Introduction: Arduino Record Player

This instructable was created in fulfillment of the project requirement of the Makecourse at the University of South Florida (

For the course project, I knew I wanted to make something music related, yet simple enough that a coding and modelling novice like me would be able to pull it off. So, I settled on the idea of a record player that would be activated when the "needle' is dropped onto the record.

The following tutorial describes the materials and processes involved in making a record player using an Arduino Uno microcontroller.

Step 1: Materials

  • Arduino Uno microcontroller
  • Breadboard
  • Stepper motor, and motor driver module
  • Touch pad sensor module
  • Sparkfun Audio Sound Breakout module
  • Pack of breakaway headers
  • 2 GB Micro SD card with adapter
  • .5W 8ohm Speaker
  • Portable Power Bank
  • Soldering Iron

You will also need access to sound editing software, some form of CAD software, and the Arduino IDE.

Step 2: Prepare the Sound Module

The module that will read off the sound file to the speaker does not come ready to use with a breadboard, so headers will have to added to it.

The first picture is how it looks when it arrives. After soldering seven headers to each side, it will be ready to use.

Next, choose what song you want your record to play. The module can hold as many as 512 songs, but 1 is sufficient for this project. The audio breakout module will only play 4-bit 32KHz sound files, with names starting at "0000.ad4", "0001.ad4", and so on. To get your sound file to this format, first use a program like Audacity to convert it to mono, 32KHz rate, 16-bit wave audio file. The spark fun page for this module also includes a utility with which to convert your wave file to the required 4-bit format.

Then, once you upload your sound file to the 2GB microSD card, the audio portion is ready to go!

Step 3: 3D Printed Parts

I've attached the part files I used for my record player. The cylinder on the lid is intentionally longer than necessary, so you can cut it down to exactly what you need. The same goes for the needle. The slot on the lid is where the touch sensor will stick out of the box, hidden in the part called "needle holder".

Step 4: Making the Control Circuit

Here is the circuit layout that includes the touch sensor, sound module, stepper motor, speaker, and arduino uno.

Step 5: Arduino Sketch

Attached is the sketch used to run to project. When the touch sensor is pushed, it triggers the sound module and stepper motor at the same time.

Step 6: Put It All Together!

To complete the project, arrange the gadgets and gizmos in the box so that when the record is placed through the lid, it can be attached to the stepper motor. I suggest gluing down the motor, so that it doesn't get separated from the record every time the box is moved. The touch sensor gets put up though the slot in the lid, against the "needle holder", between it and the needle. This way, when the needle is pushed down towards the record, it activates the sensor.

In a tragic turn of events, the cylindrical part of my record broke off, so after I glued it back on it wobbles as it rotates. But I think that adds to the authenticity of my record player, as old vinyls do that as well!

I hope you enjoyed this Instructable, and good luck to anyone who decides to try it out!

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