Introduction: Ultimate ToolBox

Picture of Ultimate ToolBox

hello, everyone!!!

I have been postponing posting an instructable for years and now here it is! my very own bluetooth enabled site radio/toolbox!!!

have you ever been at work and:

- your phone battery dies?

- your e-cig battery dies?

- your site radio does not give you much options of music or battery life?

- balanced a site radio on your head, when you couldn't carry anything else, just for the sake of not falling into boredom?

if you answered yes to any of these questions, you found the reason for this build!

for this project I had 3 goals in mind:

- a site radio that is not a burden to carry along with my other tools and materials

- a site radio that delivers different options such as fm radio, memory card, pen drive and Bluetooth

- a way to charge my phone or my e-cig batteries on site, without running for a socket

And with some time on my hands and a restless mind for DIY projects, I took off!!!

I apologize in advance for the lack of detail in the build photos, I had this project almost done, when it occurred to me to post it here.

Step 1: Material & Tools

Now let's gather what we need for this awesome build

MATERIALS:

- toolbox, (take your time choosing one, considering all the room you need for all the components, or if you want just build it in any kind of box, but I wanted a toolbox for the application I wanted)

- MP3 decoder Module

- Mini HiFi Amplifier Module 2x10W

- USB Bluetooth audio receiver

- 2 pole and single pole switches

- Set down usb 5V regulator

- USB Splitter cord

- USB Splitter Hub

- 2x 8ohm speakers 10W

- battery cells for your battery, I chose Li-Ion, if you want the same, get some 18650 cells from old laptop packs

- battery monitor, tabs, and balance leads (again, depending on your choice of battery)

- female and male dc jacks

- wired male stereo jack

- stereo audio splitter

- wire from alarm cable

- some small strips of wood

- screws (self tapping preferred)

TOOLS:

nothing extraordinary here... just your everyday tools such as pliers, wire strippers, box cutter, soldering iron screwdrivers, etc. if you are comfortable with power tools, add a dremel and a drill to this list

Step 2: A Place for Everything...

Picture of A Place for Everything...

I cannot really guide you through this one, as I struggled with some things as well...

every toolbox is different, every project is different...

but feel free to check the pictures of my project.

I went with this toolbox specifically, because of the spaces in the reinforcement grooves under the lid, and the 2 storage compartments on the top, which made it an ideal candidate for this project.

one of the compartments became the battery, the other a usb charging station. the main killswitch is on the top, the Bluetooth switch along with the mp3 module are on the front of the lid, and the speakers are mounted on one of the ends of the box as to save internal space. the speakers are internally protected by a frame of wood, finished with very thick plastic sheets

as you can tell I gave it a LOT of thought before picking up the pencil and marking the box up, and I advise you to do the same if your objective is to use it for work, if not... then just have as much fun building it as I did!!!

Step 3: Power to the Components!!!

Picture of Power to the Components!!!

now...

assuming that you have the slightest knowledge of how electricity works, this step is pretty much self explanatory:

-From your female jack run both wires to your 2 pole switch

-from the pole switch you will run your live wire to the "+" of each component (mp3 module, hifi module and the single pole switch for our usb voltage regulator)

-do the same with the ground wire, but to the "-" of each component, and to the ground (black wire) of one of your balance leads that will go to the battery monitor

there are several techniques you can use here, I chose the "converging wiring" where, as the name says every wire converges to one point in the layout which permits ease of access in case a repair or replacement is needed

Step 4: Audio & USB Circuit

Picture of Audio & USB Circuit

this is the easy part:

AUDIO:

-splice the wired audio jack and solder it to the audio out plug of the mp3 module

-plug the audio splitter to the amplifier module and connect both the jack from the mp3 module and the Bluetooth audio receiver

-from the amplifier, run the individual wires to the speakers

USB

-get your usb splitter cord and plug it to the voltage regulator

-plug your usb Bluetooth receiver to another end of this splitter cord

-then run your usb hub cable to another end of this splitter cord

Step 5: Accomodating Everything

Picture of Accomodating Everything

Once you've gotten this far, this is roughly what it looks like...

not very glamorous, I know, but worry not, as everything will be covered

before moving on, I advise to take a quick look around, for any mistakes that might have happened.

- check your soldering

- check the polarity of your connections

- check that everything is secure with our trusted double sided tape

Step 6: Power to the Box!!!

Picture of Power to the Box!!!

now the most crucial part of this project: The Battery Pack!!! (aaaaaaaaaahh)

This would probably be a good time to drop a disclaimer:

DISCLAIMER:

Batteries are not toys, be aware that high density chemistries like lithium, lithium-ion, lithium polymer, etc are extremely volatile and explosive and demand the respect of their handlers.

