Introduction: How to Make a Speaker

About: I love making and breaking electronics.

Hey everyone!

Have you ever wondered how speakers in your phone or your headphones create sound? It might seem complicated, but as a matter of fact, it is quite simple, and you could even make your own speaker with some scrap materials and a bit of time. In this instructable I am going to show you one way to create a speaker. I have broken this instructable into very short steps, so the amount of steps are long ,but they are easy. So don't be afraid of the number of steps. Also if I make any mistakes, please notify me. To learn how the speaker works, go to step 17.

But anyway, hope you find this instructable useful!

Step 1: Watch the Video to Learn How to Make It!

I know how cheesy the music is, but still survive through the music and you might find it useful to help you create the speaker.

Step 2: Things You Need:

To make this speaker, the things you will need are:

If you don't have some of these things, go to the last step to find out how to get them.

1) Copper wire (I used 26 gauge).

2) A plastic or Styrofoam cup.

3) A stack of neodymium magnets or a tall magnet.

4) A paper clip.

5) A broken headphone ( we just need the headphone jack).

6) A roll of tape.

7) A piece of paper

8) Alligator clips (Not shown in the picture)

Tools needed are:

1) Pliers

2) Scissors

3) Hot glue gun or super glue or epoxy.

Step 3: Lets Name the Parts!

So, I will be creating 4 different parts of the speaker, and the steps will be named based on the part. So as you can see in the picture, the 4 parts are the speaker coil, the diaphragm, the magnet, the input.

Step 4: Lets Create the Speaker Coil!

To make the speaker coil, our first job is to cut two pieces of paper with equal measurements of 2 inches * 6 inches.

Now take a stack of magnets, or 1 tall cylindrical magnet, and place it on the edge of the first paper. Take the first paper and roll it around the magnet and tape it, to get a nice round tube around the magnet. Name this ROLL ONE.

Now take the second paper and roll it around ROLL ONE. Name this ROLL TWO. So when you are done with rolling the paper, it should look like this.

Step 5: Making the Speaker Coil (Part 2)

Now take a bit of wire. Leaving about 2 inches of wire in the end, start coiling the wire around the tube. Make sure you leave about 1 cm of space from the coil to the end of the tube. Coil the tube 80 times. If you have very fine or thin wire, then you might have to reduce the number of coil. But anyway, when you are done coiling 80 times, cut off the wire with about 2 inches of wire in the end. So now you have a coil, with two ends. Glue the coil or use tape on the coil to stop it from uncoiling again.

Burn off the insulation from the ends of the wire using a lighter. If you don't have a lighter, use a scissor to scrape off the insulation from the ends of the wire. This is very important that you do it in order to create connections!!

Step 6: Creating the Speaker Coil ( Part 3)

Take the speaker coil and and using pliers or tweezers, pull out ROLL ONE from inside of ROLL TWO.

Then take ROLL TWO and cut four vertical lines spacing them evenly. If you push the pieces of paper that were cut, you will create a plus symbol.

Take the speaker coil and glue the plus symbol to the bottom of the cup. We are done with the speaker coil!

Step 7: Creating the Diaphragm

Take the cup with the speaker coil glued to it, and cut a circle out the base just big enough to fit the speaker coil and the slots from the speaker coil.

It should look like the one in the picture.

Step 8: Creating the Diaphragm (Part 2)

Cut a ring from the hole that's just 1 cm in width.

Step 9: Creating the Diaphragm (Part 3)

Cut a circle from the tape that's just a bit bigger than the hole in the cup.

Then attach the circle from the inside of the cup to the bottom. The adhesive side of the tape should be facing the bottom of the cup.

Step 10: Creating the Diaphragm (Part 4)

Now take the speaker coil and attach it to the stick tape on the bottom of the cup.

The Diaphragm is done!!

Step 11: Preparing the Magnet

Take the paper clip, and straighten in out using pliers.

Now using the picture as a guide bend the paper clip into a shape resembling an 'L'. But be careful, the 'L' bend in the paper clip must not be 90 degrees, because the cup does not have a 90 degree bend in the bottom.

When you have created the 'L' shape, make a round spiral in the end of the paper clip, using the cup as a guide, make sure the round spiral in the end reaches the top of the speaker coil, when the paperclip is attached to the side of the cup.

If the measurements are correct, and the paper clip's round spiral reaches the top of the tube, attach the magnets to the round spiral and insert the magnets into the speaker coil and hold the other end of the paper clip to the cup.

Step 12: Preparing the Magnet (Part 2)

Now glue the end of the paper clip to the cup.

We are almost done, now we only need a source or input.

Step 13: Making an Input!

Take the broken headphones or earplugs, or anything that has a 3.5 mm jack in it. Cut of the jack with about 4 inches of wire. So now, you will see 3 or 4 wires coming out of it. My one had 3, and they were color coded Red, Black, and Yellow. The Black one is the ground and the other two red and yellow are the other ends. Attach the other ends to the wires coming from the speaker.

