Introduction: How to Make a Portable Waterproof Speaker

Picture of How to Make a Portable Waterproof Speaker

Project Provided By: 123Toid (His Youtube Channel)

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.

Step 1: Design Goals

Picture of Design Goals

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.

Step 2: Parts List

Picture of Parts List

- Waterproof Case

- Speakers (2) I used these Dayton Audio DAEX30HESF-4 High Efficiency Steered Flux Exciters (tactile transducers), but they were probably more powerful than needed. Feel free to choose less expensive 4ohm exciters if you want.

- Amp (Dayton Audio KAB-215 2x15W Class D Audio Amplifier Board with Bluetooth 2.1)

- Battery Board (Dayton Audio KAB-BE 18650) This board hooks straight up with a cable to the above amplifier. It even allows you to charge the batteries through the power on the board.

- 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 19V to charge the batteries. This is used only to charge the batteries when not in use.

Step 3: Before We Start

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.

Step 4: Cutting Areas for Components From Foam

Picture of Cutting Areas for Components From Foam

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.

Step 5: Attach Exciters

Picture of Attach Exciters

Remove the adhesive backing from the exciters and place them in the lid of the box. Cut foam to surround the exciters and line the inside of the lid. You may need to cut a space in the lower foam to allow room for the case to snuggly close without too much force being applied to the components.

Step 6: Arrange the Foam

Picture of Arrange the 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.

Step 7: Wire the Amp

Picture of Wire the Amp

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. After that, replace the foam surrounding the exciters. Tuck the wire underneath for protection.

Step 8: Connect Components

Picture of Connect Components

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.

Step 9: Finishing Touches

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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.

Step 10: Test

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Held up well during a water test and the bass even made waves under water!

Step 11: Full Build Plans

Picture of Full Build Plans

Step 12: Step by Step Video

Comments

oragamiunicorn (author)2018-01-12

That's an interesting project, I wouldn't have thought of a completely sealed case for a speaker / stereo. Why are the two speakers so close together when you could have spaced them on the edges of the case? If they need to be so close could you not safe a bit of money and had it as a mono setup? I'm interested by the full range speakers in this setup, I think I'd want to hear them in person, it is always so heard to tell audio quality through youtube. Thanks for sharing this build

123Toid (author)oragamiunicorn2018-01-18

That is a great question! I am the actual builder and designer of this speaker and I'll answer them to the best of my abilities. First, they are so close together due to the placement of the amp board and batteries. If I had paced them any further apart they would have hit the board, which would have caused rattling and most likely failure of the drivers, since they would not be able to freely move. Now to the second part of your question, you could use just 1 exciter if you want to. However, being that there is no easy way to have both the left and right sound going to one exciter, it might not be ideal.

Instead, what I thought of later, and what might even be cooler, is to place 1 speaker on the front panel and one on the rear panel. This way, the sound would actually radiate from both sides, and give you more of a 360 degree sound-field.

Finally, you do not have to use the exciters I used. You can use cheaper ones if you want. Just check Parts-Express inventory. Just make sure they can handle at least 15\ watts and you should be fine. I always appreciate these type's of questions. Feel free to message me anytime. However, it is usually much easier to get a hold of me via my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvusxEHa4KxVCusGeAK8n0g I have a bunch of builds on there, all video tutorials and free build plans. Cheers!

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