Introduction: DIY Tough Bluetooth Boombox (Lasts 20hrs!)

Picture of DIY Tough Bluetooth Boombox (Lasts 20hrs!)

Get ready to build a tough & rugged boombox! "RaveBOX (v1.0)" can charge USB devices, play MP3s and tune to FM stations! It also comes with an IR remote offering better convenience. The boombox gives action sports and outdoor enthusiasts 18 hours of nonstop music. Whether you're at the beach, shooting rapids, or hiking outdoors, the boombox remains safe in its tough (Pelican-like) weatherproof shell.

How I Came Up With The Design:
It's been a while since I last posted my last boombox tutorial, it was pretty much a success but as we all know technology advances annually. RaveBOX is now as powerful as my old boombox but it's half the size of the old one.

I really had no design when I made this project, I had a "go with the flow" sort of vibe. One day I went to the mall to buy my usual supplies then suddenly I came across this generic Pelican-like case. They were selling it for like P480 ($9.60), I still had some speaker lying around, so I thought it would be cool to fit my four unused fullrange speakers + my 4" HiFi woofer. With no hesitation, I bought the awesome looking case. As I went back home, I started searching for parts in my inventory. I still had some amp chips lying around. I found two extra 2x3 Amp Modules (form and my beloved Bluetooth Player Module (from

All that's left is my battery, I wanted to make sure that my boombox would last a day of non-stop playback without charging, so I though of a solution! My robots are using LiPo batteries since they had a high "size to power" ratio, meaning they have a high mAh rating for their extremely compact size. Since the competition is still scheduled for December, I borrowed some of my LiPo batteries and decided to put them in my new speaker project.

Specs/ Features:
- 2.1 Channel Audio System (6W + 6W + 20W)
- USB Charging Capabilities (6600mAh)
- 18hrs Max Playback (LiPo Bat)
- Bluetooth 3.0 Audio Connection
- 3.5 Stereo Auxiliary Connection
- Equipped w/ FM Radio Tuner
- IR Remote Control

WARNING! You'll need some basic soldering skills, a little knowledge of electronics, and some patience to build this. Please don't blame me if you mess up the modules. SMD chips are very sensitive to over-voltage, handle them with extreme care! There's a lot to go wrong with this project. Good luck!

Step 1: Tools & Materials

Picture of Tools & Materials
Audio Modules & MISC:
- Bluetooth/ FM/ USB/ SD Player Module (w/ Remote)
2-Channel 3W PAM8403 Audio Amplifier (2pcs)
- Generic Watertight Container (Pelican Knockoff)
- 3 Cell 2.2A Lithium Polymer Battery (Turningy)
Speaker Alternatives:
- 3W Fullrange Speakers (4pcs) [Alternative#1]
- 3W Fullrange Speakers (4pcs) [Alternative#2]
- 4" Woofer Speaker (8 ohms) [Alternative#1]
- 4" Woofer Speaker (4 ohms) [Alternative#2]
- 4" Woofer Speaker (8 ohms) [Alternative#3]

TDA2005 Amplifier Parts:
Capacitors (25V)Resistors (¼w)MISC.
220uF (2x) 120K TDA2005 I.C.
100uF (2x) 2K Screw Posts
2.2uF (2x) 1K 100kΩ Pot
100nF (3x) 12Ω (2x) Heatsink
10uF (1x) 1Ω (2x)  
Tools, Materials & Equipment:
- Rotary Tool (Dremel)
- Leatherman Multitool
- Portable Electric Drill
- Silicone Applicator
- 40W Soldering Iron
- Mini Hot Glue Gun
- Electrical Tape

Step 2: Measuring & Marking

Picture of Measuring & Marking

Get your vernier caliper/ ruler then transfer your speaker's measurements by using a compass & marker.

Step 3: Drilling & Cutting

Picture of Drilling & Cutting

Here's my secret! Many are having a hard time making perfectly round speaker holes with a rotary tool. If you've ever heard of the "sanding drum bit", now is the perfect time to buy one. Start of by drilling a large hole inside your circular markings then sand of the excess plastic all the way to your markings. The Leatherman is sharp enough to cut the plastic, you can use it for the switch's hole. 

Step 4: Clean the Edges

Picture of Clean the Edges

The rotary tool has left a jagged texture. Clear this off with your Leatherman's ultra-sharp blade then sand it of with a 300-grit sandpaper.

