found most places.

Step 1: Parts

[Things You Will Need]:
A record (check your local thrift store for a test record)
Paper coffee cup
Thumbtack
120v fan (mine is an industrial grade case fan from a power unit)
120v rated power cord
Some sort of material for an arm

[Tools You Will Need]:
Hot glue gun
Hacksaw (optional)
Anything you may need to work with your case

Step 2: Assemble Parts

First thing is to attach the pen cap to the fan. This will act as a guide for the record, as well as a grip. Make sure you get this centered.

Now attach the power cable to the terminals on the fan. If the fan spins in the wrong direction just reverse the wires.

Now for the speaker unit. Take the thumbtack and poke a hole through the center of the bottom of the cup. Now take the tack and insert it back into this hole, this time from the inside of the cup. Finally attach the material for the arm to the edge of the cup.

Step 3: Test

Now test it. While the fan is unplugged put the record on the pen cap. Plug this in and ensure that the record is spinning. Now take the armature and touch the point of the thumbtack to a groove on teh record. You should here a sort of crackle emanating from the cup and maybe what sounds like music. This version is only a prototype and still needs some work and fine tuning to get it to sound right. Feel free to modify and experiment with this.



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    6 Comments

     Cool idea - maybe a potentiometer would enable you to control the fan speed and slow down the spinning?

    1 reply

    Well I would have used a dimmer switch but I couldn't get to the store to get one. I also think the fan I chose spins the wrong way.

    Just a little faster than 33 rpm, eh?

    You have got to include a video of this in action!

    1 reply

    Just added video. The vid is kinda quiet do to it being done on cell phone