Introduction: Loudest Boombox With MP3 Player HD Radio

Picture of Loudest Boombox With MP3 Player HD Radio

Amazon sells a Dual car Stereo XHD 6425 for just under $100. No other car stereo can match the spec to price ratio. I put this in a big tool box. There is no Jobsite (Milwaukee) Radio or Boombox (Sony) that can match these spec. You can build one even better, than this one, by buying more expensive components
The toolbox is a Contico about $40 from Walmart online. This toolbox is heavy duty, you can step and sit on it. Toolboxes for around $20 will do, but it limits the size of speakers. The side speaker in this picture is a 8' woofer ($15) with a 6' grill over it. Facing rearward is a pair of 6' car stereo speakers from Walmart for $35

Step 1: Specification and Features

Picture of Specification and Features

There is no Unit for sale that could match these specs:
Dual car Stereo XHD 6425 $100
AM/FM Stereo w/ HD radio
USB and MP3/WMA CD player
Loudness control (More bass)
4 speaker output @ 50 watts per channel
Remote Control Preset buttons Clock
It displays MP3 Song names and Station Call letters & Titles
Has ID Tag support for CD and USB Flash drives
Aux Plug in for Ipod, etc.

HD reception was poor with a standard rod antenna. An antenna wire that was made longer, had exceptional reception

Step 2: Here Is the Guts Inside

Picture of Here Is the Guts Inside

Here is the car Stereo hooked up to 2 6" car speakers and 2 8" woofers. My wife say this unit is much too loud. The only limits to this project is your pocketbook.
A tool tray fits over the top to carry other items.

Step 3: Power Supply

Picture of Power Supply

I am using a 12v power brick from a dead computer monitor. This is the back side showing a pair of 6" speakers

Step 4: Batteries

Picture of Batteries

This 10 cell pack will play the unit for just a couple of hours,
I sometimes use this 12v fan to keep it cool when I play it loud and long.

Step 5: Here Is Its Baby Brother-Smaller Box = Smaller Speakers

Picture of Here Is Its Baby Brother-Smaller Box = Smaller Speakers

It sounds pretty good too. It has 4" speakers in the front and 4" X 6" speakers on the rear.
With a cheap stereo and speakers it can be done for just over $100. Get the most expensive in everything, the price can be over a $1000.


jott_1 (author)2013-01-22

Do you have a parts list for the baby brother-smaller box?  I'm especially interested in
where you got the case and the bezel for the radio.

Do you have a cut-out template for the radio and speakers mounted on the front.

Very nice project.

gcrdcn (author)jott_12013-01-22

The case was from a Makita 10 volt drill sold at Home Depot.
Most radios come with their own bezels. I have used "marine stereo cover" google them under images.
The cut-outs were done by guessing, trial & error.


rayfalcon (author)2012-01-03

you could also always add a high output high charge capacitor, thats made to slow drain inside the radio or even inside the box some wheres to keep the radio memory in tact....DO NOT TOUCH THE capcitor or the contacts while it is charged they can kill you, though most wont they will hurt you really bad I have gotten into them by mistake once...heres how they work ( at least the ones i am talking about)
while running the device off of the given power supply it cycles juice through the capictor and safely discharges about every 3- 5 seconds, It will charge up until its given cap limit usually about 800 uF for the low power ones and about 1500uF /mF for the extreme ones ( high power ones), Once you disconect the power somehow it gradually drains off ( discharges) into the circuitry thus giving the radio power and keeping the memory I have had them to provide power for 6 hours before.

2 last warnings I almost forgot :
The capicitors at least the high charge high output ones will automatically gain or build power enough to hurt you if left unattended or un grounded.
and the last warning is If you decide to install one of these on your instructable please warn others of these health precautions and advise them that they are doing it at their own risk as you are doing yourself by installing it after reading this .email me and I will give you details on the capicitors and a link or 2 from which you can get them pretty cheap.

