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View Full Version : Need Help Designing System for my Deck


Cardiff Giant11
04-14-12, 04:11 PM
Hi,
I have a large deck that we liked to hang out on and up until now, to play music I've just been taking my little 18v Ryobi radio out there and plugging in my iPhone. I've recently upgraded my home network to an Apple Airport Extreme and also purchased an Apple TV. This left me with an extra Airport Express and I also recently replaced my 10+ year old Onkyo HT receiver so I now have a spare receiver as well.

I have the airport express inside extending the wireless network to the deck and would also like to use it for Airplay (either directly from my iPhone or using the Remote App to play music from my iMac to it). I'm trying to figure out what the best way to do this that is 1)cost effective 2)won't require a lot of drilling holes to run wires outside the house.

I've thought about going a couple different directions. First, I could just get a pair of powered computer speakers and throw them in the window of the laundry room (which is near the deck but set back slightly) where the airport express is located.

Second, I could put my old receiver (which is currently just sitting in my bedroom collecting dust) in the Laundry room or kitchen, and run speakers to the adjacent porch. It's got a roof and real windows so I could even use indoor speakers. The problem is this would most likely require some drilling but would most likely sound better as the porch has a sliding glass door and several windows that open to the deck. There's no electrical outlet on the porch however so i would still have the put the receiver in one of the adjacent rooms.

Lastly, I could go all out and get dedicated outdoor speakers, put the reciever in the laundry room, and run speaker wire out to them. This would probably sound the best but it would also be the costliest, require the most drilling, and I'm not crazy about leaving speakers outside whether they be the ones that look like rocks or just standard outdoor speakers mounted under an eave. I'm slightly concerned both about weather eventually damaging them and also them being an easy target for a thief.

Any thoughts? Has anyone done an outdoor system specicially using just and airport express as the source? Any input or examples would be greatly appreciated.

cseyer
04-14-12, 09:19 PM
I used an airport express to run my deck speakers, I just switched to an ATV. The airport express is in the garage now. I have speaker wires run from my living room to the deck, I use a cheap T amp from parts express and two outdoor JBL speakers I got on closeout 8 years ago, they have lasted well.

It sounds like you have thought through the best options, I like having hard wires and dedicated outdoor speakers but running wires after construction can be tricky. Reconsider using the old receiver, they are power hungry and overkill, I leave the t amp powered on constantly it draws very little power. It also sounds very good.

Cardiff Giant11
04-16-12, 10:28 PM
Thanks for the info. Hadn't heard of T Amp before. Looks like some interesting stuff. I ultimately decided to go for the cheapest and easiest option. I have a pair of decent powered computer speakers that I can throw in the window and I tried them today. They are plenty loud enough and sound fine so for now I'm going to go with that. The other advantage is i can quickly grab the whole system and move it to another room in the house during the winter when we're not using the deck. Also, I created a few profiles to allow for using the AE as a true router (rather than doing the WDS thing) for a Hotel Room or just a regular cable modem. This would come in handy if I ever stay in a hotel room with only free ethernet or, as I did recently, stayed at a relatives vacant vacation house that had a cable modem but no wireless and no computer there so I wasn't able to use my wifi only iPad at all.

clckworang
04-18-12, 02:15 AM
We hang out a lot on my deck, too, but we are usually watching movies rather than listening to music. Anyway, I have a big weather proof Tupperware container. I think it's 20 gallon, not completely sure off hand. I keep an old receiver in there along with three speakers. When we want to watch something, I set up the speakers and take out receiver. I have a wall plate on the patio for HDMI and optical audio that hooks up to the receiver. I'd like to eventually get some outdoor speakers, but for now, I break everything down at the end of the night and store in the container.

Of course, I have an outlet on my patio. You not having one certainly complicates things and probably makes my setup not at all useful to you. I just figured I'd bring it up anyway. You never know what might spark an idea.

Cardiff Giant11
04-18-12, 04:32 PM
We hang out a lot on my deck, too, but we are usually watching movies rather than listening to music. Anyway, I have a big weather proof Tupperware container. I think it's 20 gallon, not completely sure off hand. I keep an old receiver in there along with three speakers. When we want to watch something, I set up the speakers and take out receiver. I have a wall plate on the patio for HDMI and optical audio that hooks up to the receiver. I'd like to eventually get some outdoor speakers, but for now, I break everything down at the end of the night and store in the container.

Of course, I have an outlet on my patio. You not having one certainly complicates things and probably makes my setup not at all useful to you. I just figured I'd bring it up anyway. You never know what might spark an idea.

That's pretty cool. Definitely an interesting idea. I do have an outlet but it's not in the enclosed patio it's outside in one of those outdoor boxes so i could use it but it's not super easy to get to (it's not on the deck itself its on an adjacent wall that doesn't come directly in contact with the deck). Oddly enough there is a cable outlet back there though. Lord knows what the previous owners did. Though there is a large garage immediately of a really uniform dark color (some sort of stone or bricks) behind the house so we joke that we would some day put a projector out there and show movies on the back of the other houses garage.

clckworang
04-19-12, 01:56 AM
^ Maybe you can get an extension cord and put a surge protector on your deck.

I would highly recommend the projector. The outdoor theater has been one of my best entertainment investments.

B.A.
04-24-12, 09:56 AM
My brother used the second zone on his living room receiver and had the left and right channels run outside through to HTD's outdoor stereo speaker:

http://www.htd.com/core/media/media.nl?id=3395&c=589892&h=5c948c0f7ad63aa5783c

http://www.htd.com/Products/Outdoor-Speakers/QS50-outdoor-stereo-speaker

It is centered over his back door pointing out to his patio.

It is covered by a roof, so it has not felt the full effects of the weather.

Sounds great, too.