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Old 03-21-08, 08:31 PM   #1
paulwwalters
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Bike stereo

It would actually be mono, but that's irrelevant.

I've been thinking of an idea for a project to construct a battery holder for a powered computer speaker in order to have music on my rides. The speaker, battery pack, and iPod would be in my trunk bag:


My cousin made a battery holder for D-cells when he needed to power his iBook longer for a flight to Australia. here's the link: http://kc0wys.com/projects/electronics/05/index.html

Basically I would chop the (to speaker) DC power cord off of the wall-wart and connect it to the battery pack, thus this won't work with a speaker with an internal power supply.

The batteries would be D-cell NiMHs from Harbor Freight.


Anyone have any better ideas (or cautions, etc.) please let me know!

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Old 03-21-08, 11:03 PM   #2
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Why?

I rode by a guy this morning who had an extracycle with a boom box setup on the back and it sounded like crap. It's near impossible to get decent sound quality that way, IMO.

If you care at all what it actually sounds like, you'd be better off using the earphones that came with your iPod. Lighter, too.
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Old 03-21-08, 11:30 PM   #3
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I just hang this thing off my handlebars:



It works with pretty much anything which has a modern headphone jack in it. It says "for iPod" but I use mine with a Creative Zen, and it works flawlessly. This thing hasn't really got the power to make music for others while out on the road, but you can hear it even in traffic. I like it.

A few reviews here:
http://reviews.cnet.com/portable-spe...-32431911.html
http://www.ipodobserver.com/story/30351
http://www.macworld.com/product/ipod/657/detail.html

It was $40 in a local London Drugs, so it was pretty cheap.

The idea of having a full size stereo is pretty cool, having one for critical mass would be spiffy but this solution is easy and good if its just you, or you and someone else on a quiet road.
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Old 03-21-08, 11:50 PM   #4
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Why?

I rode by a guy this morning who had an extracycle with a boom box setup on the back and it sounded like crap. It's near impossible to get decent sound quality that way, IMO.

If you care at all what it actually sounds like, you'd be better off using the earphones that came with your iPod. Lighter, too.
I don't want my hearing impaired by earbuds.

As for quality I wouldn't say that boomboxes have good sound quality ever, let alone on a bike.

The quality of the speaker I'll be using will be better, good enough in my opinion.
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Old 03-21-08, 11:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abneycat View Post
I just hang this thing off my handlebars:



It works with pretty much anything which has a modern headphone jack in it. It says "for iPod" but I use mine with a Creative Zen, and it works flawlessly. This thing hasn't really got the power to make music for others while out on the road, but you can hear it even in traffic. I like it.

A few reviews here:
http://reviews.cnet.com/portable-spe...-32431911.html
http://www.ipodobserver.com/story/30351
http://www.macworld.com/product/ipod/657/detail.html

It was $40 in a local London Drugs, so it was pretty cheap.

The idea of having a full size stereo is pretty cool, having one for critical mass would be spiffy but this solution is easy and good if its just you, or you and someone else on a quiet road.
That costs more than I'd be putting into this project, pretty spiffy though!

Critical Mass is nonexistent in SW Missouri.
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Old 03-25-08, 12:24 PM   #6
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You can find D-cell battery holders from RadioShack or an electronics store like Mouser Electronics
. I used a 5-D cell holder to hold 5 NiMH D cells for a big bike light I made. spliced the wires into the mini-plug adapter from the light itself and I was able to remove the battery pack to recharge it in the pack.

I thought of mounting a CD player (this was the time when MP3 players were pretty expensive) to my rack on my commute and using small PC speakers but the CD player would skip all the time on my off road commute (even with a buffer) and so I resorted to putting the CD player in my back bike jersey pocket and using headphones (not ear buds). The headphones allow me to still hear traffic because i don't play my music loud.



