I have been using this and have found that although I have not actually weighed it, the ammo can boombox is really not that heavy or cumbersome to take with you. The range of the bluetooth with the lid closed is about 10 feet and I haven't tested it with the lid open. I haven't had the opportunity to run it to see how long the battery would last before the solar charger low battery alarm kicks on at low level 10.8vdc. I have connected a portable mini air compressor to inflate tires. I have also connected an external inverter (12vdc to 120vac converter) to charge my laptop.
The adhesive backed LED halo was intended for car headlights but I added it to the end to provide light when carrying the can and walking the trail to the river. I added the dimmer because the halo is very bright and the dimmer was very cheap. I also use a matching shoulder strap I attach to the handle so it frees me to carry more gear.
As to the performance of the sound, I was going to go with marine grade speakers (and plug the bass port/solar plug hole) to keep the can water resistant but settled on lower cost, better performance speakers. Although I could have put focal or morel brand 4" speakers I decided on a lower budget especially since it is, after all, just an ammo box plus I was afraid I might inadvertently damage a speaker since they didn't come with grills and I didn't want to add one. After going with pioneer brand I am thankful I did. I will not try to compare them to reference studio monitors but for the price and size I am impressed at how they sound, and yes, these are loud enough. I have no performance or statistical data for this project because I am not marketing it and aside from gathering the components it was just a weekend project that I wanted to share with the community.
While I tried to target a general audience, everyone here has a wide degree of experience. Some language may be too simple for some or there may be unfamiliar concepts or terms. If you are a beginner, as we all once were, then you can further research it online.
Step 1: Gather Materials
12 Volt 10 Watt Polycrystalline 36 Cell Solar Panel Photovoltaic PV 15 Watt Max
1PC 20A 12V/24V Solar Panel Charge Controller Battery Regulator Safe Protection
Cigarette Lighter Socket Splitter 12V Dual USB Charger Power Adapter Outlet Car
12V 9AH Sealed Lead Acid Battery for Emergency Lighting Equipment and ATV's
40A In-Line Car Boat AUTO Blade Fuse Holder Waterproof 12AWG 125V DC
Fat 50 PA-108 SAW Larger Ammo Cans Boxes Army Surplus 100% Steel GRADE2
12V Male Car Cigarette Lighter Socket Plug Connector with Fuse Red LED DIY HM
NEW Cigarette Lighter plug / SAE Battery Tender Charger 2 pole Flat plug 12V Cig
12V Car Round Rocker Dot Boat Blue LED Light Toggle ON/OFF Switch Newly
PIONEER TS-G1045R 4" G-Series 210-Watt Max Power 2-Way Speakers - SJ252
TDA7492P 50W+50W Bluetooth 4.0 Audio Receiver Digital Amplifier Board AUX 12V 24
2pc 12 Gauge 2 Pin Quick Disconnect Wire Harness - SAE connectors
DC 5.5 x 2.1mm Power Male Jack Adapter Cable Plug Connector for CCTV / LED
100mm COB 72 SMD Led Car Angel Eyes HeadLight Halo Ring Light DRL Bulb
misc crimp connectors
paracord to wrap handle
aluminum angle for solar panel frame
velcro for mounting hardware in box
22. misc screws for speakers (I used #10 fine thread)
I did not add the links to the items since items on Ebay or Amazon can be dated and may not be found. I did purchase 95% of the items on those sites so you should be able to search them.Price may vary but total came out to around US$120 not including the trickle charger since I had one already. Plus some items you may find on the list are sold in quantities....but it's fine if you are going to build another one for a gift.
Step 2: Cut the Ammo Can
A few tips on cutting with hole saws....First is Safety. Wear approved safety glasses and appropriate gloves since you will be dealing with metal shavings and sharp edges. I also recommend hearing protection while doing any cutting into the can as it will be loud. I used a 3-3/4" hole saw to cut the speaker holes. The speakers are 4" but anyone who uses hole saws know that the finished size is always larger. It came out just right. I used a cordless drill and set the clutch kind of high so if it bites it won't ruin the can or twist your wrist. I used varying pressure and speeds....faster at first with light pressure to get an even cut and then slower as you start to cut through. You may have to change the angle of the drill so the hole saw cuts evenly. When you are almost through, take it slow. Also, most cordless drill weren't made for larger hole saws so constantly monitor the drill temp and if it gets warm to hot then stop and let it cool so you don't burn out your drill. Using cutting oil where the hole saw meets the metal is optional, I didn't use it since the metal is thin.
I then cut the rectangle shape out where the accessory charging panel goes. Tip: I used painters or masking tape to tape out around 3" from all the way around the rectangle hole you will cut. Lay down about two or three layers thick so when you are running the jig saw you don't scratch the surface of the ammo can with the jig saw foot.....unless you plan to paint the can. I drilled a hole near each corner big enough to fit a jig saw blade and then used an electric jig saw to cut out the rectangle. For all the other holes on the box I just used a 1/8" pilot drill and then used a step drill for the solar charging port/bass port and round switches.
This would be the time to deburr or remove all sharp edges where you cut into the can. Erase any pencil marks used during the layout.
Step 3: Assembly
Once you have all the components laid out to your satisfaction we can begin the next step.
Step 4: Wiring
Some of my wiring is oversized for the amount of amps I am pushing through because that is what I had. Perhaps in version 2 I will get the right colors and gauge for everything. Typically in a 12vdc system you would use red for 12vdc positive and black for 12vdc negative. Also, I didn't want the solar charger to be in charge of everything so I kept some if the load separate and the trickle charger is charging the battery directly through the cigarette lighter socket. Everything works as it should and perhaps I may get input in this area as this was a prototype.
Finally, since I am putting accessory cables inside I tried to tape any exposed metal contact points or wire ends on the lower half to keep something from accidentally shorting and blowing a fuse.