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Alternate take on Chris Perez's Cinema Tablet radio

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  • tomzarbo
    replied
    Re: Alternate take on Chris Perez's Cinema Tablet radio

    I got a bit of time to finish this up finally. Not in time for Christmas, but close enough I hope.



    There's a lot of wires in there:

    I ran the two ND91's in series and the small Aura's parallel just as Chris did. I also ported those two chambers, and it's kind of funny to feel so much air moving from those two little buggers.

    The bluetooth module sits in the lower bass chamber opposite the port. There was no room to house it in the "electronics" box at the top. It seems to have about 20' reception from where it sits with my iPad mini.



    Almost finished product:

    You can see the 5.5" nickel drawer pulls I used for the base. Insert the supplied screws snugly with threadlock, cut off the head leaving about 3/4" of raw bolt protruding... drill the holes in the cabinet slightly smaller than the threads and epoxy them in, tapping them home with a mallet. It gives the down-firing port room to breathe and looks kind of cool I think. They're a smidge pricey though, like $6-7 each. I thought they were worth it, though.



    I did print out a label on the computer and laminated it. It shows what the switches and buttons are for. It's pretty simple.

    The big switch in the front is the power switch. The 3.5mm plug on the right is the input.
    The switch in the back middle is the source switch. I wanted to have the switch point to the plug for that input and the other way for the Bluetooth, but I forgot that the switch position is opposite the terminals on the bottom, and I didn't have enough wire to loosen and turn in 180 degrees, so this is how it stays.

    The push button on the left side is a normally closed switch to temporarily break the power to the bluetooth module to reset it for another device if necessary (it's usually always powered on). I'm actually not clear on how that thing actually works, my wife's phone and my iPad seem to work differently with it, but I included the push button just in case it was helpful... Chris mentioned that he needed to turn off/on the tablet cinema to reset the B/T I thought, could be wrong there, though. It's the Sure unit, this one: http://www.parts-express.com/sure-el...2-vdc--320-351 yeah, it's $25, by far the most expensive component of this project, but it works very well, I never thought I'd say this but the quality is so good I don't feel the need to use the wire/plug at all. PE has another Bluetooth board I've messed with it, but this Sure unit is better and worth the extra $$$ for a much higher quality sound in my opinion.



    I didn't route the groove like I was planning to. Yeah, I chickened out...buck, buck, buck I actually had a pretty hard time with this, things didn't turn out exactly like I planned and it was a bit of a struggle for me actually. I've been sick lately and have also had a few health problems that just seemed to make everything difficult. I was afraid I would screw this thing up completely. Just because a project is small, doesn't mean it's easier to do -- in fact, I'd say this was one of the hardest projects I've done, certainly in terms of patience. I found it hard to get my fat Shrek fingers into the little areas that needed to have stuff put in them.

    I used PE's new knob for the volume control: http://www.parts-express.com/marshal...lver--240-2206 A fantastic value at under a buck and has good 'finger traction' as well as a nice machined alum. cap. I like those a lot; they come in gold finish too.

    It does sound nice, though. Really nice. The little Aura's draw no attention to themselves at all and the blend with the ND91's pretty close to perfect volume-wise; I don't regret not including a bass adjustment potentiometer. I'm using it as much as possible before it goes to it's true owners to shake out any problems, and it gets loud enough in the kitchen to have to really raise your voice to be heard. Those little ND91's stay pretty clean sounding even when flappa'lappin!

    So, thanks Chris for publishing your "Tablet Cinema" design... which is pretty much exactly what I did here electronics wise, just a slightly larger, and MUCH easier execution. I admire Chris for seeing that project through, I bet it was much harder to execute than it looks. Small projects are tough... give me a tower speaker any day!

    TomZ
    Last edited by tomzarbo; 12-31-2015, 11:34 AM. Reason: forgot the knob

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  • tomzarbo
    replied
    Re: Alternate take on Chris Perez's Cinema Tablet radio

    Originally posted by mtmpenn View Post
    Looks great Tom!

    How do you clamp your mitered boxes?
    Thanks a lot,
    if you look at post #15 the second pic I think shows a strap going around what will end up being the top/bottom and sides of the box. That's what I used for those pieces. It's one pretty much like this one: http://www.framing4yourself.com/shop/products/4-19/512/

    I then laid the assembly down on the work table with the miters facing up and glued on what would be the front of the box by basically pressing down and tapping it with my knuckles until it looked like it was in perfect position. Then I took a large contractors black trash bag which is filled with several smaller bags of play sand... probably 70-80 lbs. of it and laid it on top of the box. The weight kept it clamped down and prevented any moving of that panel. I placed the bag of sand on top slowly so I didn't shift that panel from it's position.

