Well it's the start of the rainy season again in Vancouver, ugh, which means I get to bust out my brand new, globular Dome Umbrella! I absolutely love umbrellas (they're awesome! They make a nice fashion statement and they are incredibly useful, not just for rain) and will use any opportunity to take mine out!
But you know, for as awesomely useful as umbrellas are, I don't think they've quite reached their full creative potential. Don't get me wrong, there are some amazing LED and Flashlight Umbrella Instructables here, but I still think there's more creativity that can be done with these things. That's why I decided to take a tip from Brown Innovations and start off the season with my latest Mattraption™, the umbrelAudio™: Unidirectional Umbrella Speaker!
Note: Mattraption and umbrelAudio are registered trademarks of Matt Co. This build is dedicated to tm36usa for showing me how combining two everyday objects, when fused together can become an infinitesimally useful device.
Step 1: Abstract
My build is pretty much the same, except I'm using a Dome Umbrella instead of a plastic bowl because the double function of an umbrella makes it so much more useful. Plus it's just cooler.
Step 2: Materials and Parts
1. Dome/Bubble Umbrella (has to be this kind)
2. Battery Operated Speaker (IMPORTANT: must have a flat side, where you can attach the Copper Wire to).
3. Small length of Copper Wiring (around 1 cm thick)
4. a 3/8''-1'' Direct Burial Ground Clamp
5. Optional: Assorted lengths of Earphone/ Speaker Wire
6. Nylon thread
7. Hooks (also optional)
8. Heat Shrink
1. Hot Glue
2. Metal Hammer
Step 3: Drill a Hole
Step 4: Preparing the Speaker Mount
First, using your pliers, bend the Copper Wire into a zigzag shape, with at least 3 curves. This will be used to attach to the flat side of your batter operated speaker (mine was conveniently located on the batter pack). Next using your metal hammer, pound the bent copper wire until metal can be placed flat down.
Finally, hot glue it to the speaker.
Step 5: Soldering the Wires
Now considering how long your speaker wire was originally you may not need to do this step- a good length should be around 1-2 feet long. My speaker's input wire was only 5 inches and certainly not long enough, so I extended it to around 4 feet long.
Using your Soldering Iron and Broken/Spare Earphone Wires, cut off the earphone parts and connect a long strand of earphone wires together, leading from the speaker and to the banana jack at the end. Remember to use the Heat Shrink for protecting your solders.
Note: The reason I made my strand so long was because I planned to hang up my umbrelAudio and wanted to be able to use it from any point in my dorm room. You do not have to make it this long.
Step 6: Connecting It Together
First, attach the Brass Clamp to the Thick Copper Wire, using a screwdriver to tighten the screw bolt. Next, attach the Brass Clamp to the metal umbrella rod, but hand tighten the clamps together as you do not want to bend the umbrella rod. Make sure that the speaker is placed at least 5'' away from the top of the umbrella, to maximize the Sound Space of the umbrelAudio.
Step 7: Optional: Hanging It Up
Step 8: Finished!
Now go give it a test listen in the rain.
So until next time, See You, Space Cowboy!
Step 9: References
For another glimpse at musical umbrellas feel free to take a look at the Oto-Shigrue, devised by Yusuke Kamiyama and Mai Tanaka. They are currently sold at a hefty price of $100 each.