Every so often projects start out simple but end up taking way more time than first anticipated. Here is one of those projects that got out of hand. My original intent was to make a small, simple, powered speaker box. Nothing fancy, just a low power amp, used computer speakers, all housed in a tiny container. I had no plan to make a "themed" project.

During fabrication, the project seemed to take on a life of its own. After I fab'd the speaker grill, it simply looked like it came from the 1950s. It reminded me of an old Collins ham radio. So instead of steampunk, which I've posted before, https://www.instructables.com/id/Steampunk_Headset/ the Dieselpunk Stereophonic Amplifier was created.

A couple of highlights...
The typical DC power connector and headphone jacks are hidden behind screw-on caps. The power indicator is made to look like a fuel level gauge and contains REAL 5W-30 motor oil! When connected to AC power it gives off a 60hz hum. That was unintentional but it adds to the Dieselpunk feel. The box is painted in hammertone and aged to give it a greasy Dieselpunk look.

Counter sink bit
Hack Saw
Belt Sander
Hot Glue Gun
Soldering Iron
Dremel Tool
Clothes Pins
Center punch
Stepped drill bit

2 Watt Stereo Kit - Carl's Electronics P/N K115
Small Lunchbox - Michaels
Two - Speakers - salvaged from old computer speakers
Two - 12 inch long brass rods 1/16 inch dia. - Hobby Shop
12VDC Power Transformer
Two - 1/4 FLR x 1/8 FPT brass elbow - Orchard Supply Hardware (OSH)
1/4 inch and 5/16 inch brass compression joints - OSH
Two - Chains - Goldmine Electronics P/N G15272
Toggle Switch - OSH
Rubber Toggle Switch Boot - Goldmine Electronics P/N G16872
6 x 18 inch Sheet Aluminum 0.025 inch thick - OSH
Aluminum Perforated Sheet 0.063" (0.125" holes-0.1875" stagger) 3003-H14 12 inches x 24 inches - Online Metals
1/2 inch angle aluminum - OSH
1-1/2 inch dia. Flange - Weird Stuff
3.5mm Stereo Jack - Radio Shack P/N 274-274
DC Power Jack - Radio Shack P/N 274-1577
DC Power Plug - Radio Shack P/N 274-1569
9V Battery Snap Connector - Radio Shack P/N 270-324
Red LED - Radio Shack P/N 276-330
LED Resistor 560 ohm Radio Shack P/N 271-1116
Perfboard - Radio Shack P/N 276-148
6 AA Battery Holder - Digikey P/N BH26AASF-ND
Foam Rubber - Recycle Bin
1/8 inch masonite board - Scrap Pile
Acrylic tube 3/8 inch OD - Tap Plastics
Six 1-1/4 inch long mounting bolts and nuts 6/32
Various nuts and bolts with tapered heads
Old pot lid knob - Thrift Store
Silicone sealer - OSH
Scrap sheet plastic for the nut retainer - Recycle Bin
Clear label for printer - Office Depo
Gray hammertone spray paint - OSH
Silver spray paint - OSH
Plumbers strapping tape - OSH
5-Minute epoxy - OSH
Crazy Glue - OSH
Paint thinner
Black enamel paint (nail polish) - wife's drawer

This Instructable is medium to high level. Please take the appropriate safety precautions when using any tools. Once, I almost cut my thumb off with a simple coping saw. So, be careful!

Step 1: Make: the Stereo Kit

This is the simple and fun step.

Build the stereo amp per the instructions. The exception is not to solder the volume potentiometer to the board. Also there are gold connection pins that can be excluded. Instead, wires will be soldered directly to the board during the final assembly. However, it is recommended to temporarily wire up the pot to test the circuit.

