Make: Projects

Small Amp

Simple LM386 Amp circuit that's powered by a 9v battery and some ways to encase it.

  • By
  • Category: Music
  • Time Required: 5 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
Small Amp

This was one of the first circuits that got me into making. It’s very simple and can be used to amplify audio output (mp3 player, computer, etc.) as well as electric guitars.



Step #1:

Small Amp
  • Here is a sketch of the circuit I use. It's not drawn in any traditional sense. But it helped me visualize what I was trying to accomplish.
  • The 10uf cap marked "optional" is best left out unless you're looking to use this as a guitar amp.

Step #2:

  • Lay out the circuit on the perfboard.
  • Make a rough guess at how much board you need.
  • Score your board several times with the X-acto knife and break off what you need.

Step #3:

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  • With everything in place, bend the leads of the components to accommodate soldering.
  • Leave the LM386 out of the socket so as not to burn it up with heat (personal experience).
  • Solder away!

Step #4:

Small Amp
  • Add a power source (9 volt battery)
  • Audio Jack
  • and speaker(s)

Step #5:

  • Test circuit.
  • Add any last-minute items (on/off switch, LEDs, etc.).

Step #6:

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  • Build an encasement.
  • I am not promoting smoking,
  • But this is a very easy and compact project box.

Step #7:

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Assemble with hot glue.

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