Are you in need of a good set of portable speakers? Are your current portable speakers missing a kick ass shoulder strap? Are ammo can speakers just not classy looking enough to take to your more fancy get togethers?
Well you're in luck because you have found the Industrial Electronics Case Speaker...
All of the pounding sound of those other speakers with 100% less ammo can!
Ok, enough of the pitch man stuff. I'm not very good at it.
These speakers produce a lot of sound, the battery is rechargeable, and they can be used to charge your iPod or phone. I built them as an upgrade to my previous set of portable speakers which were developed very quickly on a budget for a friend's bachelor party weekend. These ones are louder with clearer sound and have some advantages, such as a detachable stereo cord and a rechargeable battery.
Please read on...
Step 1: The Prototype
As I mentioned in the introduction these speakers were built to replace an older set that I threw together quickly and on a tighter budget. This earlier set is pictured here. If you are looking to put together a cheap set of ammo can speakers, they don't come much cheaper than this one, and maybe you can use these pics and description to build your own.
Basically, I took a 7.62mm ammo can, found the center of one side, and then centers to either side from the center point. I then drilled out my own grilles based on the diameter of my speakers.(Took a long time and hearing protection was required. Those things are tough.) The speakers were picked up cheap from my local Value Village (like Goodwill if you don't have a Value Village). They were similar to a Sound Blaster-type speaker, but weren't made by Creative. I don't recall the brand. The important parts were that they were powered, so they had a built in amp, and they ran at 9 volts, so I could just wire in a 9 volt battery cap to run them off 9 volt batteries.
The speakers were hot glued to the wall of the ammo can, and the amp board, with knobs, was hot glued to another wall of the ammo can. The original stereo plug was run through a small hole drilled in the base of the can, and filled with hot glue.
Ammo Can $20
9 volt batteries usually $1
TOTAL = $29
Step 2: The New Speakers - Materials List
Cheap 6" Speakers (Got these at Walmart)
Mastercraft Equipment Case
8ah 12v Battery (Picked it up on eBay)
Altmux Amp (Runs at 12v. Similar to Lepai or Kinter amps. Cheap though. See eBay.
1 extra wire (mine was salvaged from an old computer power supply)
RCA male to Stereo female Y-Cable
USB Charge Cable (To charge devices. Has 2 USB, a micro USB, and a 30 pin iPod out)
Female Battery Disconnects - Size .187 in
PL Premium (to hold the stereo plug in place. Could substitute high-temp hot glue)
Stereo Plug (Aux Plug)
Step 3: Cutting out Holes
The speakers came with instructions which included their cutout size in case you were adding them to your car. I cut out the specified hole size after finding the center of the case (below the Mastercraft plate), and then centers from either side of the center.
Holes were drilled at center points, and were enlarged to the correct diameter with a jigsaw. A bead of 35 year white silicone was applied around the rim of the speaker to get a good seal and assist with adhesion (optional). The speakers were then screwed to the front of the case and their grilles were attached.
After cutting the holes, the battery can be placed opposite them in the case. I set it up so that the battery would rest between the speakers.
Step 4: Wire the Speakers to the Amp
The amp comes with wires to connect to speakers, and wires for power.
To get the speakers wired up, you will need to connect the wires form the amp (green and yellow) to the wires from the speakers (black). I used my soldering iron to connect the wires and then used heat shrink to seal where the wires were joined. If you don't have a soldering iron and/or heat shrink, you might be able to get away with twisting the wires together and then using electrical tape to seal them up and keep them from shorting.
Each speaker should get one green and one yellow wire.
The set of wires from the amp are then plugged in to the amp and your speakers are wired.
Step 5: Power the Amp
We don't want the amp to be powered on all the time, so we are going to add a switch to the circuit here.
Start by clamping one of the female disconnects on one of he power wires for your amp. In this case I chose the positive wire. Clamp another female disconnect on one end of your extra wire.
The free end of your extra wire and the negative wire from your amp are then connected to the switch. In this case it is a simple screw connector.
The amp wires can then be plugged into the amp, and the connectors can be connected to the battery.
You can now test to see if your amp powers on by flicking your switch to the on position.
If everything works well during the power test, you can plug your Y-cable into the amp and your audio device to see how everything sounds.
Step 6: More holes
Now to get everything accessible from the outside of the case.
Measure up the stereo end of your Y-cable and drill a hole for it wherever you would like to be able to plug in. I put mine in the side, just below the bracket for the shoulder strap. The cable was held in place with a generous portion of PL Premium, which is a high strength construction adhesive. It's probably overkill here, but who knows how hard someone might push in on this thing when they are plugging in their iPod after a day at the cottage.
The toggle switch I used came with removable screw rings which were used to attach the switch to the case. First remove the rings, then measure up your switch and drill your hole just big enough to get the switch through. screw the rings back on and you are good to go.
Step 7: Finishing Up
Fill in all the pick foam you took out leaving space for all the electronic goodies. (The case came with the foam)
Attach your shoulder strap.
Store your stereo (aux) cable inside the case along with your usb charge cable.
Close the case (case is lockable with included keys to protect any valuables you leave inside) and you are ready to rock out anywhere.
Step 8: Charging the battery
I elected to use a 12 volt battery in this case to be both more economical and more environmentally friendly. The 9 volts would last about 4 hours and this should last significantly longer. The only problem is that you need a battery charger to recharge this thing. I have a Battery Tender Plus which I will be using to charge mine. Anything similar should work fine as long as it's rated to recharge 12 volt batteries.
Please let me know your thoughts on this project below. I enjoy hearing from everyone.