ASCAS (author)rayfalcon2012-04-08

I don't think touching the capacitor's two ends will kill you since his power supply is probably under 18V DC.

rayfalcon (author)2012-01-03

you could always add some rats nests around the speakers on the inside to improve the sound a bit more( more bass less vibration) and then add a few 9 - 15 mm ball bearing fans or regular pc fans to the enclosure to vent it and keep your unit a little far as the power supply I would mount an old 350 - 500 watt pc power supply inside the box and hook the radio to the power supply cables thats already there they generally have a 4 prong hookup that supplys 2 grounds ( the black wires, 1 +12 volt wire (red or orange usually) and a +3 or + 6 volts wire( green brown or yellow) this way you could add more things to it late such as your pc fans for ventilation a small amplifier, or perhaps a switch box to switch it from mp3, to dvd or something else also all pc power supplies ( the power box) are already dc all ya need to do is plug the box into an ac outlet....with the box being a dc power supply then you could add a cigarette lighter connector that way you could charge your cell phone while you are out :-) hope this helps you in your future builds and hopefully it will give you all some more ideas or a bit of details for the power options.

Chocolate Moose (author)2011-12-19

Awesome instructable
Out of curiosity, do you think using a wooden or metal box for this would change the sound to drastically?
Also, how would one go about adding two more speakers to this in order to give the rig front speakers.

rdelshad (author)2011-10-23

Nicely done. eBay has a lot of used car audio stuff. You can get an old flip out for under $100.00. Get something like that, and you can have a great portable gaming system, ot just a great job site radio to watch the game on, when you're on break (of course). Great job, Mate!!!

Kepster (author)2011-01-29

And for my next boombox...

...definitely a beefed up car stereo installed in a toolbox!!!

There are so many great possibilities for this project. You can really get a top of the line sound system from a car stereo. Installed in a tool box and I could take the party anywhere without having to back the car up to the party.

GDParduhn3 (author)2010-05-27

car salvage and junk yards have an endless supply of car with stereos crying to be mod'd  !!  

all of the parts are cheaper too. .   just look for a car with no broken windows..

as for quality stuff, ,    the ford taurus has a nice separate amplifier thats mounted in the roof of the trunk,   and the casset deck is very simple to mod out.

older mitsubishi cars have a nice display console and comes in blue and a fire/orange color. .  

or. .    just yank a 3 in one, ,cass/cd/stereo  from a mini van. . .    the outputs are very simple. . .   and most junk yards will part with it for around 10-25$

btw  some old printer power bricks will put out very high amps,   try a thrift store or flea market ,   get em for a few bucks. . .    try HP printer power supplies.

or get them from a reseller or computer recycler..

i may try this with a Samsonite case from a thrift store. ..

needs a projector, dvd, player . . .   hmm . .  mobile theater . .

jhdez25 (author)GDParduhn32010-10-20

Wow Mobile Theater you just Blew my mind!! I was thinking something simple for cookouts but wow mobile theater while camping!!!!

mpikas (author)2010-02-14

I like the basic idea, but did you come up with some way of keeping he memory (settings) powered when you're moving the box/going from one power source to the other?

gcrdcn (author)mpikas2010-02-15

A separate battery pack can be used. The newer pre-charged or low discharge will keep the memory intact for a long time.

PCfreak (author)gcrdcn2010-02-22

even a slow drain 9v will work 

mpikas (author)gcrdcn2010-02-15

That was sort of my point, I don't thing you were clear on how you had the battery pack wired in, but at that point it becomes more complicated.  It would have to be wired inline with the normal power supply so you didn't loose power when it's unplugged, but at that point I would think that you would want to have some sort of controlled charging circuit (to keep from overcharging and negatively conditioning the batteries), and also a circuit that keeps the head unit from drawing from the batteries while it's plugged in (different batteries have different qualities that will affect what happens if you allow this, like NiCads and Li batteries will completely discharge as fast as you draw power from them, potentially melting components or the battery itself)

gcrdcn (author)mpikas2010-02-15

This and most radios has a hot wire just for retaining the radio memory.  I did tie it with the normal hot wire.  If I have time, I will separate and see what the life is with low-discharge AA batteries.

darkclaw42 (author)2010-02-10

 Love that second one.

