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

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

Step 2: Solder

Solder the red wire from the audio output transformer to the ground tab on the mono jack, and the white wire to the signal tab. This will be the input jack.

Solder the green wire from the audio output transformer to the ground tab on the other mono jack, and the blue wire to the signal tab. This will be the output jack.

Trim the black wire to remove any exposed uninsulated wire.

Step 3: Holes

Make a mark centered upon each of the 1" x 2" sides of the project enclosure.

Drill both of these marks with a 1/4" drill bit.

Step 4: Install

Remove the mounting nuts from the mono jacks, and then pass each of the mono jacks through one of the 1/4" holes.

Finally, mount them firmly in place with their mounting nuts.

Step 5: Glue (optional)

To keep the audio output jack from rattling around inside the enclosure, hot glue it in place

Step 6: Close

Place the lid back onto the project enclosure, and fasten it shut with the included set of screws.

Step 7: Piezo Disc

Carefully remove the lid off of the piezo buzzer enclosure to see the piezo disc.

Carefully break away pieces of the enclosure until you can fully free the disc. Be careful not to bend the fragile piezo disc, or it may not work.

Step 8: Solder

Trim the piezo disc's wire leads to be about 1" long, and then strip away some of the insulation.

Slide a little bit of heat shrink tubing onto each of the leads.

Solder the ground lead to the mono cable's outer insulation wire.

Next, solder the red signal lead to the cable's inner insulated signal wire.

Cover the solder joints with heat shrink tubing, and briefly use a heat gun (or other heat source) to shrink it into place.

Step 9: Plug

Plug the mono cable with the piezo disc attached into the transformer enclosure's output jack.

Plug one end of a standard mono audio cale into the transformer enclosure's input jack.

Step 10: Amp

The Radioshack mini amp not only amplifies an audio signal, but also has a jack to drive an external speaker.

The external speaker jack should receive the mono cable already plugged into the audio input on the transformer enclosure.

Plug a new mono cable into the audio input jack on the amplifier.

Step 11: Audio

Insert the other end of the audio cable connected to amp input into your audio player.

Step 12: Tape

Apply two small pieces of double-sided tape to the flat side of the piezo disc.

Step 13: Stick the Piezo Onto Something

Once everything is wired up, stick the piezo onto a surface that you want to make music.

Don't forget to turn the amp on, and the volume up.

Step 14: Stick the Piezo Onto Everything

Stick the piezo onto any item you want and discover its hidden musical potential.
<p>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!</p>
<p>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: <a href="http://www.ebay.com/itm/3PCS-27mm-Piezo-Elements-Sounder-Sensor-Trigger-Drum-Disc-wire-copper-Z3-/261920058340?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cfba6ebe4" rel="nofollow">http://www.ebay.com/itm/3PCS-27mm-Piezo-Elements-S...</a></p><p>And a link for 20 pieces for 2 dollars:</p><p><a href="http://www.ebay.com/itm/20PCS-12mm-Piezo-Elements-Sounder-Sensor-Trigger-Drum-Disc-wire-copper-/251892194809?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3aa5f1ddf9" rel="nofollow">http://www.ebay.com/itm/20PCS-12mm-Piezo-Elements-...</a></p><p>I hope that'll suffice</p>
<p>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 &quot;Handmade Electronic Music: The Art of Hardware Hacking.&quot; 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.</p>
<p>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?)</p>
<p>This comment sold a book. </p>
<p>Thanks for pointing that out. I'd be sure to check it out</p>
<p>okay. You used a Amp and a Transformer to drive the piezo. Is the transformer really needed or it will work fine without it?</p>
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?
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?
A video, a video, please please give us a video :-)
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
Nice answer :-) <br>Like. Like.
Oh thanks kazmataz! Randy, go and explore the power of video editing. You can do it, really!
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
Does it matter witch side its plugged into
Just a tip: Sparkfun sells transducers, I think up to 1W that are decently priced. Just if you want more POWER! (cue Jeremy Clarkson)
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.
freak......Nah just another great tutorial :D
The cool thing about this is you can easily modify this to &quot;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 &quot;ring&quot; Excellent idea
Awesome :o
The cheese grater speaker only sounds good with polkas from Wisconsin...
very smart!!!!!!!!!!!
I have a frog-shaped speaker posted here already. Would that count?
This is an awesome ible. I bought one of these a few days ago for $10 on amazon.
Great project! I am gonna try this out with my nerf guns :D <br>http://www.coolest-gadgets.com/20130802/nerf-nstrike-elite-centurion-mega-blaster/ <br>Trying to use an arduino for the music instead of an ipod and hopefully it will all fit in snug :) <br>
Awesome project!!! I love it!
Very well done instructable , this is something i'll have to try making , <br>keep up the great work
Sweet! I made a paper plate into a speaker once! It's awesome to hear music from strange things :)
This would be a fun an interesting project to do with my son - thanks! :)
Wow that is so cool!
Yup, and it is a ton of fun. You can do some strange and interesting things with it (like sticking it to your forehead).

About This Instructable




Bio: My name is Randy and I founded the Instructables Design Studio. I'm also the author of the books 'Simple Bots,' and '62 Projects to ... More »
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