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Thread: DIY Mini-Amp?

  1. #1
    Axellent Member Dirt Rich's Avatar
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    DIY Mini-Amp?

    I'm looking for ideas on building a mini-amp, similar to the Smokey. I want something very light-weight that I can stick to my cheapest guitar with double-sided tape, pop in a patch cable, and forget about it. I was thinking about using a smoke detector because it already has a very loud speaker and battery enclosure. Does anyone know how and where to solder an input jack in order to use a smoke detector as a guitar amp?

  2. #2
    Axeaholic YeahDoIt's Avatar
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    I don't think a smoke detector will work because it's not an amplifier, it likely creates pulses of electricity and a piezo converts the pulses to sound.

    lm386 guitar amplifier kit - Google Search

    I made a LM386 guitar amp once from scavenged parts, a few parts from RadioShack and cardboard from a notepad instead of a circuit board and it was a terrific little amp. Mine plugged into AC power but I remember reading about people that use a 9 volt battery for portable amplified sound. You could probably mount the amp and little speaker inside a cigarette pack or small container such as a cat food can or yogurt container or empty beverage can.
    Video playing acoustic guitar at the beach http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4OTqDn0JqE
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  3. #3
    Axeaholic YeahDoIt's Avatar
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    Video playing acoustic guitar at the beach http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4OTqDn0JqE
    Music video - Maersk rescue from pirates, original pictures, NAVY SEAL museum www.youtube.com/watch?v=22fJQ8t8ZY8

  4. #4
    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    I can't wait to see this build......

  5. #5
    Axellent Member anfontan's Avatar
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    I got an old Pignose amp cabinet and speaker many years ago and used one of the LM 386 8 watt IC chips to construct the amplifier. I found an small power supply from a PC and used the 12 volt line to power it. I'm sure the 8 watt chip would drain a 9 volt battery in no time...the smaller 8 pin chips would probably last much longer.

  6. #6
    Axeaholic YeahDoIt's Avatar
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    I remember modifying a radio a long time ago. I found where the radio signal becomes audio and connected a jack to that part of the circuit. It worked, I could hear my guitar, but it was not loud. By tuning the dial I could either play alone or with radio music. You might be able to buy a radio for a dollar or two at a yard sale.
    Video playing acoustic guitar at the beach http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4OTqDn0JqE
    Music video - Maersk rescue from pirates, original pictures, NAVY SEAL museum www.youtube.com/watch?v=22fJQ8t8ZY8

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