Science Technology Make a Solar Bluetooth Speaker By Megan Treacy Writer University of South Carolina Megan Treacy is a freelance writer from Austin, TX. A former editor at EcoGeek, she worked as a technology columnist for Treehugger from 2012 to 2018. our editorial process Megan Treacy Updated May 20, 2014 Share Twitter Pinterest Email Science Space Natural Science Technology Agriculture Energy Intro credit: treyes4 This cool project from Instructables user treyes4 (together with TreeHugger favorite ASCAS) shows you how to pull parts from a few different gadgets and electronics you're no longer using to make something new and useful, in this case, a solar-powered Bluetooth speaker. This how-to is for the more experienced tinkerer, but shouldn't take too long to complete. Treyes4 says about the proejct: "Here's a simple Bluetooth speaker that's made from hacking old gadgets and mashing them up together. It sounds exactly like the big Jambox but only smaller! It has a mic and command buttons too! The homebrew jambox is equipped with two 5W neodymium drivers, a 2.5" passive radiator, three command buttons, handsfee mic feature and a 2250mAh lithium battery." Install the passive radiator/driver credit: treyes4 When we disassembled our old USB powered desktop speakers we were able to get four of these passive radiators. If you're lucky you might find one. The plastic enclosure was acquired from a old organizer tray. We used superglue to seal the rubber of our plastic enclose. Wiring diagram credit: treyes4 Before we continue, here's a block diagram of the whole device. Here's a tip, take advantage of the common ground. Don't solder too much negative wires. Disassemble a USB powerbank credit: treyes4 Find a cheap and decent USB powerbank (above 2,000mAh). Dismantle the plastic casing and desolder the female USB port. Hot glue powerbank to enclosure credit: treyes4 Drill a hole for the charge input of the powerbank then hot glue the circuit and battery on the enclosure. Add a switch credit: treyes4 Drill another hole and superglue a slider switch. Install electronics credit: treyes4 Now install both Bluetooth module and amplifier module. These tutorials will help you figure out where to scavenge for these devices: - DIY Supercharged Bluetooth Speaker (v2.0) - DIY Bluetooth Speaker Make the front panel credit: treyes4 The enclosure didn't have cover so we scavenged thin piece of plastic from the packaging of a Spigen iPhone case. Mount the speakers credit: treyes4 Contact adhesives/ gorilla glue is much better than adding screws and gaskets. When they cure, their rubbery material acts as a good sealant to be airtight. Solder speakers credit: treyes4 Once the glue has cured, solder the speakers to the amplifier. Remember, speakers have polarities. If you solder them the wrong way, chances are you'll end up canceling both speakers, this means you'll hear no bass. Add command buttons credit: treyes4 Desolder the command buttons from the Bluetooth module and use hook-up wires to extend them. Seal the enclosure credit: treyes4 Now, drop superglue around the plastic enclosure's edges then slowly face the front panel against it. Wait for an hour to let it dry. Once dry, use a metal file to file off the excess plastic around the edges. Paint it and add solar power credit: treyes4 Get a can of your favorite spray paint and customize your speaker! When dry, you can add your solar panel. The hack is easy! Since our solar panel gives out 5v, a regulator isn't needed. All you have to do is solder the solar panel's output, parallel to your powerbank's charge input. A diode isn't needed since the powerbank has a built in one.