Snap together boombox great for taking your music on the go

fab-boombox

[Matt Keeter] wanted to take his music on the go, and wrote in to share a great looking boombox he built for under $100. His goal was to put something together that could be made in pretty much any hackerspace/fab lab, so his boombox was made using simple materials.

He first modeled the boombox using cardboard, later fabbing it from wood on a laser cutter. The design allows the stereo to be snapped together, though [Matt] says that some joints were glued as an extra precaution. Inside the boombox resides an custom PCB he built which incorporates an ATmega328, an MP3 decoder, and an SD card to store his music.

One feature we really like is the control scheme [Matt] built into the boombox. Each of the capacitive touch buttons are positioned on top of a copper pad, which are wired into the control board. He says that while good in theory, he had a difficult time getting the buttons to work properly, though they seem to do the job well enough.

If you’re looking for a portable music solution and have access to a laser cutter, be sure to check out [Matt’s] page for schematics and firmware.

Comments

  1. Sven says:

    Fantastic looking build, and i like the touch interface.

    Not that impressed with the tiny classAB audio amplifiers or 9V battery power source though. This would have been a lot cheaper to run and sounded a lot better if run off a single LiIon battery cell, and if used with a ClassD amp, there are extremely cheap 1-3W amps that run off the voltage of a single LiIon.

  2. HAD says:

    Touch interface doesn’t work some of the time, it is fairly feature poor and it costs $100. I appreciate the build ingenuity but I fail to see how this is in any way competitive or better than a $50 or $100 commercial offering.

  3. Sven says:

    I can see the merit in building something yourself even if it costs more than a commercially available system. You might do it to learn, or because you want something to look or behave in a specific way, or just for something to do.

    However powering a sound system off a 9V battery is just wasteful.

    • HAD says:

      In no way am I suggesting he or she should not have gone about doing this build. But it just seems like a pretty pricey bit (in time and money) vs an off the shelf solution if its only job is to play music. Clearly there are other intangibles at play here too though – learning, etc.

  4. The overall design is great and I’m not a huge fan of powering a music system from a battery BUT this is a pretty amazing start to creating somehting more sustainable. Solar powered fabbed out boombox?! I’d love to see that.

  5. Nova says:

    An improvement of sorts might be to make the PCB the size of the snap-in panel it resides behind and cover it with a vinyl sticker or something similar. the wood itself will absorb water and capacitively couple. That or use acrylic.

    • Nova says:

      Oops just looked at the actual page. I think those long wire lengths leading to the faceplate buttons might be part of the problem, etching a separate board that hosts a cap-touch sensor(this design uses discharge curves on IO pins). extra part but better reliability and simpler wiring. also then the front panel is no longer hand-fabricated and wired.

  6. qwerty says:

    Ok, this has some quirks like the 9V battery, perhaps the amplifier, the lack of protection for the speakers, the use of Eagle (Eagle is evil, don’t use it!). Still it’s so beautiful and well crafted. Bravo!
    This could become a new way to build wooden stuff, just add some glue here and there if they’re intended to last in one piece.

    Next a guitar amplifier maybe?

  7. echodelta says:

    All wood shrinks. Trad designs take this into account. Laser precision is no match for dampness and drying.
    Still , good work at a level that shames using Mpee’s to listen to music. There is enough room inside for full sound files.

  8. Roberto says:

    Nice!

  9. threepointone says:

    The capacitive touch sensor probably didn’t work either because of the thickness of the wood, or just as likely because wood has quite a bit of moisture in it, which is difficult to distinguish from a finger.

  10. N0LKK says:

    Sorry. I gotta say it, with that battery, there’s not going to be lot of boom coming out of that box. The burnt edge of wood laser cut cabinets is probably not a visual atheistic that will ever grow on me. Thanks for taking the time to share your project with the world Matt.

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