ScrapHappy June 2021: One becomes Two

A pile of slightly fuzzy scrap…

One of the new things we have tried at Chez Snail as a result of lockdown is being part of a virtual audience on a radio show. In the past, we have on a couple of occasions gone to a recording of “I’m Sorry I haven’t a Clue” which, for the benefit of my international reader, is probably the original unscripted panel show in which the panellists are “given silly things to do”. It was a part of my childhood and is still going a hundred and fifty years later.

As part of a virtual audience, you need a ubiquitous computer with a microphone and a set of headphones, or two, if there are two of you. And therein lies the problem. Most laptops only have the one headphone socket, and won’t allow you to use, say, one set of headphones and one set of Bluetooth connected ear buds. What you need is a gizmo to make one socket into two. I feel a ScrapHappy coming on…

To create a headphone splitter, first carefully select* an old CD player which has two of the required stereo 3.5 mm sockets (usually one is labelled “Line” and the other with the headphone symbol). Then, remove the sockets from the board, plus any other components that look like they may be useful for something one day (and will come off without too much effort).

Shiny soon-to-be used socket

Shiny soon-to-be used socket


Not-so-shiny soon-to-be used socket


Removed and ready for action!

Removed and ready for action!

Now, carefully select one wire from the tangled mess of wires that is my collection of broken headphones – the wires break in the cheap ones** all the time because they are, you know, cheap, and very unmendable. Fortunately, they tend to break in the unopenable earphone bit, or in the moulded plug bit so if you can find one that has broken in the former way, you have the right thing: a bit of wire with a plug on the end. All you need to do now is solder the wire to one of the sockets and that socket to the other socket and bingo! You may want to elicit some help…

Wires. Four of them. Stop me if this is too technical.

Wires. Four of them. Stop me if this is too technical.


JonBeastie at the ready with his soldering iron

Finally, I decided to make something to hold the sockets so that they weren’t, to use a technical phrase, “flapping about all over the place”. I started with a piece of clear plastic that I carefully removed*** from the front of the CD player but that shattered when I drilled it so I cut a piece of the casing off instead, and drilled that.

A hacked-off CD player

A hacked-off CD player

Possibly a hammerhead shark

Possibly a hammerhead shark

And almost immediately after completion, those Beasties had nicked it and were listening to their grimy hippity-hop music by some popular beat combo.


Beasties chillin’ to the groove – apparently


* It was the nearest one.

** And expensive ones as well.

*** It fell off.

Many other people contribute to Kate and Gun’s wonderful ScrapHappy every month – check out what they have been up to too!


KateGun, EvaSue, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, 
Jill, Jan, Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys,
Claire, Jean, Jon, Dawn, Jule, Gwen,
Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue L, Vera,
Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2, Carol,
Preeti, Debbierose, Nóilin, Viv and Edi


Categories: recycling, ScrapHappy | Tags: , , | 21 Comments

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21 thoughts on “ScrapHappy June 2021: One becomes Two

  1. That had to be really satisfying!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I bought us a headphone splitter for our first trip away in 1999, and it lives in the suitcase, ready for the next flight (last used 2010) but now I want to make something like this!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Trying to understand the development of this project, I got lost when I met JonBeastie 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It almost makes me wish my pyrography pen was in fact a soldering iron… It’s just a nickel cadmium wire in a stylus attached to a machine thingy with dials, but it makes better marks than a soldering iron, so perhaps it wasn’t a total loss. You do seem to have a lot of fun with yours! Not that I’d have the faintest idea what to do with the wirey bits anyway…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I bought a new “rework station” recently because all my soldering irons were basically rubbish. The new one is accompanied by a hot air gun, which is like a hairdryer on steroids and I am hoping to use to reclaim old chips off of boards for artists to use. Still practicing with that though…. I have no fingerprints on some fingers!


      • Ouch! I really do like the sound of your chip reclamation – I’ve seen some interesting jewellery made of those.

        Liked by 1 person

        • That’s what I thought so I wondered how easy it is to remove the loads of chips that cannot be used as chips (which is pretty much all of them the newer the electronics becomes). It’ll keep me off the streets…

          Liked by 1 person

  5. claire93

    necessity is the mother on invention, as they say. Fascinating to see how you went about this project!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh the beasties! ❤️❤️ Clever you to get the project done while being assisted by them.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ingenious. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Going Batty in Wales

    I would love to think that one day I might be able to make things that work out of old bits of gizmo but I suspect I will stick to feeding cake to anyone who can do it already! Which show are you planning to be virtual audience for?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: ScrapHappy December 2021: Repair, Reuse, REVIEW | writinghouse

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