How to build a Mobile Acoustic Vocal booth on a budget

If you are a small time producer or composer on a budget, or just a budding sound enthusiast, this post is for you. We will guide you on how to set up your very own sound booth on a budget.

Acoustic vocal booths are used for live recordings and studio sessions. The materials in its design makes it such that there is minimal reverberations, reflections and echoing. This is because it constructed with thick sound blocking materials to isolate sound. This way post sound recordings sound more natural.

A typical professional booth can easily cost upwards of $1000 USD

sound booth prices

But as you know Dave’s Projects believe when the price is too high you build it yourself. Total budget for this build was <$130USD.

 

Step 1. Create Your design

 

WhatsApp Image 2018-03-03 at 9.34.17 AM

For this project, a 3x3x7 ft design was chosen. Just large enough to hold a single person. The enclosure would be made similar to a homemade tent (with pvc pipes). Thick car seat upholstery was used as the acoustic curtain material.

 

Step 2. Go Shopping

Material List

  • 30ft x Chrome rods
  • 20ft x 1/2″ PVC pressure pipe
  • 8 x 1/2″ PVC Tee
  • 8 x PVC 1/2″ 90 degree elbow
  • 15’x8′ 1/4″ thick car seat upholstery
  • 1 reel velcro
  • assorted buttons

 

 

 

 

Step 3. The Build

The top and bottom frame was made by cutting the pvc pipe into 8 x 2.5ft lengths and creating 2 rectangles by joining them with the pvc fittings

IMG_20180325_132829539

WhatsApp Image 2018-03-05 at 10.16.22 PM

The chrome rods were cut into 4 x 7ft lengths and used as the vertical support.

Next the car seat- I mean acoustic curtain was hung over the frame.

 

Buttons were stitched on the curtain to hold it up on the frame.

Finally velcro was taped on to seal the enclosure entrance.

IMG_20180325_125929695_BURST000_COVER_TOP

When recording is done, just roll up the curtain and dismantle for storage.

 

See the time-lapse of the build below

 

 

 

 

Final Product

IMG_20180325_131426798_BURST000_COVER

 

Spread the word if you enjoyed. For any other project ideas feel free to leave it in the comment section below and we may make a post on it.

 

-Dave 2018

 

Continue reading “How to build a Mobile Acoustic Vocal booth on a budget”

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How to install a GSM/GPS Tracking Module for your car yourself

If you’re ready to put a tracker in your vehicle but maybe you do not have the $20K+ to fork out initially, or do not want to add a new bill for yourself to pay each month; then you have come to the right place. This post will show you how to install the device yourself professionally.

The device we will use is the TK103A/B GSM/GPS Tracker. Accessories included in the box:

  • GPS Antennae
  • GPRS/GSM Antennae
  • 12V/40A Automotive Relay
  • Remote Controller
  • Cable Harness
  • Microphone
  • Manual

 

Other materials/tools used:

  • 5-20Ft 18AWG 2 core cable
  • Electrical Tape
  • Cable ties
  • Socket Wrench
  • Wire stripper
  • DC Voltage Circuit Tester
  • Digital Multimeter
  • GSM SIM Card

 

Step 1: Buy a SIM card

sim-cards-banner-image.png

Buying a SIM card (uncut) for this device is the first step because after the device is installed in the car, it’s not so easily accessible. Also, if using Digicel its important to set up the SIM with the MyDigicel App; and if using Flow install the My Flow Self Care App. This is to enable you to monitor the SIM balance as well as top up when necessary.

 

Step 2: Choose a hidden location for the device

Location is everything. If a criminal can find your tracker in your car easily and remove it, all the features of this device will all be for naught. Most automotive electronics are installed within the dashboard area of the vehicle. However criminals also know this because it is common practice and will be the first place they will look. Ideally you want to find a place that is hard to access, unconventional, and is near a 12V supply you can tap off and ground (metal chassis).

Cars typically have two 12v supplies:

  1. Permanently ON
  2. Accessory only (ACC) – ON with Ignition switch

If you want your device powered when the vehicle is off you can tap from a permanent 12V supply (recommended).

However if you are concerned about the current draw on the car’s battery (especially if the car is inactive for long periods), you could either install a switch in series or connect power to ACC 12V (Turns off when ignition key out).

The current draw is relatively low, from my measurements, the current draw is roughly 60mA. If you use your car everyday this shouldn’t be a big concern since the alternator will recharge the car battery.

You could also run a circuit from the car’s fuse box, but the last thing you want is to have a long wire between your device and car’s fuse box revealing the tracker’s location.

 

Step 3: Installation and Setup

TK103 wiring diagram
Car GPS Tracker – TK103 wiring diagram

 

The above shows the wiring diagram for the device. For simplicity I will only be using the device for tracking and remote engine shutoff (immobilizer). So the only cables I’m interested in are the red (12V), black (ground), and yellow (to relay). This post will focus primarily on set up of the location monitoring. The other features I will not use because I don’t need them and it will force me to install at the dashboard.

For first time setup, insert the SIM card, using something fine to insert into the SIM card popup switch.

tk103 front 1

 

Connect the positive (red) and negative (black) to your vehicle’s 12v and ground respectively and wait 1 minute before turning on the backup battery switch.

tk103 front 2

Note the indicator light colours

GSM/GPS LED Indicator

  • Red LED indicator ON: No GSM network signals.
  • Red LED indicator flashes fast (one time each second): GSM Network
    signal is normally, and tracker works under GSM mode.
  • Red LED indicator flashes slowly (one time each three second): Tracker
    works under GPRS mode.
  • Green LED indicator on: GPS signal is normal.
  • Green LED indicator off: No GPS signals.

Note that if the GPS and GSM antennas ideally require line-of-sight with the sky to operate. It can still function concealed beneath thin materials (metal or plastic).

If your device is stuck on red after several minutes it may mean that the antennas are not getting a clear signal and may have to be relocated.

 

Step 4: Configuring device settings

To utilize the features of the tracker, commands are sent to it via SMS. The manual lists all the available commands but I’ll highlight some important ones.

Initialize:

Using your main cellphone, send SMS “begin+password” to the unit, it will reply “begin ok” and initialize all the settings to default factory settings.(default password: 123456)
For example: send SMS “begin123456”, it will reply “begin ok”. (No
quotation marks“” when sending all the SMS)

 

To Change Password:

Send SMS “ password+old password+space+new password” to the unit to change the password.
For example: send SMS “password123456 888888” to the unit. If succesful, “password ok” will reply to your cell phone from the device tracker.
Authorization:
Send SMS “admin+password+space+cell phone number”
to set up an authorized number, the other authorized numbers should be set
by the first authorized number, if the number is successfully authorized, the
unit will reply“ admin OK” by SMS.

 

To get location:

Dial the tracker device from the authorized number, it will hang up
your calling and respond to a real-time latitude and longitude information
as following:

Screenshot_20180222-215544

Now you can rest easy knowing you have a means to monitor the whereabouts of your vehicle anywhere.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this series where we install the immobilizer system and make it wireless.

-Dave 2018

 

 

Continue reading “How to install a GSM/GPS Tracking Module for your car yourself”