Instructables

I wanted to construct a portable iPod speaker for when I was outdoors, possibly building something in my backyard, or even down the beach (without the need for a power outlet, or endless supply of batteries...) Up until now, when I have been in my backyard, I have had to fumble around with a stupid extension cord, run it out into the yard, plug in an old stereo and hope for the best. Even then, I get some music, but also ads... ads make me sad...

SO!

I decided to build myself something, as anything store-bought is simply a waste of money (and no fun!)

Things Used:

2 x 4" 16ohm speakers, gutted from a pair of Sanyo stereo speakers someone gave me on their way to the bin...
1 x 30 callibre ammunition box (bought from a displosal store for $7.95, not emptied by me on various people of choice)
1 x 3.5mm / RCA cable, with RCA plugs cut off, and wires stripped and treated
2 x 4" speaker grille covers with brackets
Various hardware, nuts and bolts, screws and washers that I had bought previously in a mixed packet from a hardware store

 
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Step 1: Measuring and cutting the holes!


Okay, by far, the toughest part of this project is cutting the holes for the speakers into the tin.

First, I decided on cutting the holes a little smaller than 4", as I was originally going to have the grilles mounted internally... however the tin proved rather tough, so the holes were a little sloppy and sharp, so mounting them externally managed to cover up this mishap, and also helped it look a bit more awesome...

Make a template on paper, so the layout will be accurate, level and neat. Use a compass or something that is close to the right diameter, and draw the speaker shape onto the paper. I cut my paper to the size of the side of the tin, folded in half to find the centre, then in quarters to find the centre of each half. I lined the circle to this, then traced it on. You might notice a fold in the middle... This is due to the speakers coming too close to the edges of the tin, which would make the mounting a bit too difficult, so I crimped the paper i nthe middle to bring them in closer... Make sense? :D

Once the template is transferred to the tin, it is time to cut it out!

This involves pre-drilling for using a jigsaw / scrollsaw to cut the holes as neatly as possible into the tin. PLEASE use ear protection!! My ears are still ringing from it all, and its been 12 hours now... seriously, it's loud!

kschmidt211 months ago
I have 2 of these, but I'd never cut holes into them, I'd make it so that when you open it you have the controls and the speakers there with some vents around the sides or just heatsink the amp straight onto the case. Also, that's a .30 calibre box, not .50 cal
I'd also suggest adding an amplifier to that set up.
SGT. Desert2 years ago
Sorry but where the hellll did u get that ammo crate ???
make one whit dose wood ammo creates from WW | |
axeman2ooo (author)  SGT. Desert1 year ago
:D In Australia we have an "Aussie Army Disposals" store chain, where you can legally buy ex-military items, uniforms etc. this is the small case, they have footlocker-sized ones in there too!
FTW10002 years ago
haha ohk and thats pretty good im thinking of making one now :D
FTW10002 years ago
does it acually work and how big does it need to be??
axeman2ooo (author)  FTW10002 years ago
oh, and as for size, this can be as big or as small as you want it to be! I used a 30 Caliber ammunition box, but you could use anything as big as a military foot locker. Size is only limited by the materials you can get a hold of, and the electronic components you have in your junk box (perhaps you have a pair of old stereo speakers?)

axeman2ooo (author)  FTW10002 years ago
yes indeed it works, and it sounds fine! It isn't terribly loud, about the volume of a person speaking to you, however with a small amp adition, this could put out a fair punch of sound!
I only wanted a personal music player, so no amp installed (yet!) but who knows what I will do for this coming Summer?

:)
natman2 years ago
a video of it in action would be cool! id love to see how loud it gets :)
axeman2ooo (author) 3 years ago
on a side note, I have been reading up on the benefits of "ipod dock connector" versus "3.5mm jack" and the benefits and volumes of each. apparently the ipod dock connector has superior sound and volume levels to the headphone jack (although no volume control)
so, I have purchased an 'ipod dock connector to 3.5mm female socket' connector for next to nothing, and will test this theory out. If the volume levels are much higher than existing, I will wire in a volume pot (so that the levels can be adjusted in some way) and add in the mods that I do to it in a final step on here...

Another option was to purchase an 'ipod dock breakout board' from ebay, which would allow me to wire my own connector, and even include charging options, RCA outputs, Video Out, mini-USB and even a Line In (no idea why anyone would use this!) but if the previously mentioned cable does the trick, then this would not be needed. I think this one would be overkill for my uses, anyway.

:D
still with the jack, is the universal connector to any device! who knows if you buy and android!!
this would be amazing if u had included a power source other then your ipod. 5 stars for ammo box but 2 stars for internals. sweet speaker but an amp would have been perfect. uve got room to do some killer things with this. great idea btw
axeman2ooo (author)  HeWantsRevenge3 years ago
well, considered an amp, but this was meant to be portable and wireless, so having a wall-wart to power an amp would defeat the purpose. I could put it in there later as an option, however the volume is loud enough for personal use...
I agree with the amp option, just not for the portability option...
Try connecting a 9v battery or a motorbike battery, to the amp is still portable and wireless, and LOUD!!! :)
[corosive]3 years ago
so you just got a three-headed RCA cable, snipped off two heads, ignored the third, and plugged the other end into your iPod?
axeman2ooo (author)  [corosive]3 years ago
no, I found a 3.5mm stereo jack to 2 x RCA, so designed for connecting an iPod or similar to an AUX channel on a stereo unit. There is no video RCA on this (the Yellow one) just the Red and White.

I clipped off the RCA plugs, but left the 3.5mm stereo plug in tact (less soldering for me!) and then attached the bare ends from the snipped RCAs to the speakers. I could've also simply attached female RCA sockets to the speakers, and then just plugged the cable into them directly, however I was trying to get rid of some accumulated junk / bits, so didn't want to buy much / anything for this project.

:D
kk thanks now i get it
Just an FYI: That's a .30 caliber (7.62) ammo can, not a .50 (12.7). That caliber is used in the 240-series of machine guns. The two rounds and their ammo cans are (very) different sizes, which will affect the performance of your system.
axeman2ooo (author)  Shawn Stanford3 years ago
ha! shows how closely I read the writing on the can... I stand corrected, and my info will be adjusted :D
thanks!
mntbkrguy3 years ago
Nice! I made a set of speaker boxes for my old pickup truck almost identicle to this. Only difference is I had a single 6"x9" for each box and drilled multiple small holes in the side to hide/protect the speakers.

Keep up the good work!
axeman2ooo (author)  mntbkrguy3 years ago
sweeet! yeah I was considering having the drilled-hole front, however my drill is close to death, and it barely made the 10 holes required on this puppy... so grilles were the next best thing :D