Introduction: Building a Portable (Relatively) Self Contained Speaker System

Picture of Building a Portable (Relatively) Self Contained Speaker System

Hello one and all! This is my 2nd (useful) instructable, and the my goal for this project was to build a speaker system that i can carry potentially take with me, where everyhtin is self contained except for the power in and audio in cables. The project took several degin changes (most for the worse sadly) but persoanlly i still LOVE it. Makes a great sound and can shake the room.
This was actually a woodshop project i did in started in class, but due to my lack of funding and time, had to bring it home and slowly work on it.


So, here are the materials you would need to build this system:

-1/4 inch MDF and wood working tools (jigsaw, router, drill, sander are the ESSENTIAL) 
-3.5 mm audio in port (Radioshack)
-Type M power supply in port (Radioshack)
-Screws of various sizes
-Rubber Feet (Radioshack)
-Aurasound NS3 4ohm fullrange driver (http://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/approx-3-fullrange/aurasound-ns3-193-4a-3-extended-range-4-ohm-silver-cone/)
-Aurasound NSW1 8ohm fullrange (mide-tweet) driver (http://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/approx-1-fullrange/aurasound-nsw1-205-8a-1-extended-range/
-Flare Port (http://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/flares/ports/vents/goldwood-pt-f415-port-1.5-x-4-flared/)
-Gorilla Tape
-Hot Glue and Gun
-Soldering Iron and Solder
-800Hz High Pass Crossover 8ohm application (http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=266-470)
-SureElectronics 25w stereo amplifier (think its discontinued, but hope you can find it. Best price per performance/features http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003XRK74Q/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00)
-4 CPU Motheboard standoffs and mounting screws
-Wires (i think i used 16 gauge)
-Wire cutter, pliers, wire stripper
-2 car rocker switches, offered in various light colors, i used blue (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001TQKKMC/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i00)
-14 pin retention contact (Radioshack)
-22k ohm 5% resistor (Radioshack)
-two 470 ohm 5% resistor (Radioshack)

Step 1: Building the Tower

Picture of Building the Tower

I lost the pictures of the building process of the tower, but i have the picture of the completed cabinet.

I created a 2 foot tall cabinet, 5inch wider front and 6 inch wide sides (accounting for the 1/4" thickness MDF). At this point, you cant see it, but the read is divided into 2 sections. The top section (larger portion) is removable to work on the internals if needed, and the bottom section in permanently attached and the 3.5mm jack and the power jack goes in there. There is a platform in the cabinet where the 2 sections meet wehre the amp is mounted to.

Take the speaker drivers you got and find where you want to place them and draw them in with a pencil. The NS3 is 3" diameter and the NSW! slighty larger than 1". Also draw in where you wanty the flare port to go in. The flare should be near the bottom, but well above the mid section paltform to give the amp some head room. Use the router to carve out these holes . The hole for the NS3 should have a little inset at the bottom where the wiring section goes through, as you can see in the picture.

Step 2: Make Your Cabinet a Non-Eyesore

Picture of Make Your Cabinet a Non-Eyesore

Well, my cabinet was usally aluminum plated and it was very shiny, but due to some mess ups along the way, i had to rip it all off and this slightly damaged the MDF. I was going to use vaneer to make it nice, but lack of money forced me to wrap it with Gorilla Tape, and it did turn out okay. If you didnt damgaed the MDF and all the edges are flush, you can use Vinyl tro wrap the cabinet or attache vaneer to the surfaces.

I attached the NSW1 beforehand to see what it would look like, but the NS3 wasnt atacehd because at this point, i blew a hole in it and had to order a new one Dx

The metal ring around the NSW1 is a 1/16" thich aluminum and it was put in there to hide the mis-routings of the mdf that would look atrocious if visible, and also is used for screwing to the NSW1 since the NSW1 is a rear mount drive as in mounted on the inside.

Step 3: The Overall Schematics

Picture of The Overall Schematics

This is how the wiring should go in the cabinet itself. The Diagram seems self explanatory, so leave a comment if you dont understadn anything

The Tower combines the left and right channel (sounds) from the source and plays it as mono, the reason why have only a single tower (cost effectiveness and portability)

One should NEVER... and i mean NEVER convert stero to mono using a mono to stereo adaptor... this requires resistance adjustments adn you can read all bout it here!
http://www.rane.com/note109.html

Step 4: Making the Stereo to Mono Conversion

Picture of Making the Stereo to Mono Conversion

The reason we are doing this is due to there being only one tower. YOu might ask, "The amp is stereo, so whats to worry?" Well, the AMP is stereo and has stereo outputs, but here is what i wanted to do. I wanted to make a mono audio signal go into the amp so that both left and right channels play both sounds. By doing this, i can take each output to each speaker, able to make each driver (NSW1 and the NS3 have a max output of 25watts, while playing both sounds).