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Old 03-26-08, 08:19 AM   #7
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Some of the neighborhood kids mount car stereos with car batteries on the back of chopper bicycles. I have no idea how they charge the batteries, but they are loud.
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Old 03-26-08, 11:15 AM   #8
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Try this, from Radio Shack folds open to 2 speakers..
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Old 03-28-08, 07:20 AM   #9
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I would suggest that you only use the type of ipod that uses a flash drive rather than one that uses a HDD (try a shuffle, nano or touch model) as the HDD drive has moving parts that could break and the flash drive models don't have moving parts. My second suggestion is you use one without a screen as it will be too hard to see while riding and again just one more thing to break in a fall.

I use a shuffle model with tiny speakers (slightly bigger than the AAA battery that powers them). The whole thing is small and light. I have several playlists set up in itunes to suit my differing moods, I just sync with the playlist I want for that ride.
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Old 03-28-08, 12:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lente View Post
Some of the neighborhood kids mount car stereos with car batteries on the back of chopper bicycles. I have no idea how they charge the batteries, but they are loud.
Something like this


http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/29/ny...yt&oref=slogin
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Old 03-28-08, 02:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Some of the neighborhood kids mount car stereos with car batteries on the back of chopper bicycles. I have no idea how they charge the batteries, but they are loud.
I use a more 'streamlined' version of this. I went to a local junk yard and found a working car stereo with a mini-jack input. I have powered by a 3.6 Ahr sealed lead acid battery (same as my bike geek lights). The speakers are from some old bookcase speakers I had around the house--I removed the speakers from the wood housings and make new, much smaller ones from coroplast signs I found littering the roadside.

The stereo and battery are taped together and easily fit inside a rear pannier (or rack trunk). The speakers are bungeed to front and rear racks, and connected to the stereo via old RCA-style connectors I got from a junked home stereo receiver.

A iPod shuffle is the sound source, attached to the top tube with velcro straps. The sound quality and volume are impressive, and adds another dimension to casual group rides and the monthly CM.
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Old 04-15-09, 08:53 AM   #12
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I have bought so many different sound systems that I tried to hook up on my bicycle and I find that with the noise of the city and wind I can rarely hear my music unless i ride on side streets. I would love if I could shake the windows on cars when I am riding my bicycle.

With all the gizmos available for cyclists, I am amazed that no one has produced a product strictly for bicycles.
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Old 04-15-09, 10:14 AM   #13
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These speaker attachments have seemingly not been yet mentioned.
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Old 04-15-09, 10:35 AM   #14
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What about just getting some wrap-around headphones, and simply don't wear them directly over the ear if that concerns you? If you wear them around your neck, you could even take off the foam pads to improve volume.

I don't know how the quality would compare, but it seems like a simpler, lighter solution. Or at least an option that may be worth exploring.
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Old 04-15-09, 12:10 PM   #15
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http://www.ihomeaudio.com/products.a...86dept_id=1007.

Anybody tried this?
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Old 04-15-09, 08:06 PM   #16
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Doesnt look powerfull enough. I wanna shake window on the cars when I ride by
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Old 04-28-09, 05:27 AM   #17
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Looks good except it doesn't work with the iPod touch (which I have). Thanks.
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Old 04-28-09, 09:24 PM   #18
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batteryspace.com sells any size battery pack you are looking for. Need 12v in D cells, they got it. You will have to shell the money for it though.
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Old 04-29-09, 11:24 AM   #19
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there is a really nice IPOD stereo/sub speaker that fits into the bottle cage, forgot the name of it, but one of my co. uses it.
needless to say expensive as heck, but way worth it if you do not like using headsets, and don't mind bothering other people on the road with your selection of music.

I... personally prefer to use my BLUETOOTH stereo headset, as it goes great with my helmet, and i still get to have the remote control to change/skip music, answer my phone calls without having to bother with the bottle cage IPOD thing, in case i want to change to another song, etc.
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Old 04-30-09, 08:38 PM   #20
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there is a really nice IPOD stereo/sub speaker that fits into the bottle cage, forgot the name of it, but one of my co. uses it.
needless to say expensive as heck, but way worth it if you do not like using headsets, and don't mind bothering other people on the road with your selection of music.

