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Ikea Salad Bowl speakers with internal amp, battery, and bluetooth

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  • Ikea Salad Bowl speakers with internal amp, battery, and bluetooth

    My second post on the forum, detailing my second speaker project.

    Objective: to make a small set of speakers to sit on the mantel in our living room that looked nice and sounded nice. I don't have a power outlet near the fireplace, and I didn't want to run wires. I had seen some posts about using Ikea bamboo salad bowls as enclosures and thought a pair would make a nice, powered speaker system. I wanted it to appear seamless from the outside: no indication that these little eyeball-looking things had a self-contained power supply and Bluetooth receiver. This was my first project that involved thinking about pairing drivers to enclosures, and tuning enclosures to fit the unique characteristics of a driver. I relied a lot on things I learned by reading posts on this forum, so thanks!

    Parts: Four Ikea "BLANDA MATT" 8-inch bowls (they make these in 11" also - makes the possibility of a sub intriguing), Dayton DTA-2 amplifier, Sure Apt-X Bluetooth 4.0 receiver, Axxess ground loop isolator, eBay 12.6V rechargeable LiPo 6800 mAH battery, Tang Band Tang Band W3-1364SA 3" drivers, a few wads of polyfil.

    Theory: These drivers prefer a vented volume of 0.15 cubic feet (259 cubic inches) tuned to 71Hz. The Blanda Matt is nominally an 8" bowl. I suppose I could have perfectly calculated the internal volume with water and a measuring cup, but that didn't occur to me until just now. In any case, I estimated an internal volume of ~250 cubic inches , so I thought the TB 3" drivers would be a good match. Found an online calculator that helped me calculate the port diameter and length. In hindsight, I didn't take into account the volume of the not-so-small battery and other components in the left speaker.

    Construction: This is the project that convinced me I needed power tools moving forward. Cutting the speaker holes with a set of Japanese pull saws was an exercise in patience and frustration, and it's a minor miracle I didn't crack the bowls in my tabletop vice. I drilled the holes and made sure everything would fit before I glued the bowls. Once glued, it would be difficult to wire the components in the bowl (with only a 3" hole and no rear access), so I wired the entire harness first (driver, amplifier, right-speaker output, ground loop isolator, power supply, DC power input for external battery charger) and shoved everything in at the very end. All the components are held tightly in place with liberal use of duct tape (don't laugh...). Empty space was filled in with polyfil. The right speaker was much simpler, since all it contained was the driver and binding post hookups. The speaker stands are foam rings wrapped in decorative 2" fabric roll.

    Pics and impressions I love the way they look and sound, though they do lack some bass. The Sure BT module works amazingly well. Streaming from Spotify on "Extreme" quality (320 kbit/s), they sound very natural and precise for acoustic, folk, and vocals. They need a little "smiley face" EQ in pop/rock music to tame the mid-range and add some bass. I also use the Spotify onboard EQ to drop all the lower frequencies that this driver can't handle. Maybe version 2.0 will include a small sub made from the 11" bowls...

    Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    Re: Ikea Salad Bowl speakers with internal amp, battery, and bluetooth

    Very nice!
    My modest builds:
    Armadillo TM, A.K.A. Lil' Dillo
    Tarkus/Armadillo build #2
    Armadillo Center Channel
    Au-Rock-O Sub
    Tarkus
    Staining MDF tutorial

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Ikea Salad Bowl speakers with internal amp, battery, and bluetooth

      Really nice, especially considering you used all hand tools....

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Ikea Salad Bowl speakers with internal amp, battery, and bluetooth

        That is too cool, I love cool, different builds like this. Nice work!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Ikea Salad Bowl speakers with internal amp, battery, and bluetooth

          What a fun project - good job on stuffing all that stuff into one enclosure!
          See my projects on Instagram and Facebook

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          • #6
            Re: Ikea Salad Bowl speakers with internal amp, battery, and bluetooth

            Darned fine-looking speakers.