Step 5: Mounting the Speakers & Bluetooth Panel

Picture of Mounting the Speakers & Bluetooth Panel

1st.)  Drill four holes for the woofer's screw mounts.
2nd.) Seal the woofer's gap with a bottle of silicone sealant.
3rd.)  Use superglue to mount the four tiny full-ranged speakers.

Step 6: Wiring Instructions

Picture of Wiring Instructions

Here's a detailed wiring diagram, it's easy and simple! :D

- The Bluetooth module/ panel has an internal regulator (5-30v)
- Do not ground the speaker, they have separate lines
- They all share a common ground (negative wire)
- The PAM8403 amp module's "SW" pin is N/C
- Keep the wires as short a possible
- Observe proper speaker polarity! 
- Use thick wires for the mains

Step 7: Installing the Full-range Speaker's Amplifiers

Picture of Installing the Full-range Speaker's Amplifiers

Mount the PAM8403 amp module on both Left and Right speaker array. Refer to the image above for the wiring instruction.

Step 8: Finding a Good 5v Regulator

Picture of Finding a Good 5v Regulator

The PAM8403 needs a decent 5v regulator. The 7805 isn't enough to power two PAM8403 amp modules. Maybe it can, but by powering them with two separate 7805s. The 7805 is an outdated regulator, so better buy a 2 ampere USB car charger, it's much more effecient compared to having two 7805s. Plus the car charger's heat dissipation is much lower than the 7805s.

1st.)  Disasseble the cheap 12v USB charger
2nd.) Get the charger's circuit
3rd.)  Disolder the USB's female plug.
4th.)  Solder both PAM8403 amp module's 5v-input parallel to the 12v USB charger's 5v output.

Step 9: Mono Amp PCB Fabrication

Picture of Mono Amp PCB Fabrication

Since last year, I started using photosynthesized PCBs (presynthesized). It's much more cleaner and faster compared to the toner ink transfer method. You can still do the toner transfer method. The PCB layout (PDF) is provided below.

Learn To Fabricate PCBs:Click Here (Visit My Other Tutorial)

Step 10: Assembling the Mono Amp

Picture of Assembling the Mono Amp

Follow the photo above for the part's layout. Solder them to their respective pins. 

Sorry! I forgot to flip my PCBs image, so I did the wrong side soldering method to get the pins right. Don't wory about the downloadable content, it's been corrected. If you are still confused, base the orientation on the schematic diagram.

Step 11: Combining L + R Channels for the Woofer

Picture of Combining L + R Channels for the Woofer

Since we have mono woofer, the woofer should share both left and right audio signals. 

The L-Channel, as shown in the diagram, goes to your Bluetooth module's left audio out. While the R-channel goes to the right. The M on the other hand goes to your woofer's amp (audio-input). 

Step 12: Choosing & Installing the Battery

Picture of Choosing & Installing the Battery

I still had some LiPo batteries lying around in my workspace, I decided to use them for now. Lithium Polymer batteries serve as an excellent choice for long lasting power performance. The speaker can last for 18hrs @89dB, that's pretty good for an outstanding & punchy boombox. 

Remember, Lithium batteries don't like to get themselves drained for a long time, if they do, they bloat. And don't forget, they need special chargers, the ones with configurable LCD screens. Be careful with them and don't forget to do a monthly check on the battery!


ynze (author)2014-02-25

You put the charging unit directly to the lipo battery. So you can charge only 12V devices? What's the idea behind that? It would be cool to put a voltage regulator in between, so you can charge phones, psp's and mp3-players...

ASCAS (author)ynze2014-02-25

The charging plug is for the boombox's LiPo charger. If you look at the boombox very closely, the Bluetooth panel has a USB port. You can certainly charge any type of USB device (iPhones, PSPs, etc...).

tiagos (author)ASCAS2014-08-12

So for the pcb amplifier ?

Joshua Marc Perry (author)2017-10-21

Do you need a Li-Po battery charger or can you use a a DC power supply connected to the mains?

MarkM611 (author)2017-05-18

Just wondering what value of
capacitor you used here and what difference it made? I’ve search the web and
haven’t been able to find any information on it.

EnatorX made it! (author)2016-08-11

I modified an old Philips boombox. It was quite heavy, thanks to the transformer and other AC parts inside, so i removed everything inside that was related to AC power. Then i removed the cassette unit, because it was broken, and i don't have any cassette tapes laying around except Commodore 64 games. Then i glued a cover from my old smartphone to the lid of the cassette unit, and I think it turned out pretty well. Now i can watch video on the phone while it's playing from the boombox speakers.

