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Building An Audio Pipe For My Atv


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Poll: Audio Pipe Paint

What should I paint the pipe with?

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#1 thunderstruck

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 01:05 AM

If your wondering WTF an audio pipe is, just see this thread: http://www.highlifte..._2860634/tm.htm

It's basically just a small amplifier and a pair of 6-3/4" speakers housed in 6" PVC pipe. You can mount it to your ATV, UTV, golf cart, boat, whatever. Just plug it in to a 12 volt outlet and plug your MP3 player into it, you have music.

I should hopefully finish building mine by the end of the weekend. I already have the PVC and speakers, I'm just waiting on the ampilifier and other things to get here from PartsExpress.com. It *should* all be here tomorrow, so assuming if work doesn't interfere, I should start on it tomorrow. I'm going to mount it to my Kawasaki Bayou 300, there's a fairy old pic of it attached below. Yes, I realize it isn't much and the rear tires are ass ugly, but I love this four wheeler. I'll post some pics of the finished product and maybe some build pics if I get chances.

  • Here's a list of parts I used to build this audio pipe:
  • 6" Schedule 35 PVC pipe with two 90 degree elbows
  • Pioneer TS-G1642R 6-3/4" speakers - I bought these speakers a few months ago to put in one of our farm trucks, but ended up using other speakers, so I'm just going to use these because I'm tried of seeing them lying around. They aren't marine rated, but they should hold up since I probably won't be going through any deep water or mud with the tube. Even if they do fail, I'm only out about $35 or so.
  • Pyramid Super Blue PB440X amplifier - Yes, it's a shit brand that won't put out anything near it's ratings, but it's dirt cheap at only ~$35 and small enough to fit inside the 6" PVC pipe.
  • SPST Toggle Switch - I really, REALLY wanted to use a low voltage 12 volt trigger that would automatically turn the amplifier on and off with my MP3 player, but I had a hard time finding one that would work with RCAs. Plus, it would cost me as much as the amp did, so at least for now, a toggle switch will do.
  • RCA-to-3.5mm cable for connecting the MP3 player to the amplifier.
  • Marine grade 12 volt outlet and plug.
  • Random assortment of power and speaker wire.
I also thought about using jacks for the power and RCA inputs so nothing would be hardwired incase the wires would get damaged, but I figured they would just come loose while riding.

I just haven't decided on what to paint the PVC pipe with. I'm thinking about using bed liner (the kind that comes in a spray can), flat black, gloss black, or glossy gray (to match the wheels and racks). Vote!

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#2 daddy

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 08:03 AM

Either glossy paint gets my vote. It'll be easier to clean than the flat and the bed liner will end up flaking eventually.

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#3 thunderstruck

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 05:50 PM

Yeah, I'm most likely going with glossy black.

I wired the 12V outlet on my ATV yesterday and put the pipe to the test. It worked great :lol:. The cheap Pyramid amp actually surprised me. It gets loud enough to clearly overcome the engine and road noise when riding, given I don't have an aftermarket exhaust or very aggressive tires. When the ATV isn't running, it gets loud enough to hear very far away. Sound quality is decent, it sounds much better than a boombox or so, but the PVC resonates like a hollow tin can to some tones. The enclosure does allow the Pioneer's to produce a respectable amount of midbass however :lol:.

I rode with it for at least four hours yesterday down backroads, through the creek in the pic above, and up gravel piles. It seems to be holding up fine. I also had it playing for almost two hours with the engine off and it didn't drain the battery at all.

Here are some buildup pics.
Attached File  audiopipe1.jpg   182.79KB   209 downloads
I did remove the amp's inline fuse, but I replaced it inside the cigarette lighter plug. It'll be much easier to replace that way if it blows.
Attached File  audiopipe2.jpg   203.5KB   203 downloads
I put the speaker grilles on afterwards, but I still haven't painted the pipes yet.

I will get some pics of it on the ATV soon. I might also put together a how-to if anyone is interested.

Edited by thunderstruck, 08 February 2009 - 06:02 PM.


#4 Riggs

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 07:35 PM

yea i want to put one of these on my 4 wheeler... do a write up if possible..

thanks..

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#5 thunderstruck

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 07:53 PM

Alright, I will write one up soon, just be a little patient because I been busy with work lately.

#6 adamant

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Posted 14 February 2009 - 11:06 PM

i bought one for my rhino ... what a sound.. i love it..
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#7 thunderstruck

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 11:48 PM

i bought one for my rhino ... what a sound.. i love it..

Could you tell us where you got it or post some pics? My uncle wants a stereo for his Rhino.

Riggs, I should hopefully have a writeup for you tomorrow.

