Make a Solar Bluetooth Speaker

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.