Introduction: Custom IPod Boombox Boom Box

Picture of Custom IPod Boombox Boom Box

Yeah, I know there are TONS of items out there that let you plug in your iPod on the road. However, anything that is any good will cost AT LEAST $100 (probably much more). Instead, re-purpose an existing product save lots of money, have fun making it and stop global warming :P

A while back the folks at Sirius radio teamed up with JVC and came out with a boom box for their KT-SR2000 Sirius Satellite Radio Tuner. Well I guess the idea didn't work out too well and you can now find these Boom Boxes on a number of places on the web for $20 - $40.

I am not the first one to come up with the idea of using these for iPod use but there is no published COMPLETE "hack" or instructions for doing this (There is ONE website which published one but IMO the instructions were limited and had a couple of critical mistakes). Click .here to see that original post.

I divided this Instructable into different levels: You can stop at Level 1 and get simple amplification of your iPod or go further to fully mod this Boom Box into a completely customized machine.


Step 1: Level 1: the Simple Mod

Picture of Level 1:  the Simple Mod

Since this unit has a convenient AUX input, we can simply take a cable with stereo male plugs on either end and connect the output of the iPod to the input of the boom box. That's it! literally plug and play.

Also, since the cradle is not made for an iPod, you'll have to find a way to secure your player if you want it to stay with the player.

You can use a rubber band, velcro or whatever to hold the iPod in place.

OR you can go further to Level #2

Step 2: Level 2: the Window

Picture of Level 2: the Window

OK, so you want to somehow keep the iPod in the middle compartment and want it to look nice?

Tracing the opening of the door, I made a paper template which I then used to make a window out of clear Lexan. This takes a bit of patience to make it fit just right but it looks great when done.

Press the Lexan window in place and glue with your favorite glue. I used hot melt glue so as not to bleed through to the front.

Don't like the cable? Is this too ghetto for you?

Let's go to Level 3!

Step 3: Level 3: the Real Hacking Begins!

Picture of Level 3: the Real Hacking Begins!

Here is where it gets harder. We'll go ahead and make the KS-SB200 into a true iPod accessory by adding a working dock that will connect the iPod directly to the boom box and charge the unit as well.

If you haven't already done so, take the boom box apart by removing the six screws on the back of the unit. Separate the two halves, unplug the speakers and put aside the rear portion for now. Remove the Sirius connector board assembly by removing the two screws holding it in place (keep the screws).

You can use any iPod dock to do this but I recommend any cheap one that allows you to charge the unit while plugged in.

Cut the circuit board along the yellow line and sand smooth. We need to do this in order for the connector to fit in the existing opening.

Carefully solder two jumpers as shown, these are the power and ground leads that were lost when we cut the board.

Using the outlined pinouts, use the leads from the original Sirius connector to hook up our iPod connector to the boom box control board. Note that I've only listed the relevant pinouts. All others will be left disconnected.

iDock Pinout
UV - Ground
J3 - Audio Ground
J2 - Audio Right
J1 - Audio Left
P1 - +12V
P2 - Ground

J2A Connector
1 - Audio Ground
2 - Audio Ground
3 - Fan On (connect to + to turn on - I left it disconnected)
4 - Audio Right
5 - Audio Ground
6 - Audio Left
7 - +12V
8 - +12V
9 - Ground
10 - Ground

Use double sided foam tape to join the two connector boards and use the original screws to install in the cradle.

Put everything back together and test that your iPod charges when you turn on power to the Boom Box.

But wait, there's more in Level 4!

Step 4: Level 4: Making It Look Nice

Picture of Level 4: Making It Look Nice

Now that everything works well, I wanted to make it look good by painting the inside of the cradle compartment.

You can take the door off by removing the screws in the back and set it aside (watch out for the springs) OR you can mask it and paint it with the door in place. It is harder this way but I didn't want to break the door.

Mask and paint using spray paint for plastics.

Oh yeah, I also decided to make a circular opening in the Lexan "window" so that I can control the iPod while it is plugged in.

More madness in Level 5!

Step 5: Level 5: Improving the Sound

Picture of Level 5: Improving the Sound

The Boom Box sounds good as is but it is heavy on the bass and you'll really have to set your iPod EQ to FLAT in order to get a nice tone.