I also made a battery pack from 12 cellphone batteries. I guess it sounds odd, but it actually works well. I've connected them in series of 3, paralel 4 times. There's a good amount of juice right there.

At first when all this was soldered and put together, everything worked well, except for one thing. The bluetooth mode was constantly playing some buzzing sounds, and it was terrible. I tried a lot of things to get around this, but nothing worked, until i discovered that there was no buzzing sound when the Bluetooth module was connected to a seperate power source. Thinking that 2 seperate batteries would be a mess, i decided to buy an isolated power supply. (I actually didn't know it existed before this project :P)

I connected it to my cicuit to the module, and now everything works perfect.

I bought this one:

But i've measured the bluetooth module to consume a little more than 1 watt, so i'm sure this one will be a better solution:

It's more expensive, but i'm sure it's worth it.

I have plans attatching some LED strips to the boombox to make it look fancy :D

RichM5 (author)EnatorX2016-10-18

Your buzzing sound was your floating ground. Get a GFI (Ground Fault Interrupter) and drop it in, problem solved. It basically just isolates your audio output from your noisy ground plane a little better. Alternately, you can go back in and decouple your ground plane better in your circuits, same difference.

Spark85 (author)2016-10-08

Hi, just wanting to know why the larger capacitor was installed on the PAM 8403 amp module and what size it is? Looking at trying to build this project very soon. Thanks

JesseE23 (author)2016-09-20

I was just wondering where did you go to get all the components to build the mono amplifier. I would like to just buy all of them at one location or one website.


Alex345 (author)2016-09-14

what kind of gauge wire did you use.Or what kind of wire should I use

DavidB952 (author)2016-09-10

Hi! Nice project.

How did you come up with the 18 hours of nonstop music?

with the 2200 mAh LiPo battery at 11.1 V and 32 W maximum power drawn by the amplifier, your battery would last much less in theory. Is this at full volume? What is the current drawn by your system at full volume? Thanks

pkocurek (author)2016-09-07

Hey, I really like this instructable. I would love to make the box, but I'm being lost with drivers. In your text, you say 20w, but on your woofer, there is 150w. Will the speakers you recommended work with listed amps? thanks

AmirK32 (author)2016-08-20

Hej man nice job, but i dont understand, why not use the ground from the amps?

JamieD16 made it! (author)2015-10-02

Hey ASCAS, love what you have done and inspired me to build my own project. I have used the same b/t player and connected the 2x 10k ohm resistors to fix the high pitch noise, although it has helped, I have still have ALOT of noise through bluethooth! Aux line and radio are great so do you think it could be the b/t unit could be faulty? I will some pics of my build! So far have an average db reading of 105db but not sure accurate that is :).
Thanks in advance mate!

EnatorX (author)JamieD162016-08-11

Hey Jamie, i've experienced the same issue. I've made a boombox too, with this exact bluetooth module, and mine was making a lot of noise when switched to Bluetooth mode. I tried a lot of different things, including connecting some capacitors i had laying around. I found, that when the bluetooth module was connected to a seperate power source, everything worked fine! But that's not good enough, and two seperate batteries in the boombox would just be a mess! So I thought about some kind of circuit isolator, but i wasn't sure if it existed. But it did! And I've connected mine to my circuit today, and boom, everything sounds perfect!

I bought this one:
But then when i measured the amps consumed by the module, i found out that the module is consuming a little more than 1 watt, so this one will probably die out not too soon :/ then i looked for another one with a higher wattage, and found this one:
I've ordered it, but haven't recieved it yet. But it's so easy to connect, just solder 4 wires, and you're good to go :D This last one is quite a bit more expensive, but I'm pretty sure it's worth it. I'll leave another post in a while to tell if the first one still works, or if it's fried :D

Dawgsontop03 (author)JamieD162016-02-01

Did the capacitor work for you? I am have like a tick tick tick sound that is about a second apart from each other. And if i put any capacitor on the output it dampens my volume to almost nothing when it is on full blast. Thanks

Divergence (author)JamieD162015-12-27

nice work man! simple fix to that is to chuck a 47uF capacitor on the output of the bluetooth audio, should get rid of your noise :)

