Seeking Sound/Electronics Consultation for Bicycle Boom Box Dance Party

I’ve been leading Queen City Bicycle Club for years now. Here’s an old Stuck in Vermont video from a million years ago when we had a different name.

Our sound system is currently a Block Rocker that I tow around on my bike trailer. I lead the ride, so it’s in the front, facing back towards the riders.

The issue with the Block Rocker is that only the first 10-20 folks can really hear the music. The rest of the riders are out of luck and need to wait until we all get stuck at a red light or something to hear the jamz.

So my questions are:

  • is it possible to have a second speaker on a second bike trailer that is connected to and controllable by my iPhone in the front? I realized that if it’s a half a block away, Bluetooth isn’t going to work… so I’m assuming this isn’t possible, but I’m asking anyways. It would look like this:

  • if that’s not possible, is there some way to have each boombox playing off seperate iPhones, but somehow have them synced so that if they’re a split second off from one another it doesn’t sound crazy?

  • my budet is $350. Is there a better boom box with bluetooth capability I should look into?

  • what solutions am I not thinking of?!

Thanks for the advice!

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I wish I can help but your second idea of two separate iPhones is possible.

So cool - I want to ride!

What about using FM radio and have everyone use their own mini speakers or (one) earbud to play?

https://www.theverge.com/2019/11/26/20981630/raspberry-pi-pirate-radio-fm-station-35-dollars-diy

That is a great idea Leisa!

Christine, with a small FM transmitter connected to the line-out on the Block rocker, you could have a second one with a small FM receiver attached, or even just have a few folks in the line with boom boxes tuned to your frequency.

Apparently FM is commonly being used for drive-in church services, with off-the-shelf transmitters. So much easier!

[eg https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxA8spIYg0g]

HAM radio folks likely could consult on FCC considerations.

The FM transmitter and FM receiver hooked to a 2nd speaker that Matt recommended is your best bet. There are TONS for sale on amazon of dubious legality, marketed at covid-safe church services. I tested one out and was able to pick it up in my car at least 3-4 blocks away, so they are DEFINITELY not FCC compliant. But if you scope out your route in advance and ensure you’re not going to be stomping on any existing radio stations, then nobody is going to care too much. Just don’t leave it plugged in at full power at your home address…

Hit me up if you want some help sorting out the details.

There is apparently an app called “AmpMe” - that allows synching play lists between iPhones. I have no experience with it, but this seems like it was designed for this purpose.