How do you build a record player powered by wind?*

*not that kind!


Great article in Popular Science with instructions on how to build that ‘wind-powered’ turntable that you’ve been meaning to get round to…..

A strong enough wind can push the cut-down Styrofoam cups into motion. As they pick up speed, they spin the turntable.

Digital music relies on unseen technology to translate bits and bytes into tunes. An analog machine like a record player is much easier to understand. To make it even simpler, Popular Science built a motor-free device powered by the wind. This project is cheaper than a real record player, but the sound quality depends on the breeze’s speed, which can easily turn your songs into Alvin and the Chipmunks covers. For a steady source of air, try a fan or even an air-conditioning vent.


  • Time: 2 hours
  • Cost: $35
  • Difficulty: Medium


  • Dremel
  • Box cutter
  • Wire stripper


  • 11-by-11-inch plywood board
  • 1⁄4-by-21⁄2-inch machine screw
  • AJC washer
  • 1⁄4-inch hex nut
  • Two Slurpee straws
  • Adhesive putty
  • 1-inch-thick foam insulation sheet
  • 7-inch record
  • 45 rpm adapter (ours came attached to the record)
  • 9 square inches of cellophane
  • Box of T-pins
  • Six 8-ounce Styrofoam cups
  • Old headphone cable
  • Phonograph needle and cartridge
  • Conductive wire glue
  • Pushpin
  • Loud battery-powered speaker


If anyone decides to make one – please tell us how you get on, and I’m sure we can ‘find’ a prize for you.

So you’ve just built your wind powered turntable you’re going to be looking for something to play on it yes? Well if you’re looking for Earth Wind & Fire, Hawkwind and, err, Barbara Windsor look no further than – we’ve got a huge range of vintage vinyl, reissues, imports, new releases and more (not just by groups with ‘wind’ in their name either!).

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