A sound tube is a very intuitive gadget: Make a sound in one end of the tube. Close it to store the sound inside the tube. Release the sound by opening the tube's other end.

To indicate that a message is waiting to be released, a string of leds lights up when the tube is put down vertically, with the speaker-side up. When the speaker-side is down, the leds are off.

My first idea was to make a Sound Jar with just one opening, the jars' lid. Open the jar, make a sound into the jar and close it. The stored sound should be set free when opening the jar again. Making that work turned out to be a little tricky for me. So I made the jar into a tube, which simplified the electronics a lot.

We use our new Sound Tube as a message container, replacing the notes on the kitchen table to tell family members our whereabouts and yes, they can have some cookies. Other kinds of use can be seen in the video...

No video playing? Have a look at it here...

The Sound Tube works really well and it is very intuitive in it's use. Picture 3 in this step is a sketch of the upcoming Sound Tube version 2.0. Idea is to stick together two funnels to get the shape in the sketch. Or 3D-print the whole casing in one time...

If anyone has thoughts on how to turn this Sound Tube into a real Sound Jar with just one lid to open (even more intuitive!?), please let me know :-)

Making this Sound Tube is not very difficult. The heart of the machine is a hacked voicerecorder, that can be bought at various spots. The circuit that makes the leds blink is very basic and well doable for starters in electronics and soldering (although some precision-soldering was required at one point with my particular voicerecorder). When you have the stuff needed, the Sound Tube can be made in a couple of hours, I think. Have fun!

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You, my friend, are a true genius!
ynze (author)  emilyvanleemput1 year ago
ynze (author)  ynze1 year ago
Did you notice I made the video on Monster Marit's 11th birthday?
earthnative3 years ago
my jar idea:

you open the lid of an empty jar (empty is signalled by LEDs or lack thereof) and can then record. This makes the jar full. (signal by LEDs, etc)

You listen to a recording by opening the jar.

You empty the jar by turning it over and pouring the sound out. A mercury switch of some sort?

The only thing I'm not sure about is when to start recording again after emptying. As soon as you turn the jar back upright (makes it unobvious how to leave the jar empty), or should one have to close and open the lid again (awkward to empty the jar and then leave a new message)? :)

With some bonus LEDs and a counter, could the age of the message be indicated? (it'd be nice to know if there is something new, or if it's the same as the last time you saw the jar... :)
Possibly, It would need to have the display (You can find pre-built analog ones at Radio Shack or any hobby shop) and a switch to start the timer (something like a tilt-switch or copper foil on the lid depending on how and when you want the timer to start.)

Also, have you thought of using an arduino board to control it all. I bought mine in July and it seems like it would work great for something like this.
Mr. Pyro3 years ago
OR! You could be boring and old fashioned and have a jar full of paper and a pencil that you leave PAPER NOTES in that people TAKE OUT AND READ! and a small flag to signal! wait a minute.... did I just describe a mailbox? -.-
Mavamaarten3 years ago
Grappig idee, leuk gemaakt !
This is awesome! I have one of those voice recorder things and my fiance and I always leave notes to each other on it. This is way more fun and stylish to have as a decorative piece rather than an exposed board with a bunch of wires hanging out. Great idea!
janw3 years ago
Misschien moet je wel voor een volgend project even een boek met citaten doorbladeren. "Zakdoek" is niet meteen een uitspaak waarmee je de geschiedenisboeken gaat halen :P
ynze (author)  janw3 years ago
:) Ik bedacht gisteren dat "vloerbedekking" een veel beter woord was geweest. Het fameuze "Hello world" heb ik overwogen, maar vond ik uiteindelijk te afgezaagd...
dutchraptor3 years ago
dutch people are the best!
chicopluma3 years ago
now you don`t need paper in a bottle to write an sos mesage in an island
Lubaaas3 years ago
Van harte gefeliciteerd!
ynze (author)  Lubaaas3 years ago
Dank je! Waarmee precies?

