Lets Make Something banner



Youtube graphic
I have a youtube channel with over 750 Project Videos!

Hi, Thanks for visiting my website. My name is Will and if you have questions
or would like to
contribute projects or ideas you can contact me Will

Electrifying the phonograph

In Part one of this tutorial I show you how to make the low tech phonograph. It has a hand crank and there is no power. Just the needle and cone pickup an d ampify the sound.

In this part of the tutorial I don't make it "High tech". I guess you could say I make it "Medium tech"!

I add the necessary electronics to make it amplified for sound. This includes adding a microphone, pre amplifier, amplifier and speaker. (Video and tutorial coming)



Overview of the project

This old fashioned phonograph actually works without any electronics. You can see how to build it right here. But in this part of the tutorial I add some simple electronics to make it electrified and amplified. There are a lot of ways to do this but I chose a pretty easy method. If you are not that familiar with electronics this might look complicated but it really isn't. The amplifier with volume control is a small board I purchased for five bucks. And the pre-amplifier with microphone is another board I purchased for three bucks. From there it is just a speaker and a little motor. I will give you amazon links to the exact ones that I purchased so you can see.

The Power Supplies are just a 9volt battery for the preamp and microphone. And four AA batteries for the amplifier. This amplifier drives the speaker.

The Motor is a little geared motor that I bought on amazon and it is a DC Motor which means that if you vary the voltage to it you can vary the speed. So I used a variable power supply for that so I could get the speed of the turntable just right.



Parts List:

The Pre-amplifier with microphone

To power this I just needed a 9volt battery. That takes care of the pre amp and the microphone. I used one of these:

9 volt battery clip



The Amplifier with volume control to run the speaker

To power this amplifier and the speaker I used one of these battery holders. It holds four AA Batteries which gives us about 5-6 volts depending on the type of AA battery.


The larger one of these two was used. Battery case holder with leads


I had a speaker on hand (8 ohm) here are some available on amazon for cheap. 8 ohm speaker


The gearbox motor to drive the turntable


This next part is the only tricky thing and if you are building a project like this you might have to improvise something specific. The point is to get the turntable to turn at 33 1/3 revolutions per minute. I achieve this easily without having to get any very specific stuff. I just used the general DC motor that varies by voltage and a variable power supply. That way I could adjust the power supply voltage up or down until the motor turned at the desired speed.

Here is the shop power supply that I used for this project and for most of my electronic projects:

Mastech Power Supply 0-18volts DC


That's just about everything. I also used some electrical tape, some wire, solder, and a soldering pencil.

Let's take a look at how I put it all together