Divergence (author)Divergence2015-12-27


nuteronix (author)2016-07-31

Someone actually used the TDA2005 amp circuit i designed. Kinda heartwarming. Glad to know it serves you well. Anyone getting a buzz or hiss from their speakers should reduce the input stage gain and use star earthing as far as possible in their equipment. Seperate digital and anaolgue ground! Cheers

prjoe86 (author)2016-06-29

Question is there any way this could be applied with a large full size speaker box i have a klipsch sitting around and i really dont want a surround sound but if i could convert it into a bluetooth unit it would be perfect

Fhank you jn advance

AlanS14 (author)2016-06-29

I'm not sure about tough when it comes to the speaker cones- they damage easily. They should be protected with a layer mesh to protect them as a speaker grill- there are stainless steel mesh sheets which would be very tough, even some of the nylon meshes would do a good job here.

hoopty1 (author)2016-06-28

I was just wondering.... shouldn't you seal the smaller speakers from the air pressure from the sub-woofer? It seems it would influence the frequencies the smaller speakers are capable of producing. GREAT PROJECT THOUGH!!!

NickL15 (author)2016-06-28

Excellent project. I have been designing my own in my mind for ages, bought all the fun parts (bluetooth module, lipo, amp modules) but havent gotten around to making it all just yet.

The questions that i havent figured out yet: have you got a battery management system? How long out of one charge do you get? Have you pulled the guts from a 12v DC 2.1 system that was originally made to plug into AC (always on) power? Will this be a drain on the battery and what happens if your battery goes flat? Otherwise, excellent!

EpicBarty. (author)2016-06-23

Is it possible to use an amplifier of 18w on a 6w RMS speaker?

larrymroy (author)EpicBarty.2016-06-28

Yes you can. In most cases, an amplifier can't be too powerful. The speaker will complain(clicking) warning you to turn it down before damage occurs.

jjslim14 (author)2016-06-24

Can the pelican cases you show as materials needed be sent you the United States ?

EpicBarty. (author)2016-06-23

Is it possible to use an amplifier of 18w on a 6w RMS speaker?

EpicBarty. (author)2016-06-23

Is it possible to use an amplifier of 18w on a 6w RMS speaker?

Spotman (author)2015-12-01

I have a BT Amplifier PCB that I bought on eBay.

Works excellently but, I have to use a Universal Laptop Charger to power it between 12v to 22v (19v to 20v recommended).

Any recommendations for an 18.5v Battery, Charging Port and what ever else I would need?

Here's what I'm in the process of building:

Power - USB power bank, BT USB receiver dongle, PAM8493 amp board with volume control.

USB power bank - power, charging, 5V out

Get a power bank. I got one claiming to be "8,000 mAh" - I doubt it actually is. But I figure I'll get probably an hour or two per 1,000mAh at 3/4 volume - though I haven't built/tested yet, so I don't know. Just my estimates from reading the specs.

I got a power bank with two independent outputs. 2@ and 1@. The BT and Amp will be powered by the 2A port (3W @ 5V ~ 0.6A, times two channels ~ more than 1A...

The 1A port will be brought out by USB extender so you can charger your phone (from power bank) while you're playing BT tunes from it. Win, win, win.

eBay search for:


3.5mm stereo audio music speaker receiver adapter dongle USB Bluetooth wireless


PAM8403 5V power audio amplifier board 2 channel 3W volume control/USB power

You don't even need to disassemble/dissect the power bank.

Power both from 5V from the power bank. Plug in a USB cable to the USB output and cut it open...

Put a switch in the 5V wire in the way to Amp and BT.

Run a micro USB cable from the charging port out of your enclosure for charging.

Run "aux out" from BT receiver to Amp.

Wire speakers to amp.

Thread volume control through panel.


Maybe I'll do my first instructable :)

JCisne32 (author)2015-12-10

Hi Ascas! Let me just say that your project inspired me to do my own version. The problem is that im a bit stuck. Here is my flow diagram and i tried to go quick and easy on the set up. I understand the speakers and amp are bigger but the batteries i use dont last me much. The 1350 mAh lasts me 30 mins and the 2200 mA lasts me around an hour. Considering i cabled everything straight up without a regulator , resistors etc.... What can i do to get more of my batteries? Im no expert so any help will be greatly appreciated!

Your amp is 100W!

Are you cranking it up? 100W (DC) @ 12V would be almost 10A!

Of course audio isn't DC, let's say 10% of that, but that's 1A, going for one hour is 1Ah = 1000mAh = your battery I one hour. Yup.

