Introduction: Good Quality IPod/iPhone Speaker
Second Prize in the
Craft Skills Contest
I recently bought an iPod speaker system for my son from our local Curries , it cost Â£50 quid and it's absolutely crap! So i thought I'd have a go at making one myself. The idea was to make one with a budget of Â£0 and just use stuff from the house/shed. The wife said it mustn't look like a coffin and must be easy to use. I decided rather than waste time designing one i'd just rip off apple's design.
This is the first Instructable I've done so please be gentle!
Step 1: The Bits
As my budget was low (i.e. sod all!) I had to go rooting around the garage. Luckily I have a few bits of old car hifi and computer stuff floating around so that helped.
Here are the ingediants:-
1 X amplifier (15 year old pioneer) you can buy really cheap amps from maplin for a few quid
1 X 240v - 12v power supply which came from a knackered LCD monitor
1 X 13cm speaker came from an old Renault 19
2 X tweeters came from the same old renault
2 X crossovers from my old VW Polo hifi system
1 X sealed lead acid battery which came from my house alarm(please don't burgle me!)
assorted wire(from off the floor)
MDF 12mm is all I had
Isopon filler (yanks call it Bondo)
glue, nails and white gloss paint
Apple universal dock and remote (came off my desk, but you can get them for ÃÂ£15 off eBay)
Step 2: Laying Out the MDF
I had a rough idea in my head as to how it should look, so i didn't draw it on paper. I simply grabbed my piece of MDF and drew the front baffle board on it.
Once i had cut this out i simply used it as a template to make the rear of the box.
( I know i should have done lots of maths to calculate the exact box dimensions based on the speaker specs but as it's an old speaker I couldn't really be arsed so I just guessed)
Step 3: The Round Bits 1
I now used the trusty circular saw to cut loads of 1 inch by 15cm strips of MDF and began to glue and nail them between the front and rear baffle.
Keeping them as close to each other as possible is a good idea.
I forgot to say, that I used a jigsaw to cut the baffles out.
Step 4: Filler (joy)
Now the SMELLY bit!
I mixed up the first coat of filler and applied as neatly as I could.
It took me three batches to finish the first coat.
I then applied a few more coats until it was somewhere near.
Filling/Bondoing is easy enough if you follow the instructions. I'm sure there are other guides to this on this site if you have a look.
Step 5: Sanding
Once the first coat of filler had set I attacked it with a surform until it was about the right shape. I then applied a couple more coats interspersed with surforming until it looked right.
Once that was done (took bloody hours) I began the dull task of sanding.
I started with grade 40 and worked my way to 1500 wet and dry.
I did this by hand because I'm too tight to buy and electric sander. I dare say if you have one you should use it. I would also recommend a face mask, unless you like having pink snot.
Step 6: Cut the Baffle
I probable should have done this before I assembled the box, but to be honest I forgot.
I simple cut out the speaker and tweeter holes with a jigsaw and the used the router to make a flange for the speaker to sit into.
Step 7: Paint
once all the holes were cut on the front I drilled a hole of about 12mm on the top and 3mm on the back(more about them later) and masked the edges up.
I spray painted the baffle in matt black, I didn't really have to in the end but at this time i wasn't sure if I was going to make a grill or not.
Once the black was dry I removed the masking tape and applied the first layer of white primer.
I got excited at this point because it started to look good so I popped open my first beer.
I know you shouldn't drink and use power tools but, Hey! it's fun.
Step 8: More Paint (and Beer)
I applied a couple of coats of normal white primer (indoor woodwork type stuff) and then gave it a light sand with P600.
I then gave in 3 coats of white gloss with a bit of sanding in between and finally a good rub with some P1500.
Step 9: The Grill (and More Beer)
I decided at this point that for the full fake Apple effect I had to make a grill for the front.
This was a simple matter of using the box as a template to mark out the shape on a scrap bit of 5mm laminate flooring and then cut it out with the jigsaw.
Once that was complete I sprayed it matt black.
When the paint was dry I glued some black nylon cloth (sexy old bed sheet from my pervert past) onto the panel with some spray carpet adhesive.
Step 10: The Guts (and Yet More Beer)
Obviously I was getting pretty drunk by now, but I soldiered on none the less as the end was in sight.
I screwed the 13cm speaker into the box with some black drywall screws and the glued the tweeters in with epoxy resin (Araldite)
I the screwed the little pioneer amp and the crossover networks in.
I should really of taken more photos of this bit but to be honest, I was pretty mashed by now(Stella Artois).
I then soldered all the connections up. If you are wondering, I used the stereo output of the amp into the stereo input of the 2 crossovers and then used the high frequency outputs to drive the tweeters and used the positive of one x-over and the negative of the other x-over to drive the woofer (a sort of tri-mode).
The lead acid battery was then glued inside with No-More-Nails and all the relevant connections made.
On the top of the box I epoxyed my iPod universal dock and ran the wires for USB and audio through the 12mm hole.I then filled the hole with white bathroom sealant.
On the back of the box I glued the 12v power supply and ran the wire in through the 3mm hole.
I wired the 12v to the battery and powered the amp of the battery. Car hifi amps have a 12v remote trigger wire to turn them on so I fitted a small flick switch on the back of the box to turn the amp on/off.
I will add a 12v to USB charger inside when the budget allows (they sell these in Maplin for a few quid)
I used some self adhesive velcro fastening to attach the grill, but will make a better job of that later.
Step 11: The End
I plugged in my iPhone and amazingly it worked first time.
I set the volume on the phone to Max using the Apple remote and then turned the gain up on the amp until it was just below the level where it was distorting. This way the kids/wife won't blow the speakers up.
Finally I put some cushion fluff inside to act as wadding, but standing waves shouldn't be too much of an issue due to all the stuff inside the box.
I will buy a USB charger and plumb that in to charge the iPod and then screw a base onto the bottom to seal the box. But for now it sounds pretty damn good and looks quite Apple!
Other than the above, Job Done! I have a cool looking iPod speaker that cost sod all and is rechargble as well.
We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.