However, making it into mono is not as simple as you think it is. As seen in the previous step, you can burn out your device by simply using a mono to stero adapter as a stero to mono adapter.
Here is what you need to do. you need the 14 pin IC holder, a 22kohm 5% resistor, and two 470ohm 5% resitors. Several jumpers, short wires are also needed. So get you soldering iron warm and look at the pictures.

build the little circuit first, and attach the audio jack connector last. You should send the audio in cables and one of the grounds out through the hole from the inside AND THEN solder the audio jack on, because you want the little board under the speaker and you wont be able to send it though that small hole. 

Step 5: Installing Swithces, Amp, and Basic Wiring

Picture of Installing Swithces, Amp, and Basic Wiring

First, we will install the motherboard standoffs on the mid platform we built where the amp should sit. Mathc them up with the mounting hole of the amp, and screw them in (dont mount the amp yet)

Bring the audio out/gorund and power wires out through the little hole in the amp platform.

Install the two rocker swithces at the top.

Now get the amp and wire according to the schematic shown in step 3. The High-Pass crossover is not installed yet, so ginore that for now. WIRE EVERYTHING BEFORE MOUNTING THE AMP, because once you mount it, there is no room for you to manipulate the amp and the wires.

The speaker drivers are not installed yet, but you must sill install the wires TO the amp, and make them long enough so they can reach the drivers easily enough when they are installed. I zip tied all the wires in groups if they are leading in same directions so they become organized.

I also used a cotton ball to clog the hole of the amp platform where the power and audio wired come out from.


If all goes well, the speaker should be ready for testing atleast and the switches should work accordingly.

Step 6: Organizing Wiring

Picture of Organizing Wiring

Now we must organize everything. Still ignore the crossover installation, and push on. After everything has been zip tied in groups, tape or glue (i used gorlla tape agian, inside is not very pretty, but no one looks there xD)

Once everything is tidied up, install the flare port.

Step 7: Install the Speaker Drivers

Picture of Install the Speaker Drivers

The title says it all, just screw them in for now.

BECAREFUL when screwing them in.. my first NS3 i punched a hole throguh it while screwing it in, becuase i slipped. D:

Step 8: Hook Up and Crossover Installation

Picture of Hook Up and Crossover Installation

Now, you should have two pair of leads not connected yet, the two audio outs. If you did everything correctly up to this point, both lines should be carrying left and right signals, where typically each pair is suppose to carry only 1 channel of audio.

Take one of the pair, and solder or tie them to the NS3 3" driver, nothing hard there.

Next, we are going to install the 800Hz High Pass Crossover. I used a bunch of hot glue and stuck it to the middle there right below the nsw1. The cross over has which side is in and which side is out, and which is + and -. make the OUT side the side facing the NSW1, and take the other audio out lead and hook i up to the audio in of the crossover. Use short pieces of wires to connect from the OUT side of the crossover to the

Step 9: Handle... Caus I Want One

Picture of Handle... Caus I Want One

I just added a handle to the back so i can carry it to places comfortably. It goes on the back panel cover and is secure because the back panel is attached to the main body by 6 deep screws

Step 10: End Result

Picture of End Result
ITS IS NOW COMPLETE!!! This is what it wouls look like in the end, here's a video of me testing the excursion of it. For its size, price, and portability, it is absolutely amazing, but dont expect anything godly out of this... Bass sounds much better in person though

Step 11: QUESTION/COMMENTS

I know there are parts where things might seem unclear, but I was uploadng this in a hurry.

Please ask me any and all questions if you intend to build somwthing like this adn you dont understand something. I can also provide alternate parts suggestions.

Thanks for lookin at this instructable!

Comments

MadGuitarist (author)2012-11-23

hey squishy tank can i use a tweeter of 2.7 ohm and a 2 wy coaxial speaker ?

SteamOh (author)MadGuitarist2012-11-23

If you're using a Coaxial, you can dump the tweeter entirely and just have two of them 2-way coaxes, can't you? But yes, to answer your question the setup you mentioned would work. Make sure youre tweeter can take the wattage though. Cause og my weird setup, I have both the fullrange and the tweeter eating 15 watts each. And at an impedence of 2.7 ohms, your tweeter should be more pronounced (louder) than mine is.

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