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bathroom speaker idea - will it work?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by dannycampbell, Jun 6, 2005.

  1. dannycampbell

    dannycampbell
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    Hi all, appreciate any help anyone can offer with this.

    I want to mount a speaker in my bathroom ceiling and have bought a moisture-resistant one. My idea is to have a line-in socket in an adjacent bedroom so I can connect my DAB radio/mp3 player/midi system or even TV to it.

    In my simple brain it should just work like an extension of the headphone socket. I'm not after brilliant sound or anything - just wondering if the idea will work in principle or if I will need to add in some power.

    Also, how difficult would it be if I wanted to include a volume dial too? (to be mounted in the bathroom)

    Thanks,
    Dan
     
  2. alancolledge

    alancolledge
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    Without amplification, you won't get very much sound out of the speaker certainly not enough to hear over a shower!

    You would really need to buy an amp. Get a cheap one from Cash converters or the like.

    Alternatively do what I sometimes do....I have an FM Modulator which I did use for the car and hook my Ipod to this. I have a Shower radio which I tune in so I can listen, happliy adjust volume and not get my Ipod wet. Works a treat from the bedroom.
     
  3. dannycampbell

    dannycampbell
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    Thanks for the response but not sure I understand totally.

    Why would it lose volume if I turn the volume up really high on my radio/ipod/whatever?

    If I do need to add in an amp, which kind of sockets should I be putting on the bedroom wall - the red/white ones or a 3.5 headphone socket?

    Would I still need an amp if I was plugging in a cheap midi system from asda?

    Sorry if these questions are really dumb..!

    PS - If it helps, this is the speaker I've already bought
     
  4. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    Be very careful ! If you use a mains-powered amp, or if your radio/ipod is running off a power supply, you must not have any mains wiring or any metal parts accessable from the bathroom, even if they are connected to earth. The only safe method of a volume control would be a cord attached to a pulley round the control spindle, or some sort of infra-red remote control.
     
  5. dannycampbell

    dannycampbell
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    Re the volume idea:
    I'm basically trying to emulate something I once experienced in a hotel room where there was a dimmer switch on the bathroom wall that was linked to whichever radio station you were tuned into in the main room. There was obviously some kind of wire linking the two.

    How about this then...
    What if I sationed a permanent midi sytem in the bedroom, connected one of its speaker wires through the wall to a dimmer switch in the bathroom which was then wired up to my speaker. Then I could walk into the bathroom and (as long as the midi system was on) switch on the dimmer switch and listen to whatever was playing. Then if I wanted to connect up my mp3/TV/whatever I would plug it into the midi system using its "AUX IN" sockets.

    That way there would be no mains wiring near the bathroom, only speaker wire. Would there still be a power risk with that?
     
  6. siy

    siy
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    that is basically what I did, but without dimmer switch. Whether it is safe or not is another question. I had a small stereo in the bedroom, and ran an extra speaker, via a speaker switching unit, to a sony waterproof speaker (the kind they fit into boats). If I needed to change volume, just stepped out into bedroom and changed it on stereo
     
  7. dannycampbell

    dannycampbell
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    Thanks for the replies folks, much appreciated.

    Can anyone confirm if the "speaker wire to the bathroom via dimmer switch" option would be safe or not? Or whether it would even work??

    Anyone any other ideas?

    Also, my speaker has "100V Line Transformer" - what exactly does that mean??

    Ta,
    Dan
     
  8. JohnS

    JohnS
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    100v line is a term associated with PA speakers, you'll need the correct type of "dimmer" and amp to make them work correctly, some have a switch that enables you to make them into conventional speakers that can be driven by a regular amp.

    I have a speaker in my ensuite that was about £25, its a single speaker with 2 tweeters so stereo. Its fed from a remote amp but has an inline volume control that is wall mounted made by btech http://www.hifistore.co.uk/product.php?qsProd=BT936 . This allows you to set the amp volume at the maximum level and then adjust locally using the wall control. Just connect your ipod to the amp via a line in. Make no mistake, you will need an amp.

    I have the volume control mounted just outside the door of the ensuite as opposed to in it.
     
