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4BXP Portable Speaker - Powered / Bluetooth - Full-Range

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  • 4BXP Portable Speaker - Powered / Bluetooth - Full-Range

    This may not be the most exciting build, but for me it's new territory and I felt the need to share it with my fellow PE associates! I'm constructing a portable speaker that is self powered, Bluetooth, battery powered, and lightweight (hopefully). We all see these builds, but I thought I would share how I build things as it is a little different than how most do. The main point is to share with the community my progress, my methods, and get any welcomed opinions/advice/criticisms. My normal projects are always PA style speakers so this is uncharted territory for me.

    Let me start of by saying that I only use Russian Baltic birch plywood for all of my products. It costs more, but as a cabinet makers son I have a high appreciation for how nice it is to work with. It definitely takes a toll on any of your cutting equipment, but Forrest makes special profile carbide blades just for crosscutting plywood of this style. They work beautifully. The carbide bits I have been getting from Freud (1/4" spiral up-cutting carbide) seem to be the weak link. They are just cheap enough where it doesn't make sense to take them to a shop to have them sharpened. All of our router bits get constant cleaning and diamond stone sharpening to keep them up to working order. The formaldehyde glue in Baltic birch really loads up on your cutters.

    Anyways, all of our construction is done with biscuits and no mechanical fasteners unless absolutely necessary. This entire enclosure is held together with beach-wood #10 biscuits and TiteBond 1 glue. We had to introduce some Senco staples to fasten the mounting flange on the inside of the box, but that's it. For those of you who have not used biscuits, I highly recommend you look into them. They provide a bond between two pieces of wood that is stronger than the wood itself. The biscuits align everything when assembling the panels together. Lastly they allow the user to router the edges without hitting staples or screws. They take much longer than gluing and stapling, but in the end the construction methods are far superior.

    The build includes the following:
    qty. 2 Tang Band W4-1337SDF 4" Titanium full range drivers
    qty. 1 Dayton Audio KAB-250v3 2x50W Bluetooth amplifier
    qty. 1 Dayton Audio KAB-BE battery board
    qty. 3 18650 Lithium Ion Batteries,
    qty. 2 1-1/8" ports

    The design of the enclosure is 0.3 ft^3 tuned to 70Hz with an F3 of 75Hz.

    More updates to follow!
    installation of the baffle to the box with biscuits and Titebond I glue.  Strongest bond without mechanical fasteners!
    "I don't know everything and do not claim to. I continue to learn and that is what makes me human."

  • #2
    >UPDATE<

    After the glue dried we puttied any cracks in the joints. We then sanded the entire box with 120 and 150. Once the box was sanded we took a 1/4" round-over bit to all of the edges with exception to the inside of the back where the flange is located. That area only got an 1/8" round-over.

    Upon vacuuming the box we applied a primer coat of pre-catalyzed epoxy coating to the box. This makes a durable base for the Duratex to adhere to. As soon as the Duratex is applied, then the fun begins! I cannot wait to get this put together and wired. One thing I will have to do is run DATS because the ports I have are tapered and I cannot for the life of me think of a mathematical way to calculate the appropriate port length. All software will get you close with a straight port, but DATS ultimately tells the truth.

    Does anyone know if speakers need broken in prior to running the DATS analysis for proper port tuning?

    More Updates to follow!
    "I don't know everything and do not claim to. I continue to learn and that is what makes me human."

    Comment


    • #3
      >UPDATE<

      Not an earth-shattering update, but we got the Duratex applied to the box. Next comes the fun part. I'll have a decent size write-up on the next post.
      "I don't know everything and do not claim to. I continue to learn and that is what makes me human."

      Comment


      • #4
        >UPDATE<

        I was able to get the amplifier board wired up and installed on the back plate to the box. Everything functions flawlessly at the moment and I couldn't be happier with the results. I didn't have time to drill the jack dish to put all of the connectors in and therefore don't have a picture of the finished result. I should have an update this week.
        "I don't know everything and do not claim to. I continue to learn and that is what makes me human."

        Comment


        • #5
          Handle?

          Comment


          • #6
            Nice work. Heads up, those titanium TBs are very thin and delicate, better use a grill.

            Comment


            • #7
              >UPDATE<

              I still don't have the jack dish drilled for the connectors, but the box is temporarily assembled (Thus the wires coming through the ports!). My leather Penn-Elcom handle was delivered today and I will be balancing the box and mounting it soon. This little baby sings though; I am super impressed. This is the first gen amplifier board which is supposed to have the poor BT reception. I am getting about 20 feet from the box before it starts dropping.

              What do you recommend for a grill? I kind of messed up on the box compared to how I normally build them. I'm not sure what I was thinking.....
              "I don't know everything and do not claim to. I continue to learn and that is what makes me human."

              Comment


              • #8
                I would definitely break in the drivers before measuring.

                This might work for your grills. I'm not sure if the brand can be removed:
                https://www.parts-express.com/visato...ivers--292-533

                PE also sells the waffle style grills, but I'm not personally a fan of those.

                As for router bits, I prefer a downspiral bit. The bottom edge is not as clean, but the top edge is clean which is what you see. This one has done good by me, cutting lots of holes in both MDF and ply:

                https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000K29T64

                Comment


                • #9
                  Beatle's suggestion is good. If you want to see the drivers, you seem talented enough to fabricate a wire mesh flat grill mounted on standoffs. One large rectangular grill covering the entire front, about 1/2" off the surface.

                  This is the kind of project requiring you to look at all sorts of products, objects, and materials to adapt to your needs.

                  looks nice btw.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Just an idea.

                    Vollrath 20028 Super Pan V Full Size Stainless Steel Wire Cooling Rack / Pan Grate for Steam Table Pan

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      >UPDATE<

                      All finished. I added a third battery board, mounted the lights/switches/plugs in the jack dish, and mounted the handle. This unit really needs a grill, but I think I'll make another unit with a broken-edge, inset grill. For now, this speaker will stay at home due to the vulnerability of the speakers. Hopefully you enjoy the progress as much as I do. This turned out and sound better than I anticipated!
                      "I don't know everything and do not claim to. I continue to learn and that is what makes me human."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Looks like a commercial product. (Compliment)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by djg View Post
                          Looks like a commercial product. (Compliment)
                          Thank you for the kind words. It amazes me how much time we had in this project. One would think that a smaller speaker would be less involved, but we had as much time in this as we have had in much larger speakers. The content is still there, it's simply more compact.
                          "I don't know everything and do not claim to. I continue to learn and that is what makes me human."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Beautiful, professional looking project. Is any baffle step going to be added?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by randyohoh View Post
                              Beautiful, professional looking project. Is any baffle step going to be added?
                              Could you please elaborate? I've done a little reading on BSC, but am not totally familiar with it. Thank you for the compliment by the way!
                              "I don't know everything and do not claim to. I continue to learn and that is what makes me human."

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