Super Small Credit Card Speakers - Entry for the Pocket-sized Speed Challenge!!!


Introduction: Super Small Credit Card Speakers - Entry for the Pocket-sized Speed Challenge!!!

I wanted speakers that were pretty loud (for metallica), were pretty small (for my shirt pocket, yes I am sort of a nerd, jealous?), and pretty cool (like me). So I decided to throw something together that was durable enough that I could do anything to it and not destroy it! Basically, I made the Instructable after I made the thing, but it's pretty straightforward. Enjoy!

NOTE: I made this for my friend Chamon from PE who keeps nagging me to make an -ible, I decided to oblige him...

Step 1: Gathering Your Supplies.

Alrighty, this was completely made from salvaged parts. You will need:
1) Gift card (make sure it's already used, I didn't)
2) Hot glue + gun (it's pretty useless without the gun)
3) Thing to make holes with (I used a 2x4 and a nail)
4) Wire (I get mine from behind transformers in my neighberhood, thank you wasteful electricians!)
5) Soldering gun + solder ( you could use hot glue, but that's not the Instructables spirit)
6) Headphones (preferably with the jack intact and functioning)
7) Wire stripper, snips, pliers, whatever you can think of...

Step 2: Disassembly Of, Well, Everything!

Basically disassemble your headphones, being careful not to rip the membrane on the speakers (oops...). Now take your cord, and harvest the headphone jack. You can either keep or discard the rubber encasing it, I chose to dispose of it with a lighter. When you do that, proceed to step 3.

Step 3: Assembly Of, Well, Everything!

Now that you have your speakers all alone and vulnerable, you need to place them on the card where you want them (close to the middle is good). Now trace around with anything you have lying around (Sharpie does wonders). Now using your hole-making tool make some holes where the speaker will go. Make sure to not go outside the lines, and also to not overdo it and pose a risk to your speakers.

Step 4: Mounting the Speakers.

Now stick your speakers on the gift card inside the lines you drew earlier. Now take your hot-glue gun and run a good bead (caulking terms) around the base of the speaker. Repeat for speaker #2. Proceed further my young apprentice (I love Hitman: Codename 47)

NOTE: Do not do what I did in the picture and drown the speaker in glue before I soldered on the wires!

Step 5: Soldering on the Wires.

Fire up your soldering iron and solder wires from both speakers out. What I did was double the wires at the second speaker to only have 2 wires coming out of the card (versus 4).
If you don't get it just look at the picture...

NOTE: Don't melt the membrane, or your work will be wasted.
SECOND NOTE: The black wire to the right should be connected where there is a break.

Step 6: Soldering the Jack.

This part will be the hardest part of this entire project, because there is not much room for error.The jack has to be able to go into the socket, and if you solder your wires too low down it won't go in. Just be careful. The speakers are reversible, so as long as your pads on the speakers are soldered right like in the drawn schematic, you will be fine!!!

Step 7: The Drowning

No, this is not some cheap movie. Basically this waterproofs your speakers from the back, and secures your wires. It's pretty straightforward, but it does take a lot of glue sticks. Also, covers your solder-point on the jack in a little bit of glue, just to make it ergonomic.

Step 8: Twist Your Wires.

Twist your wires to make your cord look better, and also to make it more springy.

Step 9: You Are Done!!!

There you have it - a pretty nice set of speakers mounted on a gift card, capable of fitting in your pocket, or practically anywhere else! Chamon - are you happy now?

Step 10: ADDITION--By Popular Demand - How to Add a Back to Your Speakers!

Well, people have been asking me to add a back to my speakers, and so I generously oblige them. Basically, all you need to do is apply hot glue and stick a card on before it cools off. However I find that the easiest technique is to hold both cards together how you want them to turn, and while slowly rotating filling in the spaces in the sides with hot glue. Let it cool, and then go back and fill in the spots you missed. This gets you much better alignment and quality of the joint.



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    23 Discussions

    If it does, it must look like a BIG tampon that got run over by a semi-truck a couple hundred times. I think the illusion is from the flash getting absorbed into the hot-glue which somehow manages to keep some residual light inside and gives it off a split-second later. (Or my camera's flash is turning on too late).

    I'm not sure if that was directed at me... However, I've asked several people if it looks like a tampon and many agree. Lol.

    Btw by "haha someone's loose XD" I ment as in they are really loose "down under" cause they need a massive tampon

    nice Instructable!!!!! you really need a back on it though, it will look alot neater.

    good concept. but i feel that more work could of gone into creating a better final thing. Eg heat shrink on the wires etc.

    4 replies

    yes true, i'm still thinkning of putting some heat shrink tubing on the cord, however that would go towards making the cord stiff, which i really dont like for my purposes. That was actually my second attempt. on my first attempt i tried to make a mould for the glue to come out rectangular and uniform on the back. it didnt work out for many reasons, reason one being the hot glue was cooling for way too long and melted the backs of my speakers (stupid chinese plastic). i still might wrap the jack in black tape, but it doesn't seem that big of a deal with me. besides, i'm a hot glue type person anyways

    i guess, it would be best to mount it on an altoids tin really. but that ible has been done already.

    yeah you're right... Altoids tins have been used so much that they've become somewhat of a cliche (they're still really awesome though). for a common instructable, i tried to get as far from the beaten path as my project and supplies allowed me to.

    i agree! altoids are fun and all. but metal tins arnt the best for things like this (have u ever sat on a metal tin b4?) they bend easily. a better enclosure would be a nice small electrical plastic box.

    wouldn't it be easier and just as loud to just put headphones in your pocket. i may have missed something but you havnt amplified them at all have you?

    1 reply

    well, i haven't amplified them at all, but i found that an effect of placing both speakers on one plane is a more focused sound wave...As for the sticking in your pocket thing, you try sticking headphones in your pocket (and i'm not talking about EARPHONES here). this makes it a much neater, tidier, and better looking package.

    Certainly I was thinking that at first, but you have to admit, your Instructable with nearly the same title is much cleaner and elegant. I actually hope he was not inspired by yours. When you get to making smaller speakers, many of them are going to look similar. This one looks more like a rip from the Altoids speaker to me...with your title, of course.