Styrofoam Plate Speaker

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Introduction: Styrofoam Plate Speaker

Get surprisingly good results from disposable picnicware! Turn an ordinary styrofoam plate into a decent sounding speaker. Original project design from Jose Pino. See the Test Results in the video.


Step 1: What You Need...

1. Ordinary Styrofoam Plate
2. Sheet of regular paper
3. 2 business cards
4. A Piece of cardboard larger than the plate
5. Magnet Wire (preferably 30-32 gauge)
6. A neodymium magnet. I got mine from CMS Magnetics
7. Scotch tape
8. Hot glue

Step 2: Build the Voice Coil

1. Cut (2) 11" strips of paper about 1/2 wider than your neodymium magnet is tall. A cutting board works best. Wrap one piece of paper around the magnet and secure it with tape.

TIP: Be sure you don't tape the paper to the magnet. Only to itself.

Then wrap the other piece around the first and secure it with tape.

TIP: Be sure you don't tape the second band to the first, only to itself to secure it.

Step 3: Finish the Voice Coil

Remove the magnet and glue the paper coil in the direct center of the bottom of the paper plate. Remove the inside coil of paper. Re-insert the magnet. Using the magnet wire, start making turns, about 50-60.

TIP: Tape down the first piece so it holds as you wrap.

Try to wrap it tight. Then tape the final result securely with scotch tape. Remove the magnet.

TIP: You can use a multi-meter to check the ohms. You want to get as close to 8 ohms as possible. You must remove the enamel off the ends of the wire to make contact and the easiest way to do that is to burn it off with a lighter.

Step 4: Build the Suspension

Fold the two business cards into an accordian shape like a "W". The two cards are then placed symmetrically at opposite ends of the plate and glued down.

Step 5: Final Step

Glue the Neodymium magnet to the center of the piece of cardboard and lower the speaker assembly over the magnet. It should slide over it easily. Glue down the suspension cards to the cardboard and you are ready to test it out. Let us know if you make one and how it worked. Hope you enjoyed this Instructable.

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    114 Comments

    can i use any kind of magnet in it

    please can u tell me how to connect those magnet wires into mobile jack

    Is it ok if you use conducting wires?

    Do you mean wire with no insulation? Unfortunately no, the current must be forced to go around the coil, but if it is not insulated, the current would just flow straight through the big chunk of the coil to the other end without creating the electromagnetic force. Did this for the second time with my physics students, they love it! Thin, insulated magnet wire is the best. The thinner wire makes the resistance more like 8 Ohms, the resistance of a normal speaker. Thicker wires have less resistance, but my resistance is still around only 1 Ohm, so after a while I always overheat the speaker and smell some burning smell. When I use a really big PA system to drive it, I see smoke, but it is sure loud!

    This is a great project! After some experimenting, I found that items such as a tin can work best.

    I have tried this one. It worked. But, sound level is too low . It was more like a earphone in a large scale. Is there any way to increase the sound level.

    *Did you wind the coil layer by layer or it was just a rough winding ?

    Please let us know about the winding technique. May be others are waiting for this....

    I have tried this one. It worked. But, sound level is too low as a loud or ordinary speakers. I was more like a earphone in a large scale. Is there any way to increase the sound level.

    *Did you wind the coil layer by layer or it was just a rough winding ?

    Please let us know about the winding technique. May be others are waiting for this....

    I have a problem. I am using very thin wire (not sure what the gauge rating is) I salvaged out of those retro telephone ringers. I tried to loop it around the paper cylinder several hundreds of time, but when I connected it to my amplifier, I guess it had little resistance, and the amplifier overheated, burning it. (a) Is very thin wiring safe for this project? (b) Can I hook this speaker up to my phones audio output jack?

    Thanks for answering!

    hey kipkay can i use a ring magnet with the top ring and middle core?