This article covers:
- A simple but efficient setup where you just pick the right parts and plug it together
- A true Active 12V speaker - an ultra-efficient speaker with integrated 12V or 24V internal amp.
- Choosing efficient speakers and amps
- Choosing a battery
- Weatherproofing and vibration proofing
My friend Deep runs Flashdance, and we used his system as a reference point to compare our work against. Deep has an amazing tricycle setup that lets him bring the party wherever he goes. San Francisco has rather notorious hills though, so our goal was to see if we could cut the weight of his setup without sacrificing any of the sound. A big key to cutting the weight is to see if we can use something much smaller than a car battery - and that means being more efficient about power use.
This project is brought to you by MonkeyLectric and the Monkey Light bike light
Step 1: A word about Efficiency
Lets take a look at Deep's current system. He's got:
- 2 nice Yamaha powered speakers (they have a built-in amplifier)
- An inverter because the Yamaha's need 120V
- A car battery
- 2 big auto-sound speakers
- a big auto amplifier
- a car battery
With auto-sound gear, you don't need an inverter but the problem is that it all the parts have very poor efficiency. I think this is due to marketing forces at work - the folks selling you this stuff learned that if the amp and speakers are bigger and have higher watt ratings, they make more money selling them. but, those high watt ratings are only needed because the gear is so inefficient.