I had a broken first generation iPod lying around and wanted to do something with it other than let it collect dust. Since iPods have become a staple of music, I decided I would turn it into a portable speaker.
As I thought about it more, I realized an iPod would make a perfect speaker. The headphone jack could be the audio input, the hold switch could be the power switch, and the scroll wheel is the perfect size and shape for a speaker.
- 2.25 inches (diameter) speaker
- mono audio jack
- 10kΩ potentiometer
- 10μF capacitor
- Altoid Tin Amplifier
- gutted iPod
I attached the power switch, audio jack, and potentiometer with epoxy and hot glue, using white credit card plastic to cover any gaps. Following the advice of a comment on the Altoid Tin Amplifier Instructable for gain control, I connected one pin of the potentiometer to pin 8 of the LM386 and the other pin of the potentiometer to the 10μF capacitor, and the other pin of the capacitor to pin 1 of the LM386.
Then I assembled the Altoid Tin Amplifier. This was my first time etching a PCB and I was delighted with the result. I used the toner transfer method to print the design on the PCB, and ferric chloride to remove the unwanted copper.
I liked the final result so much that I built another one! I didn’t have another broken iPod, but I was able to buy the front and back panels from WeLoveMacs.com. When I received the panels I was happy to see a “warranty void if removed” sticker. I couldn’t resist.