I... personally prefer to use my BLUETOOTH stereo headset, as it goes great with my helmet, and i still get to have the remote control to change/skip music, answer my phone calls without having to bother with the bottle cage IPOD thing, in case i want to change to another song, etc.
yup, it's from ihome. http://www.ihomeaudio.com/products.asp?product_id=10186
I have it. Only paid ~$25 from heartlandamerica.com.
It is just OK. The sound quality is mediocre, but it gets the job done. I feel a lot safer riding with it than headphones. Sound quality also gets terrible when the batteries get low.
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Old 05-05-09, 12:00 PM   #21
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I bought one of those ihome things but haven't tried it yet. My commuter bike has one bad bottle cage, and it wobbles. I'm not going to risk my gadget in there, so I have to get a better cage first. It sounds OK inside the house.

I won't wear headphones or earbuds on a bike. First, I want to hear traffic. Second, earbuds generate more wind noise than no earbuds for me. I tried wearing one earbud but I couldn't hear the music that way. I think my "hearing system" is weird.
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Old 05-05-09, 08:08 PM   #22
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I bought one of those ihome things but haven't tried it yet. My commuter bike has one bad bottle cage, and it wobbles. I'm not going to risk my gadget in there, so I have to get a better cage first. It sounds OK inside the house.

I won't wear headphones or earbuds on a bike. First, I want to hear traffic. Second, earbuds generate more wind noise than no earbuds for me. I tried wearing one earbud but I couldn't hear the music that way. I think my "hearing system" is weird.
yours didn't include it's own cage?? Mine came with a custom cage See http://www.macfriends.com/ProductImages/audio/16978.jpg

It clamps down on it quite securely. I tried my standard water bottle cage first but it just wobbled too much, like you said.
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Old 05-06-09, 07:54 AM   #23
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Oh, I forgot. You're right it did. It's been a while since I've had the chance to work on my commuter bike. Gotta get down to my basement workshop soon!
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Old 05-08-09, 02:21 PM   #24
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I was unhappy with the current state of my Party Bike Stereo, so I spent some time and made some changes. The amplifier is a old car stereo from the junk yard ($11) that has a front panel input labeled 'CD'. I removed the cassette mechanism, cut out all the unnecessary bits and pieces, just leaving the stereo amp and controls. A 4.5Ah 12v SLA battery bearly fits inside and provides all the power for a long ride. I used some white duct tape to bind the battery and amp together and add some bling.



The speakers are salvaged from an old Apple iMac --nice little pods about the size of tennis balls.





Conduit hangers are used as mounts, making it easy to attach to the handlebars--and used some RCA-style connectors to make the connection with the amp removable.



The source is a 1st generation iPod shuffle, attached to the stem with Velcro.

The amp/battery fit inside the outside pocket of my rear pannier. The volume control on the amp is left fairly high; the iPod shuffle volume control works fine for adjustment while riding. I only bring this out when doing group rides (tonight is Courteous Mass here in Atlanta).

Good times!
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Old 05-09-09, 11:08 AM   #25
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If you can afford a few more bucks, check out Sonic Impact's line of little digital Tripath "T-Amps". They might become extinct since the mfg. of the chip is defunct, so it might even be an investment.

http://www.retrothing.com/2005/10/sonic_impact_ta.html
http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/audio/son...ble-327817.php
http://www.amazon.com/Sonic-Impact-1.../dp/B00009W44B

I have 2 I got when they used to cost about $30 (more now) and 1 newer model. They last about 10-12 hours on 8 AA batteries and the sound is extremely accurate. For best quality, you can use 12V SLA's like when camping, on a bike or in a kayak. Just plug in anything with a headphone jack, hook up a set of passive speakers (or a headphone for newer models) and that's it.

They're very small & lighter than the batts. I use 'em to drive high efficiency speakers ranging from little old Realistic Minimus bookshelf speakers and KLH waterproof portables all the way up to full sized Klipsch 3-way floorstanders. The volume is quite respectable but is fairly dependent of the efficiency rating and quality of the speakers. The newer models can be used with headphones.

Sorry to sound like a commercial. I own no stock but I've been evangelizing about these things for years. Nobody can believe the sound quality from them. Google them and read the reviews.

This kind of amp (or the = from another mfg.) and a couple of decent flat speakers would make a great bike stereo system.

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