Introduction: Boomcase Mimic

Picture of Boomcase Mimic

Hey everyone.  I just wanted to share my version of the popular Boomcase.  I didn't want to drop over 500 dollars for one so I made my own.  Materials cost me about 50 bucks, and labor was two weeks, mainly waiting for parts to arrive. Majority of the items are reused from a thrift store or I harnessed it from old electronics.   It's still a work in progress since I am still working up a way to add a battery and charging option to it.  Happy Viewing!!!

Step 1: Parts and Tools List

Picture of Parts and Tools List

Lepai 2020A+ Amplifier
1960 American Tourista Tiara suitcase
2 used panasonic 4ohm, 3watt, 6 inch speakers
2 used RCA 1.3 ohm, 1.5watt, 5 inch speakers
1 philmore DC panel mount jack
1 3.5mm panel mount jack
1 retractable 3.5mm male to male audio jack

12v-18v drill
1/2" Drill bit
1/4" Drill bit
hand saw or in my case a stainless steel kitchen knife ( router is faster)
solder, soldering iron
electrical tape
Dremel, sanding bits
Plastic masking
3M or similar masking tape



Step 2: Step1

Picture of Step1

-Figure out what your desired speaker configuration should be.
-Do a mockup in a cardboard box, mine was from a item i just ordered that week.

Step 3: Step2

Picture of Step2

-Tape up your suitcase, draw your template
-Drill starting holes, and cut into the box, a router would be ideal but I only had a stainless steel kitchen knife from one of those infomercials my mom got me, I never had the need to cut through a frozen turkey or bricks with it.   
-Dremel your holes smooth and to fit the speakers.

Step 4: Step3

Picture of Step3

-Drill holes to fit amp, dc jack and 3.5mm jack.
-Fit everything and wire it all up, tape it all up, your DC plug and 3.5mm, use the volt meter to find the positive and negative of the DC plug, usually striped wiring or red is positive.
-hot glue everything to case.

-Note: the amp has only 2 outputs at 8 ohms each, if you want to add tweeters you would need crossovers or component speakers that have built in crossovers which mine did. 

Step 5: Step5

Picture of Step5

-Close it up, plug it up and enjoy

Happy DIYing!........

Step 6: Battery

Picture of Battery

For now I'm using my portable 10,000 mah Anker battery that I use for charging any 5v usb or 9v/12v dc electronics on the go.  It can power the case for over 10 hours at the volume and amp draw I play it at.  And when not in use i pull the bat out and use it for my cellphones, cames in handy during hurricanes like Sandy. 

Step 7: Speaker Sound Test So Far.....

Picture of Speaker Sound Test So Far.....

Here is what it sounds like so far....


jm31181 (author)2012-11-16

Battery section update.

nerdologist (author)jm311812015-08-26

I know that this instructable is like 12 internet years old but I'm hoping that you see this question. How did you get the battery to run the amp? I purchased the same amp, battery and only one set of speakers (smaller speakers, too). When I hook the battery up to the amp it powers up but it won't power the speakers. Then I turn off the amp and hook it up to the wall outlet and it powers everything just fine. Thank you for the great instructable!

nerdologist (author)nerdologist2015-08-26

Nevermind. I figured it out.

I'm having the same problem - how did you figure it out?

AbsoluteB1 (author)nerdologist2016-12-12

how did you connect the battery in the end?

SpencerK2 (author)nerdologist2015-09-11

How did you figure this issue out? I have having the same problem. Thanks!

jm31181 (author)2012-10-21

Thanks for all your suggestions, I am still finding a charging solution and I'll def look into speaker covers and barrier/ fill separators for it. Love all the ideas!

qwertydude (author)2012-10-22

You know if you're looking for a good charger battery solution, I find the best for my boombox projects is a 3 cell 5000 mah li-ion RC car pack. This will offer plenty of power and adds very little weight unlike the more popular lead acid setup I always see.

Plus these also have a balance jack that can be used for a charger. So my setup uses a 3 cell lithium balance charger and 3 cell lithium battery. What's really nice is the charger automatically charges the battery and can even do so while you're using it. Plus it takes either the supplied adapter or you can make a car adapter so it can charge in your car too.

And the best part is the price. You can get the charger and battery usually for less than $40 online.

TomW49 (author)qwertydude2015-11-29

Is that 3 seperate batteries or a battery with 3 cells?

