Picture of Make an amazing sports noisemaker!
Sound off like a Semi! These noisemakers are perfect for sporting events and parties. The effect is similar to the air horn on a semi or a train. Everyone around you will want to know where they can get their own. Or they will move away and give you more room. Either way works for me.
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Step 1: Short video

Step 2: Tools Needed

Picture of Tools Needed
Hot melt glue gun, X-acto knife, Drill press or Drill, Forstner or Spade bits

Step 3: Materials

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Rubber Bands, Latex Balloons, Plastic Plumbing "tee" (from Lowes, Home Depot, Menards, about $2.00), Prescription pill bottles

Step 4: Prepare inner and outer tubes

Picture of Prepare inner and outer tubes
You need to make a tube in a tube. We have used many different materials for the tubes, including pvc pipe, film canisters and chapstick tubes. The pill bottles in the illustration are called "20 Dram" and "30 Dram" sizes. If there is a childproof tab, cut it off carefully so the small bottle fits inside the big bottle.

Step 5: Making holes

Picture of Making holes
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Drill a hole in the bottom of each bottle. The inner tube needs to fit snugly into the outer tube. In our example, the outer bottle used a 1&1/2" Forstner bit and the inner bottle used an 1&1/4" bit. The size of the hole on the inner bottle is not critical. The fit between the inner and outer bottles will be caulked, so you have a little leeway, but in our example they fit like a glove!

Step 6: One more hole

Picture of One more hole
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Make a smaller hole for the "tee" in the upper 1/2 of the larger outer tubes. Be sure to make your matching holes at the same level if you want the tubes to be even. It will work if they aren't, but it looks nicer when they are even. The example used a 1/2" Forstner bit to fit the tee.

Step 7: Hot melt!

Picture of Hot melt!
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Time to start putting it all together. Run a bead of hot melt glue, caulk, or epoxy if you wish, around the seam of the inner and outer tubes. Set the open ends (the tops) down on a flat surface while the glue hardens. You want the inner and outer tops to be level with each other. The bottom can stick out any length, but the tops need to be as close to level as possible.

Step 8: Add the "tee"

Picture of Add the "tee"
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Insert the "tee" into the side hole and run a bead of hot melt glue around it. Do the same thing to the other side and you are almost done.

Step 9: Add Balloon diaphragm

Picture of Add Balloon diaphragm
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Stretch a cut balloon over the top and secure with a rubber band. Pull the balloon as tight as possible for the loudest sound. A looser balloon will give a saxophone like tone. Tune the noisemaker to give a harmonious, resonating tone. The louder the better, of course.

Step 10: Options

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Don't forget, you should customize your horn! Use team colors for your balloons, add stickers, write with a Sharpie and add a lanyard to hang around your neck, allowing your hands free to ring the cowbells I know you brought.

Step 11: Diagram of concept

Picture of diagram of concept
In response to questions about how this works, I have included a cut away diagram.  The air enters on the side of the outer tube, travels up under the balloon diaphragm, and out the center tube.  You can use this info to make your noisemakers out of other materials.

I just built one of these today. Works great. I am hoping to adapt it to use on an electric bicycle as an air horn similar to the commercially made Airzound. Thanks for the good start to my project.

GRitter2 years ago
I work in a pharmacy, so I was naturally drawn to the use of prescription vials in your design. I used the Rexam 16 and 30 dram vials and they worked perfect. I really can't believe the sound you can get with very little blowing needed. I giggle like a little girl every time I blow into it. You really made my day with this one. Nice work!
Is there an easier way to make the holes? because : -i have No power tools (except hammer,heavy duty pliers,etc..) -even if i did, i wouldnt be allowed or even ABLE to use them! ~~> so is there any easier way?
buellboy492 (author)  HowTo-Creative4 years ago
Gosh, I haven't been on in months. I just thought that perhaps another way to make the holes might be with heat. How about a soldering iron or gun? That would melt the holes pretty quick.
bmohr5 years ago
Made one yesterday. The volume is incredible. Thanks for posting this instructable. I only made a single, but may try double when I get more medicine bottles.
OKNUKE5 years ago

I don't the prescription bottles at home and I doubt anyone will sell them to me empty.  Ideas or what other cylindrical objects will work? PVC pipe inside one another?

You could use plastic vitamin or headache pill bottles too.  Check your neighbours' blue bins on garbage day.
Bobblob OKNUKE5 years ago
Nice one, what great fun!

I made a variation of this instruckable and this one
http://www.instructables.com/id/Blow-your-own-air-horn/  out of a toilet paper tube as a proof of concept experiment.  The possibilities are endless.

I strengthened the open ends of the toilet paper tube with “caps” cut from the sides of a 1 gallon plastic milk bottle hot glued to each open end as described below.

