Introduction: Ammunition Can Speakers

About: Self taught electronics enthusiast and part time blacksmith that plays guitar and usually can't afford parts.
  • Introduction and backstory:

Hello all! I have not made many instructables so I am not good at this xD. This is not the first time I have built an ammo can speaker, this is my 4th try. Check out my last attempt.

This has by far been the best attempt. So still tweaking bugs, but for now it's pretty good. I focused on 4 things when designing this system.

  • Indestructibility - I needed something that could survive getting hit by a car if I was going to be using it every day.
  • Portability - I was going to be carrying this thing everywhere. So it had to be light(ish).
  • Low cost - I very rarely come across money to play around with. I spent all summer just saving up for the Bluetooth amp.
  • Looks - I wanted something that would make people say "wow, you made that"!

So,I set to work building this, yet again, and vowing to make it so even I have a hard time breaking it this time...

Step 1: Materials

Shopping list:

Ammo can: I got mine at an Antique store for $18. Flea markets and army-navy surplus stores have better deals on them. A good price for a .30 cal ammo can in decent condition is usually around $10-$15 ($8 if your lucky).

4 inch speakers: This is personal prefrence. Word of advice: anything bigger than 4" speakers wont fit on one side of a 30. cal, if you want bigger speakers use a 50. cal ammo can. I used co-axial speakers because they were cheap and co-axial speakers have better sound quality in my opinion. This is what I got, there ok if your poor like me and your not looking for 11/10 audio quality at high volumes. THESE AREN'T REALLY 200 WATTS THOUGH. 30 at best, not a big deal for this project.

Amplifier: I chose mine because the headphone jack on my phone is broken, and I quite like bluetooth. Dont expect to pull more than 30 watts of a 12 volt supply and still have good battery life. This one draws 12v at 2a. I rate this 10/10 would buy again. Its really great, and really small too. no problems at all.

Various hardware/switches/wires ect: All I have to say is DO NOT use hot glue to mount the speakers, use some nuts and screws, for $3 a pack, its worth not destroying your project. They look more professional too.

Tools: I assume you have a basic knowledge of electronics. This is a good beginner project.

Step 2: Prep the Can

First you need to cut holes for the speakers. I would cut your hole slightly smaller than 4 inches across, because at exactly 4 inches, I had some gaps. I used a sheet metal nibbler (the don't sell these anymore) so use a drill and a hacksaw if you have too. I lined the hole with electrical tape to make a little better of a seal, I just went with my knife later and cut the edges off to make it look neater.

Step 3: Prototype the Electronics

We all have that point halfway through a project like this were you just want to throw the parts together and see what it will sound like. Go ahead and do this, make sure everything works and see if you need anything.

Step 4: Mount the Speakers

Mark and drill the holes for your speakers. DO NOT cheap out on this step. Go to your local hardware store and pick up a bag of correct screws and nuts ( I used 1/8 inch screws). If you cheap out and use glue or bootleg sheetmetal nuts (ive been there) you will cry big boo boo tears when you drop it and it breaks. real screws look better too.

Step 5: Finish and Mount Electronics

My amplifier board had screw terminals on it, so I desoldered them and soldered actual wire in their place. I cut two pieces of wood, one to go on the bottom so you can screw your electronics on to (do it,again with the boo boo tears theory), and another one for the control panel (next step)

Step 6: Finishing Touches

I cut four pieces of wood the same height and hot glued them to the sides of the box to rest the control panel on. I am powering them with 8 AA batteries, and I plan on changing that so I didn't screw down the control panel. Mount your switches and such.

Step 7: Enjoy Your Black Sabbath

Your done! But here's what i plan on improving on:

  • Power: I plan on putting in some 18650 cells instead of AAs. I might go so far as to add a solar charger?
  • Sound: I plan on switching out those speakers for something better.
  • Controls: I plan on adding switches for turning on/off the individual speakers for debugging. I also want a voltage reader and some more lights.
  • Moar cowbell: Because everything needs moar cowbell.


I like how this project turned out. It would be really cool if I could get some votes for the Epilogue contest. I would use the Zing laser cutting system to manufacture small kits to get people in my community interested in electronics, and help raise awareness of how cool the electrical engineering hobby is. Cheers everyone, have fun!

Epilog Contest VII

Participated in the
Epilog Contest VII