Tater Zoid (author)qwertydude2014-01-20

Thank you for the battery info. I'm trying to charge and play my boombox without opening my case.

jm31181 (author)qwertydude2013-01-28

Do you have this battery in a firebag? One thing i've heard of charging lithiums is that overcharging will set them on fire.

qwertydude (author)jm311812013-01-28

Well then don't over charge them. I've measured the charger when it charges, mine shuts off charging at 4.18 volts so there's not danger of overcharging. I have never had one overcharge for the 4 years I've been using lipo.

I have had some cheap chargers that came with some RC helicopters that did charge to 4.21 volts still under the 4.25 volt threshold but I threw those away. But basically if you're not an idiot with charging you'll be safe.

There's always a danger with a hydrogen explosion with lead acid because of charging in an enclosed area, but how paranoid are people of that risk?

joshvonnieda (author)qwertydude2013-01-26

do you have a link for this battery and charger? i'd like to upgrade my setup.

qwertydude (author)joshvonnieda2013-01-26

No real link because supplies are always changing.

But ebay is a great place to search. Look for these two items. Be sure to filter US only so it doesn't take a month to get your equipment. Here are some pre filtered links to look through.

And for the charger.

This doesn't come with an adapter to plug into the wall but a simple 12 volt adapter that fits the socket works just fine. You can also make one that plugs into a cigarette socket in a car.

rcarswell2 (author)2012-12-28

Finished up a drum case speakerbox for my wife this Christmas. It was her old snare drum case from high school. I found Pyle waterproof speakers on Amazon for $15/pair and they had built in louvre covers that had a nice retro look to them. I got the same Lepai 20W amp and picked up the Anker battery too. It all works amazingly well. I fabricated some wire extensions to connect the amp to external jacks (3.5mm stereo jack, RCA plugs and an external AC adapter jack). And then cleaned it all up with flexible wiring loom (think chinese finger trap). I also added a drawer pull to the front just above the amp's knobs to protect them from getting banged up. [**trying to post photos here in this thread, but instructables is being difficult.**]

pcanning1 (author)rcarswell22015-02-19

How are you wiring up the 4 speakers to the amp (as it is only 2 channel?)

rcarswell2 (author)pcanning12015-02-20

I wanted 4 speakers on this sized case and I realize the amp is only two channel, but the amp also has output for two sets of speakers. Presumably for front and rear like in a vehicle, but it lacks fade controls. So I just utilized all 4 speaker connections on the amp 2 Left, 2 Right. I'm sure by plugging in 4 speakers I'm reducing the wattage to each channel, but I'm happy with the look of 4 speakers and the overall sound and loudness.

seattler (author)rcarswell22013-06-22

Great job! How did you mount the the looks like you took the faceplate off of the front and opened the unit up, is that right? I'm trying to figure out how to cut an opening in my suitcase and secure the amp without it looking like a hack job.

jm31181 (author)seattler2013-06-24

What I did was remove it from the casing with 2 screws on the back and 4 in front where the faceplate it. Than you can get an idea of what your working with. Cut a rectangular area that is enough for the amp board to fit through but not past where the faceplate screws would go. You can use the casing as a template. Just keep cutting and test fitting. I would cut a little at a time because once you cut too far you will not be able to install the entire unit onto the case. Once you have enough cut and the board fits into the case you can drill holes where the faceplate original screw hole were and screw into the case. Hope this helps.

jm31181 (author)rcarswell22013-01-25

Excellent......! I just finished another one, I'll post it soon on here. Keep up the great work!

phil_breg (author)2015-01-14

Hi guys,

That a cool boomcase!

Anybody have a electronic drawing for me to understand the concept?

Many thanks,


XxBALLISTICxX (author)2014-10-05

now question how long would it last if the volume is trun up all the way with that battery

Jettster (author)2013-12-21

Very cool! If I wanted to add a USB charger to my case, what would you suggest?

jm31181 (author)Jettster2013-12-23

Did you want to add a USB mount to it or charge it with a USB plug? USB charging is very slow about 5v 500ma, a wall socket is a much better option to charge a case up faster.

