Instructables
Picture of The Airship Pirate's Steampunk Jukebox
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Dear Friends, dear Steampunkers

This "Instructable" is a special one. I hope it will give you some ideas how to build some special artwork and may you will build your own Steampunk MP3 Jukebox.
Most of the parts I used you may don't find for your project, but the ideas behind will inspire you to do your own thing.
I keep it simple and the pictures will tell you the story about the construction of "The Airship Pirate's Steampunk Jukebox".
If you have questions about some steps, please write me a few words. I will always try to help you.

So let's start with this special piece of machinery...
 
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Step 1: The Idea behind this Project

Picture of The Idea behind this Project
"The Airship Pirate's Steampunk Jukebox" is a combination of 100 years of audio technology.
I combined an old tube radio with an old industry panel computer to create something new. All used parts are from the junk yard - only for the black color and some brass screws I spent a few bucks.

More information you find on my website www.thechocolatist.com - sorry the page is in German...:-)
  • The radio was a NORDMENDE Superstereo
  • The speakers are from a broken car
  • The two glass domes I got from an exhibition as they wrecked a sales stand
  • All the heavy brass parts are from the trash - I have a huge collection in my laboratory...  see the picture
  • The panel computer is from the electric yunk yard - I used three broken ones to get one running one!
  • The Power supply for the pc and the used wireless mouse are from the trash too
So for the whole project as shown I spent less than 15$...
Beautiful work! Way to upcycle and reuse old "junk"! If that tray of "heavy brass parts" are from the trash, I totally want to raid the trash wherever you are. lol
Thanks. I'm working for a huge biscuit and ice cream company and believe me - I have three such a trays with wonderful brass stuff...and a lot of computer parts.
Sometimes it's even shocking for me what I find in this junk, but you know, we are living in a throwaway society.... and that's why I'm a Steampunker!!!
Some months back I got hired on part-time at a 112 year-old hardware store; definitely a dream come true! Prior to this I worked in a huge plant where the trash and scrap-metal tubs offered awesome finds. We could purchase scrap metal for pennies. Oddly, my leaving there coincided perfectly with my bringing home the final gleanings from an older, unsellable (at a fair market price, anyway) laser cutting operation. Maintenance department set it outside and one day began tossed pieces of it in a dumpster. I spent my lunches and breaks stripping it of parts for pennies on the Kg. Everthing high-end; German pneumatics with lots of 24v breakers and adjustable timers/stuff to become functional eye-candy in a traveling road show?

I saw that my job at the hardware "museum" was exposing me to how to more easily put stuff together, but I discovered I now lacked zeal. My vision has been a long and tiresome journey but -now, thanks to inspiration found here on these pages, I have gained my second wind. Thanks so much to you and all who freely share information!
Color me very jealous! :D That's a great way to pick up parts. My kids have all picked up the "Dumpster Diver" habit from me. The things that we find that people throw away just shocks me! My favorite part is making money on something I found in the garbage after I clean it up and make it useful again. :D Again, well done! :D
dpatterson133 months ago
I am sorely lacking in programming and electronics knowledge, so the lag·time I'll be dealing with makes me want to weep :)
Your work and sharing have brought much needed sparks back to life! Way to go, Ol' Chap!
dermbrian1 year ago
I love your jukebox. Regarding whether people should be able to take vintage electronics and 'repurpose' them, I'm on the side of yes...give it a new life. Should only collectors be able to enjoy these treasures, often only by placing them on a shelf in their living room? I enjoy seeing them being used.
Here's another reason I like your jukebox....I used a similar one as the basis of one of my skins for dwjukebox (aka wincab...my favorite jukebox emulator program).
http://dwjukebox.com/category/skins/
thechocolatist (author)  dermbrian1 year ago
Hi. Thanks for your comment. I checked out your skin - great work, very nice design. I have to try that! Thanks for your link :-)
I love this idea and am looking to build one similar, but cannot for the life of me figure out what a panel computer is. Could you please explain for me? Thank you. :)
thechocolatist (author)  shredingmetal1 year ago
Hi. Thanks for your comment and your interest.
Panel computer are used in the industry to control machines. See here for more explanations about this type of computer: http://www.advantech.com/applied-computing-systems/panel-pc/
Because i'm working in the food industry sometimes I can catch an old one...:-)
But an old laptop could be ideal too.....
Thank you for the explanation and the link.
AWESOME, love your ingenuity & creativity. I've been toying with the idea of doing something similar. I was wondering what you used for the jukebox software. I've played with several, but nothing really did the trick. It looks as though you skinned something (very nicely done btw) or you programmed your own!?

