RETROpods Away!

Today I got busy and fabricated my other three RETROpods.

These are custom aluminum and acrylic speaker enclosures that resemble torpedoes.

The “bullet” style speaker cans are sold for wakeboard towers on ski boats. They’re made for 6-inch speakers but my Sony Marine 2-Way speakers didn’t fit the hole pattern. So I had to get four red adapter rings cut at TAP Plastics in Tigard months ago. Above, you can see I placed a can in a mixing bowl for stability while I worked on it.

The process goes like this: I align a red ring on the can’s lip and tape it in place with Frog Tape. Using a safety pin, I reach inside, find the four screw holes I want and then scratch their location on the ring from the bottom up. Then I drill out those holes and countersink them to keep the screw heads flat.

Next I align a speaker on the ring and make sure the Sony logo faces the right way. Then I mark the mounting holes simply by spinning a screw hard enough to scratch the plastic.

Now I can drill out the mounting holes. Note how they’re offset by 45° from the first set of holes. The plastic ring is has a 1-inch lip, compared to the can’s original 3/4-inch lip. This gives the speaker enough lip to mount on. And it will also look better, using the RETROvan’s color scheme of red, white and black.

Next I made an 18-inch section of 16 AWG marine-grade wire with heat-shrink spade connectors. I threaded the cable through the center hole and then screwed the heavy aluminum mounting bracket in place from the inside of the can.

And lastly, I screwed the speaker in place with the four screws it came with. I used a power drill only long enough to tap my new holes and make sure they were coerced back into alignment where necessary. The rest was hand-tightened so as not to stress any plastic.

And here’s the result. After snapping the screw covers into place, this RETROpad is ready to hang in one of the back corners using two bolts coming down through aft ceiling panel T7. I’ll wait to do that until Steven gets here next week, since that’s a two-man job.

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