Introduction: NES Cartridge Powered Speakers

Picture of NES Cartridge Powered Speakers
Some of you may have seen my NES Controller MP3 player. This is a companion project for it. I sometimes like to sit around and listen to music so I made these powered speakers. And since it was to go with the NES controller I made it in a NES cartridge.

Now before you even read any further. These are not really loud. Just so you know. They are great for sitting at your desk, but you would not want to have them as music for a party or anything. Now you could make a larger more powerful amp, but I didn't. Just FYI.

Here is a video of it playing with the MP3 player I made.

Step 1: Getting Everything You Wil Need....

Just get your normal tools. I.E. Dremel, glue gun, soldering iron, etc...

Then you will need the following:

One NES game of your choice. I only used Rush N Attack because it was the cheapest one I could find.
Two small speakers that will fit into an NES game. 1 Watt 8 ohm. ((0.5 watt are better.))**
Two LM386N ICs
Four 100uF caps
Two 100k resistors
Two 1k pot resistors
Two rectifier diodes
One ON/OFF switch ((Just get the smallest one you can.
6-12 votls worth of batteries. I used watch batteries ((6 volts worth)) due to the limited space. You could wire up a 9 volt and just have it on the outside of the game case. But it would look kinda weird. LOL

** I got these speakers out of an old Dell laptop I had sitting around.

Step 2: What Do I Do With All These Bits???

Picture of What Do I Do With All These Bits???

O.K. Heres is the schematic I used. I found it over at Bat Amps

It is simple and effective. Plus its VERY tiny. I did not make mine as small as it could be. I really think that you could fit two into a 9 volt battery casing. LOL I might have to try that for a headphone amp.

Anyway, you just follow the schematic and you should get something like I got. ((look at second pic))

Step 3: Modding the Games Case...

Picture of Modding the Games Case...

Your gonna need to cut some holes for the sound to get out.

Also you will need to drill out the spot for the switch. and the holes for the volume controls.

Just look at the pics to get an idea of what to do. Its really easy.

((YES I KNOW MINE LOOK BAD)) I was way too tired when I did it. LOL I also found out that the little circular saw blade of a dremel, WILL in fact cut through your shirt and into your flesh. So BE CAREFUL!!! ROFL

Step 4: Putting It All Together...

Picture of Putting It All Together...

Not to fit it all in there.

First, glue the speakers and the amps in. Put them on separate sides.

Then glue in the batteries.

Now you just have to hook up the power wires to the switch and the Diodes. Just wire the diodes in on the ground line of each amp. If you dont, the speakers will whine like crazy.

Step 5: DONE!!!!

Picture of DONE!!!!

Test it all before you screw the case together. Make sure it works.

If it does then you are done. Enjoy.


bruechel87 (author)2012-06-19

I don't get it. The schematic says the cap goes before the resistor and the resistor into the pot. You have it backwards. And why did you wire the audio input to ground? How does this even work?

noah472 (author)2011-01-07

i have a question i have some small speakers but bigger then yours and i want to do the same thing you did with them but i was just wondering do you need the amps and how would i wire them together through the power and the head phone plug with out the amps
any help would be great thank you.

choloescuintle (author)2010-04-22

buen trabajo
intentare hacerlo con baterias recargables

dylanlarson (author)2010-03-24

i bought some really cheap speakers of and was able to fit all the components in the cart. Although i accidentally burnt a little bit of the cartridge with my soldering iron   thx for the awesome instructable

TSC (author)2010-01-29

cool mp3 player!!!

TSC (author)2010-01-26

sweet I made some thing like this

shams (author)2009-03-16

lm396 isnt an audio amp !! It's genaral purpose op-amp!!

shams (author)2009-03-16

Haha crazy amp !! dude try a hifi one.. this is nothing... use high quality amp like discreet solid state or vacuum tube or use this chips:tda 1517,1519(2x6 watt 9 pin class ab),TDA 2615 (2x6 watt 9 pin class AB ultra low distortion HI-FI amp chip).....use this little chips they are really good!

