Make MP3 and a Holga




About: I like to tinker with just about anything, sometimes it works out in the end. Have fun looking at the projects, try tearing something open and let me know how it goes. cheers, -Joe

Who needs the iPod when you can have the HolgaPod. Use the MAKE MP3 Player kit and a Holga to make a cool portable MP3 Player.

Step 1: Parts


MakeMP3 Player Kit link
Holga (broken prefered)
5 momentary push button switches (N.O.)
slide switch (spst)
solderless breadboard (small)


Soldering Iron
wire stripper
screw drivers

Step 2: Assemble MakeMP3 Kit

Follow the PDF with the make MP3 kit.

Things to note, read all of the instructions, sort out the resistors, crystals and capacitors.

One crystal is marked with black, its the 25mhz one.

Also you need to use a jumper where it says mosfet (pic #2)

When soldering the chips on, many are surface mount, so take your time and use a thin tip on your soldering iron.

Step 3: Test It

You need to transfer songs to a SD card, the SD card has to be formatted fat32.

Put them in the / directory of the card.

You can use a small piece of wire to test the player and try grounding pins d0 d1 d2 d3 ....

Step 4: Pick a Holga

Find a Holga, they are C H E A P. They are all over ebay, and B & H usually has them for $9. Thats cheaper than most project boxes. Mine had stopped working so it become the home of the Make MP3 kit.

Step 5: Unscrew It

Unscrew the top. There are 3 screws, one on the left and two below the film winder wheel.

Step 6: Grand Master Flash

If yours has a flash, remove it, set it aside, cause you can do something with that... It is held in place by 4 screws.

Then snip the wires off.

Step 7: Remove the Battery Holder

Remove the battery holder if it has one.

Step 8: Dremel the Holga

Ok its time to hollow out the holga. I used a dremel and some big wire snips.

Do not cut the outside of the holga though, only the insides.

And try and leave two of the posts to screw the top back on.

Step 9: Put a Hole in the Film Winder

Now drill a hole in the film winder big enough for your earphones to go through.

Step 10: Solderless Breadboard

I wanted to use a solderless breadboard, I plan on taking the Make MP3 kit out of the holga for another project later, and this will let me have that flexibility. I had to cut one up using a dremel.

Step 11: Holga Body

I drilled 4 holes in the front of the body of the holga for the volume and forward/backwards buttons.

The holes should be in the far corners of the body to allow room for the mp3 player kit to fit in. See pic #2 for the location.

Step 12: Top

Drill a hole in top piece for the play pause button.

Use the existing hole for the old flash power button for a new power button. Line it up and drill some holes to mount the switch.

Step 13: Solder the Buttons

I solder all of the buttons first before putting them in the case. Leave a nice tail of wire so you can cut it down later.

Step 14: Solder the Play and Power Switch

Solder the play button and then the power switch.

Step 15: Put the Buttons In.

Put all the buttons in and make sure everything fits.

Step 16: Power

Solder all of the negatives together, and then the positive up to the switch.

Step 17: Head Phones

Run the headphones through the wheel and the top.

Step 18: Screw It Back Together

Screw it back together and you are done.



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    16 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I'm so making a speaker out of a broken Holga....Great idea! Thanks for the crisp pictures too.

    But just so you know, Holgas are not "cheap" or like "$9" anymore. Haven't been for some time.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    a very cool but strange tutorial. I would have thought that people want mp3 players to get smaller :D Its a cool mod though


    12 years ago

    prety awsome, but $115 bucks is kinda pricy (someone should show how to make a cheap mp3 player) I know about the minty mp3 but you have to solder it all together and end up spendig more about 100 in shipping o well thats life

    3 replies

    Reply 12 years ago

    the audio quality on the Make mp3 player is = to an ipod according to the stats :P. so it's not a big loss really.


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    The reason people buy ipods is their size to memory ratio not their sound quality. You could pay 80 bucks for a two gig mp3 with great sound quality player at circuit city but its volume is half the ipod and the memory capcity is one tenth the lower of the two standard ones. Sound quality is more a function of the headphones these days than the player. If this comment reads really jerky, that is not the intent.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    My next step would be to take out the lense assembly as cleanly as possible and install a speaker there.


    12 years ago

    I just got the make Mp3 player, worked the first time i soldered it together, I made it through with one burn :P.


    12 years ago

    Great work joe! This is the proof, that not only Altoids tins may be used as project boxes ;-P

    1 reply

    Reply 12 years ago

    i think the altoids tin is too small for the make mp3 player :<.


    12 years ago

    "Find a Holga, they are C H E A P. They are all over ebay, and B & H usually has them for $9." What fantasy world do you live in where Holgas are $9? and how do I get in? XP what is B & H?


    12 years ago

    I love it. Keep up the great work joe. These are the type of projects that make instructables great.


    12 years ago

    It is a very fun project! Continue!