Just like most people I enjoy spending some time outside during the summer. In particular, I like to spend it close to water. Sometimes, I might be fishing, tubing down the river, hanging out on the beach or even swimming. The problem with that, is I also like to listen to music. But really, there haven’t been a lot of great DIY sound systems that are completely waterproof. So I decided I would make one that would be so easy, that anyone could make it. And that is where this design comes in.
My main goal was to make something unique, but also simple. I also wanted it to have pretty good battery life. But of course, most importantly I wanted it to be able to take abuse and be completely waterproof. That way when I am hiking or tubing, I do not have to worry if it falls in water. On a secondary note, I was hoping to find something that could even house my phone if I desired. That way my phone was also protected from drops and of course the water. Finally, I wanted it to float. It is fine that it is water proof, but if you drop it in the middle of the lake, you want it easy to retrieve. I must say, I was able to hit all my goals.
Case – I found this at a local Harbor Freight for such a good price I couldn’t pass it up. But honestly you could use any waterproof case you want.
Speakers (2) I used these exciters (tactile transducers), but they were probably more powerful than needed. Feel free to choose less expensive 4ohm exciters if you want.
Amp This is the perfect amp.
Battery Board This board hook straight up with a cable to the above amplifier. It even allows you to charge the batteries through the power on the board.
Batteries I tried to get at least 3000mah 18650 batteries. This will allow a good amount of run time. Feel free to get larger one, but I would not get smaller than 3000mah.
Power Jack Just make sure it is the right size for your power supply. This will work with the power supply below
Power Supply I recommend a 14v 4.74a to charge the batteries. This is used only to charge the batteries when not in use.
This build was quite simple. But there are a few things to pay attention to. First check out your placement of your amplifier and battery pack as well as your exciters. You do not want them to hit each other once in. Some people wonder why I oriented everything the way I did. The main reason was for heat. I was afraid that if I laid them down and covered them with the foam, the heat would become to much and fry the board. So I decided to have these each as far to the side as possible. This made sure I had plenty of room in the middle for the speakers. You may also notice that the is a hole cut out in the center. This is to allow the speakers (exciters) to freely move. Without taking this out it restricted the movement of the speakers and could damage them.
First thing to do is take out all the foam, except for the small one at the bottom, leave that in. Then cut out along the pre-cut lines for the size of the amplifier and the battery pack. For me, that was one row of 6 for the amp and 2 rows of 6 for the battery pack. I then continued to cut that out of the other two pieces of foam.
Next we needed to arrange the foam. My case had two thick layers and one that was a little thinner. I decided to keep the thinner of the two on top. This way I would have less to cut away for my speakers. In that one, I did cut away where the speakers would touch. For me that was 7 rows of 6. On the other two, i did need to cut out a block for where the power cable would be inserted in the board (the bottom foam piece) and the middle piece needed a block cut out for the speaker wire connections. Once those were cut out, you just need to cut the speaker wire down to size and wire it to each speaker. I choose solder, to keep up with the durability of the build. However you could quick connect it if you want to.
Next I ran the power through the foam to the top and soldered on the power jack. I left the power jack in the case, because I did not want to reduce the durability of the case. I also did not want to create an area in which water could eventually enter that seal were to break. As it stands, you should only need to pay attention to the main seal on the box. When running this cable, make sure it is out of the way of the speakers when you close it. You do not want to hear that rattle.
Finally you need to attach the exciters tot he top and cut out the foam around them. The speakers already have a sticker on them to make them stick. It works, but this is supposed to withstand drops and punishment, and this was not going to hold up to that. So I used a 2 part epoxy to epoxy the speakers to the top. This will make sure they stay in place. Just make sure you take off the sticker/glue on them, it’ll just peel off. Then apply it to only the spots where you took off the sticker/glue.
Now put on your finishing Touches. I added my own decal and even cut a slot in the foam for my phone. That way when I stream bluetooth, I know my phone is safe as well.
So i just designed this and haven’t got a long term look at it yet. I have two concerns. The first is how well will the case hold up. This is a new brand in which I am not familiar with. It seems it’ll hold up, but it is too early to tell.
Secondly, will heat be a factor. As of now, I have not experienced any problems with overheating, but I do wonder if that will play a role, especially when outside in the sun. But since I have not got to test this extensively, it is hard to say. I will be able to update you more this summer.