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Old 15th April 2012, 04:27 AM   #1
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Default Noob Looking to build a

I'm a noob, never built any speaker systems in my life.
For my first project, I'm looking to make a relatively small stereo speaker system, preferably passive. Sort of like head phones. The idea is to be able to put it in the side pockets of a backpack, or attach it to a bike.
I want to use the standard 3.5 mm headphone jack as the hookup, so this is essentially a headphone redesigned to use bigger speakers.
I'd like to use 3.5" speakers, preferably no bigger than 6"

Any suggestions for a noob on how to get started with this?
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Old 15th April 2012, 06:10 AM   #2
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You will need an amplifier if you are driving external speakers. What is your intended audio source?
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Old 15th April 2012, 06:29 AM   #3
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Well ..er...he said 'passive' .
I don't understand the term ' system ' .
Usually it's used when there's more than one loudspeaker ( in one cabinet )
So you say : two way/three/four way speaker system as there is something
that put those elements in connection , to make one unit.
Also a speaker system ,intended as a source for playing stereo or multichannel records
in a room ,so the speakers and the room become ...one .

And also , as ChicJTW intended , a system is something that you connect and it does something , it has some purpose ,and study behind , so an amplified
speaker ( or two , for stereo .... ) has some features that may be defined
quite easily : power ; if portable , the weight of the batteries , how long do they last at which listening level .
A stereo reproduction needs a 'system' to be listened to .
Source , amplifiers , speakers , room ...a listener ...
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Old 15th April 2012, 06:35 AM   #4
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A good project would be the cMoy headphone amp.

I don't think it will drive speakers all that well, but it does a decent job with headphones.

Good battery life and a great way to get your feet wet.
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Old 15th April 2012, 03:06 PM   #5
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It would be a system as it would be wired for stereo, like headphones. Basically it'd be like basic computer speakers. My original idea was to make it passive, but that would kill the battery life on the iPod/Phone that is the source.

-My intended audio source is an mp3 player of some sort, be it a phone/ipod/zune/laptop whatever.
-I now realize it has to be active.
-I'm looking to build (if using two 3.5" speakers) one housing that will do an optimal amount of sound amplification and produce the most well rounded sound.
-I want to have a volume knob, a On/Off switch, and a power LED.

How would I go about doing this/What would be the best way to go about doing this?
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Old 15th April 2012, 06:39 PM   #6
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you've described something very similar to some PC speaker ...
as it will be used mostly for
1) mp3 play 2) it is powered internally by two small (1....5 W )amplifiers
3)etc. etc.

The difference would be that the plastic enclosures ( if it's portable ...) aren't
made by industry , but by you
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Old 15th April 2012, 07:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by picowallspeaker View Post
you've described something very similar to some PC speaker ...
as it will be used mostly for
1) mp3 play 2) it is powered internally by two small (1....5 W )amplifiers
3)etc. etc.

The difference would be that the plastic enclosures ( if it's portable ...) aren't
made by industry , but by you
Yes, that's essentially what I want. Can you point me to a tutorial for this, or give me a basic rundown on how to do it?
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Old 15th April 2012, 07:49 PM   #8
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You might check out the Velleman kits. They have a 3W or 5W amp if I recall correctly. You can buy both an amp kit and the tiny speakers at Parts Express, possibly Radio Shack. Make sure you have a stereo kit, i.e. two channels.

Your power supply needs to be selected with care, as longevity and weight will come into play. If you think you will use the unit a lot, you should probably use a rechargeable battery pack. There are lots of different types with varying voltage and current capabilities. Basically, your "system" would have five components (1) audio source; (2) amplifier; (3) power supply; (4) speakers; and (5) a case.

Once you procure the amp, you can figure out the power supply. The variation in speakers is relatively small for what you are doing (probably either 8 or 16 ohms). The case should be bought last once you know your space requirements. There are lots of plastic and aluminum cases available at Mouser. If you want to use the system outside, you might think about a gasketed case to protect against dust and moisture. The small amps don't require much in terms of heatsinking, though you need to consider it when assembling the system, mounting transistors, etc.
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Old 15th April 2012, 08:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoJTW View Post
You might check out the Velleman kits. They have a 3W or 5W amp if I recall correctly. You can buy both an amp kit and the tiny speakers at Parts Express, possibly Radio Shack. Make sure you have a stereo kit, i.e. two channels.

Your power supply needs to be selected with care, as longevity and weight will come into play. If you think you will use the unit a lot, you should probably use a rechargeable battery pack. There are lots of different types with varying voltage and current capabilities. Basically, your "system" would have five components (1) audio source; (2) amplifier; (3) power supply; (4) speakers; and (5) a case.

Once you procure the amp, you can figure out the power supply. The variation in speakers is relatively small for what you are doing (probably either 8 or 16 ohms). The case should be bought last once you know your space requirements. There are lots of plastic and aluminum cases available at Mouser. If you want to use the system outside, you might think about a gasketed case to protect against dust and moisture. The small amps don't require much in terms of heatsinking, though you need to consider it when assembling the system, mounting transistors, etc.
Would this be what you were referring too?
Velleman, Inc.
or this?
Velleman, Inc.

I would like something with a bit of power, as this is mostly going to be used in an outdoor setting so it will have ambient noise and other noises to compete with. However I don't know exactly how much power I'll need for that. I'm not going to be using it in a high noise environment, just moderate noise. Cars, a few people, etc.
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Old 16th April 2012, 02:10 AM   #10
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Since your basically going to build PC speakers, you could easily find several pairs of second hand computer speakers, for FREE or cheap.

Pop them open, see what they have for chips. (Look up their datasheets) Some of them will have decent little chips, some type of TDA series etc.

This way you will have a mostly complete amplifier, you will even have a matching pair of speakers.

Then figure out your power supply. Since you looked up the chips, you will know what kind of power your dealing with, some math can figure out if it's practical to power it by batteries.

Once you have the basic setup, you can tweak away. Great way to learn.

You could even draw a schematic to share and get advise or help on changes and possible upgrades.

Last edited by Alvis; 16th April 2012 at 02:12 AM.
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