Turn down the volume!

Replace the lipos with a motorcycle/wheelchair battery. They are in the 4Ah to 10Ah range. YMMV.

Divergence (author)JCisne322015-12-19

Hey man, the reason you have such a low battery life is because you are using 140W speakers which are incredibly more powerful than the ones used in the instructable! the ones used in the instructable are only 3W. The only way to get longer battery life would to either get more batteries or replace the amp and speakers to ones that are lower wattage. hope that helped a little :)

GageM5 (author)2016-03-20

What is the 100k pot? I am trying to make this and I don't know what that is.

The designer doesn't mention it, but I believe it's the volume control for the subwoofer. I would imagine that you would want the type called "audio taper" (as opposed to the more common "linear taper").

MattiR (author)GageM52016-03-31

It is a 100k ohm potentiometer. They are usually called pots for short.

Dawgsontop03 (author)2016-02-01

Did your bluetooth module buzz/tick i am having an issue with that!! What would possibly be the cause of that??

coolyyz154 (author)Dawgsontop032016-02-04

the reason is because a ground loop, the audio signals and the dc voltage are like fighting so it makes that sound. you need to buy a ground loop isolator,like this. the way you set it up is between the bluetooth module or anything else and the input of the amp. this will work. :)

IkmalA2 (author)coolyyz1542016-04-12

i'm already tried this method but the buzzing sound still there and the volume is really slow even my amp is 20w.

It's hard to know without knowing the circuitry of your amplifier, but if it does not have a capacitive input stage, this would present a problem that might manifest itself in buzzing.

Try adding a capacitor inline with the amplifier input (after the "combiner" resistors) as is show in the mono-amplifier circuit diagram. They are the 2.2uF capacitors on the left hand side.

The volume may be low because of the value of the 10K "combiner" resistors. I imagine the original poster found those values from sone experimental testing, or they were recommended for the specific TDA209. The input impedance of your amplifier may be much lower than the one used here. What type of signal is supposed to drive it's? Line level? Speaker level? Does it have its own volume control? I'd suggest removing the resistors and temporarily replacing one with a 10k potentiometer. Start with the pot turned to present maximum resistance. Slowly decrease the resistance until an acceptable volume - matching the smaller speakers is found. Then remove the pot and install two resistors if (I think) twice the value of the resistance of the pot (you'll be getting signal from both channels). You may need to tweak.

If this doesn't help, providing more info on your actual design might help someone provide you with a solution.

lkp1 (author)2016-03-11

hi ascas very nice speakers, but can u help me to built a Bluetooth speaker, i have 2 speakers of 12w 4ohm each with a built in radio and audio circuit but inside some wires are missing and i also have a jbl charge Bluetooth speaker that too with broken chassis. how can combine both for a power full speakers

Winston 8 (author)lkp12016-04-27

Yes you can. Just salvage the amplifier and the bluetooth module and do some research. I am pretty sure you'll be able to make one.

AliusŠ1 (author)2016-02-18

Hi bro! Nice project, but I was wondering, could i use a ta2024 amp in this build? because I'm going to use coaxial speakers (if i said it right).

UtsavC (author)2016-02-13

hey my bluetooth is not working but fm and all stuffs are working
Tell me what to do

Divergence (author)2015-12-27

I'm going to use this amp cos i have one lying around the house: what type of capacitor (electrolytic, ceramic etc) would I use on the input?

Divergence (author)Divergence2015-12-27

dacheese1 (author)2015-08-16

First off: thanks for this great tutorial. Ot inspired me to finally make my own.

Second: Fair warning: the bluetooth module link goes to a newer version at DX. The number of headers and general composition differ. Mine may have been a dud, but when I got it up and running, I could only use the bluetooth within one ft of the module, and couldn't stream high quality audio from spotify or it would start clipping.

Divergence (author)dacheese12015-12-19

try aliexpress, they have tons of cheap bluetooth modules :)

wimboosh (author)2015-10-27

Are there any alternative bluetooth modules that i could use for this circuit? I still want A2DP/AVRCP and I'll wire up buttons myself but I just have no idea which module to use...

Divergence (author)wimboosh2015-12-19

you can literally use any module that supports A2DP/AVRCP

About This Instructable




Bio: Hi I'm Angelo! I am a 18 y/o college sophomore taking my majors in BS-ECE at the DLSU. I use my course as ... More »
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