The Great 8.0 Surround Sound Speaker TV
So anyways the goal of this project is to basically create a TV with eight speakers so as to simulate a "surround sound" type effect. This project came to me from my friend, one the members of the Hackers in Training. He has managed to collect eight speakers from several different shelf top stereo systems so these aren't really big speakers but then again they aren't really small either. The speaker boxes are about a foot high containing a main speaker at about six to seven inches in diameter, and also a smaller speaker for the treble sounds (also known as "tweeters"). The speakers have the basic positive and negative wires which have an un-shielded end to them for sticking in the special inputs on the back of the stereo system.
Now most of these speakers came from stereo's which contain amplifiers for them, but his TV is rather old and uses really small speakers barely bigger then the "tweeters" used in the speaker boxes, so they have little to no amplification. We managed to get a hold of a large amp from a large stereo system, it is about as big as any of the speakers so it is nice...except for the fact that it will not go out of standby mode, therefore it will not work for our needs but that is okay. What anyone else can do is go to like a garage sale and try and find one or buy a cheap portable amp from say Walmart. Either way you'll have to basically do what we did except hopefully...your amp will work.
Now here is our amp that we attempted to use...frankly after we had opened it up to figure how we were going to hardwire the power cord to it we were a little worried about our chances of injury considering the inside of it was PLASTERED with high voltage warnings. We eventually lucked out yet again and found a similar cord to that of which was lost from the amp, and with some minor modification were able to connect it to the amp without any worries of electrocution from that piece.
Next up was the TV itself, keep in mind we still had no clue that the amp would not work, but we continued onward and removed the back of the TV and set it on its screen to get a better look at the inner workings of stuff. We noticed two things right off the back...One, the TV had about an inch of dust covering everything...and two, there was in fact only one speaker, this was a problem. Only one speaker meant that there was only a mono output and therefore meaning even if we got it all hooked up and working right, the simulated surround sound of sounds going from left to right in a 360 degree setup wouldn't even exist. The owner of said TV and creator of the idea said he in fact decided it would be okay because he figured that still with his proposed 360 setup it wouldn't be surround sound but you would get the fell of being in the "center of it all" so we pushed on.
After locating where the one speaker attached we realized an interesting feature, that the TV had a separate sound card just like a regular computer which used some weird proprietary SCSI like connectors. This though made our efforts a little easier allowing us to remove the card and work on it at our leisure...and leisure we did. All in all this project took about a day to plan and about a night to make, if you don't count the intermittent Halo2 games throughout the night. Back to business we decided to make our lives even easier and just use the plug to the original speaker and just extend that to the amps left/right inputs ( see amp above ). To test whether any of it would work or not we just twisted all the speakers positive ends together and all the negatives together for the left and right setups, and then connect them to the appropriate outputs ( again see amp above ). Pictured below is a bad pic of where we slid the modified audio wires through where the power cord came out of the TV. The one on the right is the power and the one on the left is the audio out.
The moment of truth was upon us, we were ready to finally test the SHARP TV,
8.0 Surround Sound *mono* Edition!
You can't really tell from that picture but that would be the second in command of the H.1.T. Squad displaying his war wound from doing battle with this great beast. On to the bad news though, as you know the amp ended up not working...so we took the cheap and dirty road and attached all the wires to their appropriate outputs and turned the TV on, and yes by god it WORKED.......yes I know, I need to hang my head in shame as a hacker but damn it all! I'M A HACKER IN TRAINING!!!!!
So there you have it our first project as a group, there was a third person involved but he has yet to be inducted as a member of the H.1.T. Squad. Tell us what you think and if you have any ideas for us, send them on down the line. Don't waste your time with "Get a life!" I'm currently still bidding on eBay for a decent, slightly used 21 year old life and it's up to about 35 cents.