Car Audio Boom Box




Introduction: Car Audio Boom Box

About: About me... Well I am a full time worker at Toyota and In my spare time I enjoy carpentry, DIY and anything else hands on. I'm the kind of person, if I have an idea for a project, I forget about everything ...

Here is my Pioneer Head Unit powered boom box build.

This thing is very loud without an amplifier and if the box is built right like mine, and is joined correctly and air tight, the bass just from these mid range drivers is awesome.

Now to start with you need to start with a design you have in mind, i envisioned this design and i built it from my head, no measurements (my bad) however if you are interested in building this yourself i'd be more than happy to measure it all up.

Anyway this box is made from marine plywood for sturdiness, the speakers are recessed into the wood face itself by using a router.

The power plant to all of this is very simple, I acquired a 12vDC 10ah Sealed Lead Acid Battery (Mobility scooter battery) which provides a little over 6 hours of constant fairly intensive use, to charge it i purchased just a cheap 12vDC 6ah laptop charger off Amazon, i de-soldered the 230v connector from it, and attatched a 3 pin kettle connector to the rear of this box complete with a fitted switch and 13a fuse for safety and this provides the charge for whenever the battery gets low.

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Step 1: Partially Build Your Box and Measure Up.

In my case i thought it was best practice to partially build the box and add all of my components to ensure everything fits, its also a good idea at this stage to wire everything up, solder your wiring, terminals etc and hot glue everything in place i.e laptop charger, loose wires.... not your components, you will need to remove these again so sand or paint your box.

Once you have established everything fits snug into your box, you can go ahead and remove your components, in my case, (head unit, tweeters and speakers) and you can continue to build your box, be sure to add an air hole for the low frequencies to escape, this will be your bass port.

Also its worth noting that the battery i used weighs quite a bit so be sure to remove that too when working on the box enclosure and make sure any gaps in your joins are sealed up.

To maximise the bass frequencies this thing can produce, add quite a bit of pillow stuffing into the speaker chambers as this stuffing will make the speakers seem like they're in a much bigger box this enriching the bass.

Step 2: Test Your Box Before Final Assembly

In this step you can see I've added weights on top of my boom box....ive done this because everything inside the box is fully setup, the system is powered on, however the top and rear panels of my boom box are loose at this stage and rattle about. the weights are there to simply keep the panels in place and to minimise any potential for air to escape as this will make the box sound lousy....once you are satisfied with the sound your hearing, go ahead and prepare for final assembly and in my case, paint.

for the top panel i used my router to create dado's for the inside panels to sit tightly in, i then used a strong PVA glue and some decking screws to make a super strong, super tight join.

however the back of the box is not sealed.... there is a battery inside remember, if this ever fails, you'l need to gain access to replace it, so the rear panel is simply fitted with a make shift sealer gasket and screwed it in.

When i say a sealer gasket, I mean i used bathroom sealer to go around all the edges where air could escape, let it set, and this will be your rubber like gasket.

Step 3: Finishing

Here i decided to paint my boom box, however this is marine plywood so you could sand, stain and varnish it...or simply cover it with carpet, the choice is yours.

So i masking taped all of my components and applied 4 coats of self etching primer, then I used some Halfords BMW Sparkling graphite paint, 2x cans around 5 coats, then a Halfords brand Clear Gloss paint again, around another 5 coats.

Wait for it to dry and wet sand any rough areas if you wish, i didn't and thats it.

I apologise if its a vague walkthrough, I didn't take many pictures whilst building this thing.

Step 4: Parts List

You can use any type of car speakers, tweeters and head units for this build, however I know mine sounds incredible and here is a list of the parts i used:

Pioneer DEH-1600UB Head Unit

Alpine SPG-17C2 G-Series Speakers 60watts max RMS - 300watts Maximum Peak

Bass Face SPLT.1 600W Bullet Tweeters Car Speakers Pair - sound amazing

12vDC 6ah Laptop charger - £5 from Amazon

12vdc 10ah Lead Acid battery from mobility scooter

3 Pin IEC320 C14 Inlet Module Plug Fuse Switch Male Power Socket 10A 250V - Amazon

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    4 Discussions


    6 months ago

    It's been almost 5 years, boombox still works good?! Let us know.

    As I seek to build my first boombox using car audio components, I also have to take into consideration utilizing proper air circulation to keep the car stereo unit (I call it the CSU) and my desktop PSU at a reasonable temperature. Most CSU's now-a-days have heatsinks in the back. They do tend to heat up a little bit, between 10 to 20 degrees (F) warmer, but as long as you have a running 12 volt CPU cooling fan behind it, your CSU might not heat up at all. Since the CSU's heatsink is right next to the plastic connector where all your wires are at, you want to be careful not to potentially melt/damage the connector as a result of the heatsink overheating. The CSU I am using right now is one of Pioneer's latest models, the DEH-S5100BT.

    Nice job utilizing a guitar strap to use for carrying your boombox! I obtained a door pull plate from a friend of mine that works at a Lowe's store. A pull plate is normally something you put on a door to pull it open. I can however mount that on to the top of my boombox, then the pull plate itself becomes a handle where I can pick the boombox up!

    Once my boombox is finally put together, only the weight of my boombox would be as nostalgic as the ones we used back in the 80's and '90's. Until then, the picture I've attached is my current setup until I get a hold of someone that can cut up wood. Thanks for reading!



    5 years ago on Introduction

    Heres a few more quick snaps, you can see I've added a fender arm strap from an old electric guitar to carry this thing around, also the handle from a guitar amp on the top panel, and that power socket is a 230v pc plug socket to charge this up.

    excuse the bad paint job on the back as i wasn't concerned about the rear too much


    5 years ago on Introduction

    hi and thanks for sharing your first instructable! great job on this car audio boom box! do you have any more photos to add to this project and could you share with us a bit more about the dimensions and how you set it up? thanks so much :)


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Hi, thank you very much glad you like it :)

    I don't have any more pictures at the moment however, if you can hold on till the weekend i'l be happy to dis-assemble it and take some snaps of its internals and measure up the dimensions. it was kinda rushed tbh and i didn't really take note of much i was too eager to build it ha. but I wouldn't mind doing that and talking you guys thru it. thanks