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Picture of Turn Nearly Anything into a Speaker
You can turn nearly any object into a speaker by using a piezo disc and a handful of additional components. While this may seem like magic, there is actually a rather simple technical explanation. By driving a piezo disc using an amplifier, the disc vibrates and then resonates the sound wave through whatever object the disc is attached to. When the object vibrates, it disturbs the air and makes sound. This is not only a fun trick, but also allows for a lot of interesting experimentation and creative projects.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
You will need:

(x1) Audio output transformer (radioshack #273-1380)
(x2) 1/8" mono jacks (radioshack #274-0251)
(x1) 3" x 2" x 1" project enclosure (radioshack #270-1801)
(x1) Piezo transducer (radioshack #273-0073)
(x1) 6' stripped-end audio mono cable (radioshack #42-2434)
(x1) Mini audio amplifier (radioshack #277-1008)
(x2) 6' audio mono cable (radioshack #42-2420)
(x1) Assorted shrink tube (radioshack #278-1627)
(x1) Audio player with output jack
(x1) Roll of double-sided tape
 
brightout272 months ago

Hi! May I just ask how you obtained the piezo discs? I mean, is there any way I could make the discs myself? Or, may I know where you bought the discs? Thanks!

They're pretty cheap to get at basically any local electronics store and also via ebay. In the case of ebay you might have to wait a couple weeks or so for them to arrive with chinapost. Here's a link for 3 pieces for a dollar: http://www.ebay.com/itm/3PCS-27mm-Piezo-Elements-S...

And a link for 20 pieces for 2 dollars:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/20PCS-12mm-Piezo-Elements-...

I hope that'll suffice

trarial1 year ago

I don't think Nicolas Collins would mind you using his (exact) setup to turn a piezo disc into an audio driver, but the least you could do is mention that you got every single part of this instructable except for the pictures from his (excellent) book "Handmade Electronic Music: The Art of Hardware Hacking." Parts numbers, even the exact same battery powered amp. C'mon dude. Have some integrity. At least so you can spread around the knowledge of said book! To anyone else reading, definitely check it out, it's got way more audio projects than just this, and even some interesting circuit-bending and video sections.

Sold two books! love learning about hardware hacking. I'm actually writing an essay for my English class about green and free energy and how anyone can build their own contraptions with unused stuff or recycled stuff to produce enough energy to run their house hold from including use of wind/solar/magnetic energy sources. what another great discovery for myself, because i might have an idea for this. well two ideas, one for energy research, and to see how it would work with my headphones i made from 3M hearing protection, they sound good now, but it still needs an amp, more base and maybe surround sound capabilities (anyone have any suggestions on any of this?)

This comment sold a book.

Thanks for pointing that out. I'd be sure to check it out

Misac-kun1 year ago

okay. You used a Amp and a Transformer to drive the piezo. Is the transformer really needed or it will work fine without it?

parisusa1 year ago
Kazmataz: your comment is so cheesey! But you are quite sharp. :) is it wrong that I expected to see a photo of this thing stuck to an 8 track? Retro-fun?
billhorvath2 years ago
What kind of frequency response do you get out of it? I'm assuming we're not talking hi fidelity here, but how good does the sound get if you attach it to an optimal surface?
ynze2 years ago
A video, a video, please please give us a video :-)
randofo (author)  ynze2 years ago
I thought about it, but it would be really boring to watch and the audio would probably not sound very good.
Oh stop, I'm sure the cheese shredder sounded grate
Bahahaha! It was OK, but I think he's sticking with the glue gun.
marry me, please
dbbd kazmataz2 years ago
Nice answer :-)
Like. Like.
ynze kazmataz2 years ago
Oh thanks kazmataz! Randy, go and explore the power of video editing. You can do it, really!
saifbunni2 years ago
so does the audio output transformer really work in matching the impedance ? I've been trying to get a piezo pre amp for a while now, and so far no luck. any help is appreciated . great instructable. Saif
nikolayduke2 years ago
Does it matter witch side its plugged into
astroboy9072 years ago
Just a tip: Sparkfun sells transducers, I think up to 1W that are decently priced. Just if you want more POWER! (cue Jeremy Clarkson)
tutdude982 years ago
what transformer actually does? since W in is same as W out
Good question. I omitted the piece with the transformer, and it appears to be working fine. I don't have the knowledge to tell you which is better though.
I'm guessing impedance matching. Increases efficiency.
Bartuss2 years ago
freak......Nah just another great tutorial :D
damau2 years ago
The cool thing about this is you can easily modify this to "Turn nearly anything into a microphone. Just watch out for feedback. Great ible.
This is now a way to have music everywhere where a body ain't allowed to have it. Just use a body that will resonate when you strike it with a metal object like a small hammer and it must "ring" Excellent idea
njeyanth2 years ago
Awesome :o
jbodden12 years ago
The cheese grater speaker only sounds good with polkas from Wisconsin...
markpa2 years ago
very smart!!!!!!!!!!!
arthurdent2 years ago
I have a frog-shaped speaker posted here already. Would that count?
joshuao2 years ago
This is an awesome ible. I bought one of these a few days ago for $10 on amazon.
vishalapr2 years ago
Great project! I am gonna try this out with my nerf guns :D
http://www.coolest-gadgets.com/20130802/nerf-nstrike-elite-centurion-mega-blaster/
Trying to use an arduino for the music instead of an ipod and hopefully it will all fit in snug :)
M.C. Langer2 years ago
Awesome project!!! I love it!
tech savvy2 years ago
Very well done instructable , this is something i'll have to try making ,
keep up the great work
Sweet! I made a paper plate into a speaker once! It's awesome to hear music from strange things :)
HollyMann2 years ago
This would be a fun an interesting project to do with my son - thanks! :)
Byzula2 years ago
Wow that is so cool!
randofo (author)  Byzula2 years ago
Yup, and it is a ton of fun. You can do some strange and interesting things with it (like sticking it to your forehead).