Introduction: Super EASY and Super CHEAP Magneto Scratcher!

Picture of Super EASY and Super CHEAP Magneto Scratcher!

"Magnero scratcher " is device which can create funny sounds just by "scratching" magnetic materials. Such as audio tapes, video tapes, credit cards, magnetic disks etc...

Here is an super EASY way to build one. No need of soldering. Only tool you need is JUST a Screwdriver!

So everything you need is:

Car Audio Tape Cassette Adapter
Audio recorder with microphone input (a computer with microphone input will work fine)
Something magnetic to scratch (credit cards work fine)

Super cheap also. Car Audio Tape Cassette Adapters go for just a few bucks in Amazon or in eBay for example. You can buy it anywhere and any type you want. They are all just as simple as seen in this Instructable. I have made three of these already and all work fine. They have little bit different sound quality, but all work just fine. The ones with stereo are little bit more fun! Remember to make sure that casette adapters "input plug" is right size for your equipment or buy adapter for it.

Cassette adapters are completely "passive electronics" so they do in work both ways. Normally music (electric currence) is inserted in it and magnetic head oscillates. With magneto scratcher it is works completely opposite way. Magnetic head picks the oscillation in magnetic surface and turns it into electric currence.

Step 1: Open Up

Picture of Open Up

1) Remove screws with Screwdriver

2) Open casette into two parts

3) Remove magnetic head

YOU ARE DONE! Super easy!

Step 2: You Are Done!

Picture of You Are Done!

Congratulations! You are proud owner of magneto scratcher!

You can make fancy handles or other cool stuff for it, but basically you are done and scratcher is already operational.

Next thing is to find something to scratch! (Look at second picture!)

a) Audio tapes
b) Credit cards

WARNING! magneto scratcher has not damaged any of mine credit cards or tapes, but it is still a magnet, so I am NOT responsible for ANY damage done to your magnetic items. Better to scratch ONLY those items you are willing to damage.

Step 3: Ready to Scratch

Picture of Ready to Scratch
1) Just insert the plug into any microphone input (computer, mp3 player or anything)

2) Hit the record button

3) Move tape head on any magnetic surface and you will hear a sound!

Soundsample in following video (two diffirent credit cards):


El-Frencho (author)2010-10-31

This is flippin fantastic!
Does anyone know of a free program I could use to manipulate the sound? And add layers of recording etc??

tekija (author)El-Frencho2010-10-31

Complitely free:

You shoud pay for it if you like it (does not limit funtionality if you don't):

rodeo.slang (author)2010-08-26

What are you plugging the connecting jack into to amplify the sound? Any ideas on how this could be used as an instrument in a live, computer-free setting?

tekija (author)rodeo.slang2010-08-27

I have plugged it into computers microphone amplifier, but any microphone amplifier will do. Actually a good microphone amplifier with more gain that those cheap computer amplifiers are way better for this, because it needs a lot of gain.

Jimbobwey (author)2010-05-11

Mine seems to have ALOT of static when I have it playing from the speakers...if I hold it "just" right, it goes away. I made sure no wires are's weird...but a totally neat concept!

Jeroen1022NL (author)2010-04-15

huh? i opened an cassette but all i saw was a little metal plate and a really small weird spongy thing

tekija (author)Jeroen1022NL2010-04-16

Reqular casette? One with tape inside?


panzuman (author)2010-03-14

just an idea since all this needs is a magnetic strip some one should try a credit card you might get some crazy stuff out of that!

tekija (author)panzuman2010-03-14

That saund sample in that video is from credit card.

panzuman (author)tekija2010-03-15

oh well then shouldnt it work on cds sice it is based on similar principle? or what about old 45's / vinyls?

tekija (author)panzuman2010-03-15

It works everything that is magnetig. cd:s and vinyls work in diffirent pricible so those do not work.

elkalpin (author)2010-03-05

Diz iz de bezt!!! XD

samuraiclinton (author)2010-02-02

this is what i'm talkin' about!

vinyl record turntablism is now a "thing of the past".  now you can crunch your scratch package into a strip of magnetic tape!  Too bad professional DJs don't go the extra mile to be like this!

