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  1. #1
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    FRANKENSTEREO 1000!!! - Bike Stereo on the cheap

    I posted this in the "alt bike" thread before seeing a section for electronics. I figured this would be better suited for a thread here, as y'all seem like a bunch of geeks who would get a kick out of this.

    I was recently at our annual Harvest Moon Ride and there were a couple people out there with Soulcycle setups from Rockthebike. In case you don't know who they are, they custom make stereo setups that attach to xtra-cycles and use car audio gear, which they sell for several thousand dollars a pop. Got me thinking about building something similar, but as I'm broke right now this is what $8 in components from Radio Shack and Zingers (diy store), a trip to my works' deprovisioning bin, some spare Axiom pannier mounting hardware, a UPS battery and an evenings' worth of cutting, drilling and soldering work got me:

    Here's the completed stereo with the battery and mp3 player:


    Here's a rear view of the thing as it would sit on the bike:


    A shot of the mounting hardware I use to attach it to my rack:


    And here it is mounted to the bike:


    I gutted and re-wired all the internals of the amp/subwoofer so that it runs on straight 12v DC, re-did the subwoofer power switch so it now acts as a cut-off for the battery (so I can just turn the whole unit off), attached the sattellite speakers to the sides of the subwoofer box, re-routed the speaker cables inside the box and then just soldered everything back together and it actually worked!

    I'm calling it FRANKENSTEREO 1000!!! and I'm sure the next one (2000!!!) will be even nicer and more importantly, LOUDER! The music-making portion is a 44w output amp (22 for sub, 11 ea for the satellite speakers) and some computer speakers so it's not super loud but it only eats about 1.4amps under HEAVY load (aka. Reign in Blood on full blast) so on these 12V DC 12Ah UPS batteries I should be able to run it for 4 hours without even draining the battery half-way. Now I just have to come up with some good spooky music for this weeks rides (full moon cruise, critical mass, frankenbike pub crawl). As much as I love the metal, I know not everyone is a big fan of the genre...

  2. #2
    Recumbent Evangelist
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    Play some reggae.
    www.rebel-cycles.com

    The official Canadian dealer of TW-Bents recumbent bicycles!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff-o View Post
    Play some reggae.
    This month is easy, since it's Halloween. Lots of Monster Mash, Every Day is Halloween, I Put A Spell On You, stuff like that. When the spring months roll back around I'll definitely play some Reggae, but for the cold winter months what can I say? I love the Scandinavian Death Metal! Gets the blood pumping and anger warms me.

  4. #4
    Senior_Member2 diff_lock2's Avatar
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    Since this is for PA i don't think the sub is needed. It just eats the power and no one can hear or feel the low freqs. I would get rid of the woofer driver, and get better speakers, make your own out of cheap full range drivers and a proper enclosure. With multiple full range drivers you should get the vol your looking for. EDIT: and get a horn mega phone speaker thing too.
    Last edited by diff_lock2; 10-25-07 at 05:18 PM.

  5. #5
    Jack of all (bike) trades
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    Quote Originally Posted by diff_lock2 View Post
    Since this is for PA i don't think the sub is needed. It just eats the power and no one can hear or feel the low freqs. I would get rid of the woofer driver, and get better speakers, make your own out of cheap full range drivers and a proper enclosure. With multiple full range drivers you should get the vol your looking for. EDIT: and get a horn mega phone speaker thing too.
    Good job! Looks like that should be quite a bit of fun!

    I'm going to have to agree with diff_lock though when you start thinking about Frankenstereo 2000... Ditch the sub. The lower your frequencies, the less efficient the speakers become. If you stick with some homebrewed full-range speakers, you'll have more power to drive them with and considerably increased battery life. Not to mention a lot less weight, and more room to integrate it into the bike better (not that there's anything wrong with the current setup). It'll be louder, lighter, and longer-living. I think you'd enjoy it more. And if you're looking to attract attention, you'll still do it. But this way people will be able to hear what your playing, and not just the bassline. Then they can dance/ride/headbang along with you.

    And for this current rig, have you tried turning the sub around so it's facing you? I realize bass is omnidirectional (it kind of 'spreads' and the direction of the source can't usually be pinpointed by the human ears), but thinking about open air on a moving bike, a little extra volume directed at you could be useful.