Yerboogieman (author)2008-09-17

Hello, i hope you reply soon, is there a way to make the little amps more powerful, i know a 386 chip is a little better than that. bigger caps maybe? i really wanna build this but only have 5-10 watt speakers.

grenadier (author)Yerboogieman2008-11-30

if you add a 10uf cap across pins 1 & 8, instead of a gain of 20 you will get 200

Yerboogieman (author)2008-09-18

what would happen if i used a photo capacitor?

grenadier (author)Yerboogieman2008-11-30

caps coom in different values, you need the right values or your circuit wont work

grenadier (author)2008-11-30

if you add a 10uf cap across pins 1 & 8, instead of a gain of 20 you will get 200

Yerboogieman (author)2008-09-18

i made a few adjustments to the schematic, it was almost unreadable, same stuff, better look.

NetReaper (author)2008-06-29

Why do you even need an on and off switch?

TheShawMaestro (author)NetReaper2008-08-20

So you can turn the speakers on and off.

NetReaper (author)TheShawMaestro2008-08-20

But doesn't the mp3 player have that ability?

NetReaper (author)NetReaper2008-08-20

wait sorry, i forgot about the batteries. I'm used to my ipod.

logan996 (author)2008-08-04

not bad good idea but how do you make the mp3 player?

Morte_Moya (author)logan9962008-08-06

There is another one for it. Just click on my name and it should take you to my page and then you can get to it form there.

ac1D (author)2007-07-28

I LOVE IT! Both of your instructable are good, and i builded them. now, i have a BIG favor to ask you. Can you make a docking station with a NES? could be crazy. Im waiting for this :D (lot of idea come: plug the controller to the nes, put the cardrige in, and listen ! or could even use it to play video if the mp3 can ! You can't don't try to make it!

hawkfan45 (author)ac1D2007-12-27

It wouldn't work because you are ripping the game components when you make the speakers. The controller you are taking out the connection to the nes cord. So unless you are building them with everything still attached. It wouldn't work.

NetReaper (author)hawkfan452008-05-25

I think it's possible, just very hard and would take some tricky wireing

element291 (author)2007-08-16

You could have cut the sound slots a little neater. lol

Morte_Moya (author)element2912007-08-18

Yeah, check out step three and I said something about that. I think next time I will do it by hand instead of using a dremel. Because even on the lowest setting it just was not as clean as I can do by hand. Oh well.

NetReaper (author)Morte_Moya2008-05-25

just sand them

Treviun (author)2008-03-27

Nice idea, sick song! FM + LP<-best bands ever!

sammystephens (author)2008-01-12

What kind of screw driver do you need to open the nes cartridge? Great tutorial by the way!

n0ukf (author)sammystephens2008-03-25

It's a special security bit, like a reversed torx. You can find them on ebay. Be careful when looking, there's two sizes (3.8mm and 4.5mm), the smaller one for cartridges and the larger one for the consoles. There's also a 3-winged phillips type screwdriver for the Gameboys.

PyroMonger (author)2008-01-22

can you please post an instructable on making just the amp please...i'm having trouble with the one i put together

ionfreek458 (author)2007-08-03

this is amazing. u might of seen my post on the nes controller mp3, but i love this idea. im going to go buy the controller and game off ebay right now! THANX!!!

ionfreek458 (author)ionfreek4582007-08-03


Morte_Moya (author)ionfreek4582007-10-08

I ripped them out of an old Dell laptop I had.

Wingmaster700 (author)2007-08-14

how did you put in the volume

Morte_Moya (author)Wingmaster7002007-08-15

Huh? Do you mean the two knobs on the back of the cartridge? Those I just drilled holes for. Or are you talking about something else?

Morte_Moya (author)2007-07-29

I thought about doing that. Maybe even having it be bluetooth enabled hard drive player or something.

About This Instructable




Bio: Normally I use the handle Windcalmer online. Every other project I have done and posted online is under the Windcalmer name. This account was made ... More »
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