Ricky's Radical Inventions Ricky's Radical Reinventions


Ricky's Radical Inventions

CBBC animator and re-inventor Ricky Martin demonstrates how to make a loudspeaker with everyday objects from around the home.


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Transcript


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Hi, and welcome to Ricky's Radical Reinventions.

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My name's Ricky Martin, and I love making stuff.

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I'll give anything a go, me.

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Drilling, doodling, experimenting,

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oooh! A bit of twiddling.

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That's my van.

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Drawing,

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er, talking,

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origami,

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skateboarding,

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all sorts of animation.

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Oops!

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But mostly, I like to figure out how things work,

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reinvent them for myself, and then finally make them really big.

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Have you ever thought that everything you've ever used

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has been invented?

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Yep, that's invented.

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This is also invented.

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And that's...that's not invented!

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That's grown!

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All right, so not everything, but wherever you are,

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whatever you're doing,

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chances are you're probably using somebody's invention.

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Now, this got me thinking.

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We could reinvent some cool inventions

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with stuff you've got lying around your house.

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Trust me, you'll be amazed at what you can make.

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So, we're going to look at inventions we can redo,

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they're going to be radical, and my name's Ricky.

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Today, we're in Bristol.

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Well, right now, I'm in a field,

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and the invention we're going to be looking at is...

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The speaker!

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Yeah, the speaker.

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We're going to make one that'll work for your iPod or MP3 player,

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-but that's not all.

-Oh, no?

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No. We're then going to take my radically reinvented speaker

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and make it really big, and I reckon it'll be so good,

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it'll work for a live performance with a mega singer.

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Then, some expert judges will tell me whether they think it's good...

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ALL: Yeah!

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..or bad.

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ALL: Boo!

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This is going to be awesome!

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Oh, yeah!

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I show you how to make a speaker for your MP3 player,

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using stuff you'll have lying around.

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I run through a field,

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I get to grips with how sound works, or try to, anyway.

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I have no idea who these guys are, or what they're doing.

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There's a cow with a speaker in it,

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and I find a team to help build speakers for a star performer,

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but the big question is, will these bits of cardboard actually work?

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I'm scared!

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So, who do you think our speaker-testing singer is?

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Well, for a start,

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it's a lady - lady's mouth.

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No, she doesn't wear glasses!

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No, much prettier than that.

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Now, that's just weird!

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Normal eyes, please, not cat's eyes.

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Guessed who it is, yet?

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Yeah, you know it. She's an X Factor finalist. It's Kitty Brucknell!

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The speakers we're going to make have to be strong enough

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to hold up against Kitty's powerful voice,

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and she does give it some welly.

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# Oh, live and let die... #

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Woah, nice one, Kitty!

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Do you know, some singers can have such a loud and piercing tone

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that they can smash glass with their voice alone?

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But how does that happen?

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Apparently, it's all down to this.

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WINE GLASS RINGS

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That's resonance. It's the tone you need to make.

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But it's not just about the tone, it's also about the volume.

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Now, it's extremely difficult to do, and it's quite dangerous,

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so don't go trying this yourself.

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GLASS RINGS

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RICKY SINGS AT VARIOUS PITCHES

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RICKY SINGS AGAIN

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You know what? I don't think it's possible.

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Oh, hang on. What's this?

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JAIME SINGS

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Yes!

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Glass number 90!

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All right! But he's trained for years to do that.

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And he is an expert.

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Now, to break a glass,

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your voice has to be over a certain amount of decibels.

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Decibels are the way we measure sound.

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For example, (a pin drop, 15 decibels.)

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My voice, 50 decibels.

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TELEPHONE RINGS

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60 decibels.

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ENGINES ROAR

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120 decibels!

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Now, I think our speakers will reach about 80 decibels when...

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VOICEOVER: Kitty Brucknell!

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..performs. Which, according to my decibel meter, is about this loud!

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But it's those guys in the animal kingdom that have really

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smashed it when it comes to the decibel stakes.

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ELEPHANT TRUMPETS

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The loudest animal in the ocean is the blue whale,

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whose call can reach up to 188 decibels,

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and can be heard for hundreds of miles underwater.

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It's hard for us to hear it, though, as it's such a low frequency.

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There he goes!

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Shall we look at him again? Rewind, fold him up.

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Ah, there he is, swimming around. Through the desk. Oh! Gone.

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And you can find out how we did that on the website, by the way.

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Now, the loudest land animal is the howler monkey,

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who kicks up a right racket, and can be heard from three miles away.

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It's a bone in their throat that makes them so loud,

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as it acts like an amplifier.

