UK organic audio – Using carrots as audio couplers

When people have too much time at their hands, they might decide to take a baby carrot and simply plug audio connectors into its flesh, discovering an audio connectivity solution that actually worked.

This new material was tested in the secret Hackaday audio lab, located on an anonymous 1970s industrial estate in Milton Keynes, UK.

Looking closely at the humble carrot one sees an 88% water content, with the other 12% being mostly carbohydrates, followed by small quantities of fat, protein, and a cocktail of those vitamins and minerals. In particular, about 0.4% of a carrot is comprised of potassium, sodium, and calcium ions in solution, making the vegetable analogous to a sponge soaked in a weak electrolyte solution.

Thus you’d expect it to be conductive, and to pass a line-level audio signal into a high-impedance load such as an audio amplifier. A quick DC resistance measurement of our test carrot showed a resistance that started at about 50K for distances up to about 10mm, rising slowly to near 100K across its roughly 80mm length. It’s probably beyond the scope of this piece, to characterise the complex impedance of a carrot.

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