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Old 8th September 2012, 11:15 PM   #1
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Sep 2012
Default New Here, Would like to make Suitcase Boombox

Hi, I just joined because I feel like this is the place if I want to build a suitcase boombox. To give you some back story, I was at Burning Man this year and I was partying with DDP which is this awesome group of Canadians (for the most part) that invade a city with hundreds of boomboxes and sync them all together with an FM transmitter and basically party any where they want. Well I was a Burning Man and they had brought 150 boomboxes to do the same thing and it was fun. If you are wondering what the DDP stands for it is Decentrailized Dance Party and after meeting the two main guys and partying them I saw this suitcase boombox they had been given and decided that I had to build one.

Having seen the one they had I have come to the following conclusions on things I would like.
  1. 16+ Hour Battery Life at Max (is that possible)
  2. A simple battery meter would be nice
  3. Eventually I would like to add Bluetooth
  4. The ability to charge with a USB port
  5. Be exceptionally loud
  6. Rechargeable batteries
  7. Doesn't bother me if it is on the slightly heavy side (I'm 6'3" and 200lb)
  8. Keep it simple at first with just a Headphone jack input
  9. and I would like have 6 speakers for cosmetic reasons
  10. Finally I would like to keep cost down if possible
After that I really don't care where I go with this project

Now I really don't know what speakers to choose, or amplifier, or batteries, and I have yet to select a suitcase but with time I expect it all to come together and be a great learning experience. I would appreciate what every one's personal recommendations are because when I look at those amp4/amp11/etc and what not I get completely over my head with not knowing how or why to choose one or the other. I'm hoping you guys have teach me some of this stuff and create a great thread from start to finish on doing just this.

Finally do you have any recommendations for books or such on learn this stuff?

Thank you for your time.

Last edited by Schwarttzy; 12th September 2012 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 9th September 2012, 01:01 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
The Boominator - another stab at the ultimate party machine
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Old 9th September 2012, 06:20 PM   #3
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Chicago, IL
Hi Schwarttzy,

Definitely check out that Boominator thread even though it's pretty long. There are discussions of everything you want to do in there, so people aren't going to want to answer a bunch of questions that have been covered pretty thoroughly before. Think of the Boominator thread as that book you were looking for.
The cost factor

What you want to do is mostly possible, but not completely. Point number 4 is impossible. There is neither enough voltage (5v) or current to do the job, period. While suitcases are cool as hell, they really are very lousy speaker cabinets. So you either have to put up with terrible sound, or build another box inside the suitcase that is sturdy enough for the job. Or, you could build a proper box more or less in the shape of a suitcase and use suitcase covering materials and hardware to complete the illusion.

Also, very importantly, a good-sounding, efficient speaker is a carefully matched and tuned design made from specific components and a very specific size. You can't just decide you have to have six speakers because it looks cool and expect to get good results. It may be possible, but it really has to be designed. There are some very specific rules about driver size and the box size needed to make them sound good, and those are based on the laws of physics mere mortals like us can't overturn.

Check out the Boominator; it does most of what you want. If you're looking for other ways of doing things, check out existing speaker designs on this forum and elsewhere; you can use them as a starting point and you can change the proportions somewhat as long as the total interior volume remains the same.

This is a perfect project to learn from. Just start with one thing, figure it out and move on to the next.

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Old 11th September 2012, 12:04 PM   #4
spwalek is offline spwalek  United States
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: West Seneca NY

If you end up going with a 12v sla battery source, I would reccommend using a car style usb adapter. Split the case and fit it into whatever case you end up using. I also highly suggest you read through the Boominator thread. It is a great resource for this type of project.

Have fun
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Old 12th September 2012, 10:05 AM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2012
I think that I have decided to forgo the suitcase instead of an idea I have had, I would like to make a box that looks like it's made of copper with an aluminum exoskeleton. The copper will actually be ply-wood with sheets of copper glued on similar to how they make counter tops.

I have ordered an AMP6 from and I'm thinking about using these speakers.
Dayton PS180-8 6-1/2" Point Source Full-Range Neo Driver 295-344 with it. I'm looking for the cleanest, simplest front I can by just using two speakers, and hopefully the sound quality won't be to sacrificed in the process (that and the speakers will go along with the theme of the box I want to make).

I'm a little confused as how to how I charge the batteries and I'm looking at the LiFePO4 ones for obvious reasons. Got any recommendations?
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Old 12th September 2012, 12:35 PM   #6
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Originally Posted by Schwarttzy View Post
You do know that you could get all the speakers and most other parts for a Boominator for the price of those 2 drivers?
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Old 13th September 2012, 05:03 PM   #7
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Originally Posted by Saturnus View Post
You do know that you could get all the speakers and most other parts for a Boominator for the price of those 2 drivers?
Ya I know that they are expensive, but I'm not one to ever follow in someones foots steps. Besides I'm building this idea I have in my head and my instincts tell me that those are the speakers for the project I'm doing.

Are they good speakers?
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Old 13th September 2012, 06:22 PM   #8
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Here's a link to the copper stuff I'm going to use Azul Patina Copper Sheets - Heavy 24 Gauge
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