  9. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    Erm there are plenty of proper solutions to this problem...........
    They just cost money, An Ipod etc has an AMP in it designed to power HEadphones, and it wont run a speaker...........

    QED make a full range of kit for this see www.QED.co.uk
     
  10. dannycampbell

    dannycampbell
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    Cheers again for the responses. You will have to excuse me because:
    a) I may not be the brightest button but I am very keen to learn.
    b) I'm also a bit of a skinflint so that fancy QED stuff is out of the question.

    So could I just get a cheapo midi from asda and use its aux/line in? Or do I have to get a designated standalone amp? Remember, I'm not after brilliant quality sound.

    So have I bought the wrong kind of speaker or do I need to buy one of those special volume switches you linked to? On my speaker there are 6 differently coloured connectors, representing different wattages (0, 2.5, 5, 10, 15, 20). How would I know which one to use?

    Also, I'm still unsure - will it definitely be unsafe to have a volume control IN the bathroom?? Does speaker wire carry the same kind of risk as mains wire?
     
  11. JohnS

    JohnS
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    Yes you could just get a cheap midi and use the line in but the speakers probably wont be suitable, why not just get a cheap stereo amp, I picked some up on the forum here for £50ish, it will sound better too.

    I'm not sure if the speakers you have bought are usable or not, I suspect you could but you would need a pa amp and a pa dimmer module. CPC have all the parts you would need.

    They also have some cheap ceiling speakers suitable for bathrooms, £20 or so a pair these for example http://cpc.farnell.com/jsp/endecaSearch/partDetail.jsp?SKU=LS01207&N=411 and they may well sound suprisingly acceptable. This would then work with the "dimmer" I linked to. The only caution with putting it in the bathroom is will it get wet? If it got wet you could have water create a short across the bared ends of the cale as they attach to the switch which would cause the amp to short out.
     
  12. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    It's not the wire that carries the risk. It's the way that the amp is connected. Any device connected to the mains can have a "leakage current" to earth, and although this is usually very small, it is still a risk if used in an area where your hands are wet, and you could be standing in water. Electricity regulations forbid any type of electrical switch in a bathroom which can have direct hand contact. That's why we have pull-cord switches.

    There's only one safe cheap way to do what you want to do - and that is to install a razor socket in the bathroom and run a small low-powered amplifier off that. If you have more to spend there are specialist products available. The bottom line is that you must not have any metalwork exposed which is connected to the mains supply (which includes something connected to an amp or player connected to the mains). It does not matter what sort of wire you're using. It only takes a small fraction of an Amp to kill someone. You can get larger isolating transformers which you could use to run an amplifier safely, but this would have to be installed by a qualified electrician. Under new regulations which came in this year, all new mains wiring installations must be installed or checked by a qualified electrician.

    Note: You have bought the wrong sort of speaker. A 100V line speaker is designed to run off a special sort of amplifier, and it is designed to be used in places like hotels, offices, etc. The amplifier in this instance will have a 100V line output, and you can connect as many speakers as you like across the amp, up to the wattage rating, without worrying too much about impedance matching. On the speaker there are tappings to adjust the amount of power you need to go to the speaker. It's possible that you could use that speaker without the 100V line transformer, but it depends on what impedance speaker has been fitted in the box. If you're lucky, it will be 8 ohms.
     
  13. dannycampbell

    dannycampbell
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    Whew, wish I could pretend I understood half of what you say there Nick, with your impedance-amplification-matching isolation settings, etc. but never mind, I'll just trust you are right - you certainly talk a good game if you aren't!!

    OK then, I give in on the 'volume switch in the bathroom'-idea seeing as that was causing all the concern (and more importantly creating extra cost for something that in all honesty I don't really need, I was just being lazy!)

    How about if I just go for the same setup that SIY suggested - I just connect a bog standard speaker wire through the wall and up to my ceiling speaker. Will that 100V line transformer thingy still be an issue or should I swap it for a pair of the ones JohnS linked to? Will I be breaking any regs if I do that?

    (Incidentally JohnS - cheers for that link, I actually got my speaker from CPC as they are just down the road from me. I wish I'd have seen those ones first tho!!)
     

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