Introduction: Boxed-in Jukebox

Hello this will be my first instructable so this will be interesting.

I ask that before you begin you have some practice with soldering and joining of wires also a bit of a understanding of Voltage, circuits ect

Now the idea is to take a old desktop and use it to create a jukebox/home media center.

This will also involve a optional part were it will be required to wire AUSTRALIAN main wires on the project if you wish to combine it into one power point

What you will need:

1x Motherboard and parts ex, Hard drive, RAM (2gb min), CPU with fan and power button (Preferably from last 5 years Pentium 4 up or amd equivalent)

1x Power supply (The one inside the computer will do fine 300w up)

1x Monitor (So you can view songs)

1x 5.1 speakers (Built in amp preferably)

1x 2m 10A extension lead (This will be what we are wiring too)

1x 3.5mm Male to 2RCA adapptors 1.5m long (This is for the speakers i am working with yours may vary)

1x Bulkhead or jiffy box (This is so it can be wired to one power point)

1x 10A 240AC switch (On/Off)

1x Media Center Remote (This will be used to control it wirelessly as having a keyboard and mouse plugged in takes away from the idea of a Media center/jukebox )

1x Container or storage furniture to be used to hold everything together

3x Heavy Duty 40A Two Screws Connector (No messy solder or burned fingers)


Philips head screwdriver

Laser Cutter


Step 1: The Case

This part becomes tricky as it will depend on the type of look you would like.

Considerations for a case to hold everything :

Attachment of speakers

Motherboard, Hard drive, Power supply and fans

Speaker amp

Power input

and a place to sit or attach the screen too

The case i am going to be using will be modified from a flat pack storage kit I picked up for $45 that has the room for everything needed

Step 2: Testing of Parts and Software

Before we go putting this all together it will pay to make sure everything is working

to do this simply means putting everything together before cutting and wires or making any permanent changes to the existing comments.

For this I have setup the motherboard outside of a case or anything else to make for easy access


Another part of testing and a bit of time saving will be to install any and all programs you want.

For mine I am running windows 8.1 64-bit as it draws very little from the systems resources and is fast to start up and for simplicity i am going to be testing the audio with iTunes.

Though there are operating systems like linux that use less of the systems resources i am more experienced with windows but i would love to hear about what everyone else will use

Step 3: Preparing of Parts

First thing to do is to start dismantling the sound system so removing the case around the sub and amp. While doing this be careful as the capacitors could still carry charge also some components can be damaged easily.

To do this remove the outside edge screws and put them to the side.

If your lucky the sub speaker can be disconnected from the amp by a little clip.

After un-clipping the sub remove the sub by unscrewing it from the box.

Once you have the amp and sub speaker removed take the feet off of the sub box as we will be using them later

Step 4: Mounting the Motherboard

To start with assembling the jukebox we are going to mount the motherboard to a piece of plastic then onto the storage unit.

For this measure up the size of the motherboard and make a note of it.

For cutting of the plastic we will be using a laser cutter with the sizes entered into PTC Pro desktop

To start open Pro desktop and create a new design

Once this is done you can follow the picture instructions

Once finished cutting out place the motherboard on top of the plastic and drill the holes where the screws would normally be but be sure they are small enough for the extension screws (Can be removed from a desktop case) to be put in without coming out.

Once those holes have been done drill four more for the screws to attach it to the case for this i used self taping screws

Step 5: Mounting the Amp and Feet

Take the amp section of the speakers and work out were you would like it to sit.

Once that is done find two brackets and two screws & nuts along with two self tapping screws.

Following on from that mark out were each bracket needs to sit for the amp to be mounted with the brackets used

For mine the amp is positioned towards the back and roughly center to allow room for the Sub to be added latter

To mount the feet we took off the amp box it should be a simple job of screwing them on were you want them

Step 6: Mounting the Power Supply and Harddrive

For this we start by positioning the power supply and hard drive so that all the wires reach what they need to without placing any strain on them.

Once this is done I produced a bracket from a piece of aluminum to attach it to the base board inside the case. For simplicity if you wish you can just glue it in place as the bottom of the power supply is a flat surface.

For attaching the hard drive I used the cover that came with it from the laptop but you can also make brackets for the hard drive easily enough

Step 7: One Power Point

WARNING: This involves wiring to the Australian main and if not done right will ruin some or all components while also endangering your life. If you are a beginner it is not recommended that you attempt this as this is optional

For this we take a 2m extension cored (10A) cut off the female end of the plug and strip the three wires inside

Next we do the same for the Speaker amp, power supply and screen wires

Once all the wires are striped take the plastic jiffy box and drill 3 holes on one side for the three output wires and a forth on the opposite side for the extension cable.

For adding in the whole for a switch i used a hole saw but be careful not to rock the box while doing this as it with throw the size out slightly.

Feed all the wires into place inside the box and use the heavy duty connectors (dual end) to wire each of the output wires into one side of each connector and double checking that each color matches the others in the same spot.

