Introduction: Acrylic Boombox

Picture of Acrylic Boombox

This Boombox was created for my friend with mostly recycled parts. The story is that I owed my friend big time, so I took his old car speakers he wasn’t using and decided to make something useful.

Below is how I had initially thought how it should be constructed. Now with this design, I realized that creating such a shape would be difficult. I even tried with the tools that I had but it failed miserably. I found a local laser engraving shop that would cut my piece for a very minimal fee, so I decided to use them. All they needed was a marked sketch with dimensions, turnaround time was very fast as well. I will likely be using them for my future projects.


*You can view this project as well as many others on my personal blog at www.diy-create.com.

Step 1: Parts Needed

  • Acrylic Sheet (Received via Craigslist) (FREE)
  • (2) Speakers (Received from my friend) (FREE)
  • Amplifier Board (Sure Electronics 15w x 2 Class D Audio Amplifier) (~$15)
  • Used Headphone Cables (My Junk Stash) (FREE)
  • Some Sort of Stand (TV Stand) (FREE)

Step 2: Construction

Picture of Construction

The shape I had designed came out exactly like I had designed it. As you can see I’m just laying the acrylic sheet against the stand. Seems good to me!

I realized that the speakers, that came from a Honda Civic, has these tabs. These tabs were probably used to fit in the door card of the vehicle. It is not needed in this case.



All Done Here!



Now its time to install them!



In the previous photo you can see I’ve started created construction lines for the stand. On the next photo, I drilled three holes for the stand and now I’m starting to layout amplifier board.



With the amplifier board holes drilled, it is now to time to attach them to the speaker board.






I wanted to integrate an iPod Dock and I spent a great deal of time trying to integrate it to the system. However, it was after the integration to the system that I realized iPod docks disable volume control, therefore the volume needs to be controlled via an external volume knob/potentiometer. Unfortantely, I learned this AFTER  I had integrated the dock into the stand. It was looking really great, but since I had not taken this into my design consideration, I decided to ditch that idea. Here are some pictures of the dock before the idea was ditched. Luckily, I was able to cover the exposed holes on the stand with a Honda Symbol that I got from the junk yard.













Step 3: Finishing

Picture of Finishing

Now its time to reassemble everything and uncover this boom box!! In the latter pictures, I took a Honda Decal and was able to center it so that it covered the exposed holes.














Step 4: Conclusion

Picture of Conclusion

The project is done and my friend was very happy with it. I enjoyed this project and really I was blown away by the finish, the laser really helps. If I had to do this again, I would definitely incorporate the iPod dock for sure. With that, I will definitely have to incorporate a volume knob as well. The amplifier is rock solid, it can definitely drive those speakers easily. Also, if there is a version 2, I would probably design something that would sit behind the speakers as a cover, so the speaker can resonate properly. Most speaker enclosure are enclosed, but in this project my objective was to use whatever I had and make it very interesting looking. All in all, I’m very satisfied, here are some great pictures I took.

This was my first project in which I used a third party to cut my pieces. I found that in my past I would waste so much time just cutting the pieces that I would quickly loose interest. A local shop, Custom Engraving and Signs, have two laser cutters that can cut practically anything you can imagine. I was blown away by the accuracy and sharp definition of all my cuts. If I can win the Hurricane Lasers Contest, I want to continue doing what I'm doing now but at a much faster pace. I have so many great ideas just waiting to be designed and implemented. Rather than waiting for the shop to cut my design (which can take 1-2 weeks), I can do it at my own pace. I do believe that winning one of the Hurricane Laser Cutter will help evolve my creativity into an even higher level. Thank you Hurricane Lasers for sponsoring this contest that has inspired me to create such a high quality and memorable gift for my friend.










Links

Sure Electronics 15w x 2 Class D Audio Amplifier – TA2024

Custom Engraving & Signs

DIY-Create --- Acrylic Boombox

And as always, you can view this project as well as many others on my personal blog at www.diy-create.com.

Comments

MartijnD (author)2012-09-27

Without compression via a closed box you do not get sound < 500Hz, so no bass, and with 15Watt you should be able to get a nice full sound, for next time I would advice to have to layers of plexiglass and add 2 pieces of PVC tube round 5" or bigger 3-5" high, check for best sound, paint the tube, and glue or screw everything together

BrokenM (author)MartijnD2017-02-11

Acoustic short circuit - That was my first thought...

pim_ made it! (author)2015-03-17

I did get very inspired by your project, so i thought i make my own!
I added some things like a 3way crossover, because the sound was terrible by wiring the speakers directly to the amplifier, and a bluetooth transmitter. I'm now happy with the result, never the less, i Had to scour the plexiglas by myself! And this is the result, thanks for the idee!!

adleyjoseph (author)2013-07-27

Great project but there should be at least a rgb led illuminating on the acrylic

That costs more than free. . . Although, it would be very cool. Might have a better effect if the acrylic was clear, but frost a 1cm ring around the end. Maybe frost it in sections, then have lost of LED's, have a sound-based sensor to have it change colors to the beat.

