Guerrilla MP3 Player / Audio Street Art

imagine waiting for the bus and finding a headphone jack on a strange sculpture. what would it say?

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I built this music player for #SXSW so a band (@hernameisbanks) could soft release their new single. i imagine one could have scupltures and art in public places be more self descriptive by including a headphone jack and some content to listen to while experiencing the work.

I'd like help defining a music player that will have the longest battery life.

I'd like help to create this to completely power down when there and not headphones plugged in. I played around a bit with the switching audio jacks. In everycase i could fine they were wired to be normally closed, which didn't quite work.

I'm undergoing experiments currently to make my own normally open audio jack switches that can handle at least 150mA



Optimized for the best audio quality... i ended up with the wav trigger so i could do 44.1khz 16-bit stereo

  • 1 × a song you really want to sneak into people's lives
  • 1 × 1/8 stereo panel mount switching audio jack
  • 1 × wav trigger
  • 6 × sq ft of 5mm underlayment plywood
  • 3 × #8-32 security screws and nuts Electronic Components / Misc. Electronic Components

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  • 1
    Step 1

    make or find a pretty box. over build it.

    a round box is cool, but a bit of a pain

    make your box hard to open unless you have neat tools

    this box is planned for being epoxy and screwed to a wall outside

  • 2
    Step 2

    test electronics. batteries, audio jack, and wav trigger are pretty few parts to deal with.

  • 3
    Step 3

    mount the jack and glue in the other components

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danjovic wrote 02/01/2018 at 00:18 point

Cool, I really like this kind of artwork/conceptual projects !

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mpinner wrote 03/25/2014 at 17:58 point
@tomcircuit.. love the spring loaded return via ballpoint pen. thanks for sharing. i'll try it!

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tomcircuit wrote 03/18/2014 at 03:19 point
it worked great - it was not so hard because it was a 1/4" jack, so everything was big. I think that you could do something similar with a 3.5mm (1/8") jack, also, but things are bit smaller so maybe not quite so forgiving. re: fall off: I don't think so - it was very simple - I used the guts from a ballpoint pen (cut-down ink tube, spring) and a small block of plastic. The tube would slide in the plastic when a plug was inserted. At the end of the travel it would trip the lever of the switch. The pen spring would assist the tube to return when the plug was removed. Worked very well in an audio patch panel for (at least) hundreds of insertions.

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mpinner wrote 03/17/2014 at 22:46 point
@tomcircuit great! how'd it work for you?

I was hoping to do just that and ordered a battery of various types of jacks to find what can be rigged most reliably. my main concern is this method would sort of fail off if the jack gets over abused.

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tomcircuit wrote 03/11/2014 at 03:02 point
I once rigged up a microswitch to detect the presence of a 1/4" plug in a jack in order to switch power. You might be able to do something similar - the tip of the headphone plug could actuate a microswitch lever and safely switch as much current as you need. Just a thought...

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