Instructables
Picture of 5 Speaker Car Head Unit Boombox
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I built this 20+ pound monstrosity in 2005 for my Mother who was working in a noisy industrial environment and needed some audio umph to enjoy her tunes. I had built a couple of boxy rectilinear 80's style portables to wrap old car stereos and speakers in before and wanted to design something more sleek and sophisticated. I also wanted to incorporate some beefy industrial utilitarian elements hence the expanded metal grills, exposed screws, and unfilled brad holes.

Alas I only have a few poor quality photos of this build that don't show all of the construction details but I shall endeavor to describe the process. UPDATE: I was able to get some fresh photo's showing more details! 

Specifications

Cabinet Dimensions
  • Length= 24"
  • Height= 10"
  • Depth= 11.5"
Electronics
  • Pyle PLCDS200 AM/FM CD Cassette 50W X 4 Channel Head Unit
  • 2X 5.5" Goldwood Woofers
  • 2X 1" Dome Tweeters
  • 1X 6.5" Dual Voice Coil Subwoofer
  • 120VAC to 12VDC 9A Switching Power Supply

Materials
Cabinet

1 - 8' 1 X 12 Pine
1 - 4' X 4' X 1/4" Pine Plywood
1 - 5/8" Hardwood Dowel
Wood Screws
Brads
Wood Glue
4- Cabinet Feet
3 - Port Rings
Electronics
Car Head Unit
2 - 5" to 6" Woofers
2 - 1" Dome Tweeters
1 - 6.5" Dual Voice Coil Subwoofer
1 - 120VAC to 12VDC XA Switching Power Supply
Speaker Wire
2 - 6" Expanded Metal Speaker Grills
1 - Telescoping Antenna

Tools
Table Saw
Router & Bits
Drill & Bits
Pneumatic Brad Nailer & Air Compressor
Jigsaw
Tape Measure
Pencil
Sand Paper
 
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jprussack3 months ago

Well done!

technovative (author)  jprussack3 months ago

Thanks.

rwneto1 year ago
awesome. just i looking for. congratulations!
technovative (author)  rwneto1 year ago
Thanks.
detinu771 year ago
Ghost Dog would be proud, nice build.
technovative (author)  detinu771 year ago
Ghost Dog, cool flick, one of my favs. I think my build is a little bit nicer than his though. ; )
ive got a car radio that doesnt have the connections from the back. would it be possible to wire it up to work like this? thanks
technovative (author)  kdf.inc19691 year ago
I assume you mean that there is a socket that accepts a wiring harness connector, as opposed to individual wires exiting the radio? If so it is still possible to use the radio but you will either need to get a matching connector with wires, or connect individual wires to each pin manually. If you have identifying information for the unit it's likely that you can acquire a matching connector harness from a business that specializes in automotive audio eqipment like Crutchfield. If it is an OE factory installed radio then you could probably find a matching connector in a junk vehicle at a salvage yard. To connect individual wires to each pin you would need to know the pinout sequence, which if you're fortunate may be labled on the unit.
bigpig1 year ago
Absolutely beautiful.
technovative (author)  bigpig1 year ago
I appreciate the compliment.
VertDude1 year ago
Pretty sweet radio.........good job my friend!!
technovative (author)  VertDude1 year ago
Thanks.
hohum1 year ago
way COOOOOL!! looks great, superb job on kerfing the wood,, great looking finish>>>>
technovative (author)  hohum1 year ago
Thanks.
ggardner71 year ago
I love your design for the car radio .Could you do this with a CB Radio ?
technovative (author)  ggardner71 year ago
Thanks, yes you can power a CB radio with the same kind of AC to DC power supply.
Sweet I am going to do one with a old liberty Cb all silver
I will send you pics
Eh Lie Us!1 year ago
Wow. Great work. Can you expand more on your connections from the radio to the power supply? I'm good with the wood work but useless when it comes to electronics. Thanks.
technovative (author)  Eh Lie Us!1 year ago
Thank you. The reason that I didn't specify how my build is wired is because those details are uniquely applicable to the radio & power supply I used. Typically however the power wires for most modern car radios are yellow = key on power, red = constant 12V, and black = ground. In this scenario you would connect the yellow, and red wires to the + terminal of the power supply, and the black wire would connect to the - terminal of the power supply. Ultimately the best practice is to refer to the wiring diagrams/instructions that come with your components to ensure proper connection.
Rock on! This helps me a lot. Thanks again.
RadGlobe1 year ago
what an awesome piece of work...thanks!!
technovative (author)  RadGlobe1 year ago
My pleasure, Thank you.
PtrkLnk1 year ago
I have a bunch of old speakers of all sizes and a lot of other audio stuff. I am going to try and build something like this with it.
technovative (author)  PtrkLnk1 year ago
Go for it, come back and share your build with us when you do.
Mr Joshua1 year ago
Excellent work! The enclosure looks fantastic!
technovative (author)  Mr Joshua1 year ago
Domo Arigato.
ozzman391 year ago
Awesome wood working skills i could do the radio end but the enclosure would look like crap lol
technovative (author)  ozzman391 year ago
Grazie, you can do it!
popmircea1 year ago
A few months ago i was buildind a similar construction for use under one cabinet in my kitchen's family. I constructed a box from a melamined PAL, i used a switching power supply from 220V AC to 12V CC. My car stereo is PNI 8209 and for the speakers i use some used for computers. I suppose that someone sollen my idea :) ... but i am very glad !
technovative (author)  popmircea1 year ago
Yeah you caught me, I stole your idea....NOT! :) Your build sounds nice though.
onemoroni11 year ago
ROCK OUT AND ROCK ON! Very nice build. I can understand the failure of the CD/Tape by the vibration at high volume, but looks great.
technovative (author)  onemoroni11 year ago
Thanks, this beast was inundated with highly consentrated ultra-fine plastic dust for several years and I think that coupled with poor quality manufacturing led to the CD & cassette failure.
Gordyh1 year ago
A work of art ;-) Just wondering if you put rechargeable batteries in the radio, would your power supply be able to recharge them?
technovative (author)  Gordyh1 year ago
I appreciate the compliment. 12V lead acid batteries really need an applied charge voltage of around 13.8V to charge efficiently, so no the fairly consistent regulated 12V output of a switching power supply wouldn't do well charging a 12V battery.
randomray1 year ago
Hey , sweet job . It's really nice of you to make this for your Mom and then share the design with us .
technovative (author)  randomray1 year ago
Merci, it's my pleasure.
bethmwl1 year ago
I really like your design. I've wanted to use auto components outside of the auto and had no idea how to do so. Being more mechanically inclined than electrically, i had no idea you could get such a power supply. I will be on the lookout for decent, yet unused auto audio pieces and would like to give this a try. I think you exceptionally well with the design also.
technovative (author)  bethmwl1 year ago
Thanks, 120VAC to 12VDC power supplies are readily available, you just have to choose one with enough output power for your head unit. For example if the head unit is rated at 25W X 2 channels output you need to devide 50/12 = 4.2 so the minimum current output rating of the power supply should be 5A.
I love the idea, would you be able to help me make this portable... as in self-contained rechargable battery run?
technovative (author)  modemotions1 year ago
Because we are using a head unit designed for 12VDC automotive use the power supply indicated can be omitted and a small 12V sealed lead acid battery that will fit inside the center compartment can be used to power the head unit. However if you use a high power head unit a small lead acid battery will be depleated fairly quickly. To recharge the battery you can purchase an appropriate manufactured charger, or if your comfortable with electronics there are numerous open-source circuit designs for simple chargers available on the web.
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