So I've seen a lot of how-to's for acoustic instrument piezo pickups. But there has been one thing that has bugged me about all of them: They all tell you to just tape it to your instrument. Now, I don't want to do that for fear of ruining the finish on my guitar. So I decided to make my own piezo pickup that simply attaches to the instrument with a suction cup. That way, no damage is done to it.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
For this instructable you will need:
1. A suction cup. Any size will do as long as it works.
2. A bottle cap big enough to house the piezo. I chose a Walgreens prescription cap. (in the picture I have a Gatorade cap but I messed it up)
3. A piezo element. You can find these at your local electronics store, or even in some small devices.
4. A 1/4 mono female input/output jack.
5. Some wire.
6. Tape. Electrical tape would work best in my opinion, but all I had was black and white checkered duck tape so it will have to do.
1. A drill with various sized drill bits
2. A soldering iron and solder
3. A hot glue gun and hot glue sticks
Step 2: Prep the Cap
First you need to drill a hole in the top of the cap. Make sure this hole is big enough for the suction cups loop ring stem to fit through. Then you need to drill a hole on the side of the cap, big enough for a couple wires to fit through.
Step 3: Hot Glue the Suction Cup to the Cap
Use hot glue to secure the suction cups loop ring stem to the cap. Make sure the stem is going through the inside of the cap, and actual suction cup is on the outside (top) of the cap.
Step 4: Installing the Piezo
This part is basically 3 steps put into one.
First you need to trim the loop ring stem of the suction cup a bit so the piezo can sit as close to the cap as possible. You may need to add a little more hot glue. Then secure the piezo to the inside of the cap with a little more hot glue.
Next, if you got the piezo element from a device, rather than purchasing one, remove the original wires from it.
Next you solder the two wires to the back side of the piezo. The red wire goes in the middle, and the black wire goes on the edge.
Make sure the two wires go through the hole on the side of the cap.
NOTE: When soldering the wires to the piezo, the heat from the soldering iron will likely undo the hot glue holding it in place. If this happens, heat up the piezo with the soldering iron and use something to hold it to the cap while it cools. I used the end of a screwdriver
Step 5: Adding the Output Jack
Solder the output jack to the other end of the wires. Red goes to the tip, black goes to the sleeve.
Step 6: TEST IT!
Before you seal everything up, test it first! You don't want to have it all wrapped up and try it only to find it doesn't work. Stick it to your instrument, plug it into an amp and try it out. Once you know it works, procede to the next step.
Step 7: Seal It Up!
Your almost there! All you have to do now is seal it up. This is where the tape comes in. I'm not gonna tell you how to tape it up, that's for you to decide. What I will tell you is that I use a little bit of tissue to stuff the cavity of the cap and cut a little bit of thin cardboard to help seal the cap end.
Step 8: Your Done!
That's it! Once it is taped up, your good to go! Have fun, and I hope you enjoyed my instructable!