Today I will show you my experience in building my very own portable speaker that will play music about as loud as others like it.
I don't have much else to say other than that this is my first Instructable, so let's get started.
Step 1: Materials
To make this speaker, you will need:
1. Mini Amp Chip, I found these mostly in packs of 2.
If you use Amazon, I have a link to them here:
If you are an eBay user, I have a cheaper set of 2 that work just as well here:
2. 2 Speakers, I got mine from old computer sound cards
**note: the amp can also support mono sound by just plugging one speaker in, so you could still follow this tutorial with only one speaker
3. Altoids tin or container of similar size
4. 3.5mm female jack
5. 3-Way switch
6. A 5v Voltage Regulator, I used the lm78m05ct, but you could use any one as long as it goes down to 5v
7. A 9v Battery
8. 9v Battery holder
9. Wires, of course!
***You could also buy a portable charger made for phones which would output 5v and strip a usb cable to just positive and negative instead of a 9v and voltage regulator, but you'd probably need a bigger container and I just used a small tin***
1. Soldering Iron (and solder)
2. Wire Cutters (To cut Wires to the size you want)
3. Drill with a bit that can break through the material that your box is made out of.
4. Masking Tape
Step 2: Insulate
I took the masking tape and carefully cut it out to perfectly cover the entire bottom section and sides of the tin. This masking tape will prevent the components from accidentally touching the metal of the tin and shorting out (I learned that the hard way)
Step 3: The Chip
The amp chip I received has:
A right input, left input, ground input
5v and ground power
Power and ground for the right speaker
and power plus ground for the left speaker
I will first solder the speakers onto the chip, then the 3.5mm jack, then finally the power.
Step 4: Speakers
Alright so I have 2 dual-pole speakers, which means I don't have to pay attention to the positive and negative, your speakers may be different. I also didn't pay attention to which speaker went into which side of the chip because it will be flippable due to the small size of the tin.
I first soldered the wires I needed to the speakers and then soldered those to the chip. I used about 3 inches of wire per speaker.
Step 5: 3.5mm Jack
Alright, so I got the speakers soldered and on the chip, now let's move on to the input jack for sound. There is a left channel, right channel, and ground, and like I said earlier I'm disregarding whether left if left and right is right because the speakers are too close to each other for it to matter. I first soldered the wires to the jack and then to the chip (depending on which jack you use you might have to look up which prongs lead to either left, eight, or ground).
Step 6: Powering the Speaker
Alright, here we come to the last and hardest soldering part. We will need the previously mentioned 9v plug, voltage regulator, and switch.
I first had to find out where to solder the 5v and ground inputs and outputs and attached the picture I found very helpful. Once I did that I soldered the 9v plug wires to the regulator and then attached wires to the ground and output pins.
I connected the ground directly to the amp chip from the voltage regulator, but I attached the 5v wire to the switch. I finished off the power circuit by soldering another wire to the switch and attaching that to the chip so that the speaker could be turned on and off.
Step 7: Hot Glue
I had to hot glue all of the solder connections just to make sure they don't break, because they'll most likely be pinched together because of the small form factor.
Step 8: The Casing
Now that I've made the whole system (and tested it, which led to me replacing the 3.5mm jack), It needs a case. I first cut two giant holes int he top of the casing for the speakers. One thing not shown in the pictures is that I actually moved the right speaker to the left a bit because it was hitting the 3.5mm jack.
After I made the big top holes I made a tiny round hold just big enough for the 3.5mm input to fit, and next to it I made a rectangular hole for the switch.
I soon after realized that the Altoids tin wouldn't be able to fit the battery in with both speakers and the input plus the switch. I had to hot glue the plug for the 9v battery outside of the case and taped the battery to the side after cutting a hole for the wires. This was a bit of a disappointment, but in the end I think it looks fine and it's still very loud and at the same time tiny.
Step 9: Conclusion
The speaker I've made is tinier than most now and pumps out about the same level of volume as speakers of the same size but for much cheaper. I think if I were to make this again, I would lay out the internals better so I wouldn't have to go back and move the speaker hole and battery.
Thanks for viewing my first Instructable!