Turning the Volume Down

By | November 11, 2013

I finally started a blog. I’m going to chronicle my exploration of amateur (ham) radio and electronics. So, let’s get to the first post.

For the first post, I decided to go after something simple. My daughter has an Elmo guitar, the volume of which is, shall we say, earsplitting. I’ve been threatening to wire a potentiometer into the thing so it isn’t so loud. (for those that don’t know, a potentiometer resists the flow of electricity and has a knob to change the amount of resistance).

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Here, we see the speaker. I’m just going to clip one of the wires off and wire that to one side of the potentiometer.

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This is the potentiometer. It’s a 50k ohm audio taper. In hindsight, a 10k ohm would probably have been better, but this was the only audio taper I had.The shaft is also a couple of inches longer than I would have liked.

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Here, I’ve wired two of the terminals of the potentiometer, one to the wire that was clipped off and one to the speaker.

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Now to make a place for the shaft of the potentiometer. A clamp, a block of wood, and a drill made quick work of it. Well, would have if I picked the right size drill bit the first time around.

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Finally, put it all together. Yes, it’s ugly, but it’s functional.

What I would do next time: either get a better potentiometer and put a knob on it, or better yet, determine what value resistor would give a good volume and just use that. The latter has the advantage that the kid won’t go turning it back up to 11.