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Picture of Hyperbolic Spoon iPhone Amplifier/Stand
The speaker on my smartphone is underwhelming; as is yours. I find myself cupping my hand around the base of the phone to provides a slight volume boost in situations with ambient noise. I wondered if it was possible to accomplish a volume boost with a spoon head acting as an amplification dish. The remainder of the spoon is bent into shape to act as a stand for the phone. The overall effect is a slight gain in volume (≈ 5dB in the video below); this is not an actual amplification but a deflection (and the spoon does not actually conform to a hyperbolic shape). No additional energy is needed to provide the sound boost, therefore it can be considered as "passive". There are several similar instructables out there, from the hand-cupping technique http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-amplify-your-iPhone-speakerswith-your-ha/, some snazzy paper based variants http://www.instructables.com/id/iPad2-Speaker-Buddy/?ALLSTEPS and http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-any-iPhone-LOUDER-for-FREE-Megaphone-for-any/ and even some very elegant looking rigs http://www.instructables.com/id/Passive-amplifier-for-iPhone/.


 
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Step 1: Step 2: Item List

Picture of Step 2: Item List
All you need for this instructable is a spoon and some tools to bend it with. I started with a large soup spoon, thinking that I would want the larger surface area and length. The results was not great, due in part to the weight of the head, making the whole rig rather unstable. The best result was obtained from a cheap dessert spoon. This was easier to deform and not as top-heavy.

"Locking sheet metal tools" provide more control. Otherwise use what you have at hand. If you live in the Matrix, then use your mind.  

Step 2: Step 3: Bend Spoon

Picture of Step 3: Bend Spoon
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This step covers the approach I took to bending the spoon(s). Depending on the size and quality of your cutlery, you may have to alter the length and angles to obtain the desired results. I used the "locking sheet metal tools" to do all the bending; this afforded more control on the position and angle of the bends. It is best to "underbend" rather than "overbend": the reason being that you will cause extra stress and eventually cause the spoon to break at the bend if you go back and forth. You can see a partial break on third image. 

The glass of the iPhone in contact with the steel of the spoon has very little friction. You may elect to wrap some electrical tape along contact points to ensure secure positioning. 

Step 3: Step 3: Enjoy

Picture of Step 3: Enjoy
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The uses for the "Spoon Amplifier" are limited to times when your best available screen is your phone (otherwise use your tv or computer), multiple people are watching (otherwise use your headphones), and you don't have access to external speakers (you're not home). Hunkering down to watch a movie with fellow hikers during a rain storm would meet these criteria. 

If using a bent spoon is not sufficiently eco-geek-chic to impress your entourage, you can always build yourself a "passive" hearing aid like the one shown above. http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/hug/messages/14/146149.html



Keep in mind, though it isn't exactly stylized, it holds the smartphone horizontally and amplifies. I'd call that a win win.
Renard_Bleu (author)  Iron Cowbell1 year ago
Thanks!
ZaneEricB2 years ago
goes to show you...sometime the best ideas are the most simple. Well played!
good idea i usually use my hand when im holding it to get the same effect. incorporating it into a stand is a great idea!
Renard_Bleu (author)  The1PublicEnemy2 years ago
Thanks!
EricHi2 years ago
Great use of an old spoon!
Reminds me of this:

http://www.instructables.com/id/iPad2-Speaker-Buddy/?ALLSTEPS
Renard_Bleu (author)  EnergyHandyman2 years ago
Nice design, and more stylish than pulling out the mangled spoon in public. I hadn't realized there were so many other passive amplification design on instructables till i published and noticed five similar projects in the "Related" section on the side. There is even a guy describing the hand-cup technique (convergent evolution?). I'll add a few links tonight. There must be a good reason why they point the speaker towards where you cant see the screen...
Renard_Bleu (author) 2 years ago
Thanks. Coolio appreciates his props too!
Gangster's Paradise....great choice. AND awesome project.