BETA speakers

Built this speaker set based on the BR-1 kit from Parts Express.  The boxes use a 14 ply phenolic wood showcasing the grain on the side edges.  At 14″ tall and 20lbs a piece very happy with my first speaker building foray.  Built them to run on a vintage 1976 receiver to match larger speakers of that time.  Custom metal rods protect the driver cones.


roadster bluetooth stereo build

Finished building the Roadster stereo model.  Having built four Aries versions (see other posts)  the goal here was to make a bluetooth stereo with a battery backup and internal power supply to both charge the batteries when plugged in and to run the system while charging.

Running a test on the battery capabilities.  This of course is a general average…volume and input source have a large affect on the rating.  Hoping to get the projected 6 hours realistic about 4.  This system incorporates a 50w variable power source connected to the main amplifier board rated at 50w.   The installed “battery charge bank” of three JETBeam JL260 18650 2600mAh 3.7V Protected Lithium Ion (Li-ion) Button Top Batteries is rated for 500 charge cycles.  The charging is regulated for over and low voltage charging due to the amp range on the power conversion and voltage input sliding scale.  Also changed the indicator lights to be less bright.  A 1/4″ plexi strip is introduced across the top.

Next up is a 20w solar panel to power this off grid!

Mini Blue Tooth Stereo builds

Project Cost:
$100 – $500

Project Description:
A countertop/shelf mini Bluetooth stereo with several case material options to suit any space.


Design Goals:
My goal was to design a mini amplifier speaker unit that incorporates bluetooth for modern convenience while embracing the classic styling from the 1970-80’s. Maximum sound quality and output in the smallest case were a must. This device connects to a laptop, smart-phone or the 1/8″ cable for direct input. using materials of local wood or concrete results in a more natural alternative to the black plastic ‘boom tubes” and soundbars

Driver Selection:
Dayton Audio DSA90-8 3″ Designer Series Aluminum Cone Full-Range Driver 8 Ohm
Dayton Audio DS90-8 3″ Designer Series Full-Range Driver 8 Ohm

Enclosure Design:
The concept was to fit the 3″ drivers into the smallest case possible while still keeping the optimum speaker box size with venting. The result was a 16″ long x 6.5″ deep x 5″ tall without legs. The wall panels to be 1/2″ thick.

Starting with Baltic Birch plywood for the beta version, a charred local white ash face plate was fabricated.

blk ash aries

Next was a solid cherry case for both box and face plate. Lastly a Concrete box with charred white ash wood face was created.
Front panel includes direct power source switch and light indicator as well as master volume knob. Rear panel has a 2.5mm power jack and 1/8″ input cable.

Tips & Tricks:
Wire your speakers polarity correct.

The case design and styling was of equal importance to the sound quality. I had to struggle to achieve this. The wool batting was changed to polyfill with better results. Still testing the concrete unit for sound quality but the cherry sounds great… chosen for its local availability and resonance.concrete aries front

Next up is a durable “Roadster” version at 18″ not 16″ to allow for an integrated high power rechargeable lithium- ion battery pack.

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