The JVC unit uses a preamp equalizer chip from Princeton Technology and it is relatively simple to modify it so that you can change the frequency response of the EQ, remove the Bass Boost feature and even add a 3D effect. Check out the data sheet here:

Data Sheet

I looked at the frequency response chart and decided that I would set the Boom Box EQ to the "Flat" setting with the Bass Boost still in place. This way, I can change the sound by using the iPod's internal EQ. So, I needed to remove the resistor in R83 and move it to the R80 spot. It is a little tough since it is a surface mount resistor, but be patient.

There is also a "Cycle Mode" where you can add a switch to cycle through the EQ settings, it is up to you, just follow the data sheet. Maybe I'll go back later and do this.

I could have also disabled the Bass Boost altogether by cutting the trace below pin 12 but I left it as it was (you could also wire a switch to turn the BB on and off).

There's more! in Level 6!

Step 6: Level 6: Adding a 12V Outlet

Picture of Level 6: Adding a 12V Outlet

We're almost done!

So what if I'm at the beach and my phone battery is dying? I figured since the Boom Box ran on 12V DC (either batteries or DC adapter) I could install a 12V car accessory jack so that I could plug in my phone charger or any other 12V accessory.

The Boom Box runs off of 8 "D" cells, so there is plenty of juice and there's plenty of room inside the case.

Enjoy your new iPod Boom Box with built-in 12V jack!


ssevan (author)2009-06-25

I Just moded one of these but I found that on the idock pinout P2 was ground and P1 was +12v so you may want to change that. other than that great tutorial.

fstedie (author)ssevan2011-08-10

Thanks for the heads up, fixed it.

MCzone (author)2010-12-29

my slitly more advanced stereo has 4 insulated wires and 1 non-insulaed wire connected to the head
they are green red black and white + one non insulated wire
Which one's do i connect to my iphone wire?
thanx for this great instructable

p.s. do you know anything about hooking up extra spekers to the stereo (making extra speaker outlets)?

Trustkill540 (author)2010-06-12

I wanna hack the subx1 sirius boombox! Help!

angelundrground (author)2010-05-15

I have a challenge for all of u. I can't find the answer to this one on the net so maybe one of u Instructable Gurus can figure out this one. I have this Sirius Dock & Play Boombox- Model:SUB-X1. Pic Below. I have a Ipod touch 2 Gen that I would like to be able to put into the docking station just like my Sirius units do. I know u can put a aux cable into the box and touch and it works but that's not exactly the most portable and stream lined look.

So the challenge is to modify somehow to make the docking station universal for the Touch and the Sirius radios.

Think your up to the task?
I will be forever grateful if u can figure this one out.

Erin :)

maito (author)2010-05-08

looks great! 

spydude90 (author)2009-01-24

my dad mad two of these before i saw this . and he saw the speakers at a dollar store and i just had to say i never thought of adding this other add ons this is a cool instructable

Nameless37 (author)2008-10-10

Great Instructable. Here's something cool to add on if you want. have a usb wire in the back that you can hook into the computer so you can just update quickly and go. but still great and I love four other mods

tnlightle (author)2008-09-19

You wouldn't happen to have the .pdf for the audio chip...or maybe the part number? The link in step 5 is broken. I built one of these a long time ago and I want to put the bass boost on a switch. Where do you attach the leads for the switch? Thanks!

Ulalaa (author)2008-09-06

Gosh this is so cool! I want to get one of those and modify it to death!! With your Bluetooth mod. and the way, very smart and useful that 12V input! I will google for this JVC player, thanks for the manual!

cobraStyle (author)2008-07-03

Nice instructable. Would you be able to help me power a non ipod that I can hook up to this?

warlord (author)2008-06-20

Great instructable. I'm in the process of doing this myself.

Just want to let you know these can be had for $0.99 + shipping in case you want to try this yourself. I saw it for sale and thought to myself "isn't there an instructable for one of these?"

Here's the link:

nhasty16 (author)2008-03-24

since you have an ipod dock there, i was just thinking..... if you have an ipod video, would it be possible to place RCA jacks at the back of the boom box and connect the audio to the board (L/R CH out) and the video pin to the video RCA jack to incorporate video and audio aux out? just a radical idea....

fstedie (author)nhasty162008-03-24

sure you can, but you need to use a video ipod dock. However, since you would still need a TV to see the video, you can just plug everything into the TV. That is what I do when I travel, I take my movies with me and plug into the hotel's TV.

fstedie (author)2008-03-03

Hey guys, check out the new and improved (but still in development)

Brandon121233 (author)2007-08-01

How the flip is this preventing global warming??? Not that there is such a thing in the first place anyhow.