If you are not sure about what you are doing, seek the help of someone who is, and follow their instructions to the smallest detail. Battery venting and subsequent explosions are serious and you can end up seriously injured and burn your house down in the process. Stay safe!!!

Now that safety is on everyone's mind, here is a step that is as personal as a pair of underwear...

everyone has their favourite battery chemistry, size and weight, charging method, etc... and before we go into all of that knowledge pushing, I prefer to describe my choice.

I chose to go with li-ion. why?

simple:

-I got my hands on a load of laptop battery packs from ebay, and I had more than enough 18650 cells on me to power a small electric vehicle, so why not?...

My battery specs are as follows:

-24x 18650 cells at 3.7V, 2600mAh

-Put together as a 3S8P pack

-Final specs: 12.6V when fully charged with 20.800mAh capacity

Yes, you read that right, this battery has over 20 Ampere/Hour capacity.

I do have another battery pack, which I'm currently working on, that consists of 2 Lead Acid batteries in parallel with a total of 4600mAh capacity. This pack however, will be used as a backup battery if my primary gives in and needs charging.

The only reason for even considering an emergency battery, is simply because the primary li-ion battery pack takes roughly 25/30 hours to charge at 1Amp, and I want to use my box in the meantime.

For safety reasons, and for the sake of my sleep, I will not be showing you how I built my pack, but I'm pretty sure you can find enough online articles about battery packs to do this on your own, but do not adventure yourself if you are not sure about what you are doing. Remember that every day is as good as you make it, so stay safe!

Step 7: Finishing Up!

Picture of Finishing Up!

Remember that bundle of wires and components flying around?...

yeah, I don't think they're sexy either...

-get some wood bits, screw them wherever is practical, and make sure that it doesn't get in the way of anything or damage any of your work done so far. At this point I damaged my voltage regulator, and had to wait by the mailbox for a new one, so be very careful in this step.

-cut your plastic sheet to size, and screw it to the wood you previously put up there. I chose to use 2 pieces for this step, just to make it easy for repairs or replacement in the future

Step 8: Finished... Now for the Test!

You will find a video in this step of the test I made on this project.

I was very satisfied with the result, and quite happy with how it works.

It took me several days and a total of 20 hours to get this project done, but I regret nothing!!!

Thanks for taking the time to check out my project, let me know in the comments if you have any questions, and I'll get back to you!

happy building!

Step 9: LINKS

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/351205888316?_trksid=p2059210.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/271714432946?_trksid=p2059210.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/251648438511?_trksid=p2059210.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/270904580658?_trksid=p2059210.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/111435997488?_trksid=p2059210.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/231496271386?_trksid=p2059210.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/390870719034?_trksid=p2059210.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/151301990423?_trksid=p2059210.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Comments

ecorstin (author)2015-03-17

this is awesome man! I got the same.toolbox so I might try it haha

VeXX MacDread (author)ecorstin2015-03-17

thanks, man! go ahead, my friend. Apart from building the battery pack (which took me roughly 6 hours), I had a blast with this build. I approve it myself in terms of satisfaction. promise me to show it off if you do try to build it. haha

amberrayh (author)2015-03-17

Your tool box is pretty amazing! Great job on your first Instructable. I hope to see more from you in the future!

VeXX MacDread (author)amberrayh2015-03-17

thanks!!! got more projects in my mind, and definitely will be posted up here. I'm running contests with this build. your vote would be very appreciated. :)

Yonatan24 (author)2015-12-20

Holy Cow! Why do you need so many batteries!

Great DIY project anyway!

Yonatan24 (author)Yonatan242015-12-20

*Batteries?

holidayv made it! (author)2015-06-21

made mine with a 12v lithium battery, took the A/C power supply from an old boom box that didn't work anymore, and rigged it with a 3A dual USB charger.

VeXX MacDread (author)holidayv2015-07-02

Nicely done! Looks like it's off the shelf

Halfpipes (author)2015-03-25

I was in the middle of doing something similar, and stumbled onto "Coolbox" . Google it. Looks great...but I don't like to wait. good job on this project.

VeXX MacDread (author)Halfpipes2015-03-25

Yeah, i saw that. It just popped out of nowhere in my youtube feed. It seemed to me that they were reinventing the all concept of a toolbox. Wouldn't trade all the room for tools i got for that bit of luxury and attention.

slimtb (author)2015-03-23

Great build. I'm planning something similar myself, and have considered some of the same components. Just curious though, why did you add an external bluetooth receiver if the mp3 player has one built into it?

