Introduction: The Altoids Tin IPod Speaker/Case!


So my friend pulled out his fancy new touchscreen iPod nano and went to the radio function to listen to some sports game.  He checked his pocket and was dissapointed when he found out he had no earbuds, so now he couldn't check the score.  The solution for this would be to build a small, affordable, easy to build speaker system for any iPod or mp3 player without a built in speaker.  The materials are pretty easy to get if you don't already have them, and it is so simple to build that I would highly recommend this project for kids and students.  I hope you enjoy making your iPod speaker!

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Step 1: Materials

You will need...

* Felt
* An altoids tin
* An old pair of headphone or earbuds
* a mini speaker from a Hallmark singing card

Tools

* Hot Glue Gun (with glue)
* An awl
* A Hammer
* Soldering iron with solder (optional)
* Tin Snips
* Pliers

Step 2: Prepare the Headphones

Cut the headphones off of the wire so you have two wires.  Make sure the two wires are about 10" long.  Strip the wires revealing a colored wire and a copper wire.  The Colored wire is your positive wire and the copper wire is ground, or negative.  The polarities will not affect the speaker, but it is a good thing to know which is which.

Step 3: Wire the Speaker

Clip the speaker out of the card so you still have the positive and negative leads.  Twist together or solder one of the colored wires to the positive speaker lead, and the negative wire to the ground lead. You will only need one set of a colored and copper wires, so feel free to clip the other one back.  Wrap the connection with electric tape, and plug the speaker into your ipod to test it out.  If it doesn't work, check your polarities. If it still doesn't work, check to make sure your connections are good.

Step 4: Preparing the Tin

If you have a lot of cord (1'- 11/2 '), you may want to wrap it up and glue it together so it can fit inside of your tin.  Look at the picture for reference.  Trace the hallmark speaker on the top inside part of the tin, and draw 7-12 dots inside of the circle you drew.  These dots mark where you will be making holes for the sound to come out.

Step 5: Assembling the Wire

Hot glue the bundle of wire onto the side of the altoids tin as shown in the picture.  Cut out a piece of felt the size of the tin, and hot glue it onto the bottom of the tin.  This is to protect your ipod when you put it in here, and it also makes it look nice.  Before moving on, check to make sure that your ipod fits in the tin.  If not, you may want to change the location of the bundle of wire.

Step 6: Assembling the Speaker

Put an extra layer of felt so the wires below are hard to see.  This is optional, but it does help to protect your ipod, and it makes the inside of the tin look cooler.  Using the awl and hammer, make a hole on every spot you marked on the top of the tin.  Hot glue the speaker over the holes as shown in the picture.  Make sure the speaker is really in place because you don't want it to be coming apart while inside the tin.  Also, don't get any hot glue onto the diaphragm of the speaker.

Step 7: Cutting the Slit

Using the tin snips, cut two slits on the side of the tin, and bend it back using the pliers.  Look at the photo for reference. This is so if you have an ipod or other device that is too large to fit inside the tin, you can simply pull the wire out of the tin and then plug in your device.  You may have to make your slit bigger depending on the width of the wire.

Step 8: Enjoy!

You are done making your very own, pocket sized, ipod speaker!  Avoid the next musical dilemma by carrying this with you and showing off your DIY skills.  Some variations that can be made to this project may include having two speakers to make this stereo. This would only require you to attatch the other set of wires to another speaker and house it next to the first speaker. You could also use a different speaker with an amp to get better sounding music. If you have any ideas or variations, please post them in the comments below. Thanks!

-Doctordv

Comments

author
littlemissinventor (author)2015-01-02

This is really cool!

author
tdorrough (author)2013-07-16

Where can all the materials be found?

author
ivanjacob (author)2012-05-12

add an amp please

author
DoctorDv (author)ivanjacob2012-05-12

I'm new to audio projects, but if you can explain to me how to make an amp, I would gladly attempt it. Also, what would an amp do to improve my speaker? Thanks!

-Doctordv

author
Michael_Bell (author)DoctorDv2012-05-12

Yes. An amp would be a great addition to this project. An amplifier will allow a larger speaker to be hooked up to your iPod with out damaging it. So instead of a hallmark speaker, you can take a speaker out of an old boombox and use it.

https://www.instructables.com/id/Rechargable-pocket-sized-amplifier/
https://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-Simple-Audio-Amplifier/


Michael

author
DoctorDv (author)Michael_Bell2012-05-12

Thanks, maybe I could do this sometime, but as for right now, I would like to keep my speaker inside of an altoids tin. If I added an amp to my hallmark speaker, would it make the music louder? If so, how could I make one? Thanks!
-Doctordv

author
bwrussell (author)2012-05-11

Glad this worked out, it looks good.

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Bio: I love making things and simple electronics!
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