Build Your Own Waterproof, Solar-Powered Boombox [Instructables How-To]
Hopefully you enjoy enough successful summer barbecues to forget what a delicate balance of food, weather, and jams is required for such an engagement to go off without a hitch. So much can go wrong, like rain, your boombox running out of juice, drunken, shirtless visitors from neighboring barbecues, bees, snakes, the list goes on and on. There’s no foolproof solution for most of those threats, but lucky for you, your summertime music setup can be invincible. Here are some instructions on how to make your very own waterproof, solar-powered boombox.
For this project, you will need a waterproof case, an audio receiver, a solar panel, a rechargeable battery, a charger, and AC/DC power supply, a pair of speakers, and a whole slew of LEDs, wires, switches, nuts, bolts, and adhesives. For an exhaustive list check out the Instructables page for this project.
First off, butcher your waterproof case. Carve holes that fit your chosen speaker sizes into the sides of the box and sand down the edges. Before you move on to the next step, go ahead and pull the whole thing over your head, stick your arms out through the holes, and pretend you’re a robot. This isn’t necessary, but we both know you were thinking it, so get it out your system and we can move on to the next step.
Once your glee subsides, it’s time to get serious and install the speakers into the holes you just created. At this point, the case is completely empty… Hey, did you just pull a beer out of there? Are you storing beers in your speaker enclosure? Well, stop it! How are we going to build a waterproof boombox if you’re using the thing as a cooler? Alright, well how many have you got in there? One more? OK, I’ll drink this one. I guess since we both have beers now, let’s take a short break.
Ah, that was refreshing. Good call on the beers. Now where were we? Oh right, the control panel. You’ll need to carve the appropriate parts out of a piece of wood so that you can fit your audio head unit and corresponding controls into it. This will be the top of the whole setup, so that when you open up the lip, you’ll see this control panel. If you’ve got a Bedazzler, feel free to get creative and dress it up, but beware of serious scrutiny from friends at your next cookout. I’ve seen you use one of these before and you have very little self-control when you’re wielding a Bedazzler.
Now comes the part every novice loves, the foremost source of frustration with electronics, and the thing that will likely lead to the fall of man: wiring. There’s all kinds of wiring going on here—speaker to receiver, receiver to chargers, receiver to switches, LEDs to switches, etc. Attach the wires to each component separately before bringing them all together. Just say the appropriate prayers, start wiring, and hope the thing doesn’t explode when you put power into it.
Now it’s time to install the solar panel into the lid of the box, because, as the name of this item suggests, you will be stealing the power of the sun from Ra himself and using it to play your favorite Linkin Park songs on loop. Reflect on that for a moment while screwing and wiring this thing in, and before you know it you’ll be done. And since this very moment, right now, counts as “before you know it,” you’re finished. Now hand me another one of those beers that you’ve kept in there this whole time against my instruction and let’s test this baby out.