Popular Mechanics (USA)
Make Something Old Into Something Cool
that has lived a good life and giving it a second chance.” That was the case with the Cadillac vacuum cleaner he salvaged from his late grandmother’s junk pile. His idea: turn the beat-up appliance into a functioning Bluetooth speaker.
Once Coulter stripped the vacuum down and discovered it was a sheet-metal cylinder, he fetched a few basic materials—including deconstructed Sony speakers, a Lepai mini amplifier, and 5- and 12-volt power bricks for the USB and power, respectively—and figured out how to make them all fit together.
It wasn’t easy. “The hardest part was choosing the order of operations—there was a lot of standing and staring into space before each step,” Coulter says. Plus, he’s still honing his electrical skills, “so I don’t leave [the speaker] plugged in when it isn’t in use,” he says. “I’d rather not burn my apartment down if I messed something up in there.”
Still, after a couple weeks of work and expected bumps, Coulter has a retrotastic device that
“sounds great and gets plenty loud,” he says. “I got exactly what I wanted out of the process.”