Here at MakeModHack.com we love a challenge! One of my favorite sites, Lifehacker.com, recently had a challenge to hack something with speakers. This is what we made for the win! Check out how to make it here!
This is a really simple way to make a decent sounding speaker that is completely portable, and waterproof! First things first, lets get our ingredients together.
- 5-10″ of 4″ S&D PVC – (S&D means sewer and drain – its thinner and cheaper than schedule 40)
- 4″ S&D PVC Cap
- 4″ S&D PVC Threaded cap and receiver
- Desktop computer speakers 9-12v
- Cheap waterproof speaker
- Battery Pack
First, take your cheapo desktop speakers and take them apart. I got mine at big lots for $5. It doesn’t matter where you get yours, but you need to make sure that they are somewhere near 9-12 volts. You can look at the adapter and see the output voltage written on it. You will need to know this to match up your battery pack later.
You should have a similar setup as I have here no matter what speakers you have. The best time to test your setup is now, while everything is out in the open. You should have power in, speaker in, and speaker out. My speakers needed 9 volts to run. A double a battery is 1.5 volts, so I needed 6 of them in a series circuit to get 9 volts. You will need to get a battery pack that has enough batteries to get the correct voltage for your speaker. I got a battery pack for super cheap at Frys. You can find them at Radioshack too. Connect it all together and see if it works. Don’t be discouraged if it sounds like crap right now, the enclosure will dramatically change the output later.
Now we need to get all this in the pipe. I had a little chunk of foam that I was able to whittle down into a cylinder shape, and then cut out a spot for my electronics and battery pack. You could use cardboard or something else for this too. Once I had a good fit for it all I made a cover to clean it up with a sheet of white plastic off a notebook I had laying around.
To make the speaker cap, you need to start by cutting the screw-in portion of the cap out to make room for the speaker. I used a dremel and a plastic cutting attachment. Jigsaws and rotozips will work on this part as well. It doesn’t have to be pretty. After it is cut out, center your speaker up on the ring and use a sealant to secure it.
Last thing to do is to put it together. Use regular PVC cement to glue it all up. I cut down this particular one much shorter than my first one. I used a Jabra Clipper for a bluetooth connection. It works ok, but the decibels were much lower with this set up. Turns out like most amps, the louder going in, the louder it will be coming out. The clipper just doesn’t have the power of an iPhone or iPod. I suggest using a real music player if you are going to get any real volume out of it. If you do go the music player route, make sure you have enough room for it inside the pipe. After its all put together, just start up your favorite playlist, screw the lid down, and jam out without worry of water ruining your party!