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Old 12th December 2003, 04:32 AM   #1
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Orlando, Florida
Question Tiny amp

This may sound strange, but I would like to design a small (cigarette pack size) amp. It should run on two AA bateries, have a small speaker, and an on/off switch. My question is, how do I get started doing this? I don't know any electrical engineering, although I do have an education in physics. How are such things designed? Are there EE people out there who (for a fee) would design one for me that could be manufactured economically and patented? If so, how much would they charge? Don't even know where to get started... Thanks.
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Old 12th December 2003, 04:53 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: piedmont
do you want something like this? not hi-fi, but it's cool and has a speaker.

or maybe you would prefer this? ...which is actually a nice little headphone amp which could be used to drive some tiny speakers, i suppose.

lots of other projects on headwize you might find interesting.

/andrew - bought a smokeyamp for a friend a few years ago, and made an altoids-tin cmoy amp for himself a couple years ago.
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Old 12th December 2003, 05:00 AM   #3
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Adelaide, Australia
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use a single 9 volt battery instead of two AA's...
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Old 12th December 2003, 08:51 AM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: England
I am guessing this amp would be for guitars perhaps?

As has already been said, lots of people have already had this idea. I saw one a while ago that was an amp built inside a soda can, but I can't find the link anymore. I think it was a coke can.

There are lots of small amps already about. Check this one out:


A number of small amps are even used as the preamp stages in pedals, like the electro-harmonix overdrive pedals.

This is the way designers need to move, towards smaller and higher quality amplifiers. So many of the guitar amplifiers available are aimed at adding another 0 to the wattage it's stupid. Hardly anyone who buys these amplifiers can afford to play at 300 watts because they'd seriously damage their hearing, and anyone else nearby, trying to play in a small room.

These guys should buy a small amp, overdrive it, then use a solid state amp to get it to the volume needed.

As for ideas already being available...

I have pictures I drew of a way to revolutionise music by creating walls of charged particles with ionisers and then using magentic fields to create the vibrations within it; thus eliminate speaker break-up problems and removing the physical speaker altogether. I then found out this idea is a very well aged one and that it has already been done.

If the amp is for a guitar, have a look at the Gilmore clip labeled SD1/808..... evil, evil stuff!

All the best!
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Old 12th December 2003, 09:13 AM   #5
UrSv is offline UrSv  Sweden
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I suggest looking at any of the integrated small amplifiers like LM386 and the like.
Those who say it can't be done should not stop those who are doing it.
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