The Steampunk MP3 Music Player




About: Dan Aetherman, Steampunker, Inventor and Adventurer - Creator of fantastic victorian machines, gadgets and movieprops - Visit me on and on Facebook:

Dear Steampunkers, dear followers and friends

There is nothing more special than to undertake an expedition in Steampunk style and to sleep in the tents out in the forest. And when you sit together by candle light and a camp fire may you would like to listen to some Steampunk tunes. That's why I built the Steampunk Audiophone. It's an unique MP3 player which consumes not much energy - so it's ideal for field trips.

As usual most of the used parts are from the junk yard, only the small MP3 module was bought from a friend. May you don't find the same parts and fittings, but be creative - there is always a way to go and to build something really unique!

Step 1: The Materials I Used for This Creation

As I wrote before most of the used parts are from the junk yard. The horn is a part from an old brass flower vase, old vacuum tubes, speakers from an old radio, a wooden box from a Tea Company, some brass fittings in different sizes, an antique radio meter (voltmeter) to check the voltage of the battery... and some more small things like cables and screws...

The radio meter I had to fix first, but I could buy it very cheap because it was broken... and it looks great for this machine...

Step 2: Some Inspirations How to Build Such a Machine

The simple MP3 module is working with 5V and supports SD cards and has an USB plug for memory sticks. I used a power switch for ON/OFF and only two pins for PLAY/STOP/SKIP FW/SKIP BW/VOLUME UP/VOLUME DOWN. See picture 4 to refer how I created the function of this two pins.
The cable with the solid metal front is the neutral pin. If you touch one of the two brass screws the machine reacts to skip forwards or backwards, or to change the volume of the speakers, and so on. Feel free to ask if you want to know more details.

The Audiophone is powered by an USB cable and plug, so I'm completly free which power source I use, as long it supports USB 5V. It can be a power tank for cell phones or even a small solar charger with an USB outlet. I even built two solar panels to power this small machine. To be sure to have enough battery the small voltmeter, the radio meter, is a great and functional detail.

Step 3: The Steampunk Audiophone

So, I hope I could give you some ideas how to build something "steampunky". More ideas and creations you find on my website News and projects on

Sincerely yours

The Chocolatist




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    11 Discussions

    GeorgianBay Scott

    3 years ago

    I have seen quite a bit of steampunk recently, but this is one piece I definitely like. A smaller version of your player would be perfect to add to my steampunked camper. Thanks for the idea.

    1 reply

    Thank you very much for your message! Your camper is absolutely fantastic! That's a dream to make a Steampunk travel... and your lantern fits perfect. Awesome!!


    5 years ago

    Thanks so much for your reply! I thought that's what was happening with the pins, but I just don't know enough to be sure without clarification. I'm really looking forward to working on this project, and reading about your next amazing creation!


    5 years ago

    I really love this Steampunk Audiophone! I'm going to try to build something similar, but would love some more details on how the switches work. I'm not very technically oriented, so it would be fantastic if you could provide more details. You have inspired me to free my inner steampunker, and today I created my first steam punk object by following your instructable on the USB flash drive! It was a gift for a dear friend, and she was delighted! I thank you very much and hope you realize how inspiring you truly are! Thank you for any help and details you can provide on this, as my next steampunk creation!

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago

    Thanks a lot for your very nice comment! It makes me feel happy when you like my Steampunk instructables and when I can inspire you to create something unique.
    If you connect an electric switch, there are usually two cables which you connect when you close the switch. For the Steampunk Audiophone I went another way - I didn't use a switch - I just use the pins and hold them together to close the circuit and to activate the desired function. One pin is the brass screw, which is located on the surface of the wooden box. The other pin is on the small metal pen which is connected to the silver cable. So if I touch with the metal pen the brass screw, the circuit closes and activates the desired function. It works like on a tablet PC or a smart phone: just a short connection and the function starts...
    Hope that helps. Feel free to ask more - you are welcome!


    5 years ago

    Love, love, love this! Definitely using this to build a Christmas present for a steampunk-loving someone in my life ;). Thanks for the inspiration and idea!

    1 reply