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I wanted an set of powered speakers for my iPod and iPhone, and the $20 ones from the big box stores just won't cut the mustard.  I saw a link a few weeks back where someone build powered speakers out of old suit cases, but I don't want to spend the $250 to buy one.  The next best thing... Hack together one for myself.


Step 1: Parts List

I had most of the parts around the house except for a few connectors and audio input cable which I got at the local Radio Shack.  I am out of pocket about $30 for this system.

Parts list:
1 x  old powered 5.1 PC speaker system.
1 x pair left over 100watt Pioneer car speakers (Paid $89.95 in 2000 for these)
1 x old suit case I got for $1 at a local pawn shop big enough for all of the stuff inside
1 x 12v 2 amp wall plug  this was left over from the speaker system
1 x 12v 7amp battery from an old remote control toy
1 x audio aux cable $9 from radio shack
1 x female case mount power socket
1 x 2 way switch to switch power source between battery and wall wart
various bits of wire, connectors, tape, etc...

Tools used:
Drill with various bits
Hobby knife
hot melt glue gun

For the labels:
I used Inkscape to create the labels out of some left over vinyl sheet.  I cut these out using my wife's Cricut scrapbook cutter.


Step 2: Tear Down

I didn't get any pics of the powered sub tear down, but I removed the 4 screws holding it together and took off the front part of the case.  the sub was mounted to the grill that came off, so I took it out and unplugged it from the board via the molex connector.


Step 3: Mounting the Speakers

Next step was to see how everything was going to fit in the case. 

I put in the amp part and battery to see where the speakers would be mounted.

I marked the case where the grills would be with a sharpie and cut out the speaker holes with the hobby knife.

I mounted the speakers with various bolts I had around the shed.

The speaker grills were modified and will be hot glued on after everything is tested out.


Step 4: Wire It Up


I drilled a hold for the on/off switch, wall power plug, and audio input cable. 

The power switch was hooked up to allow battery power when it is switched one way and wall power when it is switched the other way.  the switch is off in the center position.

I wired up the wall power plug to the on/off switch.

I wired up the battery to the other side of the on/off switch, and I made a plug to go into the pc speaker amp and plugged it in.

I used hot glue to glue the power wires around the case so they would be out of the way.

Step 5: Finishing It Up

I tested everything out and then hot glued on the grill covers.  I used Inkscape and made some quick graphics for the Case-O-Music.  This could be a whole instructable itself, so maybe I can do that next time.

I printed out labels for the power switch, audio input, and wall input as well as a large logo for the front.

Things I still need to do:
Add in an LED to show when it is powered on.

Things I want to do:
I want to add a micro-controller controlling LEDs on the front doing some crazy disco patterns.

I like it....I have made 3 of these using Coolers, but I bet the suitcase has a better sound quality.? <br>Also I cant see the placement of the Amp.....Where did you put it? <br>For anyone looking for Cheap Awesome Amps for this, Parts Express carries the Sure Electronics Amps and they are &quot;Perfect&quot; for these type of projects.<br>http://www.parts-express.com/wizards/searchResults.cfm?srchExt=Mfg&amp;srchMfg=133&amp;Manufacturer=Sure%20Electronics <br>After seeing this I have a couple of soft/hard laptop cases that would be pretty good for this..<br>Thanks for Sharing!
Thx RedMeanie. The amp is under the words &quot;Case-o-Music&quot; on the lower right hand side. The battery sets right next to it about under the speaker graphic. The amp and battery are both about the same depth which worked out to be the same size as the case, so they are just wedged in there. If either of them were smaller, I would have had to run some straps inside to mount them.<br><br>I really wanted a better case, but for $1, I couldn't really beat the price.
I've been trying to get something like this going for a while using a decorative box, old computer speakers, and a loud speaker I have lying around. I'm glad I found this.

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