#8 thunderstruck

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 01:17 AM

Alright, here is a rough draft for ya, I will probably be updating it more later on. I don't think I can get anymore detailed than this:

If your ATV doesn't already have a 12 volt outlet, you will also need a Marine Grade Cigarette Lighter Socket

Note that this guide is written assuming you will be using the exact same amplifier and cigarette lighter plug I have listed above. You can use whatever you want, however.

Before you begin, you might want to temporarily hook everything up to the amp to test it and set the gain. To set the gain, turn up your MP3 player to about 4/5 power, then slowly start turning up the gain on the amp. Once you hear distortion, turn the gain slightly back down until you can't hear the distortion. Done.
  • Measure your ATV's rack to determine how much pipe you need between the two elbows. Keep in mind that about 3" of pipe will fit into each elbow, measure them to make sure.
  • Cut the PVC pipe to length, I used a recipricating saw with a long finetooth blade. Remove the burrs once you are done.
  • Cut two 3" long rings out of the leftover pipe. Try to cut these as straight as possible. Remove the burrs when you're done.
  • Glue the rings into one end of each elbow. Make sure the pipe and elbows are somewhat clean first, you can use PVC primer/cleaner if you want, but it's really not nessecary since the pipes won't be pressurized.
  • If any of the pipe is sticking out from the elbows, cut it off. The pipe needs to sit flush with the elbow.
  • Lay the main piece of pipe across the ATV rack and determine where you want to run the wires through and mount the toggle switch. Keep in mind that you need to stay at least three inches away from the ends in order to clear the elbows. Drill the holes for the wires and toggle switch.
  • Now would be a good time to paint the pipe. Put the pieces together (don't glue them, obviously), plug the holes, and paint it. Take the pieces apart and continue once the paint has dried.
  • Push a rubber grommet into the hole for the wires and then run them through it.
  • Cut a piece of 2x4 at least as long as the amp and screw the amp down to the board.
  • Connect the negative power wire to the amp's black ground wire. Connect both the positive power wire and the amp's red power wire to one terminal on the toggle switch, then connect the amp's orange remote turn-on wire to the other terminal. Last, connect the RCA cables to the inputs on the amp.

    Attached File  pipediagram.gif   7.85KB   132 downloads

    NOTE: You can remove the inline fuse holder from the red power wire only if you replace the fuse in the cigarette lighter plug later.
  • Slide the amp and 2x4 into the pipe. Position it so it will be upright and not interfere with the toggle switch and wiring. Shoot a few screws through the bottom of the pipe and into the 2x4. Obviously, don't use too long screws.
  • Mount the toggle switch in it's hole.
  • Add enough speaker wire to the pigtail harness so that the wires can reach the ends of the pipe once the elbows are on. Run the wires to the ends of the pipe and plug the harness into the amp.
    • For the Pyramid PB440X, the wire color codes are:
    • Brown = Left Positive +
    • Gray = Left Negative -
    • Green = Right Positive +
    • White = Right Negative -
  • Run the speaker wires through the elbows and then glue them onto the main pipe. Again, make sure the pipe and elbows are clean first.
  • Hold a speaker to the ends of each elbow and mark the four mounting holes. Drill pilot holes for each mounting screw.
  • Apply silicone sealant to the edges of the elbows, connect the speaker wires to the speakers, and then screw them down to the elbows.
  • Take off the cap from the cigarette lighter plug and remove the fuse. Remove the screw and and o-ring from the plug, then pull the two sides apart.
  • Loosen the wire clamp and feed your power wire through the strain relief and wire clamp. Insert your negative power wire into the bottom wire lug and the positive power wire into the top wire lug. Tighten down the set screws on the wire lugs.
  • Tighten down the wire clamp, then reassemble the cigarette lighter plug.
  • Strap the pipe down to your ATV rack and plug everything in. You're done!

Edited by thunderstruck, 25 February 2009 - 01:40 AM.


#9 thunderstruck

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 10:06 PM

I finally got around to painting it. I used Duplicolor Truck Bed Coating, came out great.

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#10 thunderstruck

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 10:06 PM

One more

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#11 JNK

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 11:14 PM

That coating looks awesome man. They come in cans right? How much do you need to coat the whole thing?

#12 thunderstruck

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 11:49 PM

That coating looks awesome man. They come in cans right? How much do you need to coat the whole thing?

Yeah, I used rattle cans. It only took one can, but I really needed two because some areas are a little thin.

#13 Stumpuller6.2

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 08:55 AM

Lookin good!, I`ll definatley have to copy those instructions for future projects!

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#14 Dukers

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 06:52 PM

thats pretty badass man. haha

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#15 Riggs

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 08:56 PM

i am going to do this when it gets warmer out, and it looks bad ass with the bed liner paint.

i have a crappier JVC CD player i am going to put in it and i have a 12v outlet on the 4 wheeler. i just need to get some cheap 6.5" speakers to throw in there and should be good to go.
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