CDB13 (author)2013-05-17

looks very fun

thisoldgeek (author)2013-05-12

Love the look and the way you reused everything. Great job! Question-I'm doing something similar, but have heavy shielded speakers (4 inch). How thick is your acrylic? I'm afraid my speakers will crack the 1/8 inch acrylic I'm using. May need to go to 1/4 inch. What do you think?

If the speakers are thick and heavy then yes you will need thicker acrylic I think mine were not 1/4" thick but close to 3/16". If you are doing something similar keep in mind that this design is more aesthetically appealing. May I suggest adding some sort of enclosure on the back for resonance and bass performance.

tdaly2 (author)2013-01-08

im new too this but how did you power the board and you think you could explain the board electrics (connect what to what) please if you have time/ thank

Dandeman321 (author)2012-09-13

You should install some white LEDs along the edge and engrave some patterns!

Very Cool Idea! Thanks everyone for these comments, looks like I'll have to make a better version of this boombox.

rapidprototyping (author)2012-09-10

maybe make one with nxt flatpanels speakers ive found several pair at local goodwill i use the Teac flat panels with my mp3 no amplification at night in bed its enough sound but amplification be way bad for mobile boom box application rock your back pack.

Hmm I'll look into next time I find something similar.

billgeo (author)2012-08-23

Nice! I have used those 15W Sure Amps.
They sound great.
How did they perform with those Honda speakers (looks like fullrange units)?

SharadScience (author)billgeo2012-08-26

They sound great, the amps can deff handle them.

vactirio (author)2012-08-24

Hello,

Thank you for this.

What power supply do you use for this?

SharadScience (author)vactirio2012-08-26

I just use a standard 12v 5A power supply. Prob could get by with 12V, 2-3A psu.

eobermeyer (author)2012-08-23

For Version 2, I'd highly recommend looking into the theory behind H-frame and other open baffle speaker enclosures. The project looks awesome. It'd be great to mate the aesthetics here with the science of acoustics to make a high performing final product!

SharadScience (author)eobermeyer2012-08-23

Yeah, I'll deff take a look at the H-Frame theory, do you know of any good theory links?

eobermeyer (author)SharadScience2012-08-26

I don't have any links off hand to give you, but a quick google search for "open baffle enclosures" should set you on the right path. I do have this link, which has plenty for pictures, quite a few of which are of open baffle design: http://www.quarter-wave.com/Gallery/Gallery.html

SharadScience (author)eobermeyer2012-08-26

Thanks!

Insonicbloom (author)2012-08-23

That's one cool boombox, incidentally if you want to build your own high quality amplifier based around the stereo 6 watt amplifier IC on stripboard go here - it's ace

Cool! Will deff check it out and perhaps make it!

you definitely should, as I will do your instructable. I've been looking for something to build my amp into and I think this will be great.

profpat (author)2012-08-23

nice project,

i noticed this is an open enclosure type, no baffle box, how is the bass response?

SharadScience (author)profpat2012-08-23

Bass is alright not the best but I was trying to achieve simple and effective way to design this box that wouldn't an arm and a leg to create.

chuckyd (author)2012-08-23

Great job! I think it would look great if you were to run the speaker wires out the bottom, rather than the top. That way you could extend the protective plastic cover over the wires all the way to speaker connections.

Also, I think I would modify a regular MP3 holder and mount it to the plastic.

Do the speakers vibrate with only one screw holding them down?

SharadScience (author)chuckyd2012-08-23

Yeah my original intent was to run the wires out the bottom but I had some limitation issue I can't remember at the moment that forced me to run from top. I think adding a reg mp3 holder will destroy its simple look. The speakers do not vibrate with only one screw holding down.

isacco (author)2012-08-20

Congratulations for the design and the final result!
What about the sound quality? In order to reproduce good bass frequencies the back side of the speakers should be in a enclosure.

SharadScience (author)isacco2012-08-20

Thanks. I totally understand your point. My original thought for this design was to come up with something simple yet creative due to supply and time constraints. In the next go around, I think I'll deff consider designing an enclosure around the speakers, I do know that doing that will produce a much better resonance and therefore good bass frequencies.

mhartnett (author)2012-08-20

amazing project, looks beautiful.
whats the sound quality/level like?

SharadScience (author)mhartnett2012-08-20

Sound quality is definitely pretty loud. The amplifier can drive the speakers very well. In another version, I would def consider making some type of enclosure on the back of the speakers. In this version, my intent was to use whatever I had and come up with a very innovative and aesthetically pleasing solution.

SGT. Desert (author)2012-08-19

cool i like it

Thx! There is more coming.

oh really i'm wating

furthuron (author)2012-08-19

hey, love he project. where are you from? i clicked the custom engraving link and i recognized all the signs on front page, lol, one is less than half mile from me.

SharadScience (author)furthuron2012-08-19

I'm from Glen Allen, VA.

RandomIdeaMan (author)2012-08-19

Very nice! Looks very professional. I especially like the still viable amplifier board in the centre.

Would also look good with a small mounting platform above the amplifier board, on the front of the face plate to hold your MP3 player/phone rather than leave it sit on the base.

Yeah very true, it was originally the intent, but maybe in version 2!

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