Sound Waves Revealed! (Rubens Tube)




Introduction: Sound Waves Revealed! (Rubens Tube)

This Project takes invisible sound-waves and reveals them into easy to see flames. It is a really easy project that costs under 25 dollars. It is a pipe sealed on one side, and has a flexible diaphragm on the other side. You put a speaker with a frequency generator and the sound waves will push the propane in the tube out of certain holes and not out of other holes, creating a visible model of the wave. It can also dance to music.

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Step 1: Gather the Materials

1. A Grill Pro BBQ Regulator and splitter from RONA. Or whatever you can find at your local hardware store

2. 2x- 3/8 Flare x 1/4 MIP Fittings

3. 30 in. or more of 3 in. diameter metal pipe

4. Speaker

5. Frequency generator

6. BBQ lighter

7. Propane Tank

8. Silicone

9. Thread tap for pipe fitting

10. Duct tape

11. Rubber Glove or Helium balloon

12. Wood for plugging end


1. Measuring Tape

2. Bench Vice

3. Hammer and Punch

4. Drill

5. 1/16 in. Drill bit

6. Bit for drilling hole for fitting

Step 2: Drill the Holes

1. Clamp the pipe in the bench vice

2. Put a straight line of masking tape on one side of the tube

3. Mark holes every half inch with a pen or marker

4. Use a punch to make divots so the drill bit doesn't wander

6. Drill the holes

7. Remove the Tape

Step 3: Finish It Up

1. Cut a piece of wood or whatever you have available to fit one end of the pipe

2. Silicone around it to seal it off

3. Drill and tap the holes for the fittings on the side and silicone them in to seal them

4. Stretch and tape the glove or balloon on the other end

5. Hook up the propane (Don't turn it on yet) and you're done!

Please Note:

Before Use: Check to make sure all attachments and ends of the pipe are sealed fully (push with thumbs on rubber seal) o Make sure the room is well ventilated and draft free During Use: o Tube can become hot: avoid touching during operation o Do not operate for more than 10 minutes at a time to prevent damage from overheating o If a pattern forms where some of the holes are unlit, relight them, or let a little more gas into the tube, or turn off the tube completely. Unlit holes could be letting unburned gas leak into the room, or air might be getting drawn into the tube. o Avoid combining low gas pressure and high sound pressure (air can be drawn into the tube) After Use: o Turn the propane tank off and let the flames burn out o Let the tube cool before handling o Unplug the end of the tube outside and allow the propane gas leftover in the tube to dissipate. Otherwise, the dense propane will stay in the tube and create an explosion hazard.

I am not responsible of you mess it all up and blow yourself up or light stuff on fire. This is how I did it and it works, but it is not the official way to do it and there are safer ways than wood and silicone. They work, but are not the safest way.

Step 4: Light It Up!

Slowly turn the Gas on, and hold a lighter to the holes until they light, then turn the flames down until they are barely lit and put the speaker near the balloon and watch your sound come to life!

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed seeing how to reveal the hidden world of sound-waves!

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    3 Discussions

    Johny Walker
    Johny Walker

    2 years ago

    Do you tried with real music song instead a sound generator?


    2 years ago

    Oh! I love these! You should upload a video of it in action :)

    Johny Walker
    Johny Walker

    Reply 2 years ago

    I'm joining! :)