One of the demos that the high school explainers are currently developing on the floor involves making homemade speakers out of a a small cup, copper wire and a magnet. Last week, Chas wanted to find out if we could make a speaker using the copper tape and paper that we have been experimenting with for Jie’s paper circuit activity.
Chas got pretty psyched with the proof of concept, but the speaker didn’t work terribly well (or perhaps it was just too loud in the museum). So we did some research and found a page about paper speakers on the High-Low Tech (Jie’s group’s) website. So, armed with this new information, we gathered the materials and started trying to make some homemade speakers with our group of project explainers.
We tested out different shaped coils and changed the spacing between the pieces of tape. Some of our speakers ended up working pretty well, especially as DIY headphones.
This simple looking sock-shaped coil turned out just about as loud as the more intricate spiral patterns but we’re not sure why.
It’s pretty magical that you can make a working speaker with such simple materials and there seems to be endless variables to test out (the High-Low tech page even shows how to make speakers out of fabric, vinyl, wire and more). We’ll continue to try these out in the learning studio and on the floor, either in the TS or as part of the explainer speaker demo (or hopefully both).