The 10 Minute Altoids GhettoPhone

Introduction: The 10 Minute Altoids GhettoPhone

About: I become obsessed really easily, so weekend projects are the perfect thing for me! Once I start, I can't stop. I LOVE TINKERING!

In need of a quick way to get yourself heard?  Try the 10 Minute Altoids GhettoPhone!  For under ten bucks and in no time flat, this trendy little microphone will have you screaming and screeching with the sound of the blues.  It sounds like the old harmonica microphones of yore and looks even tastier! You can make it with parts laying around the garage.

This Instructable has been entered into the DIY SoundHack Contest and the Pocket Sized Electronics Contest!  Check it out and vote if you like what you see here!

Here's a clip of what it sounds like (I'm an awful singer... but it gets the point across).

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Step 1: Materials and Tools

Here's a list of the things you'll need to be rocking your face off within the next 10 minutes.


1 x Altoids Tin
1 x 2-Way Toggle Switch
1 x 1/4" Phone or Audio Jack
1 x Piezo Electric Doorbell Buzzer (You could also wire a condenser mic element, but those require power. Go with the Piezo for more distorted grit!)
Cotton (Optional)


Electric Drill or Drill Press w/ Bits
Soldering Iron
Hot Glue Gun (optional)- Any kind of glue will work.

Step 2: Preparing the Tin

Step 1)  Eat all the Altoids mints in one big mouthful.

Step 2)  Put on your safety goggles.

Step 3)  Drill a 3/8" hole into the right side wall of the tin (this will be the bottom of the microphone when holding it).  This is where your audio jack will be mounted.

Step 4)  Drill a hole just large enough to fit your toggle switch of choice on the left side wall of the tin (this will be the TOP of the microphone when holding it).

Step 5)  Drill a pattern of small 1/8" holes in the face of the Altoids tin (where the logo is).  You can make the pattern look however you'd like, but make sure you have enough holes to allow for unimpeded sound travel to the condenser mic element).

Step 3: Wiring the Components

At this point I must admit my lack of expertise when it comes to drawing any sort of schematics... so I drew you a picture!  You only need to solder 4 little contacts and you're ready to go.  NOTE: The switch is wired from the middle prog and the left prong if you are facing the switch with the 'ON' direction to the right (as in the picture).

Step 4: Mounting the Components

Step 1)  Use the nuts that came with the audio jack and the toggle to bolt them to parts to the holes you drilled on the right and left walls of the tin.

Step 2)  Glue the condenser mic element (or piezo buzzer) to the inside back wall of the tin.  Make sure you center it with the pattern you drilled out on the top surface of the tin.

Step 3)  Close the box. You're ready to rock.

Step 5: Rocking Out

Congratulations! You've made the 5 Minute Altoids GhettoPhone!  All you have to do now is plug a quarter inch cord into the audio jack and connect that bad boy to a PA system or guitar amplifier.  WARNING: Don't stand too close or directly in front of whatever speaker system you're using.  These things feedback like crazy!  If you're having problems with feedback, I noticed that packing the open spaces in the tin with cotton swabs seems to help a good amount.

Good luck out there rockstar!

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Participated in the
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    2 Discussions


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the heads up! It's been fixed!