Car Stereo Toolbox Construction Radio/Ghetto Blaster Project

This old topic is closed. If you want to reopen this topic, contact a moderator using the "Report Post" button.

I'm interested in suggestions for building a toolbox "ghetto blaster".

Post got a little long, sorry.

I'm an electrician and work construction. I've been seeing a lot of portable radios lately from Dewalt, Milwuakee Etc, which run off AC/ or their power tool rechargable batteries.

The battery power is great because many times we don't have power available, or have to stretch out a couple hundred feet of cord to get it, not worth crawling through the mud just for tunes when you're only gonna be on the job for an hour or two.

Great idea, but ive seen many damaged, they're not very dust proof and most sound like crap, and Ive only seen one made by bosch that has a CD player.

So I 'm gonna try to build a car deck and some nice door speakers into a tool box. Either an ABS toolbox off the shelf or possibly custom build one out of sheet metal, maybe diamond plate depending on weight.

Should be more durable, definitely more resistant to dust and debris, have some storage space for cd's MP3 player, etc. and will surely sound better. Plus I can build in Some external GFI recepticles into it and cigarette lighter outlet like the bosch.

So I figured before I got ahead of myself that someone's had to have done portable car decks in boxes before and would have some good ideas.
I've searched all over the web and haven't really seen anything like it.
I know I'm not the first guy to come up with something like this so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I'm thinking of using smaller 12 volt sealed lead acid batteries and am still researching a recharging/power supply solution.

I'd like it to be able to run for at least 8 hours without being recharged, but will have AC power the majority of the time.

Now if I can just keep it under 20 lbs.


diyAudio Editor
Joined 2001
Paid Member
Seems like a good way to go. A boat place- West Marine (has online presence ) sells some plastic, gasketed flipup covers to keep splashes away from a car stereo. It might save your car unit from dust & stuff.

The car speakers will take abuse well. The speakers should use the closed toolbox as a cabinet, They might be exposed to damage from tools since they would have to be open behind, but you could rig plates of some sort to protect them.

If they have neodymium magnets they will be a lot lighter.

I guess you need a 12v tool that is broken and of the same brand as your other tools so you can cut the battery socket off it to use. Actually I had good luck usng the protective plastic cap that Makita included with my battery, which I added wires and little plates to, to make contact with the battery terminals. Not as cool as a socket you could just slam the battery into though!

OR: You could make the toolbox with built in recharfgable batteries- enough to last all day, a small car amp, and the speakers. Then
get an i-pod type MP-3 player thing from one of themanufacturers other than Apple that offer radio also. Just have a tiny jack to plug the mp3 player into.

Also, you might look into the threads regarding Sonic Impact amps.
(do a search)
They run on 12v, they sound fantastic, they use very little power,
BUT they are probably too low power for you. Might be worth trying at about $30 that they cost at Target online, and other places.

I wouldn't bother repackaging them are modifying them- they sound good enough stock
Funny you mentioned the flip cover, it was one of the the first thing I thought of, then figured I can make one out of steel and a piece of piano hinge. Same thing just tougher. I'm going to keep the deck recessed to try to help protect it, again dust and debris is a huge problem with anything on the job.

I figured I'd baffle the speakers and try to keep the whole works below the tool tray.

I dont need the batteries to be removable, I'm looking into UPS replacement batteries rather than a power tool battery, just need to figure out amp hour requirements. Cheaper than tool batteries too.

Thanks for the input and keep it coming.

This old topic is closed. If you want to reopen this topic, contact a moderator using the "Report Post" button.