Beatrix is a tricked out bicycle beat box of the first order. She’s a superior sound system kitted out with a whole array of tricks such as VHF/UHF signal distribution, sound sensing neon lights, and a remote wireless activation. She’s kitted out with 4x 12″ 600w subwoofers, 6x 6.5″ 200w full range drivers, 10x 6″ High Efficiency Piezo horns, and her two amps are capable of a combined 4500w RMS of oomph. Add to that, impressive run times and we’ve ourselves a serious sound system.
The idea for Beatrix came about in late 2006 when I sniped a trailer on eBay for £29 incl delivery. I didn’t really have a use for it but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity of such a good bargain. The idea for a sound system had been floating around for a while, mainly for use on CM. Many ideas were drawn up, but none seemed to fit the bill. Too big, too heavy, too power hungry. It seems that building an outdoor system doesn’t use the same mechanics as an indoor one. The perfect idea had to be a balance between size/weight/power/output. And being a bit of an audio enthusiast, I didn’t want to knock out any old system. I wanted something that would sound good. Most of the sound systems I’ve heard before at Critical Mass were a little harsh, not enough bass, or even too much bass.
After a while the plans were turning into something. They were furthered by the kind folks at Another Cycling Forum who helped with building methods and materials. You see, up until a few months ago, I had little experience of woodwork, and electronics. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve installed amps and other systems before, but actually have to build an entire system to work together is a whole another level.
Fast forward a few months and the building work started. It took a week and a half, and along the way the plans changed further. Minor adjustments here and there.
So here we are, piloted on April 27th 2007, Beatrix took to the East End streets with amazing presence. Kids running along side. BMW and Mercedes drivers bopping along. City workers dancing in the street. Buses and Taxis giving way, even a Police Helicopter dispatched to follow us through the city. Sadly the trailer’s tow arm didn’t survive the journey and as such a new modified trailer is being built by CarryFreedom.
Beatrix is finally ready to go on her first proper outing with her new CarryFreedom trailer!! Unfortunately, I’ve managed to blow 4 of her 6 full range channels by driving her hard with not enough power on tap. This meant that I had to parallel wire her 6.5″ speakers to a 4ohm load on the two remaining channels. Sadly it also meant that her two end speakers weren’t connected. Thankfully, she still went very very loud.
Upgrades! I’ve just managed to get a hold of some very useful new toys for Beatrix in the form of a Graphic EQ/Line Driver and an Active Crossover Network for next to nothing. We love bargains! Her new lighter and more efficient speakers have arrived. Three of these weigh about the same as one of the current 6.5 speakers. Should improve the sound quality and bring down the centre of gravity even more! Did someone say mountain stage? 😉