Piping Muzak Into Your Bathroom

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Kajun
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Piping Muzak Into Your Bathroom

Post by Kajun »

Nothing better than lying in the bath relaxing to Meat Beat Manifesto in full stereo, rather than just the bits that seep through the walls from your exploding hifi next door. Or waking up in the morning to good old Drukqs.

It's surprisingly cheap and easy, too. We aren't terribly worried about high quality loudspeakers here - instead we want them to be discrete and waterproof. We went for this pair retailing at £34.95 and grabbed a small switch unit for £7.95, which is what allows us to keep the bedroom stereo live as well as the bathroom (the rocker switch allows A, B, or A+B).

And that's all you need, apart from some more speaker cable. Remember you need strands from the amp to the switch, and then from the switch all the way into the bathroom. For us we didn't need much - enough to climb the 3m into the left, then 4m over to the far side of the other room.

The speakers come with fittings and with a template, so decide whether they're going to go and draw the circles. Do make sure there aren't obstructions in the roof above where you're going (one of mine is nestling rather snugly with the extractor exhaust) - drill a pilot hole in the centre of the circle to test this - that way you can move the circle a fair amount around the hole which is going to be cut out anyway. The most crucial thing to avoid is the beams - you do NOT want to be cutting through those! Because of this if you can't work out where you're going to be, drill one pilot hole from below near the wall, and then drill a pilot hole from above where it's going to be safe to cut. Work it out from there.

Tools: you might want to use better screws than those supplied, depends on the quality of your ceiling. We'll need a drill for the pilot holes and for starting the circle off (4 holes round the circle is enough). I like proper electric screwdrivers and will use them for everything regardless of whether it's necessary. :D The other tool that I purchased specially for this project is the incredible Stanley 6" FatMax Jabsaw. It's a little alarming that this doesn't come with a protecting shield, as this is one hell of weapon. But for our purposes it's absolutely perfect.

Don your dust mask and eye goggles, you've drawn the circles, drill the 4 holes round the circumference, and stick that jabsaw up through one of them and get cutting. It's terribly easy. Fire one of the speakers up through the hole to check you've got a snug fit, and you're done.

You could simply screw it into place but depending on the location of your bathroom, I reckon it's going to be much easier to wire it from below than messing around in the loft. Drop the cables down through the holes, wire, and screw back up.

That's the bathroom ready. The source room has two options - go for the easy and mucky option of drilling up through the corner of the room and dragging the cables down through a plastic concealer box, which is very easy and very quick - or try and do the job properly by wiring down within the wall itself. Do some real research here - it took me a while and eventually figured out that it wasn't going to be possible without removing part of the wall, because the horizontal joists half way up the wall got in the way and would've needed drilling through. This was after I specifically chose the spot where the light switch was wired, hoping to be able to drag it through the gap for the cables there. Wrong - rather than going through the horizontal, they've taken the cables over through into the bathroom wall, up a bit, and then back through when the joist had been bypassed. Ah well.

If we had managed to go down through the wall, then the plan was to take the cabling down past the light switch (we'd even cunningly taped the cables into the wee box strip thingy so that we could aim them vertically and not have to worry about how to pull them through), to power socket level, knock a hole in the wall, and then set ourselves up with one of these lovely banana plug faceplates.

Wire up with the switch unit - self-explanatory really - and you should be rocking. Be a little careful when using A+B for the first time, just to test the switch is working OK and your amp doesn't get all upset. If you're using a stereo system, you should be sounding good; if you're using a 5.1 system like us, you're going to be lacking in the lower regions because your bass is being fed to the sub. Wiring the sub feed into the second speakers seems to cause real problems for us, so I just left it and will play around at a later date. It does sound a little limp, but at the same time, you're in a bathroom with downward-pointing cheap speakers with the shower and extractor turned on - it'll do. :D
Easy project, great fun to have, it isn't quite the lifestyle packages you could have, but we had change from £70 left over for a nice chardonnay.

If I get my way, the above will be repeated for the next project - wiring up speakers in the soon-to-be-built garden patio powered by a discrete mini hifi in the shed. :twisted:
Kajun is awaiting approval.
Penfold
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Post by Penfold »

Sounds a great result for the price. Nice work. Something I'd certainly consider if I didn't have a landlord in the way, and because I'd love to be able to tell people I've got a '6" FatMax Jabsaw'. :shock:

/that Nada person gave me fright posting so fast ;)
Last edited by Penfold on Tue Mar 30, 2004 4:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Nada
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Post by Nada »

Thank you for your kindness.
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