One end was more like a real cap that was about 1/8“ bigger in diameter than the toilet paper tube opening with a hole cut in the center for a straw to slide in snuggly and the other end was more like a narrow ring that over hung the outside of the toilet paper tube opening about 1/8“ and also over hung the inside and of the toilet paper tube by about 1/8 inch too.  A bit like a washer with a large opening in the center.  This was the end that got the balloon stretched over it.  Both “caps" where firmly hot glued in place.

A hole roughly about 1/4 inch in diameter was cut in the side about half way between both ends of the toilet paper tube and this is where you blow into it.  

Stretch the balloon over the “washer” like cap and insert  the drinking straw (bigger the better)  into the other end touching the balloon “diaphragm”.   Adjust the position and pressure of the straw against the balloon while blowing into the hole in the side to get it to work.

The softness of the toilet paper tube muffles the sound but it proves the concept and worked.  I await the next empty vitamin/pill/aspirin  box to make one for real!
buellboy492 (author)  OKNUKE5 years ago
oh yes!  i have made them from a number of other cylindrical objects.  Pvc pipe was a little overkill, but very sturdy.  If you have a Walgreens near you, they might be willing to let you have a few at cost.  30 dram and 20 dram are what they are called.  We used to let people buy a few for maybe 50 cents each.  Other objects used were film canisters and chapstick tubes.
awesome! I've never seen a 3yr old jump so high!  I finally matched his everyday decibel level

Excellent ible!  I made one last night  using your idea and modding it based on what I had in the house.  I did have one question - in step 9 you suggest we "tune" the horn.  How is that done? The one I made the bottles  fit tight but can be slid back and forth to tune it but in yours are they hot glued together or is the glue used to just create a gasket and the bottles can still move?  Thanks

buellboy492 (author)  shantinath10005 years ago
I hot melt the bottom of the outer bottle to the inner bottle.  That seal is airtight.  To "tune" them, you pull the balloon membrane tighter or looser.  When the two notes are identical, it is not as pleasing as when one is higher than the other and they harmonize.
Thanks-  I noticed that I could tune mine by adjusting the pressure of the inner tube against the diapgram by moving it a bit back or forth.  Also - is you name  in relation to the Buell motorcycle?
buellboy492 (author)  shantinath10005 years ago
Buell makes (oops- made.  Thanks, Harley) a great little bike displacing 492cc, the Blast.  Also known as the B-Last, since it was not the most powerful bike around.  I love my Blast, hence the name.  Thanks for noticing!
bknow135 years ago
I just made one.  Didn't have the right stuff, so it's tin cans and a rubber glove.  Works great.  Scared the dog right out of the basement.  Thanks for a fun instructable. 
buellboy492 (author)  bknow135 years ago
You bring up a good point.  Rubber, vinyl and nitrile gloves can be used as a membrane.  We also have had moderate success with Mylar, like used in balloons.  But the most durable and easiest to work with material has been good thick helium quality balloons.  I suppose there is a latex material commonly  found in pharmacies that might be stronger, but I don't like to get my mouth that close to it.
I found your instructable looking for a new noisemaker for halloween.  The cans-with-strings is getting old.  I'm toying with getting a piece of rubber roofing and a couple large buckets but being the procrastinator's procrastinator It may be a while.  I'll let you know when (if) I do it.
RetroTechno5 years ago
Great instructable!  I'm going to build one this week.
I noticed from your video that each half is at a different pitch for that truck-horn sound.  Does the amount of tension on the balloon determine the pitch?
buellboy492 (author)  RetroTechno5 years ago
yes, the tighter the balloons are, the louder and higher the tone.  I like them tight!
3366carlos5 years ago

awesome, i'm gonna install it in my car and use an old air pump i have.

buellboy492 (author) 5 years ago
thanks Gogg3n.  I have lots of fun with these!
Mikeymo5 years ago
OMG... these are awsome!!!      lmao
Gogg3n5 years ago
That's so awsome!:D 
Great Job! these are the best ever!
rimar20005 years ago
Good work! Please put a MP3 or video, to hear the sound...
buellboy492 (author)  rimar20005 years ago
video added.
Very good, thanks
Kiteman5 years ago
Cool - I never thought of doubling mine up!
lemonie Kiteman5 years ago
Saved me the trouble of remembering who / what I was thinking of there. L
Kiteman lemonie5 years ago
I was on the tip of your tongue?

lemonie Kiteman5 years ago
I knew someone had done something like this, I thought it was you or Las Vegas..... L
Lighthouse5 years ago
um..., how does this thing work?
buellboy492 (author)  Lighthouse5 years ago
Just blow on the mouthpiece tee! The balloon vibrates and creates sound. The twin horn effect makes it sound like a train or truck airhorn.
tentosix5 years ago
This is an awesome horn...I sat in front of one at a game! And later, my husband alienated lots of people when he obtained one himself.