How to Make a Gigamonica




About: I'm a year 12 student in Queensland, Australia. I work part-time at McDonalds and I'm about to go have lunch.

How to make a gigamonica.
Or a half-a-gigamonica
or an 8th-gigamonica
or a 'Blues-tooth adaptor'
etc. etc.

The other day I was screwing around in the shed and made something wonderful. I managed to get a 512mb flash card inside a harmonica and have it still playing. Today, having bought a new harmonica and a new flash drive, I plan to repeat the process with pictures.


o a cheap $10 dollar-ish harmonica (I've only used the same brand and model - twice, not sure how other types work)
o a smallish flash drive (the 2gb one here didn't end up fitting)
o OR a smallish bluetooth adaptor / anything small and usb connected
o a hack saw
o rusty garden clipper thingies (I used these the first time to trim the flash drive... no seriously)
o needle nose pliers
o duct tape / electrical tape
o rusty craft knife (I only used this because I couldn't find a screwdriver to fit)
o Those yellow grenades are optional (long story short: "Flash grenades")

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Step 1: Pull Stuff Apart

This cheapy harmonica has a screw at either end. Using the rusty craft knife or similar screwing device, unscrew them and be careful to keep at least one (the other one won't go back in because there'll be usb device in the way)

Note that you need to hold the other end of the screw steady as you spin this end, or you will waste several minutes screwing to no avail.

Once you've done that, you should be able to see what the harmonica looks like inside.

I don't know much about them either, but when you blow through the holes, those little prongy bits you can see here apparently vibrate and make the noise, similarly, when you draw (suck) the ones on the inside do.

Now, lets take off these parts. The first time I did this, I used the actual case of the harmonica to undo the screws here, this time they were too tight and I had to find a real screwdriver.

(NOTE keep track of where those plates go. when you put them back on you need 1 set of prongs sitting out, on set sitting inside and all the big bits lined up with the big bits etc.)

If you try and play it here, the draw notes won't work, they need the case on.

Step 2: Pull More Stuff Apart

In this picture, you can see the plastic case of the harmonica with the plates removed - place them to one side.

As the second picture so clearly illustrates: I'm an idiot. That flash drive isn't going to sit inside the harmonica without me cutting into one of the little valve thingies.

(NOTE: on the first try, I was able to shorten the 512mb flash drive by trimming 5mm or so off with the tree-trimmer thingies, and grinding one edge. This one has a funny black thing that covers the entire back, so I don't think I can cut through it without consequences.)

Oh well, find something smaller.

I've chosen the 128mb Tiny Pretec flash drive that happened to be on the desk, I also considered a bluetooth adaptor (perhaps one in each end!?) before realising it wasn't mine and putting it back together.

Step 3: Put Holes in Stuff

This is where you should start taking measurements and begin planning.

I didn't.

Just guess if you can get that usb device to fit in the gap at the end without going into a valve and start hack-sawing. The only real important bit is that you start at the BACK of the harmonica, or you will be playing with a usb jutting into your cheek.

NOTE: I was so busy holding the hacksaw with my teeth to take the photo I actually cut into the wrong end this time. Fortunately i figured it out and was able to start on the other side instead.

Once you've hacksawed down far enough (I left this one with a lot of room since the flash drive was small and i'd compromised the other side) snap it out.

Step 4: File Stuff

Obviously the usb didn't quite fit yet, so I took a filing stick thingy and tore away at the edges of the hole till it did.

Keep going until you can get it to sit flush with the edge and without pushing out the end too much.

Step 5: Make Stuff Stick Stay Together

I was originally going to use contact clue, but the only stuff we had can't be used on copper (which those plates look slightly the same colour as) and it took 15mins to dry which - if you can't tell by the rushed instructable - I don't have (going to work in 10 minutes)

I took a strip of Duct tape and used it as in the pictures (tape it up and over the plate (not touching any prongs)

Step 6: Put Stuff Back Together

Remember what I said earler about those plates? No? Tough luck. I screwed, unscrewed and rescrewed the first one for >20mins trying to get it all right. Keep in mind the cover bits have a right way too (numbers 1 - 10 : 10 goes on the highest [smallest])

Once you're done the ends will stick up since we can't get that second screw through. Once again, contact glue or something would be a better idea, I stuck with a fashionably gumby strip of electrical tape.

Step 7: DONE

BAM, Gigamonica!

o Blues-tooth adaptor
o Attach an extension cord, put harmonica playing videos onto the flash drive and learn how to in front of your computer screen while looking like complete dumbass gumby tard!
o Seriously, that's all I can think of

o This is an instrument you blow into, as a result you will be blowing condensation (and eventually globules of spit if you play enough) unto your possibly unshielded device. Good luck with that.
o This thing really has no use whatsoever.
o Yes, I do believe it is entirely possible to put a usb dev ice in each end (would make it even more awkward to hold) and - if you're willing to spend that much effort on it - you could make the usb devices spin / pop out. (As it is, you can swap out the flash card / bluetooth adaptor / whatever you put in with only the basic tools here and about 5 minutes

Good luck.

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    16 Discussions


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I was thinking of an electric harmonica, it's ok, i was let down too.(I would pay you if made one though


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I'm not sure how you would go about that. The mike placement would be an issue. The harmonica doesn't have the one big reverberation box like a geetar, so the bits closer to the mike would sound louder than those at the other end. The mike would also have to be out of direct airflow. I was considering jamming my tiny mp3 in one end and a tiny speaker in the other, but actually recording sound... could you have 3 or so mikes lined up along the black strip at the back, with a mp3-player-esque device to record without a cord sticking out...

    Makes me blue too. I have dozens of dead harps that have died a natural death for a harmonica. Being played until the reeds are flat but even then I can't throw any of them away.

    The first one of these wasn't bad, since the plating was dinted, one of the notes was broken and the brass/copper plate things were corroding. The new one made me cringe (so shiny). My mum's a music teacher- she hasn't heard of this and with good reason.


    10 years ago on Step 5

    the prongs are reeds, and the reed plates are usually made of brass. Cool project! I usually carry a harmonica and a flash drive in my pocket. It'd be so much nicer just to carry a Gigamonica.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    insert mic element? like a piezo guitar element, or a cheapy from ratshack maybe i'll try and make an instructable :)

    it would be cool to find a small usb microphone and put it in there some how as to mike the harmonica


    10 years ago on Introduction

    made them. $3 for little grenades that you put caps in the end of and drop them to make them go bang from the reject shop (or any little kids shop, I guess. Cut / Pull off the metal bit the caps go in and its empty. I had the tiny flash drive in one (flash grenade) and the other one just stuck a screwdriver right through the other side and used a lotta gap filler >_>