Introduction: Ultimate ToolBox
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
- 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)
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...
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!!!
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
this is the easy part:
-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
-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
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!!!
now the most crucial part of this project: The Battery Pack!!! (aaaaaaaaaahh)
This would probably be a good time to drop a 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?
-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!
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!
Step 9: LINKS