Monday, 6 February 2012

Biznass Boombox

In preparation for the Decentralized Dance Party, I decided to make a business-themed boombox most righteous and true.  Find below the buildlog...

First, I set out with the plan to construct this out of the following:
  • A solid briefcase (not soft-leather)
  • A battery-powered boombox
  • Speakers of some variety
  • Some sort of stylish speaker cover
Finding a briefcase for cheap was not an easy process... but I eventually haggled one out of a local flea market regular for $30.  Kind of steep, but not horrible.  The boombox was a donation of a former roommate, and the speakers were picked up at a local thrift shop

Here we see a dry fit of the speakers on the briefcase, as well as a collander to make a slick speaker-cover.

And here is a more preliminary fit of the collander-strainer thing.

Powering on the boombox yielded some dissapointing results - shaky connections ("you have to jiggle it"), crackly audio, but some rudimentary signs of life at least.  I wound up testing this sans-batteries through applied Q-tippery:

CAUTION: Dont jam Q-Tip in here

I jammed that guy in there to hold down a safety switch, as this wasnt the original 120V cable...

After ripping apart the boombox, I found some really corroded wires and sketchy connections - these two PCBs below were connected, where you see the traces lifting.

This little daughter-board was just the headphone jack however, so I didn't need to repair it.  Instead, I just managed to wire the main PCB as though the headphone daughter board was never there:

Not too shabby!

Now, further, we need to add something to turn this thing on and off.  Also, it needs to look badass:

I wish I had a dremel... this was 100% exacto knife

Not too shabby for an exacto knife....
Here we see the guts of the device - the radio tuner board is the bottom-right circuit board, and the PCB between the speakers is the amplifier section.  This was a total pain to get everything mounted so that the briefcase would close properly:

The tuning knob is actually directly on the tuner daughter-board, and it was a pain in the ass to use.  If I work on this thing again, I'd like to include an external knob to tune the radio - trying to fine-tune to the mobile radio transmitter (while dancing and partying...) was like nailing jello to a tree.

On the left, we have the volume knob:

I connected the knob to the volume pot with a pen tube - the right-hand end is darker, because I melted it and jammed it onto the pot for a tight fit.  McGuyver skillz +10.

Finally, I managed to chisel the battery compartment out of the original boombox and cram it in:

As far as finishing touches go, plain electrical tape was used to spiffy-up the speaker mounting:

    And voila!  Beer not included
    Ready for business.

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