    When I took the sand bag off later, the miter joint was basically seamless and perfect. Like I said, having a great table saw really is the key, and making the joints ever-so-slightly tighter at the exterior of the miter than the inside. I think close to 44 degrees give or take seems to work well for me. That assures that the joint will be nice and tight and won't show at all in the future.

    TomZ

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  • mtmpenn
    replied
    Re: Alternate take on Chris Perez's Cinema Tablet radio

    Looks great Tom!

    How do you clamp your mitered boxes?

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  • tomzarbo
    replied
    Re: Alternate take on Chris Perez's Cinema Tablet radio

    Originally posted by greywarden View Post
    Those 45s are lined up perfectly, nice work! This is a pretty cool project
    Thanks, having a real good table saw helps. I have a pretty decent Rigid from 7-8 years ago. It has a cast iron base and extenders. I think you mentioned that your father had a Rigid? I think they're pretty nice saws. Mine's run like a champ since new, and survived two moves. I disassembled between moves, of course.

    TomZ

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  • greywarden
    replied
    Re: Alternate take on Chris Perez's Cinema Tablet radio

    Those 45s are lined up perfectly, nice work! This is a pretty cool project

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  • tomzarbo
    replied
    Re: Alternate take on Chris Perez's Cinema Tablet radio

    Originally posted by Gordy View Post
    I absolutely love your projects. Are you intending on using the 2.1 amp?
    Thanks for the kind words Gordy,

    Yep, I'm basically duplicating Chris Perez's project electrics wise, with the exception of having the choice for a 1/8" input jack and a switch to toggle between jack and BT inputs. I think his just had BT input. That little 2.1 amp is surprisingly good. I've used a bunch of them and just ordered a bunch more.

    I just had a bit more space since I went upward to get the box volumes closer to optimum. Chris totally engineered the heck out of his second tablet sound system in an effort to minimize it's size to the utmost, but I have more leeway size-wise. Plus, I think this may end up being the recipients only sound system believe it or not, so I'm hoping for as much bass extension as I can muster given the size limitations.

    TomZ

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  • Gordy
    replied
    Re: Alternate take on Chris Perez's Cinema Tablet radio

    I absolutely love your projects. Are you intending on using the 2.1 amp?

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  • tomzarbo
    replied
    Re: Alternate take on Chris Perez's Cinema Tablet radio

    I started working on this a few weeks ago, it's supposed to be a Christmas present, so I need to get moving on it quickly.




    I used mitered corners on the sides and front to eliminate any issues with joints showing up later on. I will be veneering these with some pieces of leftover Teak wood veneer from the scrap pile.



    The lack of any visible seams makes gluing it up fairly easy. I cut the miters to about 44 degrees for a nice tight fit. That goofy looking corner clamp jig is really pretty cool. It doesn't look too sturdy, a gift from my sister/bro-in-law last year, used it a few times and then bought another for larger stuff since it worked so well. You have to 'pluck' the straps as you tighten it to achieve uniform clamping pressure on all four corners, but it really does the trick.

    It will have a Sure 12v bluetooth module in the lower subwoofer section and the amp and switches will be in the middle upper section. The two upper speaker cabinets are about .35 cu. in and are vented with a 3/4" x 2" long vent. The vent is a piece of 1.5" long Fir, (2x4 scrap) cut to size, sanded round, and drilled out with a fostner bit. Photobucket is acting up. Chris mentioned that those little drivers would integrate a smidge better with the two 3" 'subwoofers' with the added extension the vent provides.





    The black plastic panel is from Kevin K originally intended for my Micro-B 2.1 amp project... it will provide the means to house the switches, jacks, etc. to power this contraption with.

    The subwoofers share the bottom part of the cabinet and are vented with a 1.5" x 6.5" long vent. The sub cabinet is about 4.4 Liters. I have satin bar stock drawer handles to use as the base to lift the box up about an inch so the vent can breathe.




    The entire box is 14.5" tall, 5" deep, and 9" wide. I went with these slightly weird dimensions to minimize the size of the footprint since space is at a super-premium where this is going to be used. Sound systems, like buildings need to go up to gain volume in NYC.

    I hope to get this veneered this weekend and get the electronics put together a few days after that.

    TomZ

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  • tomzarbo
    replied
    Re: Alternate take on Chris Perez's Cinema Tablet radio

    Thanks for the link, John.
    The logo they applied to the board came out pretty much perfect. I'll have to think about that, maybe if I can make the copy bolder and the lines thicker...

    I may try something I've considered doing before. I have a few laser printers, and sometimes when I get a jam, I've noticed that the toner doesn't get "fused" to the paper.
    If I could wire a switch to the corona wire to cut the power to it while printing, I could print reverses of what I need, with the toner just 'laying' on the paper with a static only bond which I could then bond to a slightly tacky coat of poly. I'd have to experiment with this a bit I guess.

