Retro IPod Boombox





Make an iPod boombox from a classic radio

It works with 4 batteries to power the amplifier giving high volume level, ideal for outdoor use.

It can also work without batteries with a volume suitable for indoor listening.

more photos here

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Step 1: Start

Removing the cover.

Step 2: Placement

The bottom showing the battery compartment to four size C 1.5v batteries and also the place for 1 size C 1.5v battery (this one to power the light for the radio display).

The 4 batteries compartment has the ideal size to place the iPod.

The single batterie compartment has the size to put 4 AA batteries

Step 3: Soldering

Close-up of the transformer and the single battery compartment

Soldering the wires for the new 4AA batteries.

The wires are attached to a connector with two pins. (the ones used to power hard drives) the connector will make easier to remove the batteries.

The two pins I tested as working to power the amplifier are the bottom (pin 5) and the middle (pin3)

I came to this conclusion using the trial and error method. (with the iPod connected to the line-in, tried the batteries cables to one pin (red) and connected the other cable to the other pins until it worked)

Step 4: Connecting the Batteries

A battery holder with 4 AA bateries.

The holder comes with a connector, but had to cut it and solder the male connector that fits to the one used on the trensformer. (from an old hard drive)

Step 5: Placing the IPod

Used hot glue to fix a foam mat to the metal base where the iPod will rest

Step 6: IPod Fastener

Attached a velcro band to the metal base to use as a fastener to the iPod. To keep it in place.

The velcro band is one of those used to bundle wires together. (a rubber band could be used also, but it isn´t so easy to remove)

Showing the iPod and the cable which will connect the headphones port to the radio line-in (phono/phone)

Step 7: Connecting Audio

The iPod in place fastened with the velcro


The cable connected to the radio line-in and iPod.

The line-in doesn´t use the amplifier so needs no batteries, giving sound for indoor use, the volume is controlled from theiPod

The Phono jack works with the amplifier and the batteries with loud sound for outdoors use, and is controled by the radio volume knob

Step 8: Closing

bottom cover

needed to use a round file so that the iPod cable could pass through

Step 9: Closed Cover

bottom cover closed with cable passing through the opening

Step 10: Done

The final result

Just turn on the radio and adjust the volume knob.

Hope to add an iPod IR remote to choose the music playing.

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    16 Discussions


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Impractical. Dangerous. And trashy. I like it very much. This even coming from a guy who never got his tetanus/diphtheria shots. Pity the rust's not on the outside though...

    Da Nugesta

    10 years ago on Introduction

    WOW you could get tetanus from just looking at that hunk of rusty crap. great instructable though, nice concept. xD


    11 years ago on Introduction

    there is a difference between things that are retro and things that require tetanus injections.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Use a ghetto blaster instead of that junky radio. I wouldn't be suprised if you caught some sort of hobo disease just looking at the innards of that thing.

    man, get that oxide off asap... wait, its probably oxidized to the core, in that case, throw it out and get some metal from an old computer, everyone hates steel cases!


    13 years ago

    here is a trick if the radio does not have an external Line-In: inside the radio the tuner section and amp section are usually separate, if you look carefully at the circuit board you can find the Line-Out from the tuner going to the amp. then you can splice there to add a Line-In. I've done this on an old car-stereo to add a line-in jack.

    1 reply

    Reply 12 years ago

    thank you for the tip


    13 years ago

    WOW thats rusty! Also, awesome idea.


    13 years ago

    I did something much like this, but it was coverting (or changing) an old TV into a new. I'll have to post an instructable on it, but since it's already finished I'll have to use paint as my guides. At least I can give you the finished (roughly finished right now) look of the TV..... I like your idea. It's also a creative way from keeping people from trying to steal your ipod (which is what I, more or less, designed my customized TV to do).