Again, GREAT AWESOME JOB!!

-SG
thechocolatist (author)  seattlegeorge2 years ago
Hi. Thanks for your feedback. I used the famous WINAMP Player because of its possibility to get nice skins for this software. I found the perfect one for free here: http://www.winamp.com/skin/unison-brainstormed-v5/146159 This skin was the best for me and fits perfectly to my Steampunk Jukebox. Hope this helps you.
Cheers    The Chocolatist
Winged Fist2 years ago
This is a real beauty... Worthy of 5 stars, and a patch;-)
longwinters2 years ago
Very cool I started working at a junk shop so I could be first in line when the cool stuff comes in, my wife thinks I'm nuts but I am building quite a supply of goodies,
thanks very much for posting this exceptionally cool project.
This is just brilliant! I love the combination of all the technologies you've used.
robot7972 years ago
NOOOO THE RADIO
you made me cry
Ditto. This looks... interesting... but it saddens me to see such a nice radio destroyed in the process. There's plenty of beat-up non-rare radios out there - please take your creative urges out on them instead!
thechocolatist (author)  comp_wiz1012 years ago
Thanks for your comments.
As you may know, Steampunkers are "living" on flea markets and most of them know very good what they buy and for which price. In the past I got a few treasures for just a few bucks and because of the real value I didn't use them for a steampunk project. So sometimes you get for a few dollars a few hundred dollars...
This NORDMENDE I bought from an old Radio Collector, which restores radios in his private workshop. There were a few problems with the tubes and with the potentiometers - and the record player was broken. May that's why he gave me the radio for a few bucks. He knew about my upcycling plans..;-)
PS: My credo for upcycling projects is not to use more than 50$ for the whole and finished artwork.
That's good to hear. I restore vintage electronics, and I kept imagining this "perfect" set getting taken apart... good to know it had issues!
Either way, it's nice that an otherwise messed-up set got to have a second life instead of getting thrown out.
flaege2 years ago
Congratulation for this very nice project. Do not throw away too much. Sometime its useful !!!

greetings flaege
quizz_kid2 years ago
Very nice... Like the accordion a lot. Btw, where did you get the two acrylkic domes? I´ve been looking for similar, but can´t find a seller outside US. I live in europe.
thechocolatist (author)  quizz_kid2 years ago
Hi
Thanks for your comment.
I got the domes 10 years ago from an old exhibition stand. They were mounted together as a sphere and inside they had cocoa beans. Before they trashed it at the end of the exhibition I asked for it and I got them for free.
I have no idea where to get them here in Europe. I would ask a booth maker, because they should know from where to get this stuff for exhibitions.

Sincerely yours

The Chocolatist
Thanx for the tip! / Quizz
Junophor2 years ago
Very well done indeed

Congratulations to this masterpiece


Yours Aeon Junophor
natangel3202 years ago
It is very interesting information for my brother. It constantly collects something.
badjer12 years ago
So very COOL! I love the radio - the shape of the cabinet and the buttons - it looks mint! Would love to have seen the finish BEFORE you sanded it down. Was there a veneer and was it in rough shape? You gave me a good idea for my current project - being to paint the interior a bright color. I will be contemplating how that can help me create something unique. Thanks for the inspiration.
thechocolatist (author)  badjer12 years ago
Hi

Thanks a lot for your feedback.
I added a picture of the radio before I sanded it down. The varnish was not too bad...  but I like velvet black..:-)

Sincerely

The Chocolatist


xaenon2 years ago
That is unbearably COOL. Considerable imagination and skill with this. I'm gonna try to make something like it myself.