The Solution: A pair of portable speakers. I could just buy them, but I really don't want to shell out upwards of Â£30 for a decent set which need 400 AAA batteries and have a 20 minutes battery life. So it's going to be a homebuild, using as far as possible stuff that I already have. Because I don't have a soldering iron, it's a no-solder job.
Step 1: The Start - My Donor Speakers
Using a screwdriver, I took the casing to bits. Obviously, all speakers are different, but mine had three screws holding the driver to the casing.
***Note: At first I was planning to use the right hand speaker. This needs mains, but has volume, bass, treble and mute knobs, as well as an amp. Unfortunately, the amp was on a big, wide PCB. After a fair while considering if I could cut it in half, I gave up on this, and just used the left. This means it is quiter, and less cool, but now passive.***
Taking off the screws released the meaty driver.
Step 2: Getting Teh Driver Out of Teh Boxx
This was made harder by the fact that I don't have a soldering iron. Undeterred, I set off to find a new case.
Step 3: Finding a Case
Seized by trepidation, I ran and found one (clean, no less!) in the bin. As if God-sent, the top is almost exactly the same diameter as the driver. Perfect. The shiny metal looks good and is strong, though as some point I may well paint it.
Using a brawdawl, I poked a hole near the bottom. The wire passed through this, and to prevent any jerking (stop giggling at the back) I tied a knot on the inside, then one on the outside to cover my overenthusiastic twiddling. As no weight will be put on the wires, I just stuck them through the holes on the driver terminals, and wrapped them back round themselves. A quick test proved this made no difference on the sound quality.
Out of its natural housing, the driver was tinny and weak. Put inside the tin with a reasonable fit, it instantly sounded better, with good, powerful bass.
Step 4: The Final Step - Attaching the Driver.
Step 5: Results
I hope that you have fun building it, and that somewhere along the line someone will work out how to easily cut a PCB in half, and work out the best material for a grille (still a major flaw in my design).
Thanks for reading. Comments and critiques welcome.