Simple IPod Amp




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

I wanted a simple iPod amp for my garage. You need listen to something when you are working on your bike right?

I only had one extra stereo speaker, so I only made it mono. If you have two speakers, just make this twice and you have a stereo amp.

The name of the game here is simple, but feel free to make it more complicated and nicer if you feeling the urge.

I also included steps on how to fit this in a army surplus case and make it a portable amp for your ipod.
UPDATE: I have kits
I have been asked for parts and where to get them a lot since I posted this. If anyone is interested I have kits now with everything you need to build this for $50 + $5 shipping.

Send me a PM with your email address if you are interested.


Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Parts

-Radio Shack Phono(RCA) Jack 274-346 $3.99
-4 small nuts and bolts.
-Radio Shack DC Power Jack - 274-1576 $2.59
-Any old 8-12V wall wart that fits the power jack. $Free
-Radio Shack project box 270-283 $3.99 .
-Velleman 7W Mono Amp K4001 $10.00

If you make the portable model
-2 9V snap connectors 270-324
-2 9v batteries $5.00
-Power switch 275-612 $2.99
-470 ohm resistor
-Army Surplus box ??? I used a signal light box.
-Old computer speaker
-Old earphones or some old 1/8" stereo jack headphone jack.
-Piece of screen
-4 nuts and bolts

Soldering Iron
Tin Nibbler
Screw drivers
Wire strippers
Needle Nose Pliers

Step 2: Assemble the Amp.

Assemble this Amplifier kit and make sure it works. The kit comes with instructions but the PDF is available on the Velleman website If the idea of soldering the kit up is a little intimidating they also sell the kit assembled for $1.00 more.

Step 3: Put It in the Box.

If you are going to make this a portable model, skip ahead to step 3.
Line up the power jack, rca connector and two nuts on one side of the project box. Make sure there is room and mark the locations. Start by putting in the power connector. Drill a hole for it with the your drill and a 1/.4” bit. Then move on to the RCA connector and do the same.
Now you will drill holes for your speaker jacks. They are just your bolts and two nuts.

Step 4:

You are almost done now. I remove the posts on the velleman kit and use just standard solid 22awg wire. I use 2inch pieces so I can have room to solder the connectors on the project box later. For the connectors you are putting in, I like to solder 2inch leads on them before I fix them in the box. Drill a hole in the top of the box to replace the heatsink the kit comes with.

Step 5: Done If Not Moving...

Turn it on, you finished. If you want you could add a power switch and an LED to show it is on. If you use an LED, make sure to use a resistor (470 should be good but 1000 will work too).

Step 6: Going Mobile

If you want to make a portable version...
Survey your army box and see what you have to work with. Mine included a lamp, which worked! Putting that aside for another project.

Step 7:

Take your speaker apart. I was going to make it stereo with two amps, but I did not have the room in the box with these speakers.
Mark the mounting holes for your speakers.

Step 8:

Now you need to cut out a hole for the speaker. I found a round cap that was the same size as the speaker and traced it out

Step 9:

I used a nibbing tool to cut out the circle from the metal lid. First drll a hole then poke the bibber through and go to town.
File or dremel the the hole to make it smooth when you are done.

Step 10:

Cut out a piece of cheep screen to cover the speaker. Admittedly this is really just for looks.

Step 11:

Attach the speaker with your four nuts and bolts.

Step 12:

Drill a small hole on the left side of the box to attach the amp to. This giant metal box is going to take the place of the heatsink the amp kit came with.

Step 13:

Attach the amp, it's a good idea to cover the bottom of the amp with tape to keep from shorting out on the metal box .

Step 14:

Hook everything up with alligator clips and make sure it works, if you did this earlier then you can skip this step.

Step 15:

I lined the box with some foam I had around the house.
To run this off of batteries solder two 9v battery connectors together, solder the black to the negative on the amp, and the positive straight positive on the amp, I wanted to make this run off of batteries or a wall wart, so I also added a switch and a dc power jack

Step 16:

Solder the speaker wires to the amp where it is marked LS.
I cut apart an old pair of headphones and used the cord to connect it to the amp. Cut the cord and tie the white and red cable to the red cable marked IN on the amp. Solder the negative cable to the negative and your are finished.

