Introduction: Can of Sound

Picture of Can of Sound
In this instructable I will show you how to make the circuit for a Can of Sound. This instructable will only show you how to make the circuit. The actual case, (a Pringle/SlimJim can) can be fabricated by anyone who can use scissors, glue, and a marker...

This circuit comes in two versions, a digital version and an analog one. The digital version is easier to make, but the more complicated analog version is a little louder. You can pick what one you want.


Step 1: Supplies

The things you will need are

For the digital version:
+ A TSL230R light-to frequency converter ic <-- This is becoming more widely available at Radioshack
+ A Speaker
+ A Four-cell battery holder

For the analog version:
+ A 555 Timer IC
+ A .01uf Capacitor [cap code 104]
+ A 1k resistor [code Brown-Black-Red-Gold]
+ A Photoresistor
+ A Speaker
+ A 9V battery snap

Other Supplies
+ Wire
+ A soldering iron
+ Batteries
+ A Switch (optional)

***All of these parts you should be able to get at Radioshack. For the Analog version [for those w/o the TSL230R ic skip to step 3]

Step 2: Assemble Digital Version

Picture of Assemble Digital Version

This is the easiest way to create a Can of Sound. Wires can be soldered right to the chip.

Step 3: Assemble an Analog Version

Picture of Assemble an Analog Version

This is the analog version for those that do not have access to a TSL230R ic. It is a little harder and may have to be assembled on a Prefboard if you are not good at soldering. (prefboards available at radioshack too)

Step 4: Decorate!

Picture of Decorate!

Now, Put your Circuit in a nice decorated can!
coffee, pringle, jerky, etc...

It is light sensitive so make sure light can get to the circuit. Both circuits put out a square wave relative to light brightness. The lower the light the lower the sound. Use your hand to cast varying shadows. Make funny sounds!


hg341 (author)2009-06-11

im going to try the one with the 555 time it looks easyer and well where did you learn all of your stuff? you should post something on the tv you made and how much did you pay for your zombie labtop?

grenadier (author)hg3412009-06-12

a. i dont know b. i did c. 400 bucks 3.5years ago. it was new. i dont useit anymore cept for intense computing like video editing. now i like my new eeepc1000 with a hacked-in touchscreen, bluetooth, internal flash....

schetleft (author)2009-05-06

this reminds me of an optical theremin

girrrrrrr2 (author)2009-02-08

DUDE THE END WAS AWESOME!!! nice idea for that... so just wondering... how old are you?

DYLEGO (author)2008-10-15

i'm new to speakers and i need some help how do you program a sound to the chip? i just need a way to play a certain soud on a speaker from radioshack (like a little standalone speaker)

DYLEGO (author)DYLEGO2008-10-15

i basically need to have a speaker that plays a programmed sound when a button is pushed, and need to be able to get the sound from a computer

grenadier (author)DYLEGO2008-10-16

Id use a microcontroller but since ur new,
A speaker is just wire and a magnet, it plays a current passed through the wire. It does not playback a predefined sound, a circuit pipes the sound current through the wire. If you want a nice circuit to record and playback sound, radioshack has a nice one. Goto Here for more details.

DYLEGO (author)grenadier2008-10-17

im only new to speakers, not to electronics. i can solder, and i have a more than basic knowledge of electronics... i know about leds resistors, batteries, switches, etc. i just dont know that much about speakers... i could build that sound module by myself cheaper, right? idont really know how much the chip would cost

grenadier (author)DYLEGO2008-10-21

Recording a sound would require programming a microcontroller and an eeprom. better off with the $10 circuit from radioshack.

DYLEGO (author)grenadier2009-01-27

Finally got around to building this. It's great! It is pretty loud because I hooked up 3 2 inch wide speakers. The only problem is that in most light sources it is too high to be very loud. Is there any way to change the sound to make it lower without just putting a semi-transparent piece of tape over the TSL230R? I am also wondering about other sound modifications... Thanks in advance, DYLEGO

grenadier (author)DYLEGO2009-01-28

There are sensitity and Frequency Divider setting pins on the tsl230r.
This documentation should give you all the information you need to adjust the circuit.

DYLEGO (author)grenadier2009-01-28

Thanks. DYLEGO

grenadier (author)DYLEGO2009-01-28

Oh, just so you know, "1" is voltage source "0" is ground

instructors (author)2009-01-02

Were did you get the jumping beans? And I made the can of sons, but added a few more capacitors with some switches and a piezo buzzer to change the sound.

grenadier (author)instructors2009-01-05

i got them from a local fair, but i'm sure you can get them online

robot797 (author)2008-12-07

would the chip out of a cd player work 2? recever of laser beamy

grenadier (author)robot7972008-12-07

work for what? plese explain

robot797 (author)grenadier2008-12-07

for the can of sound... it has a sort light senticive chip in it

grenadier (author)robot7972008-12-08

radioshack sells the chip you need under the tightle "light to frequency converter." the chip in the cd player wont work. different function.

robot797 (author)grenadier2008-12-08

oke. i only have 1 problem now. we dont have a radioshack in holland what shall i do

grenadier (author)robot7972008-12-09

you can get one at parallax

grenadier (author)grenadier2008-12-07

oh now i get it. No it has to be the tsl230r. check radioshack

robot797 (author)2008-11-20

why does the beans jump?

grenadier (author)robot7972008-12-05

there is a little moth larve in there. when they hatch from their eggs, they burrow into the bean and live there until their grown up. heat dries them out so they jump when warm in order to find a cooler spot.

robot797 (author)grenadier2008-12-06

so when u order jumping beans you eat dead bugg's

grenadier (author)robot7972008-12-06

why would you eat the bean?!

robot797 (author)grenadier2008-12-07

becaus it is food? or isnt it? (is it like a fun thing to trick people)

grenadier (author)robot7972008-12-07

theyre just a novelty

robot797 (author)grenadier2008-12-07


instructors (author)2008-10-28

If you want to build this and many other things, radio shack has a microcontroler kit looks just like his. Love the instructable by the way

Kiteman (author)2008-08-16

A little practice, you should be able to get a rough version of Good Vibrations out of this...

Nice project.

jimmyb0nz (author)2008-08-15

FIRST! Just kidding, Very cool, my son is making one. Great job on the instructable.

About This Instructable




Bio: Physicist
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