I have recently built a Portable Bluetooth Speaker for my brother's Birthday, so I thought, why not share the details of it with you guys?
Feel free to check out my video on YouTube of making the speaker! : Portable Bluetooth Speaker Build
Step 1: Design and Materials
I designed the speaker on Sketchup. I chose to use MDF of 6mm thickness for the enclosure, since it is easy to cut and sand to achieve the desired shapes. For the control panel I used 3mm plywood, which I later wrapped with Carbon Fiber Vinyl. The box was also wrapped with Faux Leather Vinyl.
I was not able to include all parts and materials used in the build, since some of them are discontinued or bought from local stores. Electronics, tools and other parts list:
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COMPONENTS (Updated November 2018)
- Speakers - https://ebay.to/2HlznAh
- Amplifier Board - https://ebay.to/2HPbl1o
- Bluetooth Receiver - https://ebay.to/2D32aKx
- Crossovers - https://ebay.to/2qPGTNp
- Tweeters - https://ebay.to/2LXqtPy
- 3.5mm Audio Jack - https://ebay.to/2Hg64Tq
- Audio Cable - https://goo.gl/pNTreg
- DC Power Jack - https://ebay.to/2JcP6Ss
- White LED Power Push Button - https://ebay.to/2yXcjp2
- Carbon Fiber Vinyl - https://ebay.to/2HPjN0H
- Passive Radiator - https://ebay.to/2QtQEMc
- BMS Board - https://ebay.to/2HQ6soU
- 12V Power Supply - https://ebay.to/2Je8K0u
- Li-Ion cells - https://ebay.to/2K4f63Y
- Push Button - https://ebay.to/2F4e1p3
- Faux Leather - https://ebay.to/2qNcW0n
- DC-DC Step Down Converter - https://ebay.to/2K5Uxno
- Isolated Converter - https://ebay.to/2qNCSJs
- Hot Glue Gun - https://ebay.to/2F3bhZ5
- Router - https://ebay.to/2zwFG0Z
- Spiral Flush Trim Router Bit - https://ebay.to/2HGxxNF
- Flush Trim Bits - https://ebay.to/2Hkhtld
- Roundover Bit - https://ebay.to/2K4GAWU
- Sanding Sponge - https://ebay.to/2qPUJOV
- Step Drill Bits - https://ebay.to/2HRUNGg
- Masking Tape - https://ebay.to/2JcUhSA
- Contact Adhesive - https://ebay.to/2M1Sq88
- Utility Knife - https://ebay.to/2K2BWsx
- Epoxy Glue - https://ebay.to/2DtAtvk
- Jig Saw - https://ebay.to/2M4yNMF
- Drill - https://ebay.to/2Hm5GyE
- Soldering Iron - https://ebay.to/2yYfbSF
- Solder - https://ebay.to/2F6yBou
- Soldering Stand - https://ebay.to/2HH4nOg
- Drill Bits - https://ebay.to/2HGpi4b
- Hole Saws - https://ebay.to/2AP5hUG
- Multimeter - https://ebay.to/2tOloNw
Step 2: Making the Enclosure
My main tool in this build was the Makita Jigsaw. Since I do not have access to a table saw, my cuts with the jigsaw had to be somewhat precise and accurate.
Using the semi-DIY drill and the jigsaw, I was able to drill holes for the speakers, control panel and the passive radiator.
After the cuts have been made, a piece of sandpaper was used to round over the corners and give the enclosure a nicer look and feel. A bigger size drill bit was used to countersink the holes on the back panel of the speaker.
I did not show it in the video, but I glued 4 pieces of thicker wood inside the enclosure to allow the back panel to rest against something. Only a few more steps left!
Step 3: Applying the Vinyls
I'd say this is the most time consuming and frustrating part of the build. Applying the Vinyls. I started with applying the Carbon Fiber vinyl to the control panel, front and back baffles. This material is somewhat resistant to scratches and cuts. It sticks well to a prepared surface and is easily stretched with the persuasion of a heat gun.
Since it was my first time using this vinyl, I did end up with torn vinyl around the tweeter holes, as you can see in the video. But a little dab with a black marker covered the mistakes. The vinyl really makes the subtle curves of the ports pop in sunlight, showing the fake weave in the vinyl.
Then I used contact cement to glue in the passive radiator and apply the faux leather vinyl. The tweeters are held in place with a healthy amount of hot glue. I covered the enclosure and the vinyl with contact glue, gave it a few minutes to dry and then stuck them together. The leather vinyl is stretchable, so I was able to form it around the corners and roundovers. After all that hassle I glued in the control panel.
Step 4: Guts of the Speaker
I used hot glue to hold the Crossovers in place.
Then there was a lot of soldering. Wiring the switches and ports, mounting them in, soldering the battery together. The electronics turned out to be working great, I was able to insert a small LED light in the control panel for the Bluetooth. The Power Button looks awesome on this speaker, it doesn't glow too bright, but the white light gives it that unique and eye-catching look.
To me, the best part about this speaker is the Power Button OFF action. When the speaker is turned off, the Power Button light slowly fades away, it does not shut down immediately. I guess the reason why it does so, is that the capacitors in the amplifier are slowly discharging in to the LED light in the button. You can see what I am talking about at the end of the build video.
Step 5: Final Assembly
Finally I was able to insert the front panel on to the enclosure and admire my project at its glory. I used a long piece of foam-like material for the gasket on the back panel to seal the speaker. Then I added my logo on the back side and screwed down the back panel.
I then stuck on a few pairs of adhesive pads on the bottom, gave the speaker a charge and it was now ready for some action!
Thank You guys for taking a look at my speaker, I hope You enjoyed! Make sure to check my YouTube Channel for more content!