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MONKEY HOWLS

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Shush, now, monkey!

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It's a very annoying noise.

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Another annoying noise is, of course, a burp. Excuse me.

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The loudest burp ever recorded was 109 decibels.

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My mate Laurie - that's him, he works on the show.

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He's got a disgustingly loud burp.

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He's going to have a go at breaking the record. Come on, Laurie!

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109 to beat.

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LAURIE BURPS

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Wow, that was, eugh!

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So, how loud was that?

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101.4 decibels. Not my best.

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Do you know, that isn't that bad, that's pretty good. Nice going.

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He's loud, but not as loud as the loudest sound on earth.

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That would be a volcanic eruption.

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Think of it as an earth burp.

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But even louder would be a meteorite hitting the Earth.

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Aaah!

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Nah, a big one.

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Yeah, that's better!

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In space, there is no air, so nothing for noise to travel through.

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(So all is quiet.)

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So all those explosions, bangs and laser noises you hear

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in those space movies when stuff gets blown up

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are all totally made up.

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Really, it'll be dead quiet.

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But not very exciting, though, eh?

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That's enough of all this. We've got speakers to make.

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But how do speakers work?

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OK, let's work with a cow.

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Let's put a speaker in it, there we are, give it some electricity,

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MP3 player will do.

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The speaker needs a copper coil surrounded by a magnet.

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When switched on, the electrical current travels to the copper coil.

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The magnet then makes the coil vibrate, which results in sound.

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I think we can make a speaker out of some old CD cases, magnets,

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copper-enamelled wire, a bit of sticky tape,

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and some headphone cable.

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Now, what I'm going to do is whack a little bit of glue

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on the top of this magnet here.

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And...

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Hang on a minute, I'm just going to go and work something out.

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So, what we're going to do is have the CD case here.

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'Ah, I know what you're thinking, but that's a special pen,

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'and a special van.

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'Not something to try yourself.'

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Hello, Morph!

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Oh!

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Ha-ha-ha!

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Ha-ha-ha!

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Uh-oh!

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Ta-dah!

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Ha-ha!

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Oh!

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BANG!

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Ha-ha-ha!

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Did you just hear something?

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Anyway, I've worked it out! Let's do it!

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But I'm not doing this on my own.

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I'm going to find me some helpful team-mates.

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Keys to your Gran's house,

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Mr Chicken, the tea cosy,

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gravy granules, or a guitar.

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Usually some laying around somewhere.

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Oh, yeah, some scissors.

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An old envelope, or a new one, I'm not really bothered,

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it's entirely up to you.

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Here we go, then. Step one.

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Right, the first thing you need to do is grab your copper wire

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and wind it around something cylindrical.

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About 40 turns should do it.

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Then carefully pull it off, and fasten it tightly with some

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sticky tape, and it should end up looking like this.

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The next thing you need to do is grab your CD case,

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and stick a magnet to one side.

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Now, take your envelope, cut off its corner,

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and then cut off ITS corner,

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creating a cone that'll work as a speaker's resonator.

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Next, you need to stick your coil to the top of the resonator,

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and you do this just by looping over a little bit of sticky tape.

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Then, grab some more tape

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and fold it back on itself so it's sticky on the outside.

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And put that on top of the magnet in the CD case.

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Now, you can stick your coil and your resonator on top of that.

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Sand the ends of your coil and sand the ends of the MP3 wire,

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twisting together,

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connect that to your MP3 player, and now it's time to rock.

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Ha-ha-ha!

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Oh!

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Uh-oh!

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We find out how loud our speakers are,

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I go for a low-frequency snack.

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Oooh! That's got to hurt!

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I phone an old friend,

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not everything goes to plan.

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Come on, everyone, we're running out of time!

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And we see if my radical reinvention actually works.

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So, it's the moment you guys have all been waiting for.

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It's time to test out those speakers. You guys ready?

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KIDS: Yeah.

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QUIET MUSIC PLAYS

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That is actually coming from the speaker!

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That's so cool!

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Oh, amazing!

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That's coolsome!

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That's so coolsome!

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Yeah, that's cool.

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We need it to be over 80 decibels, and at the moment, it's about 60.

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Now, there's one other thing I haven't told you.

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It's that we need these speakers to be loud

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and good enough for a performance,

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because we've got a guest coming along to sing through them.

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And it's X Factor finalist, Kitty Brucknell.

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-What? No, it isn't!

-It is.

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-She won't come.

-She is coming!

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She's not!

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Kitty is definitely coming later to sing for you,

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through the speakers that you're going to make.