Mr Criver (author)Brandon1212332007-12-06

Ehhh, how about this device preventing you having to buy an OEM iPod boom box? Which, no matter how you look at it, eventually will end up as (partially toxic) waste anyway. Not to mention the fact that the eBay seller might throw the thing away if it won't sell, adding to the waste pile we produce. But I agree, it's not a globally wide accepted fact that there is such thing as global warming. Call me a treehugger but I applaud these kind of initiatives. If only for the wittiness of them.

Brandon121233 (author)Mr Criver2007-12-06

I don't see any direct relationship to the amount of trash in land fills, and the rate of "global warming"

Mr Criver (author)Brandon1212332007-12-07

Good point, and I think you're right there... Landfill does not attribute to global warming (a result of air pollution, greenhouse gas and the diminishing of the ozonelayer). However, landfill does pollute, and maybe fstedie was thinking about reducing waste. With that in mind he's doing a fine job. What puzzles me in this Instructable is that using his device somehow changes the color of your iPod. This seems to happen somewhere during step four of the process. Even though this machine could be considered environmental friendly (or at least neutral), I'm not sure I'd like that odd effect...

Dpdk (author)Mr Criver2008-02-22

perhaps what he was talking about was the process of creating the plastic and other materials that are used to create the boom box

jongscx (author)2008-01-28

Why not add a usb charging plug at the top, next to the car batt (5V regulator internally of course)

Yerboogieman (author)jongscx2008-02-05

also it will take less power than 12v

fstedie (author)jongscx2008-01-28

Not a bad idea, I might incorporate it in my next version...

You are making another Ipod Boom Box?

DIY Dave (author)2007-10-10

I made one for about $1.50 with used parts. It doesn't sound perfect but it works.

Neodudeman (author)2007-08-31

Absolutely awesome. I love the way you formatted this instructable; different levels, new ideas. I never would have thought to put a 12v output. lol. So cool.

axia (author)2007-08-07

Two questions: how long would you say it took to build, and do you think that it is relatively water/sand resistant. I'm not talking about dropping it in the water or anything, but say taking it to the beach, keeping sand out, etc?

fstedie (author)axia2007-08-07

I don't know of any portable stereo product that is really "beach" resistant other than the yellow "sport" models from Sony a few years ago. If you don't make a hole in the window it would keep the sand out. But really, this was so cheap to make that I wouldn't care. As for how long it takes, it depends on whether you do all the Levels. If I were to start from scratch without documenting it, it would probably take me a couple of hours for the whole thing.

loizzo (author)2007-08-02

i am considering making this for my ipod nano but how loud does this get will this be just as good or better then using my speakers from my desktop computer, and how long does this last running on battery power?

fstedie (author)loizzo2007-08-02

Most computer speakers are pretty crappy, this is a real portable boom box with very good volume and sound. There is no comparison unless you have a higher end computer sound system. I don't know how long the batteries will last, I still have my first set. It really depends on how loud you play it!

loizzo (author)fstedie2007-08-02

thanks this is a great instructable i think i might just try this beacause iw as considering an ipod speaker dock but i couldnt find anything worth the price. The soldering and juoming seems a little confusing but i think that i will be able to do it

fstedie (author)loizzo2007-08-03

I'll be happy to help. Remember you don't have to do all the steps! BTW, what is "juoming"?

loizzo (author)fstedie2007-08-03

sorry i meant to say jumping (typo) when after you cut the dock and have to fix the leads that were broken

Coati (author)2007-08-01

That is one pretty piece of work and one of the best instructables I have read.

blackrazor (author)2007-07-31

This is great! I am going to find a KT-SR2000 and build one of these right away!

fstedie (author)blackrazor2007-07-31

BTW, there is a bunch of these on eBay, you can search for either KS-SB200 or KT-SR2000 (tuner)

About This Instructable




Bio: Hello, my name is Eddie. I'm one of those people that can't leave well enough alone so I'll inevitably take things apart ... More »
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