    Lowell, that's a good idea also. I'm not sure what kind of phone she has. If this was for me and I had an iPhone, that's what I'd do. I got something similar for my iPod several years ago to run a direct line to the amp. I'm not a bluetooth fan, but Chris says this new bluetooth board he used sounds very nice.

    Good stuff to think about. I need to get to Home Depot to get some 1/2" MDF, I'm out!

    Thanks,
    TomZ

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  • arlis_1957@yahoo.com
    replied
    Re: Alternate take on Chris Perez's Cinema Tablet radio

    Tom, I don't know what kind of phone she has but, something like this would be pretty cool.
    You could recess it in the top.
    I searched for 'Iphone base with data out'.
    Attached Files

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  • jhollander
    replied
    Re: Alternate take on Chris Perez's Cinema Tablet radio

    link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSfj6eiNzew

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  • jhollander
    replied
    Re: Alternate take on Chris Perez's Cinema Tablet radio

    Tom google inkjet transfer lettering to wood or similar. There are a bunch of videos that show how.

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  • LongHorn64
    replied
    Re: Alternate take on Chris Perez's Cinema Tablet radio

    Hey Tom. Greetings. Have you checked out Micro-Mark for the lettering and stenciling? These guys specialize in this kind of stuff, often used in modeling and high-end train modeling. Y'know, like Musuem quality. The website is really slick but I also recommend calling em' up and requesting an actual free paper catalog. Perfect for pondering while doing the Morning ablutions. Sorry, I'm a sucker for model trains.

    I've used the decal making stuff to great results. Have fun, all the best, Mike

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  • tomzarbo
    replied
    Re: Alternate take on Chris Perez's Cinema Tablet radio

    Originally posted by jhollander View Post
    I like that. Maybe add a little more separation at the base, wider recess or a black base? Align the volume knob horizontally with the drivers?

    If you can pull off that routed curved channel that will look very upscale.

    I'm sure I could help you move these
    Yeah, these should be a bit lighter than the CTH's

    I was thinking of making this as one box and just making partitions inside... I'd make the back removable to make access easier. All the drivers would be rear-mounted. The wee-little Aura's have to be, but the ND91's would look better that way as well, plus add a little protection from bumping into them if they were recessed a bit.

    So the grooves would probably just be routed into the box after the veneer was already applied -- they'd be just for looks. I'm planning on using 1/2" MDF for this so I don't want to go too deep. I'd probably apply white cheap shelf liner to the box and then route the groove, then paint black in it and strip off the liner to make it easy, kind of like what Kevin K. did on his mom's 2.1 system build with the cool contrasting bevels on the driver recesses, but with a groove instead.

    Originally posted by David Crewe View Post
    This is a cool little project . I think I would put the jack on the back and have a little gizzy that would keep the wire from falling behind it. Something as simple as an eye hook. It would keep the front cleaner looking.
    David
    I'm guessing that this will be placed on a dresser or small table... I'm not sure getting to the back of it would be easy. Oh, I think you mean have the jack/wire on the back held by a hook or something... just reach back there over the top, pull it up and plug it in, okay. That might work and clean up the top as well. I'd have to ask my wife how they might use it, laptop, MP3 player? I'm guessing only the bluetooth would probably ever be used, but I'd like to give them options for the future just in case, plus I like switches. Good suggestion, thanks.

    Originally posted by Jeff F. View Post
    I like it. I've been thinking about building a similar sized/shape box with bluetooth and a pair of Aura NS3's. I'll be looking forward to seeing your build. I think it could be helpful in making some decisions on my own build
    Cool. Truthfully, I had originally planned on just duplicating Chris's project board for board, but at least I'll use his basic exact setup hardware-wise. It made me chuckle to hear how good/loud it actually sounded for as small as it was.... kind of seemed to defy physics a bit... especially when you consider those four little 1" drivers were making most of the sound.

    Originally posted by tdv View Post
    Routed curved channel on the bottom? Line in on top. Nice project, following.
    Thanks.

    Also, does anyone have any ideas on how to very cheaply DIY the white lettering on there? I remember using dry-transfer letters in the past 25 years ago or so in college as an art student, but the amount of pressure needed to transfer them would likely dent the wood.

    The only thing I can think of is to print white letters on a black box slightly larger than the text on white paper and glue that to the wood before putting poly on. I guess I could test that easy enough. I would use a laser printer, so no ink to run. Maybe I'll test that out to see if it could work. Possibly a rapidiograph pen and permanent ink for the lines? Just thinking out loud here, I may skip the lettering all together, it's easy enough to figure out anyway.

    Thanks for the ideas guys. My creativity has been nil since school started in September, I haven't even really thought about anything speaker-related for a few months, I'm trying to jump-start the process again.

    TomZ

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  • tdv
    replied
    Re: Alternate take on Chris Perez's Cinema Tablet radio

    Routed curved channel on the bottom? Line in on top. Nice project, following.

    Leave a comment:

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