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-Really?

-Yes, she is.

-No, she's not!

-She is!

-She's not coming!

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-She is coming!

-She's not!

-No, she's not!

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All right, then I'll just call her.

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-Ricky, give her a call.

-Call her, then.

-Call her, then.

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PHONE RINGS

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-Hello?

-Hello, Kitty, it's Ricky.

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-Hi, Ricky!

-You still up for coming to play for us later?

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Oh, absolutely, I can't wait! It's going to be so much fun.

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Bye, Kitty, bye!

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It is her!

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You guys are going to be helping me

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make the speakers that she's going to play through.

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Do you think we're up for the job?

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ALL: Yeah!

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-Are the speakers up to the job?

-ALL: No!

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In that case, I'm going to need some expert advice.

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I think the speakers will be good enough

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if we make them bigger, but they're not at the minute.

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They're not loud enough.

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They're pretty useless,

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unless everyone in the crowd held one up to their ear.

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If we make them bigger, and a bigger magnet,

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they'll probably be good enough.

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This is the Acoustic Transducer Company. Sounds good.

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These guys make 1500 speakers a year.

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They supply to over 60 countries,

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and have kitted out the studios of Pink Floyd, Lenny Kravitz,

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The Rolling Stones and other people your mum and dad have listened to.

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Their production line isn't too different from ours.

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They have people doing all the hard work for them,

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I have people doing all the hard work for me.

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We wind copper coils, they wind copper coils with a fancy machine.

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They have wires, and we've got wires, too.

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We've got magnets, they've got magnets,

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just slightly bigger than ours.

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Their speakers can cost up to £30,000,

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and our speakers don't really cost that much,

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but the thing they do have that we don't is a speaker tester.

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When you crank the bass down,

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the vibrations make the speaker cone bounce.

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And if you add an extra ingredient, you can have a whole lot of fun!

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Right, so how can we improve this for our performance?

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Because we really want it to reach over 80 decibels.

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You've got some powerful magnets, but you could try

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arranging them so that they focus the energy closer to the voice coil.

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And this tape, here.

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You could try something more flexible in place of that,

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to allow more movement, maybe elastic bands or a balloon.

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If you were to put a horn in front of the cone,

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that would make it louder.

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Cool.

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Ben and Rich are going to be on hand to help me

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at the big performance later on.

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So, our top tips from the experts are,

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use a balloon instead of sticky tape to put the cone on,

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arrange the magnets better,

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and add a horn.

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HORN TOOTS

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Not that kind of horn!

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Yeah, that shape, anyway. These are going to be much better.

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CRASH!

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Huh?!

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I hope Kitty's going to be OK with what we make for her.

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It's much harder than I thought.

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I really take my hat off to the guy that first invented the speaker.

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His name was Alexander Graham Bell,

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and he's the same guy that invented the telephone.

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I wonder if he knows he invented the speaker at the same time.

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I'll just give him a call.

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PHONE RINGS

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It's ringing.

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Hello, is that Alexander?

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-Yes.

-Hi, Alex.

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Oh, shall I call you Mr Bell?

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No, you can call me Alex.

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Oh, all right then, Al.

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Did you know that you invented the first loudspeaker

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when you invented your telephone?

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-Did I really?

-Yes, you did.

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-So, er, well done.

-Thank you.

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-That's all right. Cheers, then.

-Bye, now.

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I'm so stoked that I invented the speaker at the same time

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as I invented the...

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(MUFFLED) ..telephone.

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You know what? It's not just speakers that need magnets to work.

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We do, too. It may sound radical,

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but the fact is our planet has one big mega-magnet

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running inside it from the North to the South Pole,

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and the magnetic field it creates goes out into space

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for thousands of kilometres. It acts like a force field,

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protecting us from space radiation,

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but if the Earth lost this mega-magnet,

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the whole world would go a bit wonky.

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So, you'd be walking along, looking at your map,

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you'd get your compass out and, oh, no!

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It wouldn't work.

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So... Oh! Where did that come from?

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Yep, you'd be lost.

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Oh, someone should probably fix that.

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Birds use the magnetism of the Earth to find their way, too,

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so without it... Oh!

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Oh, hello!

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They wouldn't know where they were going, either.

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And, no magnetism, no protection from the Sun's solar winds.

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So we'd all get cooked.

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Yeah, and so would the birds.

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What a disaster.

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OK, so, big speakers, not going to be a disaster.

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I'm taking my expert tips back to my top team.

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Come on, guys, we've got a lot to do. Let's get on it.

