Duct Tape Speakers




Hi guys, this is my first Instructable and I will show you how to build some efficient speakers with just a little of duct tape and copper wire. I hope you enjoy! (Forgive my bad english, I will try to be as clear as possible)

Step 1: Materials

For this instructable you will need:
- Insulated copper wire (as thin as possible, a little more than a human hair)
- A pair of earphones
- A powerful magnet

and obviously......

- THE DUCT TAAAAAAPE (I used some Masking tape but any kind of tape is fine. the important thing is to have a sticky surface on which to paste the coil)

Step 2: Tools

For this instructable you will just need:
- Scissors
- Lighter

Step 3: The Surface

First you need to build the surface on which to assemble the speaker. Cut five strips of adhesive tape (about 10-11 cm long) and stick them close to each other (IMPORTANT: THE STICKY PART MUST BE FACING UP).
Then cut off the irregular sides

Step 4: The Coil

To build the coil just follow the drawing. When you reach the last coil (the smallest), cuts a thin strip of tape and (always with the sticky side upwards) stick it as in the picture, allowing the end of the wire to pass over to the other coils. In the end leave 5-6 cm long terminal.

Step 5: The Cable

To connect the speaker to the signal source you will need a stereo cable. You can buy one at http://www.radioshack.com or You can obtain it from a pair of headphones, as I did.

Step 6: Cardboard Support

If you want you can build a small cardboard support, for aesthetic reasons

Step 7: NOW TRY IT! :D

To use the speaker need only connect it to a source of audio signal and push your magnet toward the center of the coil. More the magnet will be close and higher will be the volume! First I connected it to my phone, but to hear the sound I had to literally stick it in my ear (it was like to wear headphones). Then I connected it to a very old cassette player (which amplifier was much more powerful) and you can hear the result in the video (you can feel the speaker vibrate if you hold it in your hand).
WARNING: DON'T to use this speaker for a long time and DON'T  connect it to amplifying equipment that might be damaged. (I plugged it to a very old cassette recorder, and I have nothing to lose if it breaks). DON't  ruin expensive equipment!

I hope you enjoyed,

Cardboard and Duct Tape Contest

Runner Up in the
Cardboard and Duct Tape Contest

Pocket Sized Contest

Participated in the
Pocket Sized Contest



    • Planter Challenge

      Planter Challenge
    • Paint Challenge

      Paint Challenge
    • Stone Concrete and Cement Contest

      Stone Concrete and Cement Contest

    49 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I'm not sure what I could be doing wrong. I've made 3 so far and none of them make a sound!? Any help? I did it the same as above, only I used duct tape instead of masking tape. Even tried using a hard drive magnet like above, still nothing. I thought it would be a neat project to do with some kids but not if it's not going to work. Dissapointed...


    5 years ago

    that is really cool... thank you. I'm getting ready to post my first as well.


    5 years ago

    What gauge wire and any suggestions where to get it?

    Grazie mille!! :)
    Allora, siccome l'Italia non potrebbe partecipare ai concorsi ho dato l'indirizzo di un amico che vive negli Stati Uniti e so che il pacco gli è già arrivato quindi uno di questi giorni me lo manda a me...però è frustrante perchè ci mette il doppio del tempo e costa anche! Avevo la tentazione di provare a mettere il mio indirizzo ma alla fine ho preferito rispettare le regole per sicurezza. A te è già arrivato? Dove te lo sei fatto mandare?

    Si, non capisco il perchè di queste complicazioni.... me lo sono fatto mandare in germania da un mio amico, in modo da non pagare tasse doganali (non mi farebbe molto piacere dover pagare magari 50 euro o più per una maglietta...). Il mio mio amico mi ha detto che è arrivata senza problemi, aspetto che arrivi a me ora :)

    L'ho chiesto tempo fa e mi hanno risposto che è colpa delle leggi italiane (ti pareva...). A proposito, l'altro giorno ho avuto l'onore di essere intervistata come Featured Author e grazie a questa intervista ho trovato altri italiani su Instructables! Ho scoperto che ad uno di loro il premio gliel'hanno mandato in Italia tranquillamente quindi se avrò la fortuna di vincere qualcos'altro proverò a mettere il mio indirizzo, speriamo in bene! :D


    6 years ago on Step 3

    heck if it works with any tape ill try it


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I think that to do this stereo unit is a bad idea. This is a fun toy, designed to demonstrate the principle of the speakers, and electromagnetic forces. And to make two copies of it to show - it is not necessary.


    6 years ago on Step 5

    one question, why you're doing it mono? Will it work if you make 2 speakers and hook them independently to each headphone channel?

    2 replies

    i do it mono beacuse I need a powerful audio signal to run two speakers at the same time and i do not have a powerful enough amplifier. anyway I'm sure that would work :)

    Jimmeh30Peris The Majestic

    Reply 6 years ago on Step 5

    connecting the left and right channels in parallel is a very, very bad idea assuming you intend to not let the smoke our of your amplifier.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    mriev is being constructive with his criticism. Not all of us are expert electrical engineers, so it is good to understand what challenges we will have to deal with. I also would not want to ruin my synthesizer I was hoping to use this with that I built myself using a circuit board and parts found online.

    So, thank you, author and thank you, mriev.

    I do not see the point in continuing to argue for a mere trifle, really. I thank you for your interest, but it isn't worth it. have a nice day :)


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I would have never know this was possible without this instructable so a genuine thank you for improving my knowledge.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I don't have to try it, I have over 45 years experience as an electronics technician, and a senior electrical and instrumentation designer. First, the impedance of such a design would be well under 2 ohms at lower frequencies, and most amps simply aren't designed to drive impedances that low. As for efficiency, in order for it to reach any reasonable level, the entire voice coil would have to be in a fairly strong magnetic field, which could not be the case with the setup you showed in the pictures, and third , with an area that small and no enclosure, the frequency response would be extremely limited.
    It's just a simple project, but you shouldn't have called it "efficient" and you should have mentioned the limited frequency response. The critical issue is the very low impedance of the design, should someone hook it up to an expensive amp or stereo receiver, it would most likely damage the amplifier section, So, either a 4 ohm resistor should have been included in series with the speaker, or a warning not to hook it up to any amplifier that you didn't want damaged. If you want to revise your project to include the 4 ohm five watt resistor in series with the voice coil, and remove the comment about it's being efficient, I'll withdraw my comments and delete my posts>

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    straight off wiki... ha ha "lower impedance headphones will tend to be louder and more efficient, but will also demand a more capable amplifier"