The Chainlink

Is anyone interested in building a sound system that fits in a milk crate? It doesn't have to be loud. I am trying to avoid riding with headphones. I can pay you in cash or buttons, bottle openers, magnets, mirrors, or baked goods, or a combination of those things. speakingmytruth @ gmail dot com or discuss here. Thanks!

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It's actually pretty simple.  My basic setup (minus my bigger speakers) would easily fit in/on a milk crate.

Start with a T-Amp:

Takes 10 AA batteries:

If you want to get fancy, you can buy cases and have a few spare packs, you just have to figure out the right plugs and solder them on the end.

After that, you only need a cable to plug in your source, any stereo 1/8" / 3.5mm male-to-male cable will do:

and a pair of speakers that fit in/attach to your milk crate.  You want to get them as efficient as possible.  As close to 90db+ sensitivity as you can afford, as the higher the sensitivity, the more efficient the speaker. You can go with a smaller set all the way up to a pair you can attach to a rack. Something like these (outdoor is nice in case it just have to cover the amp then):

And some speaker wire:

Basically, the speakers will be the most expensive component, and with extra AA batteries, you can easily carry way more power than you need.  I ran 3 10 packs and found with a good enough volume to work Critical Mass, you'd get 3 hours or so per 10 batteries at ~2500 mAh (those ones I linked are 2400, so that's close).  So if you carried 30 AA batteries, you'd easily be good for most of a day.

Amp: ~$35

Stereo cable: $3

Speaker wire: $10

Batteries: $60 for 24, good enough for ~6 hours with replacements when some go bad

Speakers: $35-$100, depending on quality

Whole shebang for $135-$210 or so, maybe another $10 in random costs (rain tarp, clamps for speakers, banana plugs if you want).

That's the basic small/loud/decent charge.  I'd stick with the T-amp and work on other costs if you're looking for small. 

Of course, this assumes you've already got a phone/ipod/mp3 player to feed audio to it. Personally, I'd stay away from using my phone, as they might not like being constantly used.  It's probably pretty easy to find a cheap mp3 player at Target/whatever, and then just use it.  That way, it'll have a better battery life (no touch screen, prolly), and you won't wind up toasting your phone.

If you live in the city, the Park District has many fitness centers that are only $17 a month. I joined one over a year ago and treadmill/cycle machine helped me get started on a significant weight loss. I'm so cheap that I will go to the gym every day if poss. to get my money's worth!


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