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'I've stuck the magnets on already, because

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'if you get your fingers caught between them, it don't half pinch!

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'We're having more winds of the coil this time,

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'so first job is to get winding.'

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BOTH: ..69, 70!

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Amazing!

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Our top tip from the experts was to use balloons to just bend

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the coil over the magnet, instead of using tape.

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But things are starting to go wrong.

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Oh, no!

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And balloons splitting isn't all.

0:18:230:18:25

I've just realised the bolts are slightly too high.

0:18:250:18:28

The coil needs to be really close to the magnet,

0:18:280:18:30

and at the moment, it's quite far away.

0:18:300:18:31

So that's nearly 50 screws all needing to be redone.

0:18:310:18:35

We are really up against it now, and me making this little blunder here

0:18:370:18:40

has not helped us, so we're going to have to start making the cones now.

0:18:400:18:43

Well, it's nice to see everyone pulling their weight(!)

0:18:470:18:50

I don't think they realise how little time we have left!

0:18:500:18:53

Do you know, I have absolutely no idea

0:18:570:18:59

whether this is going to work or not.

0:18:590:19:01

It will probably work. It might not, though.

0:19:020:19:04

No, it's going to work. It might not work.

0:19:060:19:09

We're on the last little bit now.

0:19:110:19:12

What we need to do is just cut out these bits,

0:19:120:19:15

and then fold them in like this, so you get this kind of shape.

0:19:150:19:18

If you work in a team, that would be great,

0:19:180:19:20

but really, we've just got to get them cut!

0:19:200:19:22

While we crack on,

0:19:250:19:26

the hall is being prepared for the performance of our star guest.

0:19:260:19:29

Come on, everyone! We're running out of time!

0:19:300:19:33

I'm glad to see some expert help arrive.

0:19:330:19:35

So, is bigger better? Do they actually work?

0:19:450:19:47

MUSIC PLAYS

0:19:490:19:51

Both working.

0:19:510:19:52

-That's not bad.

-That's really good.

-That's really good.

0:19:530:19:57

-Guys, how do you feel about this?

-Yeah, good.

-Is it going to work?

0:19:570:20:00

-KIDS: Yeah!

-I like the optimism.

0:20:000:20:03

Everyone's feeling good, but with minutes to go,

0:20:040:20:07

we need to get the horns on the speakers and set them up on stage.

0:20:070:20:10

They may not look pretty,

0:20:100:20:12

but it's what they sound like that matters, and it's not sounding good.

0:20:120:20:16

You can't hear me, can you?

0:20:160:20:18

No, because they don't seem to be working at the moment.

0:20:180:20:21

We're having a problem getting them ready. I'm scared!

0:20:210:20:24

Everything's riding on these speakers working.

0:20:240:20:27

Just as well the experts are here to help work this out.

0:20:270:20:30

They've also brought along their professional speakers,

0:20:300:20:33

in case it all goes wrong.

0:20:330:20:35

Fingers crossed they've fixed the problem,

0:20:350:20:37

Tess is going to try them out.

0:20:370:20:39

# Who do you think you are

0:20:390:20:41

# Running round leaving scars... #

0:20:410:20:43

Thank goodness for that! They're working.

0:20:430:20:45

# And tearing love apart... #

0:20:450:20:47

Well done, Tess.

0:20:490:20:50

'Nice one, Tess!'

0:20:500:20:52

How do you guys think it sounded?

0:20:550:20:57

They sound a bit fuzzy.

0:20:570:20:58

When we put music through it, it sounds a lot better.

0:20:580:21:00

I think we've just got to do it and hope for the best, haven't we?

0:21:000:21:03

KIDS: Yeah.

0:21:030:21:04

Inside, the audience are filing in, unaware that outside,

0:21:060:21:10

Kitty has just arrived.

0:21:100:21:12

We've got our speakers plugged in to a mixing desk and an amp.

0:21:170:21:19

We've got to be really careful about how much power we put into it,

0:21:190:21:22

because it could blow, and that would be a disaster.

0:21:220:21:25

Because what could happen is,

0:21:250:21:27

in an effort to make our speakers louder,

0:21:270:21:28

we give them more power than they can handle.

0:21:280:21:30

If we reach this limit, the coils will get hot, really hot.

0:21:300:21:34

The glue could melt,

0:21:340:21:36

and the speakers might destroy themselves, and we don't want that.

0:21:360:21:39

There's no turning back now.

0:21:470:21:48

250 judges are about to hear how our speakers sound.

0:21:480:21:52

Hi guys, can you hear me?

0:21:520:21:53

AUDIENCE: Yeah.