VeXX MacDread (author)slimtb2015-03-24

Hello, slimtb! I'm glad you liked it, and also to have given you a light on your idea. As to your question, the image of the mp3 decoder i used here is not from the same model of the one i purchased as the one with the built in bluetooth was out of stock. The reason why i used that image is because it was the only viewable image i found for the connections. I apologise if this has risen any confusion, and thanks again for your coment.

Hammerhead46 (author)2015-03-19

Great build.
I am a retiered truck driver and this would have been a GREAT "Slip Seat" (different truck every run) box for me.

Hello, my friend! Really glad you liked this project. Yeah, i do believe this would have been a great companion on your travels. Sure is for me!

VeXX MacDread (author)2015-03-19

Yeah, it could be done, but then again, it would render the storage space for tools a bit useless. My original idea was to add all this, and still use it as a toolbox. But i do welcome your idea as very appealing to those who can make use of it.

DDW_OR (author)2015-03-19

I really like your tool box. I like to look at how people come up with different ways to adapt what they have to do what they want.

https://www.instructables.com/id/The-Smallest-Works...

one change i would suggest is using battery holders instead of soldering the batteries. maybe use a wheelchair to move it???

https://www.instructables.com/id/wheelchair-worksta...

I tow the ATV to the job site so i can use it to get back an forth to the house.

the only change i have done is move the stuff on the right side to the left side, and left side to right side. this swap allows me to steady the long stuff on the left while using my right thumb for the throttle.

VeXX MacDread (author)DDW_OR2015-03-19

Hello. Allow me to congratulate you on your own ideas. They are really interesting. Yes, i do modify nearly everything i own. I'm not fond of the idea of adapting to my stuff. My stuff should adapt to me.

bilham (author)2015-03-19

Nice job! I'd recommend a flat power switch to avoid it getting broken if you stack another box on top.

VeXX MacDread (author)bilham2015-03-19

Thanks for the coment! Yes a flat switch is the practical choice. I just went with adding a bit of character to the top.

tjacobs5 made it! (author)2015-03-19

I made something similar last year. But instead of tools I included a 230V AC inverter and Air Pump. The battery is a sealed Lead-Acid from a jumpstarter and holds 17Ah so it plays tunes for a whole day.
On the back is a 10W poly solar panel and 3A charger.
Its been charging our phones and batterys for free :D
All electronics are from dx.com, the grills from a dutch audio store, speakers from salvaged radio and the panel off ebay.

Total cost me about € 150

VeXX MacDread (author)tjacobs52015-03-19

Hello. Yes, i do agree that your idea is very interesting. But i didn't want to beat the purpose of the toolbox itself. Awesome build by the way!!!

wolfsingleton (author)2015-03-19

What a great design! I've been trying to design my own all-elements saltwater tackle box that does similar, and this has definitely helped shape some of those plans. The only thing I might suggest on yours, perhaps add a small LED light into the handle for basements or after-hours worksites. It wouldn't replace an actual worklight, but great for small stuff or pathfinding. Seriously, thanks for the great idea.

Hello, my friend. Yes, your sugestion is quite frankly a simple but brilliant idea. I am working on a desugn that would incorporate a work light to my aluminium tool case. As i always carry both, it would orove very efficient. I am also working on a usb powered mini work light, to complement this project. Thanks for both the coment and the sugestion.

gazeddy (author)2015-03-19

awesome idea and one i never thought of. but one thing concerns me is using reclaimed lithium batteries in series its very easy to get a bad string dragging the whole pack down. i suspect most of the devices you have used are 5v supply. why not go 1s and say 24p gain 3times capacity and use a boost reg or2/3 to up it to 5v then you also gain being able to use a tp4056 based charger to charge it all in situ and even will allow some "passthrough" use ie when mains is available keep it plugged in and keep it charged

VeXX MacDread (author)gazeddy2015-03-19

Hello, my friend. First of all, thank you for the coment, and for the amazing sugestion. I admit that i had a very similar first idea, when this build came to my mind. Unfortunately upon purchasing all the components and testing them on the bench i found that both the mp3 decoder and the amplifier worked better at 9V+. I do understand those risks in performance with reclaimed cells, but i assure you that not one of them were in bad shape, as i thouroughly tested every single one. Nevertheless, i welcome your opinion, as i can obviously see that you really enjoyed my idea. Worth a vote or two from you, i suppose? (Lol)

so'brien12 (author)2015-03-17

How did you connect the bluetooth to the amp?

VeXX MacDread (author)so'brien122015-03-17

Hello, please check step 4. The bluetooth audio receiver module is connected to the amp via the audio jack, which is shared with the audio signal from the mp3 decoder. Hope this helped.

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