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 dx.com) and my beloved Bluetooth Player Module (from dx.com).

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!
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ynze1 year ago

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)  ynze1 year ago

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 ASCAS1 year ago

So for the pcb amplifier ?

dacheese116 days ago

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.

nafbat22 days ago

Your battery is 2.2Ah which let's you play music for 18h, or is it 3x 2.2Ah = 6.6Ah?

Adwitiya1 month ago
I have a Samsung stereo bluetooth headset how can work with to make a portable speaker.
phucyall1 year ago

Can you recommend a good alternative to the TDA2005 amplifier circuit you use that can be bought from DX or one of the other sources if I just want a pre-built one?

ASCAS (author)  phucyall1 year ago

This looks pleasing! It has a 2.1 channel setup. "Mini 2.1 High-Power Digital Amplifier"


Just ordered one of these form DX. I will let you guys know how it works when I get it in the shop to test.

ASCAS (author)  John Culbertson1 year ago

Cool! Tell me if it's good, I'll buy one for myself too :D

Will do. Audio systems are new to me, so hopefully I will learn enough over the next few weeks to give a meaningful assessment. I have most of the build defined with the following hardware procured and in transit.

1. Surplus Geiger Counter Enclosure

2. The same Bluetooth module that you used

3. 2x Fountek FR58EX 2"

4. 1x Goldwood GW-204/8S 4"

I have almost the same setup as you for this project. When you connected the amp and the Bluetooth module to the same power supply did you get a ground loop buzz?

ASCAS (author)  John Culbertson1 year ago

Whoa! I so envy your setup. Those Fountek fullrange speakers are so fancy. Plus, I've been planning to buy those Goldwood drivers for making speaker arrays/ towers.


I'm super excited in seeing your write-up! BTW, Congratulation on the 123D :D

Congrats to you as well, and thanks for the great instructible.

Finally got the amp and the speakers, DX shipping is very slow. The 2 little Fountek's sound great on the L and R channels. I was able to induce some clipping in the Goldwood on the SW channel. I will toss it on the scope this weekend and get some more data.

Couple quick questions about the Mini 2.1 Amp... Did you use 3 wires for sound from the BT module? Did you do anything with the jumper that it ships with or just left it? Mine doesn't seem to work at all and I'm wondering if I'm missing something really simple or I just got a defective one.

I actually have not connected it to the bluetooth module yet. I just used a 3.5mm Male to male connector to interface it with my computer and it worked right off.

I did move the jumper around to see what would happen and in every position other than how it shipped the unit did not function.

You want the jumper (XX) in this position :

(POT) |XX-| |--|

I would recommend connecting it to an MP3 player or computer before connecting it to your BT module that way you can isolate the amp and diagnose it separately.

Also my quick review of the amp. I was very happy with the power I was getting on the L and R channels, but the SW (sub-woofer) channel was a little lacking for my taste. If you do still want use this amp for these type of projects I would recommend the speaker for the SW channel be very high sensitivity if you want to get decent base response.

OK, final summary of the DX 2.1 Amplifier:

The Left ans Right channels on par with my Dayton Audio DTA-1 15Watt amp:


The Sub Woofer channel is horrible, it is no where near the 30 Watts claimed by DX. I Just connected my Dayton Audio DA25 25Watt plate amp to my little 4" Goldwood GW-204/8S driver and it is a night and day difference in output.


Summary: The base sucks, build or buy your own mono-channel amp for the sub.

What power supply were you using for this assessment?

I just figured out why that amp was not working. I was trying to run it off of a 11V battery pack and apparently that's not enough for it even though it's rated for 10-18V. Once I plugged it into 15V power supply it started working, but output for the sub is not working at all. Overall I'm disappointed with it. Would not recommend. I'm starting to look into setup similar to the original with separate mini amps for each channel. These mini amps can't handle 2.1 audio

I had the same exact problem - I was trying to run mine off a 12V battery pack that appears to be outputting somewhere around 10V and the sound is terrible and can't even get louder than a whisper.

phucyall ASCAS1 year ago

That's awesome. It looks like that amplifier outputs 2x15W and 30W for the sub-woofer. It looks like it produces enough power to drive all 5 speakers (2 of the 3W speakers from one channel) and I won't need any of the PAM8403 amplifiers. Since this one takes 10-18V input I also won't need the 5V regulator. Am I correct in these assumptions? I am trying to sort out the parts list now.

can you post the updates to the circuit

ASCAS (author)  phucyall1 year ago

Exactly! You are correct! I think that's the best substitute yet.

I have the exact same question.

nneracher1 year ago

at step 7 what resistor you solder on the module, is in the first picture of step 7. thanks

ASCAS (author)  nneracher1 year ago

It's a 470uF capacitor for filtering the line. It's done to prevent the buzzing sound.

JesseD3 ASCAS4 months ago

Were you able to eliminate the buzzing? I have the same BT module and when BT is connected, there is a digital oscillating squelch. It is not loud, but loud enough to be annoying. Some of the reviewers on Dx noted the same problem.

KobyJ JesseD31 month ago

did you solve this problem?

put a 470 uF capacitor for filtering the line to prevent the buzzing sound.

where do you put the capacitor? would a ground loop isolator solve the buzzing?

ghamit ASCAS11 months ago

470uF at what voltage?


Waseup1 month ago
Thanks Ascas for this great project which gave me envy to do mine ! I now have everything in hand, and make connections!
regarding the zmplifier Board, there are 2 possible ground. One linked to the 470 capa you suggested , and one above the 5v pin
which one to use if i use the capa(I soldered it alrezdy ;-)
One more time thanks!
My setup
3s lipo 2200 monitored by lipo voltmeter and buzzer at 3.4v/cell
car 12v to usb(to get 5v 2A from lipo and suppky pam)
Lithium charging pcb (to get about 3.6v from 5v for my bt module)
Bt chip(little green one so damn complecated to understand pinout for control buttons)
2x3w 4ohm 4" speakers
2x5w 4ohms 2" speakers
2x pam
2x rextangular passive inductors 3x4"

lpedrosa2 months ago

Hi, can you tell me what software/ app you used in step 11? The second picture specifically...Thanks :)

KobyJ2 months ago

what are the smaller 4 speakers rated for? are you getting the full power out of them only using the 3W amp?

MannyK3 months ago
Hi guys, so I'd like to create a really good instructable similar to this. I was wondering if someone here could help me? If I use a bigger case with more powerful sub n tweeters do I need to cut a port into the case to get some power? Also any ideas for batteries???
Waypuff3 months ago

I'm sorry if this is a stupid question, but I just started to learn about circuits, speakers and amps. I really want to do this project because it seems like fun and I want a portable Bluetooth speaker (and this one seems like the best one, you are amazing). But what is the 2005bridge amp thing. It seems super complicated to build, and that's whats kinda scaring me with this project. My question is, could I buy anything like it that is already done and would I have to change any other components then?
Otherwise amazing tutorial and you truly are an inspiration. Keep up the good work!

agoldsmith13 months ago

what's the depth of the your case?

List of the capasitors, resistors etc? Please
broorb10 months ago


I tried making the TDA2005 mono amp, but I couldn't get it to work. I tried twice. I made sure that my PCB doesn't have any short. I followed all parts, except that I got the TDA2005R ( not TDA2005M ). I am not sure if this was the culprit. And man, did the IC heat up. I was using a 13v, 4A power supply.

Any help would be appreciated.


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