Waterproof Speakers that float - "It floats, it totes and it rocks the notes!"

Picture of Waterproof Speakers that float - "It floats, it totes and it rocks the notes!"
This waterproof speaker project was inspired by many trips to the Gila River in Arizona ( and SNL's "I'm on a Boat!" ). We will float down the river, or attach lines to the shore so that our floats stay right by our camp site. Everyone has their own flavor of mp3 player nowadays, loaded with all their faves. I wanted to be able to easily switch between players, yet protect them and the speakers from the elements. This, like many of my projects, has a small budget. Therefore, I try to recycle or re-engineer most, if not all of the parts needed. BTW this is my first instructable so be kind.

*** As always be sure to use proper safety equipment such as eye protection and gloves ***

*** While having tunes on the river is a lifesaver this is in no way a flotation or life saving device ***

Step 1: Collect tools and materials

Picture of Collect tools and materials
*** Tools ***
1 - Glue gun & glue sticks
2 - Tin snips or sturdy scissors
3 - Screw Driver
4 - Scratch Awl
5 - Hacksaw ( I didn't end up using this, but you may depending on composition of container )

*** Materials ***
1 - Set of small speakers ( I had several old sets and selected based on size)
2 - Large container ( I used bulk size Heinz Ketchup container )
3 - Strap material
4 - 2 wood screws
5 - padding for inside bottom of container
6 - desiccant packs ( recycled from various things that had been shipped to me )
7 - zip tie and self adhering tie mount
8 - small amp ( I recycled mine from free branded SWAG given away at some conference )
9 - ribbed cable protector
10 - small piece of Velcro ( both hook and latch )
11 - small rubber feet (optional)

1-40 of 50Next »
dgrube3 years ago
Any suggestions on where to find a cheap amp? Or what other items I may be able to pull one out of?
JaMEsBoONxD dgrube11 months ago
There are many tutorial about how to make an amplifier,you can search from YouTube or Instructable =) Usually I'll use the same way as Ascars(go search Bluetooth speaker v2.0 and u will see how he make his own loud(seriously,that was really loud) amplifier from scratch ^^
tony12042 years ago
i dont get how the speakers can just be exposed to water?
ross334 years ago
i have the same speakers there playin rit now lol. they are loud for there size
nione5 years ago
OMFG! Im a Boy SCOut, and we do crap like canoeing all the time, and we did like last week and I was on here looking for this exact project but i guess you hadnt come up with it! But man this is so sweet, I have to make this for my next venture
I'm very happy that you are excited about DIY projects and are involved in scouting. I am one of many Eagle Scouts in my family and I learned countless things while I was actively involved in BSA, many of which helped to shape the person that I am today.

I encourage you to choose carefully the kind of language you use even in text-ese. Please try to remember to set the right example each day as there are so few who lead by example in our time. Others are counting on you to do so.
avflyer172 (author)  nione5 years ago
so cool
txluke4 years ago
I like this little thing. I am more into turning coolers into radios. This would be good when I can't take my cooler with me .The forums at www.motorboatyourself.com have a lot of good ideas too. How long does this play before you have to recharge it?
What kind of amp is it ... Company???
avflyer172 (author)  ShadowAssassin4 years ago
The company I am not sure about but they are everywhere now with various company logo's printed on them. Mine was Verizon swag (stuff we all get) and was free! Here is link to same type though ( http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/359135963/Folded_Mini_USB_Speaker.html ) if you can't find someone handing them out for free.
Needs external volume control... I'm going to make this as soon as I finish my giant container of french vanilla powdered coffee. I wonder if I can make the volume control touch? Also, I was thinking shrink wrap for the covering of the speakers... it can be thin though, but will stretch nicely I think. All in all, I love the idea. Must drink more powdered coffee....
The reason you shouldn’t use touch controls is because the water will affect it.
well if you can take the pot (potentiometer aka the volume nob) and isolate it / mount it outside of the container surround it in hot glue or w/e u want to use and make sure the nob will fit over it and it should be fine
ytn9185 years ago
If you could add a solar pannel on the lid to charge your mp3 player then you got your self a million dollar product there!
LifeWarrior5 years ago
This makes a great pool toy, I've been looking for a way to waterproof a set of speakers next to the hottub, i've been working on a set of fiberglass enclosures and this really helps solve a problem, Thanks!
avflyer172 (author)  LifeWarrior5 years ago
Thanks! I use mine at the pool, river, ocean or even on the back deck if it is raining.
TwistedWest5 years ago
I googled waterproofing speakers. and this is what it came up with. My application is for a motorcycle sound system. because in oregon it is illegal to have headphones in while riding or driving. I have all the stuff i need but couldnt figure out how to waterproof the speakers rather than paying $250 bucks for a set. Granted im only useing part of your ideal but the whole thing is great probably make one later. thanks
avflyer172 (author)  TwistedWest5 years ago
Awesome, glad this helps!
JAZ975 years ago
this is what they did in pirate radio exept made this time about 600 of them and set them free
TLMATX5 years ago
Cool Idea man. I just did basically the same thing but I used much more/larger speakers out of an old stereo and just stuck it all in an igloo cooler. The sound is slightly muffled through the cooler but it's still a whole lot louder with considerably more bass than smaller speakers (similar to the size you used) that I tried to waterproof like you did. Keep an eye out for my instructable on the cooler radio
avflyer172 (author)  TLMATX5 years ago
Thanks, glad to see others building on this design. I be on the lookout for your build.
gbanklos6 years ago
its a great idea. just a suggestion... make one side heavier so the speaker faces up when in the water. that way it can be heard clearly when its in the water... right???
avflyer172 (author)  gbanklos6 years ago
Yes you will notice in the videos that it sits at an angle so that both speakers are above the water in the pool, and on the river the position of the strap and weight of amp (which is secured by Velcro) maintains the angle.
frikkie6 years ago
No WAY! It SUKS! HAhaha just joking with you.it a very nice instructable and quite neat.
avflyer172 (author)  frikkie6 years ago
mangomango6 years ago
avflyer172 (author)  mangomango6 years ago
Wow! Nice! Will the speakers still work if they are submerged (and by that I mean "Will it play underwater?")?
avflyer172 (author)  Radioactive_Legos6 years ago
They will function under water but audio quality is not good.
D.L.H.6 years ago
Good for travel and great speaker amazing design.
Hey I am so glad you finally published this!! I remember the first river trip when we tested it, and it made the float that much better =)
Nice! Featured on Lifehacker.
5cagm6 years ago
Great first instructable! I am definitely going to try this one out myself and the solar panel idea sounds perfect. Let's be honest, most people don't go to the beach if it's not nice and sunny so it's a practical addition.
daugydaug6 years ago
Talk about perfect for an up and coming canoe trip. Can't wait to drink all of my Folgers just to use the can. Thanks for help.
robotguy46 years ago
It seems like there is a lot of extra space in these... Nice design!
avflyer172 (author)  robotguy46 years ago
Yes there is by design, many things to keep dry on the water!
Speakers always have extra space in them to allow for some resonance. Flat speakers, more often than not, sound flat.
Hmmm... I didn't know that... "Flat speakers sound flat..." Hmmmmm... I understand what you are saying, and it makes sense, but that's just a funny sentence...
Yeah, kind of a weird way to say it, but it tends to be true. There are some flat speakers out there that sound good, but they tend to be very high end types like Bang and Olefsen and the like. High frequencies don't require as much space, but lower frequencies definitely require space for the vibrations to resonate. This is why smaller speakers are more likely to sound "tinny" or "flat."
1-40 of 50Next »