What Would I Need.To.Add To.Subs To Make Better Music Measuring a Fiberglass Box’s Volume – Air Space Doesn’t Have To Be Tricky

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Measuring a Fiberglass Box’s Volume – Air Space Doesn’t Have To Be Tricky

When working with fiberglass enclosures, I’m sure you can tell that the internal volume is not as easy to measure as your standard square enclosure. There are swivels and dips in each glass box, so we can’t just whip out a tape measure and go for it.

There is actually a pretty easy way to figure out the internal volume of a box, without using a tape measure. Our weapon of choice in this regard would be packing peanuts. The kind you see in packages delivered to your home. These little pieces of foam that help keep the contents of the packages from breaking or getting damaged in transit. You’ll want to get a few bags of these little guys. Enough to fill the enclosure you plan to measure.

When the enclosure is finished, and you want to check out the airspace, go ahead and fill the entire box with those peanuts. All the way to the top. If you need to, tape the speaker mounting holes so they don’t fall out.

Now you want to get a cardboard box or make a small wooden box that has an internal volume of 6 cubic inches. It would be 6″h X 6″w X 6″d. Those are the inside dimensions, not counting the walls of the box. So if you could freeze the air inside the box and take it out, you would have a 6x6x6 inch cube of frozen air.

Once you have your measuring box, start removing the peanuts from the fiberglass box, and place them in the measuring box. Fill it to the top. Write down or mark somewhere how many times the measurement box needs to be filled. Let’s say it takes 5 times, then the air space of your box is 2 and ½ sq. ft. Each time you fill it, that represents 6 square inches of air space.

So what happens if the box is too big? If the box is too big, it throws off its tuning and can end up damaging the subwoofer. In low power systems, this is not a big threat. In the more expensive luxury systems that consume a lot of power or need to be tuned exactly to the manufacturer’s specifications, then you won’t have any extra space.

The best way to fix this is to insert something to move the extra air inside the box. For example, say your box has 6 cu. in additional airspace. In this case, you would take some MDF, and make a very small 6 X 6 X 6 box. So basically, it would fit inside your peanut measuring box. You would then find a spot inside the enclosure and glue it and screw it in.

If your box is all fiberglass, you can’t screw the little box into the box, so we have to use something else. I used what I call “tuning bags”. These tuning bags are simple little bags of sand. You have to be careful when using sand in a box, seal the bag tightly so it doesn’t leak and send sand particles flying around the inside of your box. This can destroy subwoofers very quickly if they leak sand into the box.

You can fill it with dirt from your backyard if you want, it really doesn’t matter what’s inside the bag, as long as it resembles dirt, sand, flour, salt, sugar, something like that. You simply measure out the amount required to compensate for the extra air inside the box, place it in your bag, seal it and put it in the box. I usually use heavy duty trash bags, cut some squares and make a small sandbag. Then I tie the top with some auxiliary thread. I do this about 5 times, making 5 different layers of the bag material over the sand inside to ensure it doesn’t leak into the box. You can even seal the top of the bag material by melting it to itself about an inch above the tie. You still need to use some sort of tie on the bag, it just helps further ensure it doesn’t leak out.

However you end up creating these tuning bags, make sure whatever method you use to wrap the sand inside is suitable and not going to leak out. Make sure the inside of the box doesn’t have glass shards sticking out that could puncture the bag.

Eventually, if you make a lot of these boxes, you can “roll” them and it’s enough to know what the airspace is. This will also help when building the boxes, you can create boxes from scratch that are pretty dead in the airspace you wanted. Just make sure in the beginning that you shoot for being too big, because being small is much harder to fix than growing.

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