Speakers really aren’t that complex to make. In fact, if you’re clever about it, you can make a speaker out of just about anything. [Afroman] is kicking it old school with a hack he first did back in 2001, but now, in video form: Make your own HDD Speaker!
All you need is an old hard drive you don’t care about anymore, a bit of flexible wire, and an externally powered amplifier (no your cellphone will not work!). If you don’t have an amp, [Afroman] even has a tutorial so you can build your own Class D Amplifier on a breadboard!
First off you’ll need to crack open the HDD enclosure. You might need a torx or hex key to get past the manufacturer’s “safety screws” though. Once it’s open you’ll need to locate the hard drive head — this is the small metal arm that looks kind of like a record player tone arm. It’s actually controlled by a coil, you know, just like a speaker…
Get out your multimeter and start probing! The ribbon cable coming from the hard drive head will have two wires that have a resistance anywhere from 4 to 40 ohms — this is actually the coil that controls the head, hence the resistance. Solder your wires in there and give it an amplified audio signal, and that’s it!
For a slightly more functional speaker, why not make one out of glass? Or maybe fabric?
17 thoughts on “Hard Drive… Speakers?”
Interesting but probably won’t be replacing my Infinity Reference speakers with old HD’s anytime soon.
Or the speaker from a Teddy Ruxpin.
Been done sooo many times:
Ok. If this was a contest, this one would get my vote.
This is new to someone on the internet? O.o … I made one of these when I was 14 … I’m 23 now
Same here, same here… :)
Didn’t Afroman do something like this in his school days? I kinda wish his old “ghetto” site was still active….
He did, but he used a 2.5″, a 3.5″ and a 5.25″ drive to cover bass, mid and treble. Well, sort of.
I thought the class d amp vid was pretty good at describing what was going on.
The HDD speaker is an ancient how-to, but I loved the Class D amp vid provided. I laughed at the part “to ensure you don’t damage your MP3 player in case you screw something up” (and a bottle of vodka is pictured.) Oh man, I’ve done that before….
This video seems to be excellent at describing what’s going on too. Sure, we’ve all seen it before, but this is a great explanation for classes and the like.
Actually, phones can drive loads at around 8 Ohms just fine. It’s not without distortion, nor will you get a whole lot of power, but they will surprise you…
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