Jettster (author)jm311812013-12-23

I was thinking about having something to maintain the battery while playing music. But, it wasn't necessary.

lgitter (author)2013-07-17

I purchased an Anker Astro Pro to power a vehicle head unit. I am new to wiring. I stripped the output cord which had a red and black wire. I connected the red wire to the red and yellow wire of the head unit and the black to black. The head unit powers up for a few seconds but then the battery shuts off. Can anyone tell me why? Thanks!

hikerobby (author)2013-07-03

I have a question, the equipment I have is below, a crossover with an input and a woofer and tweeter port. And an amp, and a motorcycle battery. How do I connect the battery to the amp and how do I connect the speakers? I have box speakers from the thrift store that I disassembled. Do the speaker wires go into the crossover and then from the R and L amp into the input of the crossover?
thanks I am confused!

johnthat (author)2013-03-31

Which battery option IS better? A 3-cell 5000 mah li-ion pack or the Astro 3? Why?

jm31181 (author)johnthat2013-04-01

Astro 3 stated at 10,000 mah. a 3 cell 11.2v lipo is at 5000mah. so would guess the run time is 50% of the astro. For the output power needed on the amp I don't see an issue running the case for over 6 hours at good volume on a 5000mah LIPO.

joshvonnieda (author)2012-12-19

I made a similar project. Pelican case 1400, rockford fosgate punch 30 amp, mb quart speaker and a 17aH sla. Heavy little sucker but it kicks all night a loud volumes. Recently added a second pelican case and speaker to utilize the second channel.

jm31181 (author)joshvonnieda2013-01-25


Phoghat (author)2012-10-26

I saw these on Etsy and with all the T-amps available on eBay and other sites, built my own using a s2 speaker enclosure. Not as elegant as yours, but it does the job. I'm using a 12V 8 ah battery for power and a motorcycle battery charger . Works

jm31181 (author)Phoghat2013-01-25

I realized I never responded to you. sorry. I would love to see your creation....!

1montana77 (author)2013-01-15

Hi, I've recently built one and live it. Using a leipie amp, but with a Bluetooth receiver it works great wirelessly. The problemi have is with e battery supply. I'm using this which I bought from eBay which works great, lasts for hours but I have to jump start it from the mains. Can anyone tell me why this might be the case?

rcarswell2 (author)2012-12-14

What size is the Philmore panel mount DC power jack?...2.1 or 2.5?

jm31181 (author)rcarswell22012-12-14


poofrabbit (author)2012-11-29

Congratulations on being a finalist in the DIY Audio Contest!! Good luck to you!

terry bailey (author)2012-11-02

I am pretty right brained. What are the dc jack and the 3.5mm jacks used for? Do they connect something on the inside to something on the outside? I can't get it straight in my head. Hope you can help.

jm31181 (author)terry bailey2012-11-12

Sorry for the delayed response I was on vacation. The DC jack is just an external panel mount as an extension of the DC jack to power the AMP. And the 3.5mm is a audio jack to input your ipod or MP3 player into.

boyrock375 (author)2012-10-24

i am working on something simular and was lucky enough to find the same amp on amazon for 13 bucks with free shipping

jm31181 (author)boyrock3752012-10-25

thats great...... send me some pics when your done. My one suggestion is to get a 12V 3 to 5a switchable power plug. Since the one it comes with is a relabeled 1.2A one.

Adinkracom (author)2012-10-21

That is sweet! Very nice! Keep us posted on the charging part please.

jm31181 (author)Adinkracom2012-10-22


wiredcav (author)Adinkracom2012-10-21

I'd strongly recommend a 7AH sealed lead acid battery (you can get them for about $20), and a charger such as this one:

You really want a charger that goes into float mode (not trickle mode) for the lead acid batteries.

pellepeloton (author)2012-10-21

I am in the process of making couple of these myself.
I just got an idea how to place the speakers.
1 Use a flatbed scanner to scan the picture of speakers you have.
2. Print the speaker pictures you just scanned.
3. Cut out the speaker pics
4. Glue the pictures on to a thin cardboard.
5. Now place the speaker templates to the suitcase using glue tack.
6. vary the location of the speakers until you are happy with the layout.
7. Mark the holes and cut as per this instructable.

jm31181 (author)pellepeloton2012-10-21

I would love to see your final project!

pellepeloton (author)2012-10-21

For the battery you could use one from a rechargeable battery drill.
I have seen plenty of used battery drill at the local recycling centre here in Nelson, New Zealand.
Even the cheapest new battery drills are cheap enough to use in this project.

doctressjulia (author)2012-10-21

I love this! What kind of music do you play out of it?

jm31181 (author)doctressjulia2012-10-21

A little bit of everything usually. Right now I'm on the dubstep kick....

mosterland (author)2012-10-21

How is the sound quality? Especially the resonance of the suitcase interests me very much!
Anyway a great idea, I'm thinking about doing this with a briefcase!

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