Dieselpunk... very nice. Is it a new 'genre', something like steampunk but the next era along the industrial evolutionary scale?<br><br>Have you defined it? I would love to know the definition if you have.<br><br>In any case your speaker box looks superb. Make them and sell them, don't just fiddle around with one, get into making them and selling them and let everyone have a bit of the same joy you are having.<br><br>Thanks for sharing with us.<br><br>
Hi Machine-<br>I cannot speak for the Dieselpunk movement. I ran across the term on this site. http://www.dieselpunks.org/ <br><br>Thanks for the compliment and encouragement. <br><br>And thanks for the leaving the comment! : )
im amazed o.o<br>its awesome :D
Thanks! : )
Okay, this just looks incredible!<br><br>If I give you my address will you send it to me for Christmas? <br><br>Birthday would be fine too.
Sorry, I'm keeping it for now but thanks for leaving the comment! : )
Great look, you got me thinking;<br> my I phone amp/speakers unit needs a major face lift, I hope you don't mind if I do my own intripretation of your idea.
I'd be flattered! Thanks! : )
great works on the container.really looks retro. . . .nice
Thank you! : )
Going to be # 1 on my to do list, this is truly awesome!!
Thank you! : )
have you tried connecting a capacitor between 12v and ground before the power input on the amp? it'll act as a low pass filter and should get rid of the hum
Thanks for the suggestion. What value capacitor would you recommend?
I would think something along the lines of 16v, and between 10 and 470 uF, but i am not exactly sure, a 47uF @ 16v capacitor worked in my 6v version.
Thank you! I will try it out. : )
You could try mine , LM7815A Because using a Lm7812 would only give you 10Vrms with a load .<br>With a 470uf elect. cap tied to the input and ground ( + to input , left pin , - to ground middle pin )<br>0.1uf ceramic cap tied to output and ground .
Thanks for the suggestion! : )
really slick looking! nice job!
Thank you! : )
nice look. diesel punk is an interesting topic.
Thank you! : )
The reason why you're getting the hum is you've grounded the power input to the chassis of the case and did the same for the input to the speakers. If you replace the pipe fitting for the power input with a PVC pipe fitting (you can still use the metal end cap), it should alleviate the hum when you're running off of a wall socket.
Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately the power ground and the audio ground are the same on the circuit board. So isloating the power input jack from the case won't do anything. I think. Thanks! : )
Would USB power have worked? Batteries are expensive.
Hmm never thought of doing that but it may work on USB power.<br>USB delivers 5V at 500mA that's 2.5VA or about 2.5watts. The amp is rated for 2 watts so just maybe...<br>Maybe other contributors can leave additional insights.<br>Thanks for leaving the comment. : )
Don't try that ! If it's rated for 3v - 12v , then it's possible . ( if the power req doesn't go up and up above 0.5A @ 5v .
this absolutely screams fallout.
Thanks for the comment. <br>UPDATE: I added internal connectors so I can now place my iPod on the inside, then run off of battery power. So this unit is now fully portable and self contained! : )
Even if it didn't work, It's would still be cool. The way you made it look vintage is just awesome.
Thank you! : )
Okay, this has got to be one of the most awesome things I've seen today! I am soooo gonna have to whip one of these together! Heck, this might even beat out my dyslexia and become a &quot;completed project&quot;! LOL Couple of thoughts....I'm going to try and put an mp3 player dock/plug on it somehow, not sure how I'll blend that in (maybe hide it on the back-side), but that would make a cool speaker setup for my little Sansa Clip. Also, have you thought about maybe adding a little screen on it, make a steam/dieselpunk portable DVD/BluRay/TV player? <br><br>Again, awesome 'Ible! Adding this bad boy to my favs...
Thank you! Great ideas! Good luck! : )
good i like it.
Thanks! : )
Cool! And you used one of my favorite movies in the demo vid. I love Sky Captain!
Thanks! Movie was great inspiration. : )
Now I just need to find an instrucable for making Dex's ray gun or one of Totenkoph's androids!
AWESOME, but I think the dial is a bit too modern and seems oddly placed.
Thanks for leaving the comment! : )
how do we make the stereo kit ??? could you post the diagram please ??<br />
Unless you are wanting to assemble the audio amp yourself, you would be money ahead by going to walmart, and purchasing new speakers for a computer. that way you will get the actual speakers, amp, and a power supply.<br><br>Anyway if you would spend some time with a web search you c could have found the assembly manual with the kit used here, that includes a parts list, and thematic. http://www.kitsrus.com/pdf/k90vs.pdf . This uses an amp in an IC, so if you want a circuit that uses transistors you may have in your junk box use google to find them.
Thanks. Yes, powered speakers for a computer would be perfect. : )
My mistake, too many tabs open. I was looking as the wrong tab.<br>http://www.electronickits.com/complete/amp/k115v2.pdf<br>For the assembly manual used for this kit used here.<br>sri...
&nbsp;Sorry, I must have threw away the diagram. Simple job of stuffing the components and soldering. Instructions included in kit from Carl's Electronics.
This is one of the coolest things I've seen on here. <br><br>If I knew anything about... anything, or had the money or time, I would most likely do this.
Thanks for leaving the comment! : )
I think this is my favorite part of the whole build. :)
Yes! I borrowed the idea from old school choppers. Thanks for the email!
AAAAAHHGGG&iexcl;&iexcl; <br> <br>Sorry for my explanation was a complete mistake, I should be wrote (sorry for my english) <br> <br>&quot;separate the &quot;line in&quot; female plug, to aislate the common earth from the audio in&quot;, this should solve your problem, no need to open your power suply, <br> <br>test it only desoldering :-) <br> <br>sorry again, hope you&acute;ll be not to lazy to do that, to see what happens <br> <br>Kindly

About This Instructable




Bio: I also go by the Instructable user name: UnknownUser2007
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