Introduction: Tape Converter

Picture of Tape Converter

converts sound from a standard headphone jack so that you can play it thgough a tape player

Step 1: Parts

Picture of Parts

3.5mm headphone jack
magnetic head from old tape player
old tape

Step 2: Solder

Picture of Solder

Solder the magnetic head to the jack

Step 3: Open Up the Tape

Picture of Open Up the Tape

first remove the inards, then un-screw all the screws on the tape to open it up.
remove all of the parts

Step 4: Cut Off...

Picture of Cut Off...

cut off the screw holder thingy, that is in the way of the tape head

Step 5: Glue

Picture of  Glue

hot glue in the tape head. the tape head goes in the middle "slot"

Step 6: Done

Picture of Done

feeed the wire3 out the top and then close the tape back up. I reccomend testing it before closing it then your done!

Step 7: Cut Off...

enter longer descriptoin for this step


andrewmystery (author)2011-01-21

Hmm, I did not know it was this simple to make, I'm glad I did not by a converter at the Source (radioshack) for 40 dollars, I'll have to try this one out for sure. Thanks for the 'ible!

Badetise (author)2010-07-08

i wnt to make one of these but i dont have the tape head thing i saw another online that used air core (nothing inside) electromagnet simply hooked up the the jack.. would that werk too/

jridley (author)2007-08-23

I don't think this will work with any of the players I have; they all have sensors to tell if the tape reel is still moving, and if not, they assume the tape is at the end and reverse or shut off. Commercial tape adaptors have some gears inside so that when the player turns the hub on one side, the other turns too, fooling the player into thinking that there's a tape in there and it's playing.

sk8er6 (author)jridley2009-08-10

all you have to do is run a rubber band between each wheel. this is a good project if you happen to have random crap lying around.

ramroids55 (author)2008-01-11

Hmm, why not just go buy one of these?. their less than $5 at Wal-Mart

elecrulez (author)ramroids552009-05-21

wal-mart is in america

admanrocks (author)ramroids552008-01-18

why must you poop on my parade?

ramroids55 (author)admanrocks2008-01-22

Because, i have poopy-parade- itis.

admanrocks (author)ramroids552008-01-23

Oh, I'm sorry to hear that...

Yerboogieman (author)admanrocks2008-02-25

so when is ramroids55's surgery? the one where he gets that giant stick rmoved from his butt

LinuxH4x0r (author)Yerboogieman2008-03-10

Oh, I though I was going to shove one up. Wait, maybe that was my boot.

Yerboogieman (author)LinuxH4x0r2008-03-10


ramroids55 (author)Yerboogieman2008-03-15

Hmm, iono when my surgery is. ill have to ask your mom, she's in charge of my schedule

Yerboogieman (author)ramroids552008-03-15

my mom died in a car wreck.

santy22 (author)Yerboogieman2009-03-08

Combo Breaker.

LinuxH4x0r (author)Yerboogieman2008-03-16

Thats horrible. My condolences. :'(

Wal-mart is about 100 miles away from where I live. This instructable is great for kids who don't get paid $20 an hour, and people who live in the middle of no-where.

Yerboogieman (author)ramroids552008-01-27

why not just go to tacoma and buy a sony portable ipod charger for $99?

dg33 (author)2008-09-06

very good Instructable id do this hum not so sure on the mono thing ( I think it Would be cool to make one of these with a radio fitted inside it just for the sake of it (or with a mem card reader in it)

dg33 (author)dg332008-09-06

Just thought (douse it have to be a special write head or will a regular tape read head work????) thanks

vjoshi (author)2006-07-27

I have done it simplly, just get tape adoptor. It'll cast you $5.00 only. Instant PnP.

subversive (author)vjoshi2006-09-05

Why pay $5.00 for something that someone has just shown you how to easily construct for free out of spare parts that you can easily find laying around? This is a DIY site, and this DIY is simple enough. Ofcourse, if you can't spell basic words like "simply", "adapter", and "cost" then I guess these instructions might be too complicated for you.

reese08_93 (author)subversive2008-08-20

true that

olmec (author)subversive2006-10-04

Sure, DIY is cool if you have lots of spare time. But if it takes an hour to build this thing out of spare parts that I may or may not have lying round and I can buy it for $5 and earn $20 for my hour at work then the DIY version makes no sense... except for educational purposes... and perhaps environmental recycling... I never had much luck with solder... Olmec Sinclair (

carpespasm (author)olmec2008-05-16

well then perhaps this instructable isn't up your alley. For those who enjoy tinkering in their spare time and doing things "just because they can" this could be a fun little time killer that you get something functional out of in the end.