    Sorry for the rant - I just love bikes and love stereo stuff, so this really caught my eye! Again, good job! Let us know how things turn out!

  6. #6
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    As your trying to keep your costs down you can make your own xtracycle. Here is the link.
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Home...lity-Bike-SUB/

  7. #7
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    dude, DETHKLOK was ****ing awesome last night dude.

  8. #8
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    ^ People loved it. Had lots of singing along, head bopping, dancing to the music and when the metal came on air guitar and general rocking out. The daytime ride (critical mass) I brought my video camera so I'll be editing together and posting an Austin Halloween ride video in a week or two.

    Thanks for all the suggestions guys. I built this with a $20 budget and 1 night to work on it and when I was finished I had enough left over for a 12 pack of tecate. Since I did all the wiring internally I decided to add a few more speakers so I rigged a pair of home theater speakers on my handlebars and plugged 'em into the external speaker jacks. Added a little more sound and I liked pulling up behind people and suprising them with their requests which lots of people were shouting out and I did my best to accomedate. I plan to take your advice to heart and build something nicer (and with a lower center of gravity) probably around the beginning of the year or whenever finances permit. Good idea on the home-made xtracycle!

    After the bike ride yesterday (Critical Mass) there was a bike-in movie and they couldn't get their sound system working so they just plugged into my bike stereo and were on their way. I even crash-tested the stereo and it survived! heh

  9. #9
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    Just finished Frankenstereo 2000!!! yesterday:



    200w Kicker amp driving 4x 6 1/2" Infinity Reference 2-way speakers (65RMW), still running off the 12V 12Ah batteries.

    MUCH louder, and also a good bit heavier. If I go any bigger I'm gonna build a trailer.

  10. #10
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    We may be a bunch of geeks in this group, but most of the DIY projects tip the scale at less than 100 grams!!

  11. #11
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    Nice Monsoon flat panels on the first setup there. I still rock a 4.1 Monsoon system for my gaming desktop. Sounds great! Also like that it's blacker than the blackest black. Brutal.

  12. #12
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    Dude that's insane...

    Do you do that just for music in your ride or so the party rolls with you?

  13. #13
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    I bring this out to Critical Mass, our Full Moon cruises, and hopefully some of the other group rides. Helps keep people together and moving their bodies to the funky beat, or whatever.

    Yesterday was our Viking Mass so I blasted a lot of Amon Amarth, Unleashed, Bathory, Tyr, Enslaved, stuff like that. I helped a friend build boxes for her speakers so we had some more mellow stuff going too, but my setup definitely cranked out the volume. After critical it mass kept the music going for another couple hours at a party until the bands showed up and took over. I'm super happy with the new setup. Now I want to split the input and attach a mic so I can holler at cars.

  14. #14
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by livewirerc View Post
    I'm super happy with the new setup. Now I want to split the input and attach a mic so I can holler at cars.
    That's a reason to get one of these right now. Awesome job!

    This thread is useless without a video, preferably of you riding past a crowd.
    Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

  15. #15
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    get your Trailer ideas here!

    http://biketrailerblog.com/2008/08/b...-bike-trailer/

    good job, let me know when the next Frankenstereo is out!

    i currently do 25KM every morning and every evening (to and from work, so i need to make myself something much much smaller than these!

  16. #16
    Senior Member SlimAgainSoon's Avatar
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    Oh, man ... too cool.

    You gotta get the mike. You could talk to blondes driving by.

  17. #17
    Recreational Commuter
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    There is only one appropriate comment. >aheh<

    DAAAAYAAAAAMMMMNNNNNNN!!!

    Thank you.
    Riding the Ohio MS Central Ohio Challenge tour, July 12th.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Old School's Avatar
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    You're kidding, right?

    Wait until the "weight weenies" see this!
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW! WHAT A RIDE!"

  19. #19
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    Dam, That looks nice. I am not that eletronics savvy, and wish I could find someone in Toronto to build me one.

  20. #20
    Senior Member jack002's Avatar
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    I rode in RAGBRAI once and saw someone with something like this on the rear rack. It was great to listen to '70s rock till he pulled away from me. (Nice feeling when you got a guy with a huge weight on back do that! )
    Biking isn't a sport because anybody can do it. I can bike, you can bike. For goodness sakes, my mother can bike! You don't see her on the cover of Sports Illustrated, do you?

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