Build A Waterproof Music Controller On The Cheap


[Aaron] wrote in to show off the waterproof music controller (translated) he just finished building. He uses it in the shower — which makes us wonder how long he’s spending in there. We could also see it being useful by the pool, on the beach, or anywhere else that you need a cheap and easy control system.

His computer plays tunes while he’s getting ready for the day. This means he was able to use an inexpensive wireless keyboard for control. The donor keyboard has dedicated music control keys which he carefully traced to the PCB before removing the flexible sheets that detect key presses. Next he found a water tight food container and sized his protoboard to fit. You can see his button layout above. Holes were cut in the lid of the container, with a plastic membrane glued on the underside. This will keep the water out while still allowing him to actuate the momentary push switches.

Most mobile devices will work with wireless keyboards. If your car is nearby just hook your phone to the stereo and control it with this rather than building a dedicated beach stereo system.

8 thoughts on “Build A Waterproof Music Controller On The Cheap

  1. Might have to build something like it to replace my ghetto zip lock container solution I got going on. No idea what Aaron does in the shower (nor am I sure I want to know). Once I get that water temperature set just right, it feels like all my stress and worries are being washed away, I get carried away by that and just stand there. That and some of the best ideas I’ve ever had were while I was in the shower.

  2. “Holes were cut in the lid of the container…” – I don’t believe the container will be water tight much longer. In fact, even without cutting any holes, I don’t think the cheap container will last long.

    On the other hand, there are cheap, dirt cheap wireless USB keyboards on eBay for less than $20. They will fit in those water tight cell phone / camera cases quite well.

  3. Great for shower or kitchen or messy shop use. I have 2 speakers in-wall in corners of the shower. I rarely get let down by our NPR station or my library. Two local commentators do need a kill button.
    It seems that the container is flexible enough to mount the buttons behind it’s lid and other sides, keeping it simple and waterproof. I have thought of putting two microswitches behind the wall in the shower for volume on the cheap button operated volume bedroom stereo that feeds the shower. I had a hidden wall switch forty years ago in my parents house, turn on only relay control for workshop light on other side of plywood wall in basement.

  4. Was at a trade show a few weeks ago and saw some really neat waterproof light up buttons and switches. They literally had a little fish tank filled with running water and had them soldered to a little perf board, turned on and glowing. They encouraged people to stick their hands in the tank and play with the buttons that lit up and turned off at a touch. The perfboard and the spot where the switch was connected had the hot glue sealing it, but the switches themselves were just floating there.

    I picked up a flier somewhere in my office, I’ll post the company’s website if I can find.

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