Picture of Dieselpunk Stereophonic Amplifier

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, http://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!

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Machine3 years ago
Dieselpunk... very nice. Is it a new 'genre', something like steampunk but the next era along the industrial evolutionary scale?

Have you defined it? I would love to know the definition if you have.

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.

Thanks for sharing with us.

garagemonkeysan (author)  Machine3 years ago
Hi Machine-
I cannot speak for the Dieselpunk movement. I ran across the term on this site. http://www.dieselpunks.org/

Thanks for the compliment and encouragement.

And thanks for the leaving the comment! : )
Sulfurite3 years ago
im amazed o.o
its awesome :D
garagemonkeysan (author)  Sulfurite3 years ago
Thanks! : )
canucksgirl3 years ago
Okay, this just looks incredible!

If I give you my address will you send it to me for Christmas?

Birthday would be fine too.
garagemonkeysan (author)  canucksgirl3 years ago
Sorry, I'm keeping it for now but thanks for leaving the comment! : )
longwinters3 years ago
Great look, you got me thinking;
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.
garagemonkeysan (author)  longwinters3 years ago
I'd be flattered! Thanks! : )
ktambuli3 years ago
great works on the container.really looks retro. . . .nice
garagemonkeysan (author)  ktambuli3 years ago
Thank you! : )
Going to be # 1 on my to do list, this is truly awesome!!
garagemonkeysan (author)  Deadendshop344 years ago
Thank you! : )
Aiden10154 years ago
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
garagemonkeysan (author)  Aiden10154 years ago
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.
garagemonkeysan (author)  zack2474 years ago
Thank you! I will try it out. : )
You could try mine , LM7815A Because using a Lm7812 would only give you 10Vrms with a load .
With a 470uf elect. cap tied to the input and ground ( + to input , left pin , - to ground middle pin )
0.1uf ceramic cap tied to output and ground .
garagemonkeysan (author)  Thereyouhaveit4 years ago
Thanks for the suggestion! : )
Beanie104 years ago
really slick looking! nice job!
garagemonkeysan (author)  Beanie104 years ago
Thank you! : )
nice look. diesel punk is an interesting topic.
garagemonkeysan (author)  MurphyHarris4 years ago
Thank you! : )
mnmitch574 years ago
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.
garagemonkeysan (author)  mnmitch574 years ago
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.
garagemonkeysan (author)  fiducianullus4 years ago
Hmm never thought of doing that but it may work on USB power.
USB delivers 5V at 500mA that's 2.5VA or about 2.5watts. The amp is rated for 2 watts so just maybe...
Maybe other contributors can leave additional insights.
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 .
mcaliber.504 years ago
this absolutely screams fallout.
garagemonkeysan (author)  mcaliber.504 years ago
Thanks for the comment.
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! : )
Longtin4 years ago
Even if it didn't work, It's would still be cool. The way you made it look vintage is just awesome.
garagemonkeysan (author)  Longtin4 years ago
Thank you! : )
RabidAlien4 years ago
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 "completed project"! 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?

Again, awesome 'Ible! Adding this bad boy to my favs...
garagemonkeysan (author)  RabidAlien4 years ago
Thank you! Great ideas! Good luck! : )
good i like it.
garagemonkeysan (author)  rahulmalviya4 years ago
Thanks! : )
Cool! And you used one of my favorite movies in the demo vid. I love Sky Captain!
garagemonkeysan (author)  thefutureisnow4 years ago
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!
Maxaxle4 years ago
AWESOME, but I think the dial is a bit too modern and seems oddly placed.
garagemonkeysan (author)  Maxaxle4 years ago
Thanks for leaving the comment! : )
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