SkateboardingForLife (author)2009-10-03

Dude this is awesome!!! i have, maybe, 3 of the cassettes and am a Dj. This will be a cool odd addition to my set up

lukaj2003 (author)2009-09-09

Nice Instructable. After seeing this, I rushed online and bought myself a car cassette adaptor off eBay for around 0.99 cents. After waiting the anxious 3 weeks, I opened it up and decided to give it a whirl, only to find it won't work. I took a look at the PCB and noticed the soldering, it seemed to bridged at one point but I'm not sure whether it should be like that. Here's some pictures, I might fix up the mistake tommorow if I can get around to it.

tekija (author)lukaj20032009-09-09

My both magnetic heads seem to be different than that one. There seems to be lots of different kind af magnetic heads. Really can't be sure what's wrong there. Probably some soldering because there are not many things that can go wrong with these.

BOOM5601 (author)2009-07-04

Could I use a small coil of wire instead of the Audio Cassette Adapter?

tekija (author)BOOM56012009-07-04

Yes. Quality depends very much which kind of coil you have. Probably more noise and strange frequency range if it is not just right type of coil. Still worth trying.

BOOM5601 (author)tekija2009-07-05

I'll just try wrapping it around a pencil. You could probably make a whole range of sounds with different sizes of coil.

tekija (author)BOOM56012009-07-06

Yes. Sounds interesting. More times you wrap it around, less noise you will get. On the other hand you will lose higher frequencies also. I think you should use quite thin wire, but not quite sure about that.

cardboarddude (author)2009-06-29

Could I make one from the magnetic head from a cassette player? Because i have one from a tape player and it has 4 wires and im not sure which wires to connect to the speaker. The wire colors are green, pink, blue, and white.

tekija (author)cardboarddude2009-06-30

Yes. Casette player head works. Colors are diffirent in diffirent models. You just have to try. Should be easy.

asianwizard (author)2009-06-28

wild idea but if i some how recorded data off a card would i be able to reproduce it on another?

tekija (author)asianwizard2009-06-28

In general or with this unit?

Generally there are units that read magnetic data and another units that can produce magnetic stripes. All magnetic cards can be easily copied and equipment is easily available.

With this unit I would say that theoretically it could be possible if you move recording head with one linear movement over the card in just the right place. I am not absolutely sure, but probably data is still not readable from that soundfile in real life.

If you scratch the magnetic card, then there is NO WAY that anyone can reproduce your card.

bFusion (author)2009-06-26

This is really cool, do you have any recordings you could share about what this sounds like? I might want to make my own (not that it seems that difficult), but I'd like to know what it sounds like first :)

tekija (author)bFusion2009-06-26

Yes. Watch the video in last step.

bFusion (author)tekija2009-06-26

Thanks, I'm not able to view YouTube at work, so I didn't see it. Sounds pretty awesome, might have to make one :)

efabric (author)2009-06-25

Can you post a detail image of the back side of your tape head? I would like to see the small component behind. Does it work If y solder a mini jack directly to a basic tape head ?

tekija (author)efabric2009-06-25

> Can you post a detail image of the back side of your tape head? > I would like to see the small component behind. Yes. I can do that probably next week when I get my camera back. I have got two of them and other has no components behind but tape head and other one has few resistors behind. I will post the images as soon as I get my camera. > Does it work If y solder a mini jack directly to a basic tape head ? Yes. They are passive also. I have had one working, but gave it away. You have to work out which wires to solder, because there is usually demagnetiser head in same head. Lots of wires. I just tried until it worked. Three wires if you want stereo. I still would buy one those casette adapters. They are just few bucks from eBay shipped around the world. The cheap ones I have now are just as good as regular tape head from sony walkman.

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