0:21:530:21:55

That's great. I'm talking through speakers that me

0:21:550:21:57

and my team radically reinvented,

0:21:570:21:59

and we're pretty confident they're going to hold up

0:21:590:22:01

to a powerful performance, so please put your hands together

0:22:010:22:04

and give a big, warm welcome to Kitty Brucknell!

0:22:040:22:07

AUDIENCE CHEER

0:22:070:22:09

# There ain't no reason you and me

0:22:170:22:20

# Should be alone tonight

0:22:200:22:22

# Yeah, baby, tonight. #

0:22:220:22:24

Let's just make this clear.

0:22:240:22:26

Kitty Brucknell is singing through some cardboard boxes,

0:22:260:22:29

balloons, wires and magnets, and it's working!

0:22:290:22:32

But are they reaching our target of 80 decibels?

0:22:320:22:35

Oh, yeah! 85 on the meter.

0:22:350:22:38

# I'm going to run right to

0:22:380:22:39

# To the edge with you

0:22:390:22:42

# Where we can both fall over in love... #

0:22:420:22:44

We've hit our target, but just in time,

0:22:440:22:45

because what I feared might happen is happening.

0:22:450:22:48

Kitty's putting so much power through the speakers,

0:22:480:22:51

the coils are overheating!

0:22:510:22:53

# I'm on the edge, the edge

0:22:530:22:55

# The edge, the edge

0:22:550:22:58

# The edge, the edge

0:22:580:23:00

# The edge

0:23:000:23:02

# I'm on the edge with you. #

0:23:020:23:04

'For safety's sake, we can't use these again. But they did work.

0:23:120:23:16

'So, what's the verdict?'

0:23:160:23:17

Give me a shout if you think Ricky's radical reinvention

0:23:170:23:21

of the speakers worked!

0:23:210:23:23

KIDS SHOUT

0:23:230:23:25

That's a big yes from the judges!

0:23:260:23:29

The speakers worked. Job done. They're a bit too hot to handle now.

0:23:290:23:34

Just as well we've got the big ones. Take it away, Kitty!

0:23:340:23:38

# I'm on the edge of glory

0:23:380:23:42

# And I'm hanging on a moment of truth

0:23:420:23:46

# Out on the edge of glory

0:23:460:23:49

# And I'm hanging on a moment with you

0:23:490:23:53

# I'm on the edge, the edge

0:23:530:23:55

# The edge, the edge

0:23:550:23:57

# The edge, the edge

0:23:570:23:59

# The edge

0:23:590:24:01

# I'm on the edge of glory

0:24:010:24:05

# And I'm hanging on a moment with you

0:24:050:24:10

# I'm on the edge with you

0:24:100:24:11

# I'm on the edge of glory... #

0:24:190:24:22

Phew!

0:24:220:24:23

Right, so you guys now know how to make a speaker

0:24:230:24:26

using some copper wire, some magnets and other bits and bobs.

0:24:260:24:28

I'm really, really stoked that our speakers made over 85 decibels.

0:24:280:24:32

I think we really smashed it this time.

0:24:320:24:34

# I'm on the edge, the edge

0:24:340:24:36

# The edge, the edge

0:24:360:24:38

# The edge, the edge

0:24:380:24:41

# The edge

0:24:410:24:42

# I'm on the edge of glory

0:24:420:24:46

# And I'm hanging on a moment with you

0:24:460:24:50

# With you... #

0:24:500:24:52

Kitty singing through our speakers was absolutely amazing.

0:24:520:24:55

# I'm on the edge with you... #

0:24:560:24:58

I didn't expect them to be that loud.

0:24:580:25:00

The best bit was when Kitty sang through the speakers.

0:25:000:25:05

It was so fun!

0:25:050:25:08

Kitty singing was amazing, and it went down really well.

0:25:080:25:11

I'm quite upset that it's the end of it now.

0:25:110:25:13

It was really fun, but I really want to do it again now!

0:25:130:25:16

# Yeah, yeah

0:25:160:25:19

# I'm on the edge with you. #

0:25:190:25:23

A great performance by Kitty, and a great achievement by the team.

0:25:250:25:29

Those speakers were a radical reinvention that really rocked.

0:25:290:25:32

Want to make your own speakers? Check out the website.

0:25:350:25:39

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:25:520:25:55

Animator and re-inventor Ricky Martin demonstrates how to make a loudspeaker with everyday objects from around the home. Chas gets stuck to a magnet and Ricky attempts to make big speakers in time for a mega performance by an X Factor star. Can he do it, and will they work?


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