Introduction: TWSU DIY Speaker Kit (Cardboard Speaker)

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Welcome to our first DIY Speaker Kit Instructable. In order to make this speaker you need one of our DIY Speaker Kits which you can buy from our online shop

This guide is one of many that are meant to show what cool things you can do with our kits.

In case you haven't heard of Technology Will Save Us, we are a London based haberdashery for technology and education dedicated to helping people to produce and not just consume technology. We design technology kits which you assemble and solder yourself that teaches you about electronics, technology and making. You can find more info about what we do on our website



Step 1: Things You Will Need

First we need to get all the things together that we need to make out Cardboard Speaker

1. DIY Speaker Kit (You can buy this from our shop)
2. The cardboard box that the kit came in
3. Scissors
4. Scalpel or craft knive
5. Ruler
6. Felt pen
7. A4 paper (a bit heavier like 120gsm)
8. Double sided tape
9. Double sided sticky pads

Step 2: Cutting Opening for the Speaker

The first thing we need to do is to cut the opening, where our speaker will sit.

To do this we simply use our roll of double sided tape to mark a circle on the inside of our box.

Make sure to position the opening to the right side of the box to leave enough space for our controls and amplifier.

Hang on to the circle off cut, as we will need it later.

Step 3: Making the Speaker Membrane

The special thing about our Speaker is that it is not a traditional speaker but an exciter instead. This exciter can be attached to any surface, which turns that material into a resonating surface to produce a sound. 

In our case we will use a sheet of A4 paper mounted behind the opening in our box as shown below.

1. Measure the size of the opening, adding another 30 millimetres to its radius
2. Cutout a square off the sheet of our piece of paper using the dimensions we measured (10cm in this case)
3. Attach the square piece of paper with double sided tape to the inside of the box, covering the entire opening

Step 4: Assembling the Exciter

To improve the sound quality we want to add a buffer between our paper membrane and the actual exciter. This is where our cardboard circle off cut we kept earlier comes in handy. 

1. What we need to do now is to make the cardboard disc a bit smaller by cutting off enough material to give the exciter enough space to sit on. You can play with the radius of the cardboard disc to see how this changes the sound quality. For me having the cardboard disc with a slightly larger radius than the exciter itself proved to be the best option.

2. The exciter comes with tape on one side which you can use to attach it to the cardboard disc

3. Once the exciter is secured on the cardboard disc use two strips of double sided tape to secure the exciter with the cardboard disc to the inside of the box. Make sure that it sits square in the middle of our paper membrane. If you can't make out the centre of the opening just hold the box against a light source, to reveal the size of the opening.

Step 5: Securing the Amplifier

With the speaker unit assembled, we need to attach our amplifier on the inside of our box.

1. Cut off the left side flap of the box's lid leaving about 5mm 
2. Using double sided sticky pads attach the amplifier with the battery facing the left side of the box and control facing the lid (as shown in the pictures)

Make sure to keep the off-cut flap!

Step 6: Cutting Openings for Controls and Input

Now we need to cut some opening for our controls and the 3.5mm jack.

1. The easiest way to do it is to close the lid and gently press the cardboard against each control to get a slight indentation on the cardboard. 
2. We are going to use these indentations to mark where the holes will go
3. Using a scalpel or craft knive, we cut three openings (one for the volume control, one for power switch and one for the input)
4. Once that is done we can close the box and if everything is done right the holes should line up with our controls

Step 7: Attaching the Stand

When we place the speaker on its bottom edge, the speaker becomes a bit unsteady. We can easily fix this by adding a little stand using the off-cut flap we kept from step 5 stuck on with some double sided tape.

Once this is done we just need to wire everything up and turn on the music!!! 

Step 8: Done!

Now that you are rocking your own DIY speakers how about decorating it? I kept mine minimal by highlighting the controls with a black felt pen.

This is only one way to make something cool with our DIY Speaker Kit! There are a lot of different ways to make a speaker using any kind of material as a resonator. Why don't you try it yourself and share your own instructable with us! We would love to hear about your project!

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