Building a pair of sonotube subs on the cheap (n00b) have questions - diyAudio
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Old 31st October 2011, 03:41 AM   #1
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Location: Maine, USA
Default Building a pair of sonotube subs on the cheap (n00b) have questions

Hello from Maine

I have a small question about connectors, but I may as well get into a discussion about the speakers too LOL

I recently discovered the so called "sonotube subwoofers" and I was excited to give it a try

OK I am using 10" Radio Shack drivers LOL, but I had them in a car when I was a youth

I had a pair of radio shack trunk speakers from around 1997. They had been stored in the corner of my parent's leaky New England basement for about a decade.

Every inch of the particle board was covered in mold but the drivers were good. I tested them and they worked. So I disassembled the cabinets with a Dremel oscillating tool (one of my new toys). I used a "fitzall" blade to cut through the staples that held the cabinets together.

Then I scrubbed the moldy boards with bleach and they were as good as ... usable.

Inside the cabinets I discovered there was a 10" subwoofer and a little tweeter, with no crossovers at all !!!

Rather than reassembling the cabinets I started to modify them to become "sonotube subwoofers". I cut a shallow channel in the boards so the tube ends could lock in, and I used "liquid nails" adhesive to stick them together.

These are not going to be seen, per say, they will be inside arcade machines. I painted them specifically to be mold resistant. But I can dig the color orange LOL

Below are some pics of my adventure.

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(they are not yet finished)

My question is -

Since this is a "sealed" subwoofer, and I want as few holes as possible, can I simply run two machine screws through the particle board as positive and negative posts ? Like two screws and on the inside of the cabinet, the wires are soldered to them.

Then on the outside I can just solder the wires to the machine screws. (?) That seems like a connection that can be made air tight.

So yeah, can screws be used in place of the usual terminals ?

Thanks!
Craig

Last edited by SpyStyle; 31st October 2011 at 03:53 AM.
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Old 31st October 2011, 04:02 AM   #2
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screws should conduct electricity just fine, not pretty but functional
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Old 31st October 2011, 06:21 AM   #3
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Thanks Tundra

Also the speaker drivers are dirty, what can I wash them with ?

And they are old and were stored in high humidity, should I do something to maintain them ? Like oil or something ?

Thanks! I get a kick out of sonotubes LOL
Craig
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Old 31st October 2011, 03:44 PM   #4
epa is offline epa  Netherlands
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why not use the old connectors.
for the paper cone i would use some white wood glue diluted with water and apply with paint brush.
for the metal and surround you could use vasseline spray,just make sure you not spray it on the paper cone.
regards erik
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Old 31st October 2011, 03:51 PM   #5
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Thanks for the cleaning tips epa

I guess I could use the old connectors, but I was imagining something soldered from start to finish.

Have fun
Craig
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Old 31st October 2011, 04:10 PM   #6
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I hope you put caulk on the inside of the tubes =X
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Old 31st October 2011, 05:10 PM   #7
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I feel dirty just looking at this thread. In the past I've built speakers using brass screws for terminals. I'd get #10-32 or 1/4"-20 round head brass screws and put them in from the inside. The speaker wires got soldered to the head of the screw, sometimes with the wire in the slot. Takes a fair amount of heat to get a good joint. On the outside I'd use a brass flat washer, lockwasher and nut to hold the screw in the box. Then I'd use a brass wing nut and more washers to attach the external wires with big lugs. Very effective, but today the brass hardware might cost as much as commercial speaker connectors!
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Old 31st October 2011, 05:20 PM   #8
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Carshateme - Yes I put lot's of liquid nail inside the tubes

Conrad Hoffman - Thanks for the info Maybe I should just run wire through a hole then fill it with liquid nail ? I haven't studied speaker stuff in years, but if I recall lamp wire is good for that

As a side note, I didn't bother to prime these, and I really should have LOL. I always use primer and I didn't realize what a difference it makes. With primer I bet 2 coats of paint would be enough, without it looks like I'd need 10. But these aren't going to be seen anyway so it's not a big deal.

I also have a question about the driver - if this is a "sealed" enclosure, do I need to put silicone or a rubber washer or something around the edge of the driver to seal it to the wood ?

Cheers!
Craig

Last edited by SpyStyle; 31st October 2011 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 1st November 2011, 07:51 PM   #9
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OK, I did more work in the "sonotube subwoofers"

I trimmed the rectangular particle board into squares. I added studs so the stress is not on the glue, it's like a regular speaker. And I decided to use the regular speaker terminals but added "feet" to keep them off the ground.

Here are some pics :

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Now I wonder - how do you guys test your speakers ? I wonder how crappy these are in technical terms LOL

I'd also like to know about cheap crossovers. Can't I just add a capacitor in line or something like that ? Or should I spend $20 on a passive crossover from eBay ?

Cheers,
Craig
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Old 1st November 2011, 08:39 PM   #10
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpyStyle View Post
Now I wonder - how do you guys test your speakers ?
I wonder how crappy these are in technical terms LOL

I'd also like to know about cheap crossovers. Can't I just add a capacitor in line
or something like that ? Or should I spend $20 on a passive crossover from eBay ?

Cheers,
Craig
Hi,

I remember them but not what they were for, bass and treble reinforcement
in a car or full range I can't remember. In the most basic form the piezo
tweeters don't need a crossover, and normal crossovers don't work well.
See the wiki here for piezo tweeters.

If the original worked well with those vents then it now won't, but if the
original was a serious boom box it may now work well, not sure for what
though.

Stood vertically you'll never get them to work with the tweeter full range.

What is the intended application ?

edit : inside arcade machines ? how ? driven with what ?

rgds, sreten.
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Last edited by sreten; 1st November 2011 at 08:44 PM.
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