For the wiring of the AC switch as it lights up when on you have 3 pins one is a neutral while the other two are actives make sure not to cross or mix these up as sparks will ensure along with a fried switch. For this take a length of wire and run it from the opposite side of the active connector (Output) to the switch. Next take the active from the input wires to the pin on the switch that corresponds with it (You can find out which two pins are linked through the on/off switch with a multimeter as the neutral should be easily identifiable)

Step 8: Mounting the Speakers

For the mounting of the speakers it requires a hole saw though you need to be careful when mounting as it can lead to wires breaking meaning more time spent re soldering the wires in place.

To start we begin with a hole saw cutting two holes each side for the front and back left and right speakers (Try to keep the holes lined up horizontally as we will be making covers later) .

For the position of these speakers they are in the bottom section were the amp resides.

Once the holes are cut gently places the speakers in the hole and use screws to mount them in place.

If you are worried about protecting the speakers we will be putting covers over later on to protect them.

(If you snap any wires to the speakers it is a simple job of re-soldering them just make sure to have the polarity the right way when you join them to the amp)

Step 9: Mounting the Subwoffer

Mounting the sub is pretty much the same as mounting the other speakers except its bigger and and needs to face towards the ground to work properly for this project.

You also may need to be required to extend the wires to the sub as i found with mine that it was too short, for this it was a simple split in the center of the existing wires to add in a extra length.

To install the sub measure it across so that you get the diameter of the black part of the speaker.

Once you have this measurement find a hole saw that is as close to that size as possible so only 1-3mm out at most, once found its a simple matter of deciding were you want it on the bottom.

Once the hole is there just add the four screws and plug it into the amp and it should be ready to go

Step 10: Mounting the Screen

For this take the monitor and strip it back to the bare screen as it is in photo 2 and if possible leave the buttons in place encase you need them for later as they can be tucked out of the way easily

Next place it over the section of the case and mark the area it will be sunk into.

Following this i used a plunge router to remove enough out of the case for the screen to sit snugly in place so that no screws were needed for finishing the corners gently chip them out with a chisel.

With a tight fit the screen should stay in place but we are also putting a cover over it to protect it and hold it in place

please be gentle with the screen as if you crack the membrane in the screen it can't be repaired

Step 11: LEDS & Plastic Side Speaker Covers

To add a bit of jazz to this project I had a few meters of green and red strip LEDs laying around to use so I added them to different sections of the Jukebox for extra effect.

To power the LEDs I have made use of the computers power supply which has a output of 12vs which when combined with a adapter, from the 4 pin molex, that would originally attach it too a fan makes good use of available resources

In total I have added 6 strips, one on the top & bottom of the screen, another at the back of that section and three in the amp and speaker section to light it up in the dark and to show though the tinted plastic we will be using later on.

To wire the LEDs together I joined each section into two wires ( + & - ) linking them in parallel to the adapter.

Step 12: Center Speaker and Laser Light Show

For this we will need the following:

- 1x Green laser

- 1x small sheet of Diffraction grating

- 1x Black tube, big enough to fit around speaker

- 1x Mirror small

- 1x Current and voltage Regulator

To do this the tube needs to be just big enough in diameter to fit over the speaker so it can be attached. But before attaching the speaker attach a mirror to the speaker via a hot glue gun as this will be used for the laser light show

1. Measure across the speaker at the diameter of the black section

2. Find a tube or 3d print one that will fit the speaker snugly for little moment

3. Fold the screw mounts up so they grab the tube

4. Glue the speaker to the tube using a hot glue gun

5. Create a lid that will sit across the top of the tube for the Diffraction grating

6. Cut the Diffraction grating to fit inside the top and glue in place using superglue

7. to mount the laser inside the tube and angle it towards the mirror i used a hot glue gun and layered it up until the laser could sit on it and shine on the center of the mirror, once that was done just use the hot glue gun to glue the rest in place

8. for the two wires coming out of the chamber i used a drill bit to create to small holes for the wires to come through

9. Once the wires are through you can set up the current and voltage on the regulator, for my laser it is running 3.2V DC and just enough current for the laser to run properly (The regulator can be attached to the computer power supply same as it was done with the LED light strips)

10. When ready to add the tube use a hole saw to cut through the top of the project and use super glue to join them together alone with the lid holding the diffraction grating

11. Fire her up and see the results :)

Step 13: Finishing Touches (Paint Job & Outer Covers)

To add some final touches to this project we will be adding two sheets of plastic, one front and one back, the front is tinted black but when attached the screen and LEDs should still be seen. To do this measure the width and length and cut to size so that it covers the whole front. I used double sided tape but if you want to use something else please feel free too.

For the back it doesn't need to be see through but you will need to cut a small piece out for were you have the power coming in and switch if you used the single power point. To do this do the same as before but use a hack saw to create the hole for switch and the plug to get through.

Also on the back we want to add a hole for the computer switch and two fan to allow for ventilation, for this i used two computer fans and a hole saw set, try to have one fan facing in so it can move air over the computers core while one facing out so the hot air created blows out.

For painting i used a glossy black acrylic that only required two hours to dry and two coats of paint, we can also use the paint to hide the double sided tape as it will show being white.

To finish the project attach the switch to the back by using a hot glue gun then attach the back using double sided tape.

One final step is to through a party :)

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