Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Echo Dot (3rd Gen) Ceiling Mount


Alexa, play my playlist...

My goal has been to have music easily accessible while hanging out on my front patio. I'm aware of all kinds of stereo's, Bluetooth speakers/devices that could accomplish this, but I wanted something that wasn't tied to my smartphone, as well as something that wouldn't involve a major renovation (my front wall is brick). Now before people start to comment that I could have run stereo speakers in the soffit and into my house, that was already more work than I had planned as the soffit doesn't seem to be removable without using destructive force (I'm not sure how it was installed). I also wanted something that would be relatively permanent, in that I didn't want to have to charge something, or turn it on and off. 

My solution was an echo dot mounted to the soffit, where my echo dot would be sheltered from the elements and provide music upon verbal command. So I turned to the world wide web for solutions, and there are a few great ideas out there. However none that lent itself to my situation, so I borrowed from some and built my own.

Material List

  • Echo Dot (3rd Gen)
  • RC Screw Pins (10-15mm long)
  • 4" Ipex ABS/PVC end cap
  • 1 or 2 Wood Screws
Tools List
  • Drill
  • Drill bits
  • Pencil and Ruler
  • Ladder
  • Allan Key/Phillips Screwdriver
I began by sourcing the parts I needed, Lowes had the 4" End Cap (I don't think it matters if its ABS or PVC). I selected black to match my echo dot, but they also have white. 

I now needed a solution to hold the echo dot, while it's being suspended up-side down. For this I would use Traxxas 5145 Screw Pins (4mmx15mm). I have so many replacement remote control parts for my Traxxas T-Maxx, that this was an obvious choice and they are quite cheap. I would only need 3, so a $5 package would do 2 mounts.
My first step was to draw a + sign on the back of the 4" end cap. Referring to the diagram below, at positions "A","B","C" I would be drilling small holes using a drill bit slightly smaller than the 4mm screw pin (make sure the holes line up to the middle of the echo, when it's sitting inside the end cap). At position "D", I drilled 2 larger holes that I would use to pass the power cable through (and optionally the auxiliary output if needed).
With the echo dot inside the 4"end cap, carefully screw in the 3 screw pins until they clamped the echo dot in place (do not overtighten). You should be able to carefully turn the 4"end cap over, and have the echo dot remain securely in place.
Loosen the 3 screw pins, and remove the echo dot. I drilled 1 hole for the wood screws that will be secured to the ceiling (position "O", you can use 2 screws if you would like). Secure the 4"end cap to the ceiling, now run the power cable through the "D" hole and attach to the echo dot, seat the echo dot into the end cap, then snugly tighten the screw pins, and I was done

When I build stuff, I often forget to document as I get all caught up in the designing and assembling, I need to learn to slow down. With that said I wish I had taken pictures of the process, if I make another one I will better document it.
This project cost me about $10-$15 CDN in parts.

The conclusion... I just love that whenever I go out I can have Alexa play me music. It's been up all summer, and the downward facing buttons allows me to program the echo dot if needed. My only regret is that the soffit is some type of metal and it vibrates with the music and produces a distorted noise. I may be able to dampen the soffit so as to eliminate its resonance, but we will see.

If you have any questions, just ask

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