Portable Audio Rig That Turned Out Great


[Michael] wanted a stereo that he could use outside, be it at the beach, beside the pool, or while tailgating. He decided to build this boom box himself, and didn’t cut any corners when it came to a professional looking finish.

Because of the locale in which he plans to use the stereo he went with a set of marine speakers. They’ll have no problem standing up to water, and since they’re used in boats they should also be able to take a beating during transport. To feed it he uses a Lepai T amp which is seen above.

After cutting each piece of the case out of MDF he started working on the openings to receive the components. This involved quite a number of layout lines and some work with a compass to map out the circular openings. He built a recessed panel on the back to interface the power cord for charging. Inside is an 18 Ah battery. A set of switches lets him turn on the charger and choose between powering the amp from battery or from the power cord.

[via Reddit]

19 thoughts on “Portable Audio Rig That Turned Out Great

    1. With all that MDF *and* a lead-acid battery, I think it would be better carried two-handed anyway. Portable in the way the first laptops were, ie. “luggable”.

      Nicely built though. Looks great.

  1. Those are great little amps, I’ve got a Muse one based on the same chip, power draw from the wall when using a 60W no-name power brick is 2.8W idle, rising to 3.0W if I’m pushing it so these things are great for battery or solar powered projects.

  2. Good project but there are a few flaws,not trying to bash the effort though,i just wanna state my thoughts.

    1) If he wanted it to last outdoors and in humid places like a beach he should have dumped the MDF for Boat Plywood,the MDF eventually starts to puff up in the joins even when it’s sealed and painted.

    2) Personally i would prefer Polypropylene Whizzer Cone Fullrange speakers as the Marine Speakers are 1) Expensive 2) Wont be better than 10$ Fullranges as like Car Speakers,due to High Qts they work best in Open Baffle and suffer in small boxes.

  3. Outstanding look and feel, great design overall. As a few people mentioned you may want to reconsider the MDF. It soaks up moisture in any kind of wet humid envirionment and after a short period the MDF will start getting puffed up like a sponge.

    If you can find some thin starboard it would be a good replacement for the MDF. It cuts/machines very well. It can be cemented together for a very solid joint. 100% water proof. The downside is that it can be a bit soft. A good hit may cut or gouge the material.

    Replacing the Lead Acid with Lithium cells would cut out a ton of the weight also.

    Overall, great job.

  4. It’s obvious the unit was made with care. There are always options when building and designing something. As for the MDF, there is a moisture resistant outdoor version of that product in the States called Medex. Formaldehyde free also.

    1. I came across that stuff while searching for pottery equipment. Potters us it as a base to throw pots on their pottery wheels. It apparently holds up incredibly well in the wet environment.

    2. Anything that looks unusually green will do the job.

      But the problem with MDF when it comes to heavy duty applications is that i doubt that green mdf will be cost and weight effective when there are better types of woodoid materials to pick.

      The best moisture resistant MDF wont hold a moment underwater,whereas Plywood will stay intact for years in the sea,also MDF wont be as good with tension and chips easily in the corners with slight hits

      Considering all these,cost and portability the MDF isn’t anywhere near preferred.

    1. There wouldn’t be blah blah blah if the material used was oak planks,plywood,aluminum,etc,which are right and light for that specific use (portable for also outdoors,beach,etc)

      You said that your self,it’s an awesome build,and nobody wants to see one’s effort going for recycle due to the misjudged use of the wrong material.

  5. What, no radio. There is room enough inside for an antenna of size. That won’t be the case with a portable add on. Sewer pipe, tough and waterproof. That has been one possible choice with me.

  6. Nice Cabinet work,but I wonder if 1/4″ marine grade plywood have been a better choice? Then again mdf would make better speaker enclosure, but HiFi efforts seem to get lost where portable radios get used most. Where’s the radio? For myself a Radio station has a far larger music selection than I, and the prerecorded audio only gets used when there no decent radio station in range. I may have to consider that little amp to use with speakers I have on hand for computer audio.

  7. Unless he has more photos that have not been posted yet, I can’t see any way that audio gets to the amp. The finished back only shows two switches and the power input. You’ve got to have some way to use that amp that you spent so much time mounting with the speakers and power, maybe he should considered something like this: “http://dx.com/p/1-0-led-mp3-player-module-w-fm-remote-controller-usb-mini-usb-sd-slot-silver-5v-126112”. Still a great build though.

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