gizmo_ult (author)vjoshi2008-06-21

well at least he did something out of boredom to find out to get this for free so it's a good thing or you can always go to the 99 cent store they have these

Lithium Rain (author)2007-11-17

Must i use an old magnetic head for this to work? Can I use something else, like a regular magnet, or is that a dumb question?

carpespasm (author)Lithium Rain2008-05-16

the magnetic head is a magnet with a coil (coils?) of wire, which pick up the inductance of the tape as it goes by if i remember correctly, but you wouldn't be able to use a normal magnet.

theadamlevy (author)2007-11-29

i remember when i was a youngin that when you wanted to take a picture you had to wait 20 until they invented the camera! so stop whining ya blabberin wippersnappers!

theadamlevy (author)2007-11-29

niether are we allowed to talk about not talking about not publishing photos of top secret experimental airplanes

llama lord (author)2007-11-15

i cant see a god damn thing....

admanrocks (author)llama lord2007-11-16

ya, I know, those pictures suck

tomw92 (author)2007-05-03

in my mams car she has a cd play with no tape, i dont want to buy an fm transmitter because they are quite costly. any ideas????

admanrocks (author)tomw922007-05-03

well, you ould install an auxillary jack, I think there might be an instructable for that.

Lancealator (author)2007-04-12

for some reason mine isnt accepted by cars tape players and even if it is in there is no sound please respond.

admanrocks (author)Lancealator2007-04-12

ya, i don't know to tell you the truth, it could be many things. perhaps your head is not lined up right, soldering could be bad, you could have soldered the wrond pins. did you try it in a tape player other than your car?

Lancealator (author)admanrocks2007-04-12

Yeah it works in normal tape players just not car ones i think it might be either the wire coming out or the fact that i took out the inside wheels.

robot (author)2007-01-04

i made it. it works, it works! :-)

admanrocks (author)robot2007-01-04


Amadeos (author)admanrocks2007-03-17

hey, can you E-mail me or post up a pic of the wires and what goes where on a Mono and/or stereo magnet reader. Thanks!

admanrocks (author)Amadeos2007-03-17

well, its different on all heads. with a mono head, there are only two cantacts, it does not matter which one is which. stere, there should be three contacts: ground, left, and right. try experimenting to find out which is which if you dont know

Amadeos (author)admanrocks2007-03-18


gamer (author)2007-01-26

Hi, nice idea, one question, is the sound quality good or is it bad? i took apart a tape player and soldered on the tape head and put it back together, and it SUCKS.

admanrocks (author)gamer2007-01-26

mine has pretty good sound quality, i honestly dont knw why yours would have bad sound quality. im not that electronic savy, i just sort of figured this out. thu i would reccomend making sure that your soldering is good. how many contacts does your head have? if there are more than two maybe try different contacts? i hop that helps

gamer (author)admanrocks2007-02-24

yeh after all i tried it and it worked out preatty well, my head had 4 contacts:) i tried everything and found something that was good, so thanks for your answer

Ingerson (author)2006-07-14

Please give more details about the soldering; which wire gets soldered where?

leevonk (author)Ingerson2007-02-15

I don't have on in front of me, but if there are two contacts on the tape head doesn't matter which wire you solder to which. Just put one wire on one of the contacts and the other wire on the other contact.

crestind (author)2006-12-26

That is so awesome! I always thought these involved some incredibly complex circuitry and stuff inside the tape.

crapflinger (author)2006-12-04 all you "anti-diy" folk who seem to be swarming the site....why come to a site that tells you how to build/make/cannibalize/modify things to suite your needs if all you do is post things like "you can buy that at the store you know"...duh...of course you can buy it at the store...but why buy what you can make? and why waste your time posting a comment like that? for the instructable: good theory..and good setup...but the pictures could be better...and the instructions could probably be a little more detailed....i know that the process is A LOT easier to understand once you tear open that old tape deck and pull out parts...but some people would like to have detailed instructions before they start tearing things open

admanrocks (author)crapflinger2006-12-04


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Bio: my name is Adam!
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