PVC boombox is not a potato cannon

After [Luke] built a suitcase mini-ITX rig for LAN parties he was left with one problem: he didn’t have any speakers and he didn’t want to use headphones. Not wanting to do something boring like a USB-powered speaker setup, he built a PVC Boombox.

Built around 3 inch PVC pipe, the boombox houses an off the shelf 15 W amplifier, bluetooth receiver, and charge controller. [Luke] found a deal on a dozen 1400mAh lithium ion batteries and despite the standard, “if you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t use lithium” trope commonly given as advice, he forged ahead anyway. [Luke] picked up a power converter that charges the batteries and provides some protection. The batteries are charged though wall power with a transformer and a huge cap scrounged from an ATX power supply.

[Luke] is pretty pleased with his boombox. Not only does it put out some decent quality sound, the battery life should be tremendous. It’s not a ground-up build, but we think it’s a pretty nice project. [Luke] will be taking the ‘boomtube’ to the Detroit Maker Faire next month, so if you see him make sure to say hi.


  1. lwatcdr says:

    Okay it took me a while to find the details of the build. If you missed it look for the very hard to read white menu items on the yellow bar. Nice build but never take up UI design. Really white letters on a yellow background?
    As I said interesting build for sure.

  2. n00bkillr says:


  3. M4CGYV3R says:

    I believe the correct term for this device is “Bass Cannon”. Now make it with 10″ PVC and melt people’s faces off.

  4. Mallie99 says:

    Haha! LAN Parties! #BlastFromThePast

  5. Wayne says:

    Kinda gives new meaning to ‘This is my boomstick’

  6. Woofpickle says:

    I’ve always hated the advice “if you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t use ‘x’.”. Screw that, how else do you suggest learning something new?!

  7. PGillhaus says:

    “[Luke] picked up a power converter”
    Did he get it at Toshi Station?

  8. moldboy says:

    @lwatcdr I suggest you get a different browser, it looks fine to me. (In the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox and IE) and I wouldn’t say “if you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t use lithium” but I would say “make sure you learn what you are doing first” This is not something you want to trial and error on. Can you say pipe bomb?

  9. supershwa says:


    Site looks fine to me. I’m guessing your web browser isn’t CSS3 compliant, or your monitor’s brightness/contrast is set way too high.

  10. hospadar says:

    Thanks for the comments =)

    I almost peed myself

  11. lwatcdr says:

    I am using Chrome so no it is fine I adjusted the monitor a while back to using color bars. It was readable but white on yellow is low contrast and that makes it hard to read. There are people with poor eyesight that have issues with low contrast text. But as I said nice build. The amp I find interesting but the battery pack is too iffy for my taste. Hope it stays stable.

  12. strider_mt2k says:

    He can waste time with his friends later…

  13. Kitesonic74 says:

    I think the design is vulnerable to some sound effects inside the box like acoustic wave equation and sound particle velocity with rogue effects on it. There are a lot of problems when the box is designed like “a tube” or some similar object and it is not designed to be a transmission-line.
    But nice project at all. best regards, go on!

  14. ino says:

    Don’t know if that was posted earlier in the comments but, regarding Li-ion batteries, Dave Jones made an interesting vblog about them a few days ago. Check eevblog.com for more info.

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