Introduction: Radio_HEAD Soundbox Multi-purpose Hub. DEADCOMPUTER CONTEST

the list of materials is listed on the image notes of the second JPEG of this page.

so when I got the e-mail that most of us get from, I just happened to be listening to some music late night and with itunes on shuffle, radiohead happened to come on and so the idea of the project came to me right there and then. 

I keep every device that i break probably because i refuse to let go of  as proud stubborn owner of these once-upon-a-time functioning machines. From digital cameras to old speaker systems, old monitors, alarm clocks, tvs... well you name it and i've got it.  

Anyway, in this instructable, I will show you step by step how to turn a broken computer monitor [and all the useful zombie hardware you have in burried in your homes] into a multi-use hub. I will use an old bass sub that I found on the street and I will wire two additional speakers [ (6W 4OHM) combined with the power sourced by the sub's sound module ] and create a soundbox out of the acoustics of the hollow monitor case creating a very loud and clear sound system..... and to top it off you can power anything you want from it.... even a coffee makerrr !!! 


- 3 power outlets
- 3 usb hubs ..........................[ two are Ni-MH powered ] 
- Digital frame .......................[ VIDEO/PHOTO ] [ used an old DSC-N1 Sony digital camera ] 
- Sony PS3 dual-shock3 remote holster.
- iPOD charger.
- cell-phone charger .............[ can charge almost any phone device out on the market ]
- Volume Control.
- 3.5 mm aux in audio jack
- bluetooth holster
- ipod holster
- digital clock

The total cost of tools required to put this thing together came out to about 20 bucks. most of the things that you need are around your house, in your garage somewhere waiting to be brought back from the DEAD. all these devices are in fact computers. and when put together, its like having your own mini-transformer. Styrofoam, some glue, some Velcro [ its handy assembly solution ],  and a razor will probably be the most necessary tools of assembly. you will also need a soldering iron to put the speakers together and whatnot. but if you have speakers that already work or whatever then you are good to go.

check further to see what the final product looks like.

Step 1: Hunt for Your Materials and Make a Plan.

as an artist and like any type of designer, it is crucial to brainstorm and put your ideas on paper, so lets begin there: grab a piece of paper and a pencil and let your mind wonder for a little.

the plans to my design were put together while listening to music/gatherin these items:

so later on that night at like 3am i started scattering around my house and tearing old boxes apart looking for things to throw on this monitor. I knew i wanted to make A radiohead ... not just some radiohead but i wanted this thing to be beast-like. because just like the band and their music, it's got to have a little bit of everything. [ and if your a fan, you know Thom Yorke mixes it up] 

so i pulled out old cameras, and i knew i had a few old components to make something produce noise but it wasn't until a few days later that I came across that sub while i was driving. I also hit up my garage and I found some heavy-duty outlet extensions and some old electrical extensions that were used to hang up xmas lights so i decided that I would somehow use all of this. 

I also came across two old Gateway mp3 players of mine ( the marvels before ipods ) and these particular mp3's were usb-powered by a removable battery-based energy source so I decided to power them with some Ni-MH rechargeable batteries and then I decided two weren't enough because I have a lot of usb powered devices so I decided that I would add another hub but this one would be powered by raw electricity so I would eventually wire this hub also. 

for a project like this you really have unlimited possibilities but in my case i'll show you what i made out of the things i could find around my house. feel free to improvise, that way every radio_HEAD thats made will always be a little different and have some different abilities than the others. ha kinda fun.

Step 2: Additional Features +

 I also wanted the radioHEAD hub to have an audio jack so you can plug in anything that you want so i hit up a few old boxes where i keep guitar cables, headphones etc and i found a 3.5mm to 3.5mm in-audiojack. You can buy these at Radioshack for like 3 bucks or im sure ebay has them for cheaper. I also stumbled upon the clear case that came in the package for my recently purchased PS3 remote control and i thought it'd be legit if my radioHEAD held my controller for me..... pshhh this thing is like a friend. he rocks. literally. I also had a bluetooth holster laying around and i decided to throw that in there somehow also. like i said, endless amounts of possibilities. you can add anything to it. just be sure to recycle anything you do not use.

Step 3: Hollow Out Your Monitor.

 you can really use whatever you want, you can use a tv case, a monitor case... whether its those old grey acient looking ones, or in this case mine just happened to be a sweet huge monitor that went DEADDD after my basement flooded :( yeahh well, thats why we are putting it to good use.

