Introduction: The Phone Charging Speaker Box
Have you ever wanted a simple speaker next to your bed, on your desk or on-the-go, but don't bother with buying any? Making your own is quite easy actually.
I'm going to show you how to make your very own DIY (...mostly) speaker box with an added wireless charging feature for your smartphone in case it supports that. If you want to make it fully portable you can plug in a USB power bank aswell.
What you'll need for this Instructable:
- A phone that supports Qi Wireless charging
- A Qi Wireless charger
- Casing material, e.g. plywood
- Hinge, in this case 3D printed
- 3.5mm AUX cable
- Soldering iron
- Glue (you can use screws or bolts aswell)
- Hammer and nails
Optional materials and other ideas:
- A power bank (5V @ 2A is preferred)
- Laser cutter
- Sandpaper or files
- Bluetooth receiver, amplifier and power supply for the speaker
Step 1: The Plan
To start off, make a few ideas and see what sticks around. I used a cardboard box to try out a few different things. As you can see the idea is to make a built-in phone stand.
I've also soldered the audio cable in place instead of wiring the cable through to prevent it from coming loose during usage. For this you'll need a 3.5mm AUX cable, a speaker with + and - poles or wires and a soldering iron.
Split the cable and connect the positive wire to the positive side of the speaker and the negative and ground wire.
After the Qi charger being delivered I've made a new prototype, this time a better looking one, a V2 if you will.
To my surprise, it actually works fairly well and the speaker sounds better than I'd have thought. While not the loudest, it could still fill any room in your house with music.
Your results may vary depending on the materials and speaker you use. Before you start building it, I suggest you first try out if your phone or MP3 player can give enough power to the speaker you're using.
Step 2: The Casing
For the casing I'm using 6mm thick plywood, cut out by a laser cutter. I've measured all the parts i need to fit in and made the case accordingly. I've measured the charger from under the top part, so it sits on top of the case and not inside of it. This prevents it from falling out or not being able to connect to the phone.
Side note: be sure the cutter won't turn into a burning pit of doom like mine did. If you decide to not paint it, it can leave some black marks from the flames.
After having cut all the pieces, make sure it fits together nicely. I've used wood glue to stick everything together to form the box. I've mounted the speaker using the little square blocks cut from the front part of the box. I've done this instead of using screws or bolts to prevent the plywood from splitting apart or having them stick out of the front.
After putting it together everything seems to fit nicely so far. Be sure to always measure several times before putting it together!
Step 3: The Hinge
I want the phone to stand up while charging and playing music, so I can see it without having to lean over it or pick it up. For this I'm going to need a hinge. I will make some changes to the hinge made by J-Max (https://www.instructables.com/id/Perfect-3d-Printed-Hinge/). I'll add a tiny lip to the hinge where the phone can lean against. You don't want your phone to slide off all the time, do you? You can download my version as 'Hinge.stl' down here.
While trying to fit everything together I've spotted some issues. The moving part gets stuck while using it as a hinge, and depending on the USB cable you're using, it might not fit into the small gap I've cut for the cable to go into. I've smoothed the edge that clipped the casing and I've made a small indentation where the USB cable can sit nicely.
After putting it back together again, everything fits together snugly.
One side of the case is still unglued, this is because an electrical switch will be added in the next steps.
Step 4: The Charger
The charger itself is fairly easy and straight-forward. Glue it to the cutout you've made for it.
I've decided to use a simple on/off switch (SPST). I used an old usb charger i dont use anymore, but you could use pretty much any USB charger or powerbank. Splice the USB cable and solder the positive wire to the switch. I didn't have any spare USB-to-microUSB cables laying around, and also didn't want to risk breaking a charger in case it would create a shortage. Luckily everything works fine, but be careful!
I've made a hole to fit the switch snugly - no glue needed here. Unfortunately I didn't have access to a laser cutter at this moment so I drilled it out.
I've also added some supports on the inside to hold the hinged part, just to make sure it doesnt break the hinge itself.
On to the last step...
Step 5: The Locking Mechanism
Last but not least, a locking mechanism for the hinged part.
During transport, the box might open, and with a bit of bad luck, you'll rip the hinge apart. We also need a solution to keep it propped up so your phone can stand upright.
I took some scrap parts left over from the wood we used for the casing. I've used two nails to create an axis on both sides. On the inside i've bent the nails to the outside so they won't come out unless you bend them back. I won't hurt myself in case i'm working on the inside because of this aswell.
It's a fairly simple solution but it's effective, so why not?
When 'locked', it prevents the hinge from opening on it's own. Useful when travelling if you don't want it to flip open all the time.
I've chiseled two small indents in the moving parts for several reasons. It creates an indent for the hinge to sit in so it's tilted back slightly. It's also done to prevent them from sliding out on their own as it 'grabs' the wood. You can tilt the hinge forward slightly to easily move the lock back.
Step 6: Enjoy!
You've completed my tutorial of building the charging speaker now! At this point you're able to enjoy using it.
You are in no way obliged to do anything the way i did. Give it a nice color, add extra internals like a bluetooth receiver or an amplifier for louder sound. Perhaps your phone doesnt support wireless charging, just skip the entire charger process. Maybe you don't even want it to open, but want to add a mounted stand instead. Go wild! Change the design to your own liking, needs or use. Just make sure everything works and fits before you have to start over :)