DIY Easy Altoids Smalls Speaker (with Amplifier Circuit)

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Introduction: DIY Easy Altoids Smalls Speaker (with Amplifier Circuit)

Hi, everyone. As you probably know by now I love Altoids so I have a bunch of Altoids tins laying around and I like the idea of use them as cases for my projects. This is already my 3rd Instructable of an altoids tin project ( DIY ALTOIDS SMALLS JOULE THIEF FLASHLIGHT , DIY USB ALTOIDS SPEAKER. (SUPER EASY) Of course you can get a pretty good quality and cheap mini speaker online, but that´s not fun. We're makers let's build our own There are many Instructables on how to turn these tins into mini portable speakers for the mobile phone, but in most cases they just fit a speaker into the tin without an amplifier circuit so I bet the sound is not really good. And also I haven´t seen one using an Altoids Smalls tin so I want to challenge myself to see if I could fit everything in it.

Step 1: Materials

1 - 10 Kilo Ohm resistor (Brown-Black-Orange-Gold)

1 - Female mini USB conector.

1 - 3.5 mm Audio Jack

1 - 47uf Electrolytic Capacitor

1 - 8 Ohm Speaker (Mine is 3 Watt)

1 - Small PCB board (mine is about 2 X 2 cm)

1 Altoids Smalls Tin - Flavor of your choice.

Step 2: Tools

Soldering Iron

Solder

Drill or Dremel

Hot Glue Gun (Melt glue)

Double sided tape

Wire Strippers

Electrical Tape

Extra Wire

Safety Goggles

Helping Hand (Optional but very useful)

You can pick up these parts most anywhere and they´re low cost.

Step 3: Prepare the Tin

Ok, so if you want a nice and smooth finish this step is probably the hardest part. Take your time and do it carefully if you succeed in this step, you´re halfway gone in this project. You can separate the lid of the tin to make it easier to drill and don´t bend the tin in the process.

Grab your drill bits. Find one that is as close to the size of your components, remember you can make the hole bigger but you can never make it smaller. I decided to use a scrap block of wood to prevent the tin from caving in and denting.

You may want to mark where you want each hole so measure out all of the internal parts (audio jack, and USB conector) and decide on the best placement inside your tin for them all and make sure that everything will fit and nothing will interfere, use a nail or a push pin to leave a little dent this will help you to place your drill in the exact point you want yor hole. Now lightly press as you start drilling let the drill bit do the work for you. If you press hard against the tin you will mangle it.

Step 4: Making the Amplifier Circuit

The heart of this project is the amplifier circuit based on a simple 2 transistor amplifier using a couple of 13003 NPN transistors salvaged from a dead CFL lamp. This simple 2 transistor audio amplifier is really easy to make and works great for this project.

This is a extremely simple and cheap circuit but works well. It´s ideal for building on a perfboard or breadboard and forms a useful amplifier block for a vast number of projects.

I won't go over the whole process of soldering all of the connections together it's a very simple circuit with a few number of components. Just follow the schematic. I highly recomend to mount the circuit in your breadboard before you start soldering to check if everything is working fine.

Step 5: Final Assemble - Soldering

We're almost done,to reduce the chance that we get a short you can use some electrical tape or like me you can cut a piece of cardboard and tape it to the bottom of the tin with some double sided tape.

Now just mount everything in their place (I used double sided tape for the speaker an the amplifier circuit) and solder the wires coming out from the circuit board to their corresponding component, if you want you can put some heat shrink tubing so you can insulate your connections after soldering.

I used a pin to make small holes in a circular disposition on the lid of the tin just above the speaker, but this is step is optional.

At this point you can test to see if everything is working. So, is it?

Step 6: We´re Done

Now just plug in your mobile phone or other Mp3 player and enjoyed your music!! To power your speaker you can use any USB power supply, when I'm in my bedroom I like to use my Power Bank.

This project actually turned out much better than I thought. The volume it puts out is really surprising, given the size and the simplicity of the circuit. It´s really LOUD!!

I recommend this project for all starting DIY people. It works for both kids and adults. It gives you a practical gadget that you can take anywhere you want and fits in your pocket

It's a great weekend project for beginners and kids, and teaches a lot of electronic basics in the process.

Please let me know what do you think and If you decided to give it a try post a picture in the comments below.

Thank you so much!!

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    8 Discussions

    I actually didn't see a battery in the schematic. How is this powered? I have an mp3 player and earbuds already in an Altoids tin, so this would go great with it!

    4 more answers

    Hi, it´s powered via the mini USB conector. In the schematic VCC is the positive of the USB conector and GND is the negative. Thanks for your comment!

    Have you tested what voltage this will work on? A rechargeable battery would be great for my purposes.

    I tested the circuit on the breadboard with a fully charged 16340 3.7v li-ion battery 1400mAh and It works ok! But for this project there's no space for the battery inside the small tin!

    Challenge accepted! Aaaaas soon as I get a job and income to buy my own stuff...

    You haven't said how to mount the USB to the tin and where to solder in the schematic. great idea though. nice little project for me and my boy to do.

    1 reply

    Hi, in the schematic VCC is the positive of the USB conector and GND is the negative. Thanks for your comment!