- Use a simple screw drive and remove the main support screws. Odds are that its a philipshead.
- Carefully pull the case apart until you can see the actual machine part of your display and lay it upside down with the glass part facing a soft surface... in this case i used my bed. Then proceed to unscrew the re-inforced corner supports that join the display to the case and carefully separate. 
- once you have skinned your cadaver, clean up accumulated dust and let it air. 

moving on ....

Step 4: Plan Your Utilized Spaced.

Make sure you trace our where you want to insert your components.

I plan to make it look like head so the main sub will be in the front of the monitor and I will use poster board to mask up the empty frame the absence of the LCD creates. i will also add the digital frame and the digital clock in the front and I will mount a designated LED-lit power ON/OFF switch for the spearkers.

on the side, I will mount the additional speakers as ears and add my power-hub with the 3 wall outlets and the 3.5mm audio jack .... and on the opposite side I will add the 3 USB hubs.

and lastly, the top of the monitor will be adjusted to fit a PlayStation3 dual-shock3 remote in a decorative manner.

Step 5: Cut,cut, Cut !

 you can use multiple tools to do this. I decided to heat up a blade and a hand saw and melt through the plastic to create the slots in which each feature of our radio_HEAD corresponds.
you will also probably need to use styrofoam or cardboard cut outs to create support for the heavier components of our project ( i.e: sub, digital frame, digital alarm clock. ]

be careful and if you care for your outstanding physical features i advise to use protective safety wear [ just because it never hurts to be safe ]

once you've done that, make sure you polish up your work so it looks clean and presentable [using sandpaper among other things is a good start ] but if you like your work rugged-looking and beaten up, be proud of your dead electronics and display your work that way too. the options are enless. if you have spray paint or anything you can make some grafiti or customize your case in any way you want.

Step 6: Wire/insert Components.

this is a basic outline of how I went about the whole thing. you dont have to stick to this order but I find it useful to start from the bottom and yourself up. nice way to stay organized. 

- set up the two Ni.MH powered usb hubs and insert.
- insert 3usb and wire to power.
- insert 3.5mm jack and wire to the sound AUX in. pt1
- insert digital radio. Y-split wire to sound then wire to power.
- insert ipod power input and wire down to case. / wire to power
- insert 3 heavy duty outlet port. wire to power.
- wire power from sub to ON/OF switch -> then wire to main power.
- insert and assemble PS3 dualshock3 holdster.

I actually got silly creative and even added a bluetooth holdster. so insert that in there somewhere too if you think its cool looking.

Step 7: Wire / Insert Audio.

 when i gathered up my components, I had a handful of choices. I could've used huge stereo speakers or tiny little ones ( but i didnt want to jeopardize my surround system ) so I found a happy medium and removed the speakers out of an ancient set of amps and wired them with a rca- poss/neg cable and I ran them into the left and right source on the sub I had salvaged from the streets.

I used a 12vlt power source from an old toy keyboard that i onced owned and it happened to power the sucker right up. this piece also is potential for volume control so wire that out through your case and bammm, you got yourself an external sound-gauge.

Step 8: Add the Bigger Features to the Radio_HEAD. and BAMM

 so then all there's really left to do is add your sub your digital frame and the digital alarm clock to complete the FACE of the radio_HEAD. You have to keep in mind that i am really an artist. When i heard about this contest, i figured i could incorporate some old broken stuff and make productive piece of art. It just so happens to be that its a handy little piece of furniture haha.

anyway, work away until you have properly inserted the face, and lasty adjust your clear dualshock holster to complete the project. You can either fully seal the top or you can use the dualshock as an easy access to the center of the radio_HEAD. 

You can set the digital camera [ or frame ] to play a slideshow in multiple different types of settings. or you can use it to playback videos. its pretty cool if you have it sitting on your nighttable or on your desk, it's decorative furniture with a purpose. technology and art go well together.

Step 9: Take This Thing for a Ride.

 alright so radio_HEAD can power 3 different appliances, 3 usb devices, play audio through a sub-surround system from your ipod or radioclock , and while all of this is happening you can watch a video or a photoshow on your digital frame.

i decided to plug in my cellphone because it was running low on battery through one of the usb hubs, then i was mad tired from building this thing overnight so coffee sounded really really good. 100% from the native land  haha and then i got sick of bright light for the whole night so i wanted to chill out and see how a nice little dim light would look. i did all of this while i was playing some radiohead through the LOUDDDDD stereo system to celebrate. and the ipod was charging too. on this nice little mesh holster i added with some velcro to my case. and the bass pretty much rocks the house. it's seriously nuts.

soooooo, i'd say radio-HEAD and I will be good friends.. let me know what you guys think.
Dead Computer Contest

Second Prize in the
Dead Computer Contest