Very nicely done instructable!

pandaboy292 (author)2010-01-22

thatd be a little difficult to cary on ur shoulder. lol. i wanna make one. nice job.

bobmcbob_345 (author)2009-07-13

i would recomend a computor power suply actualy because if you dont have enough current the stereo will not be able to reach the volume limets it is made to produce

gcrdcn (author)bobmcbob_3452009-07-14

The powerbricks has about 3 amps output, it seems adequate and does not get very hot. A computer power supply has the advantage of having a cooling fan and a way to have a removable power cord that plugs in from the outside. Disadvantage (sometimes) is larger size and the rating of some of the power supplies are just 3 amps also. So check the label ratings for amperage.

vov35 (author)gcrdcn2009-07-22

at 12v and 3 amps you're physically limited to 36 watts. I have a 500 watt computer psu just sitting here. the 12v rails are rated for 28 amps. 336 watts. which makes it sufficient to completely max out your radio's settings AND have a sub amp. (or just drive one sub amp at 350 watts like me...)

eli2k (author)vov352010-01-10

Do you know what pins you would be taking from the PSU plug for this? +12V, -12V, and GND?

vov35 (author)eli2k2010-01-10

you just need the yellow 12v+ line and the black ground line.

also, you'll need to wire your power switch onto the motherboard header... it has to go from the green line to the black ground.

eli2k (author)vov352010-01-10

Thanks. I will keep this in mide. So this particular car stereo has four outputs (rear left/right, front left/right), if you connect a woofer and tweeter, don't you need a crossover to separate the output for the woofer and tweeter?

vov35 (author)eli2k2010-01-11

Connect your woofer and tweeter to a single output and use a crossover.

A crossover will not work correctly otherwise.

So, you're gonna have 4 channels of sound. good for you.

Personally I'd recommend buying a pair of triaxial 4x10 full-range drivers from parts express for like $30, and putting them in a box.

from what I've seen, they perform well with good bass output, as well as clear highs.

vov35 (author)eli2k2010-01-10

I'm assuming that you're using a car radio in saying this.

acer5050 (author)bobmcbob_3452009-09-12

Dude a computer power supply will do much better.... trust me

eli2k (author)2010-01-10

Hey, thanks for the guide. I did not know you can use a car stereo like this. Couple questions - did you hook up speakers to the front/rear pre-amp, or the left/right front/rear connectors? And where did you attach the Ground wire to? Thanks!

gcrdcn (author)eli2k2010-01-10

The negative wire (of the power supply)is the common wire to all the speakers common wire and the ground wire of the radio.   There is to other wires for power antenna and memory of the radio.

supercrazytutorials (author)2009-09-23

wowowowoowowo super wow i like it alot man

Roisen (author)2009-07-15

I'm wondering how you're running 4 speakers and a radio for a couple of hours on 2.5Ah. Was the volume all the way down?

gcrdcn (author)Roisen2009-07-15

Yes, way down and from a flashdrive. I will time the "C" pack for you soon.

Atomman (author)2009-07-14

Ack! Too loud! *Furniture falls over*

hg341 (author)2009-07-10

nice how much did it cost for all this??

bobmcbob_345 (author)hg3412009-07-13

i made some thing like this in my room. it has 2 12 inch subwoofers, 2 5 1/4 coaxiles, a car stereo, subwoofer amplifire, and 2 6x9 coaxiles. all for about $425.

hg341 (author)bobmcbob_3452009-07-14

dose it sound good?

gcrdcn (author)hg3412009-07-14

It does not sound as good as BobMcbob(he has 12" subwoofers). The sound will vary with you budget. When I brought it into work and blasted the guys with their favorite music, the were very impressed. On a car stereo the loudness control and equalizer will boost the bass more easily than trying to figure out porting and bass reflex stuff.

zuner2012 (author)2009-07-09

Quite a nice stereo. Great instructable.

andrewmystery (author)2009-07-09

Wow. o.O

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