            Don't overcharge those LiPo batteries because they'll catch fire. I don't keep my LiPo batteries in my house. They're stored in metal military ammo boxes with lids loosely closed (NEVER sealed) in my detached garage and sitting on concrete blocks (my floors are wooden. Please be careful with those. Exploding LiPo batteries, in a sealed container, become mini bombs.

            For longer battery life and safer use, use a balancing charger (if using multi-cell batteries) and never charge to more than 4.1 volts per cell.
            "We are just statistics, born to consume resources."
            ~Horace~, 65-8 BC

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            • #7
              Re: Ikea Salad Bowl speakers with internal amp, battery, and bluetooth

              Originally posted by ani_101 View Post
              Really nice, especially considering you used all hand tools....
              Thanks! I have some build pics that I'm too ashamed to share here. Next time, I'm using power tools.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Ikea Salad Bowl speakers with internal amp, battery, and bluetooth

                Originally posted by Tin_Ears View Post
                Darned fine-looking speakers.

                Don't overcharge those LiPo batteries because they'll catch fire. I don't keep my LiPo batteries in my house. They're stored in metal military ammo boxes with lids loosely closed (NEVER sealed) in my detached garage and sitting on concrete blocks (my floors are wooden. Please be careful with those. Exploding LiPo batteries, in a sealed container, become mini bombs.

                For longer battery life and safer use, use a balancing charger (if using multi-cell batteries) and never charge to more than 4.1 volts per cell.
                Good to know - I had heard mixed reviews about these Chinese eBay LiPo packs. The most common thing being that they don't even come close to the stated mAh. This one came with a supposedly "smart" charger - there's an LED that turns from red to green when it's fully charged (and presumably stops charging when it goes green). So far, it seems to do that.

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                • #9
                  Re: Ikea Salad Bowl speakers with internal amp, battery, and bluetooth

                  Understood... but please keep in mind that LiPo batteries do not have the built-in protections that most or all Li-Ion batteries have. They're not the same at all... especially safety-wise.

                  http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=719116
                  "We are just statistics, born to consume resources."
                  ~Horace~, 65-8 BC

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Ikea Salad Bowl speakers with internal amp, battery, and bluetooth

                    Originally posted by Tin_Ears View Post
                    Understood... but please keep in mind that LiPo batteries do not have the built-in protections that most or all Li-Ion batteries have. They're not the same at all... especially safety-wise.

                    http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=719116
                    Update: you're totally right - LiPo batteries are risky. I looked back at what I had ordered and it was one of these: http://www.amazon.com/Sourcingbay-68.../dp/B00RSPMUQW so it's a Lithium Ion battery, not a LiPo. My apologies for the confusion!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Ikea Salad Bowl speakers with internal amp, battery, and bluetooth

                      Originally posted by tenderfoot View Post
                      Update: you're totally right - LiPo batteries are risky. I looked back at what I had ordered and it was one of these: http://www.amazon.com/Sourcingbay-68.../dp/B00RSPMUQW so it's a Lithium Ion battery, not a LiPo. My apologies for the confusion!
                      Ah... good. Those 'should be' as safe as the batteries in cell phones and laptop computers... still possible to catch far but far less likely than LiPo. Even so, be sure to NEVER overcharge them.
                      "We are just statistics, born to consume resources."
                      ~Horace~, 65-8 BC

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Ikea Salad Bowl speakers with internal amp, battery, and bluetooth

                        Talk about "thinking outside the box".:D Way Cool!
                        My "No-Name" CC Speaker
                        Kerry's "Silverbacks"
                        Ben's Synchaeta's for Mom
                        The Archers
                        Rick's "db" Desktop CBT Arrays
                        The Gandalf's

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                        • #13
                          Re: Ikea Salad Bowl speakers with internal amp, battery, and bluetooth

                          That's a great project!

                          The battery fire story is terrifying.

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                          • #14
                            Very nice!

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