Lubaaas ynze3 years ago
Met het maken van zo'n awesome gadget!
En ook misschien een beetje omdat dat voorkomt in het filmpje op 0:33.. :D
ynze (author)  Lubaaas3 years ago
Ah, xnappem! Beetje traag van begrip, vanavond, lange dag gehad :-) thnx!
GaryB1013 years ago
I LOVE this idea and also think the jar would be awesome. Knowing that I am, at best, a novice among novices, I wonder if you could use a storage jar with a lid that snaps on instead of twists, and then have different contact points for play & record. Twist left & open to record, twist right and open to play.
metqa3 years ago
Could you put some kind of mesh inside so the guts aren't shown when you open the lid?
ynze (author)  metqa3 years ago
Maybe the cloth that is used for speaker-fronts? The mesh shouldn't push down the micro-switches, but i guess that ca be avoided without too much trouble...
cincodenada3 years ago
For some reason I'm unable to reply to the thread above, but you could totally make it a sound jar (just one lid) even without an Arduino, with a smart application of logic gates (using some latching to store the previous state) and maybe some more caps to "debounce" the opening of the lid. I'll see if I can come up with a simple circuit that'd do so, because and Arduino is really overkill for this kind of thing. Not that that's a bad thing...Instructables is mostly about overkill anyway :P
ynze (author)  cincodenada3 years ago
I agree that the power of an Arduino is overkill to the task. I did fiddle with a latch-type flip flop, but I never got anything out of it that actually worked. I would greatly appreciate if you can come up with something to go along with!

ynze (author) 3 years ago
Nee. :-)
randofo3 years ago
I like this a lot. Very cool.
ynze (author)  randofo3 years ago
Thanks! Do you think the use of an Arduino can help to make a "one lid sound jar"?
randofo ynze3 years ago
Yup. You would just use a photocell and change the state on light/dark transitions. So the first time you open it, it would record and then when you close it, the state would change. The next time you open it, it would playback. You can control the sound module by replacing the switches with relays perhaps.
mikeasaurus3 years ago
A message in a bottle! What a fun way to leave a message for someone.
ynze (author)  mikeasaurus3 years ago
Thanks! It works really well, much better than I expected! The whole family here loves the little machine. I think the act of actually opening something to hear what's in there for you makes it fun, and the blinking leds are a good indicator of the message being present.
Shackiddy3 years ago
I might have an idea for one way to manage having only one lid on the jar.

Think of like a seasoning jar or something. Many have a lid with two ways to open it; one side for precision pouring, and the other for pouring larger amounts of seasoning. So just use one side for recording, and the other for playback. If you had a lid like that, you could probably whip something together.

Technically it is one lid, but it still isn't what exactly what you're looking for. Or, if you want something else, I might have another idea.

If you manage to mount a record button on the outside of the jar, and somehow tweak the system to alternate between record and play modes, you could get that to work. Or you could even use a switch to toggle record and playback.

I don't know if either idea is exactly in line with what you want, but at least you have somewhere to jump off of for now.
ynze (author)  Shackiddy3 years ago
I considered the record-button on the outside, too. A flip-flop latch (or just an entire Arduino) could toggle between record an play modes. I haven't tried to make it work, because I think it makes the use more complex and less intuitive.

I also considered the use of an Arduino to keep track of opening and closing of the lid. I have little experience in digital electronics, but I guess it can be done...
StockdaleA3 years ago
I wonder if you could used the voice recorder circuit from those recordable greeting cards

ynze (author)  StockdaleA3 years ago
Yes you can! It's exactly THE Same circuit, but THE quality of recording and playback is less.
ynze (author)  ynze3 years ago
Sorry for the strange use capitals... I wrote that comment on an iPad with apparently peculiar language settings...
thierry.kok3 years ago
ynze (author)  thierry.kok3 years ago
Wasagi3 years ago
ChrysN3 years ago
Nice, this is really cool!
Dumchicken3 years ago
but i am at instructibles???!!! aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
Kiteman3 years ago
Perfect for a house full of folk who are in-and-out.
Dr. Pepper3 years ago