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Thread: Outdoor audio idea

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    Registered User Tripplett's Avatar
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    Default Outdoor audio idea

    I've been trying to figure out how I can get some low audio at the street level for walkers and such. My FM transmitter is in the house, I don't want to put it outside. My show runs from a Raspberry Pi and the audio comes from there into a Behringer 302 and then into the EDM transmitter - all inside the house. I really don't want to put my Pi, the mixer, or the transmitter outside due to fears of damage or theft. That is a lot of money in one little box. For now I just take a small boom box outside every evening and then pick it back up around 10pm. It is not waterproof so rainy days I can't do this. Plus there was at least twice I left it outside and it was kinda wet with dew the next morning. Thankfully no problems as I kinda like that little radio. Cost about $50.

    What I considered was running a powered outdoor waterproof speaker from the headphone jack of the mixer - giving me some volume control. However that kind of speaker may be hard to find and cost a great deal. Then it dawned on me. I'm already broadcasting on FM, why not get the cheapest 12v car radio I can find and throw it in a tupperware? Walmart ($16.95 currently), junk yard, or even a friend may have one for free. I don't need an antenna with the transmitter being that close. It will already have an amplifier, will run regular cheap outdoor speakers ($28 on Amazon for a pair of Pyle speakers), isn't a huge investment, and only needs about 3 amps of 12v. I have plenty 12v running out in the yard. Thoughts? Better ideas? I'm all about simple DIY.
    Last edited by Tripplett; 12-22-2015 at 12:52 PM. Reason: added more detail and pricing.

  2. #2
    Newbie Extraordinaire... scottmcl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Outdoor audio idea

    Would a wireless speaker work for you? The kind that looks like a rock in the yard. Not sure as I haven't looked at those things...
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    Registered User Tripplett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Outdoor audio idea

    I have a few Bluetooth ones but they require you to turn them on and adjust the volume. Plus they'd be easy to pick up and walk away with. I haven't looked into other wireless ones yet but I will.

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    Senior Member mpurser's Avatar
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    Default Re: Outdoor audio idea

    when i put a speaker in the yard i use an old boom box i have had for years its enclosed in a plastic box made to look like a present under the mega powered by an old wal wort i got outa my junk box the wort is triggered with lor

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    Havin fun ! kidcole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Outdoor audio idea

    How about the cheap motorcycle systems? For about $30 in eBay you can get a 12V FM radio and small bullet speakers. These could be mounted in a small case and anchored to the ground. Most of these systems have plastic bullets with the speakers inside.

    I have always used outdoor Bose powered speakers. They are claimed to be water proof but I keep them dry. I mounted them on the eaves of the garage in Cary. In Clayton I have purchased some small red plastic storage boxes that the speakers will sit in. I will lay the boxes on their side with the front open and prop up and back with a brick (or something).
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    Professional Net Lurker Jack Stevens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Outdoor audio idea

    For right now, I'd go hit up the thrift stores to see if I could find a boom box or other stereo, and just tune it to the FM transmitter. That may even work long term.

    Myself, I use external speakers and 2 20 watt mono amps to get stereo; the amps are on a timer to cover daylight hours; the FM transmitter goes 24 hours a day, with Zara radio running music when the show isn't running.

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    Official Lurker rfallatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Outdoor audio idea


    This is my setup... People love it!

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    Registered User Tripplett's Avatar
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    Default Outdoor audio idea

    Oh I love the rotary timer idea. How do people know to turn the knob for sound?

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    Registered User Paul Lowe's Avatar
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    Default Outdoor audio idea

    I really need to come up with better yard sound for next year- I love this idea...

    I wired up a 60w amp, 2 outdoor speakers and 200' of wire.... The problem is, I needed to buy heavier wire for the distance... All in, it was like $100 and the sound is so-so.

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    Registered User ggusta's Avatar
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    Default Re: Outdoor audio idea

    I am not sure of how far your house is from the road or how far the road is from your display.

    (To Piggy back and echo Jack Stevens' thoughts, ) since you already broadcast in fm, any radio that tunes fm should have no problem tuning into your broadcast.

    You will however need to power the radio either with a cord or with batteries and usually battery powered radios are either too low powered outdoors or the batteries run down very fast. So I would lean towards a wired set-up. But yeah, thrift stores may have some radios real cheap and either do not leave them out when it's wet or build and enclosure.

    We have always retrieved our speakers at the end of each evening and put them back out the next day at the start of the show.

    We currently use an Ion rockblocker powered radio/amplified speaker all in one unit that we borrow from a neighbor. He is moving in a couple months and I am going to see if he wants to sell it because it's great. New, they go for about $120-150 depending on features (see amazon). But I'd never put something like that out at the road where anyone can damage it, misuse it, abuse it or even steal it.

    This is our first year with a transmitter and I have found that many visitors cannot comprehend to tune their car radio to the radio broadcast. Kind of scratching my head on how to communicate the concept clearly, briefly and simply. 'Tune your radio to 92.9 fm' isn't sinking in to some peoples' brains.... and when they say 'the customer is always right' this type of situation is precisely what that phrase is intended for. :-) We'll probably get a couple more signs next year. I think black spray paint on cardboard might do better than the vinyl banner!!

    I also concur with the idea of broadcasting christmas music while the show is not running.
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    Official Lurker rfallatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Outdoor audio idea

    To tripplet .
    This is about 60 feet from the stereo

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    Professional Net Lurker Jack Stevens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Outdoor audio idea

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Lowe View Post
    I really need to come up with better yard sound for next year- I love this idea...

    I wired up a 60w amp, 2 outdoor speakers and 200' of wire.... The problem is, I needed to buy heavier wire for the distance... All in, it was like $100 and the sound is so-so.
    Paul,

    I used SPT-2 for my speaker wire, along with 100 watt speakers. I initially used a karaoke amp to run them but switched to the pair of mono amps when the karaoke amp died. The choice of amps was happenstance - I lucked into them at the thrift store; picked up 3 constant-duty office music/paging amps for $5 each.

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