Attach an alligator clip to the black wire , and attach another alligator clip to either Red or Yellow wire. If your wires aren't color coded like mine, then you might have to experiment and find out.

Step 14: Lets Play Some Music!!

Now just plug in the jack into your phone or your computer and play a music you like!!

It might not be the loudest, but should give you results of your hard work!

To see how my speaker worked, just go to step 2 and watch the end of the video.

If your one is not working, then go to the next step to see some trouble shooting tips.

Step 15: Troubleshooting

Don't you just hate it when you have no clue of why the heck your creation is not working? I hope, I might able to help you save your speaker from being an absolute failure. These are some of the most common problems you might face, and how to fix them.

1) Problem: Oh well, the speaker isn't working

Possible causes number 1: You didn't remove the insulation from the end of the wires from the speaker coil. If so, remove the insulation using lighter or scrape it off using scissors.

Possible causes number 2: You have very thin wires, so the resistance of the speaker is so great, that it is not producing any audible sound. If so, then create the coils with thicker wires or use less turns of wire. Just coil maybe 30-50 times with thin wires.

Possible causes number 3: You have a very weak magnet, and if so, you have to get stronger magnets.

Possible causes number 4: The space inside the speaker coil is too small, so the magnet does not get enough space to vibrate in the speaker coil.

2) Problem: The speaker is freaking quiet, and I can't even hear it well enough.

Solution: Look at the next step to see how to boost its sound.

Step 16: Make It More Powerful!

How to make the speaker louder?

1) Use an amplifier to amplify the signal for the song and then run it to the speaker. The speaker would be much louder. You could buy amplifiers or make one really easily at a cheap cost. I am going to post an instructable on how to make an amplifier pretty soon, so subscribe to get my instructable, or maybe search it up on instructables search engine, which would provide you with thousands of great instructables on how to make an audio amplifier.

2) Use more powerful magnets, or create a tighter and neater coil. Trust me, my coil was really bad, so it was not as loud as my last one.

3) Use something else for the diaphragm. Experiment with different things. People even used papers for diaphragm. So experiment and find out what works best! Let me know if you find it out.

4) Create a better design. I am just a high school student, not an engineer, so my model is no where close to being good. So create a better design and share it with us!

Step 17: So How Does This Speaker Work?

The speaker works by the use of electromagnets. The coil we created is obviously made up of wire. When you pass electrons or electricity through a wire , you create a magnetic field around it. Thus you create an electromagnet, or a magnet created by electricity. Creating a coil helps the magnetic field condense in the tube where the neodymium magnet is. As you know magnets have two poles, and depending on the poles, the magnets attract or repulse each other. Our phone passes electricity to the coil via the jack. The phone does the trick by sending electric signals of various strengths. Sometimes due to the different strengths of signals sent by the phone to the coil, the coil attracts the magnets, but sometimes it repels. The fast attraction and repulsion of the coil and the magnet causes vibration in both the wire and the magnet. As you know vibrations are interpreted by our brains as sound. But those vibrations are too small to be heard by us. That's why we used the cup, and the bottom of the cup allows the coil to vibrate easily and the vibrations are amplified by the shape of the cup, allowing us to hear the sound of the song. A real speaker also works in the same manner, they all have the same principle working behind them. But their designs help them be more efficient than our handmade speaker.

You are considering to create the speaker, but don't have the parts necessary? Go to the next step to see how to get them.

Step 18: How to Get Those Items Necessary to Build the Speaker?

Wire: You can find those insulated wire in a lot of electronics. If you have any dead CFL bulbs, you can open up the circuit board, to find a mini transformer which contains a lot of wire. I got mine from a motor. If you open up a motor you will see a lot of wire. You can find wires in every single electronics containing transformers, let it be your doorbell, your broken microwave, your 1980s TV set or maybe your broken car's motor. (Don't break your car for the motor. It's not worth it.) Or maybe you could just buy a spool of magnet wire from electronics stores for 3-5 dollars. It would last you through many other projects as well.

Magnet: You could find magnets it toys and some other speakers as well. If you have magnet that's really big and has a hole inside of it, then you could just put the speaker coil in between the hole of the magnet, and it would work just fine.

Cup: It's really unlikely that you wouldn't find a cup. But in case you can not find the cup, just use a Styrofoam plate or plastic plate.

Headphone jack: If you don't have any broken headphones, then just buy a 3.5 mm jack from amazon or ebay or any online store or local stores.

A phone or a signal source: Maybe you could just buy a cheap radio to try out your speaker or just borrow someones phone for a while.

Anyway, thank you to all of you readers, for reading this instructable. Leave any thoughts, or suggestions or ideas for improvements you have for this project. I would be more than happy to correct any mistakes I made, so help me find the mistakes. Thank you for reading this long instructable, and if you liked this project, you might like some of my others, which you can find here: . Have a great day!

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