A minor DragonFly construction project


I’ve been working on a small house project over the past few days.  My house has a basement workroom, which I use for whatever I need to do involving pliers or a saw.  I’ve been slowly outfitting it over the past few years, and one thing I wanted to do was to wire it for music.

Not just a radio, but a computer that I could play sound file from, and stream audio.  You can buy hardware for just that, but I’m cheap.  I also wanted to keep it from looking like a computer desk; I have enough of that in my life already.  This is a minor project; nothing like what you’d find on Instructables, but entertaining because it let me use DragonFly.

I purchased a set of cheap speakers from Newegg.  You’ll notice that the speakers have a metal frame that forms a loop at the bottom – that’s important later.  I bought the speakers and hooked to a tiny netbook, running DragonFly 3.0.2.  It works fine for playing music, though the case speaker doesn’t shut off when external ones are attached.  That’s not a problem here, though, since it’s not loud enough to be audible over the separate speaker output.

Those metal loops on the bottoms of the speakers turned out to be handy.  I found some scrap wood, and built a small armature to fit inside the loop and hold it offset from the ceiling joist.  Both of these wooden blocks could have the speaker slide over it, upside down.

I stained both of the blocks so that they wouldn’t stand out against the dark wood of the workroom ceiling.

I affixed the wooden hangers as far out as the cord on the speakers would let me,  and slid the upside-down speakers onto them.  There’s enough length in the cords to place the separate volume control dial on the workbench, and I’m done.

You can see the ceiling speaker in the upper corner.  How’s the sound?  Okayish.  You aren’t going to get much out of a set of speakers this cheap, but at least I don’t have wires over my work area, and I don’t have to worry about puncturing a speaker with a screwdriver by accident, or something similar.  I can close the laptop to keep it at least somewhat protected.

This is not a terribly complex project, but it makes me happy to have a DragonFly-based jukebox when I’m home.  (This laptop usually travels with me.)  I’m playing the music with mpg123, which is a surprisingly capable command-line player for files and for streaming audio.

(Yes, that is a large black velvet painting of a bullfight in the background.  It was a wedding present.  I also have black velvet paintings of Kenny Rogers as the Gambler, Fat Elvis, and Jesus blessing a tractor-trailer.  I don’t know why.)

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