The Instructables Book Contest

Participated in the
The Instructables Book Contest

Be the First to Share


    • Made with Math Contest

      Made with Math Contest
    • Multi-Discipline Contest

      Multi-Discipline Contest
    • Robotics Contest

      Robotics Contest

    61 Discussions


    1 year ago

    I think this is probably the instructable that brought me to the site all those years ago. I wanted to build one of these (which I still haven't done) and was looking up amplifier circuits using Google to understand it better.

    I found this in the search results and then started exploring the site. I would have been nearly 13 at the time, going by the date this was published and the date I signed up for an account. There were fewer than 800 instructables on the site in total back then. I registered as soon as I was old enough (i.e. on my 13th birthday). (I also created a Wikipedia account the same day.)

    Another of the search results was a blog post. I commented on it. Back in those days, blog comment systems commonly allowed you to use a few HTML tags to format your comments. I put a link in my comment, but forgot to close the <a> tag. After I posted the comment, the entire page from the link in my comment to the bottom was a link! I couldn't use the comment form to post another comment containing </a> to fix the problem (or notify the blog's owner), because as soon as I clicked in the comment form, I went to the page I'd linked to! (I don't remember if I tried tabbing to the form. Also, it was probably partly my browser's fault, because it should have auto-closed the unclosed <a> tag within its containing element rather than letting it affect the rest of the page.)


    8 years ago on Introduction

    This is not much of a help I want to build an amplifier from the scratch meannig not from a discarded or pre existing computer amplifier from a desktop nor laptop speaker system.

    This is much more of putting together all working pieces muck more like a jigsaw puzzle.

    Its is much better if there was an schematics like a stereo amplfier with sub woofer output power by DC 12 volts that has an ouput of 200w per channel.

    1 reply

    If anyone is interested, if you google the TBA820M power amp IC, its a great sounding little amp circuit and the test/application circuit is included in the data sheet all you do is change one value of resistor for the gain, I use it in my school and each circuit works out a lot less than $10, just means you need to be handy with making you own PCBs or vero/strip boarding. Also it runs well off a 9V battery


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I like this iPod amp. This is what real hobbyists / enthusiasts are made off!
    I used to like tinkering around with electronics and making various devices.



    8 years ago on Step 2

    can u please provide me the amplifier circuit diagram with exact component listed....

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 2

    Hey Rahul - The amplifier kit from Velleman includes the instructions and all needed parts are included for the amplifier circuit.



    8 years ago on Step 7

    you could've just cut out the seperators you know :P


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I Have Kits!

    I have been asked for parts and where to get them a lot since I posted this. If anyone is interested I have kits now with everything you need to build this for $60 + shipping.

    Send me a PM with your email address if you are interested.


    1 reply

    8 years ago on Step 10

    Lol I've put pencils and screwdrivers through my speakers more than once. A little bit of screen isn't a bad idea.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I haven't learned much about electronics, but this makes your ipod or mp3 player be able to "power" a large speaker? I tried once connecting my iPod to a small radio speaker I salvaged, but the sound was really quiet. This would theoretically make it louder? Thanks

    3 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Yes, by the looks of this amp it should be VERY loud, running off two 9v. If you're looking to do something less complicated, you can salvage and old personal radio into an amp, but some components may require changing (resistors) otherwise it will be very distorted, plus it only uses 3v instead of 18v.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I've made some out of old computer speakers before. Many of them will run off of 9v/12v. Or you can keep the original plug and just plug them in.

    I've found that many computer speakers can be greatly improved by putting them in a good box :)


    Your mp3 player doesn't power the speakers, the 2 9V batteries power it ;)

    The very quiet bit is still there, but it's amplified using the batteries (doesn't drain your ipod, big plus also :P)


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I am about to start this project for my Zune using a dry box and a marine speaker for canoeing, but the one thing I am tring to figure out is if the speaker magnet will wipe out my Zunes hard drive. Anyone?

    1 reply

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    If it uses a hard drive instead of flash memory, more than likely, you want to keep as much distance between the zune and speaker as possible, between 10 and 20 cm should be fine.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    hi, i want to build a small amp like this but i want to know if i would be able to plug my guitar into it!? it has an output jack for an electric guitar right.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I want to built a system like this but louder. Can you help me?