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Electronics Projects

Boombox

This Boombox was built in May of 2017 by yours truly. All exterior metal is stainless steel and the wood is sealed with a waterproof and UV resistant sealant. It’s pretty durable and lasts well over 12 hours on battery. It features two cup holders perfectly sized for large tumblers like the Yeti. It also has two fast charging USB’s on the side and the whole thing charges off a standard PC power cable (NEMA5-15P to C13).

Build Info

I chose to use 1/2″ plywood for the Boombox structure because it is lightweight and durable. One sheet of 48″ x 24″ plywood managed to cover the entire build. I used a circular saw for the main rectangular cuts, various drill bits for the small holes, and a jigsaw for the rest of the cuts.

Originally I wanted to spray paint the Boombox. After some consideration, I decided that staining would be more sophisticated. I put on two coats of stain to darken it the way I liked and then sealed it with a heavy-duty, waterproof, UV resistant sealant.

Choosing a battery management system was a bit difficult. I wanted something powerful enough to charge the battery while still being able to charge phones and listen to music. I decided to use an old 19 volt laptop charger as the input on a solar charger controller. This essentially simulates the sun with a power supply. That way I could still safely charge the battery while having enough wattage available to power the other accessories. It works (been using it for about 2.5 years now) but it is a bit jank.

I chose to use a nice leather handle to complete the elegant appearance given by the staining. The stainless steel cup holders are probably one of my favorite features along with the extremely long playback time on battery.

Things I Would Change

Cosmetic wise, I would cut the wood at 45 degree angles to have a more seamless look. I would also use fewer or no screws and rely more on wood glue. I would also like to reduce the weight, its pretty heavy at about 25 pounds. I could make it physically smaller to cut down on wood and maybe try to find lighter speakers. The biggest culprit to the weight is the over 7 pound, 12 volt, 12AH SLA battery. Honestly, 12 amp hours turned out to be overkill. I could reduce this but better yet would be switching to a LiFePO4 battery. They are considerably more expensive but are much lighter for the same capacity. Switching to a LiFePO4 battery would definitely require changing the battery management system though. Lastly, I would add a wireless charger underneath the wood but centered under the handle. This would make charging more convenient without the need for carrying cables.

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