I have been wanting to create a custom (high quality) boombox using all (as much as possible) brand new off the shelf components. Brand new because there is an inherent issue with continuing availability of old parts for spares or replacement.
Anyhow, some parts of the project will require some professional services beyond my skills. These include someone with, or access to the following:
- Mechanical sheet metal fabrication (steel or preferably aluminum for appearance and weight reasons). This includes maybe precision brakes to bend the sheets.
- CNC cutting machines (lathe or plasma, but I'm thinking lathe for better appearance).
- Plastic supply and/or fabrication.
- Faceplate design and cutting for controls
- Art work for design with mind towards balancing cost, aesthetics (not just a rectangular box) and practical construction.
- Decorative parts design services for things such as speaker rings, tweeter louvers, fun badges, emblems, or other bling/bling.
- Silkscreening or transfer or painting services.
- Design/manufacture of suitable handle capable of lifting a large/heavy (maybe ~ 40+ pound) boombox.
- Materials scraps for little or no cost, or fresh materials cut to specifications for as cheap as possible. This includes plastics, metal mesh (speaker grills, amp vents, etc), sheet metal, aluminum panels, (c, u or l channels) for adding strength to panels and bolstering area around handle.
- Access to materials and/or ability to create precision cuts and wood fabrication with attractive and durable hardwood for trimwork. Aside from trim, the boombox will not use wood for any structural areas in the interest of weather durability and dimensional stability when exposed to elements.
I am happy to pay for these services to create my own boombox. HOWEVER, read on if this sounds interesting.
I am also interested in perhaps a collective effort in a Custom Boomboxery Boombox Project. This may be a limited run of perhaps 10 to 20 boomboxes. If you notice that the very first sentence of this thread says (high quality) boombox. This means no cardboard, no plywood construction, no square box stuffed with a car stereo and power supply. Nothing against those but that's not what this project is about. So what I had in mind, and this is just brainstorming right now, with changes not only possible, but likely as the project moves forward, if at all, is the following:
- It will be large. At least 30" to 40" in length, about 8 to 10 inches deep and could be 16 to 18 inches tall.
- Have new digital HD tuner with preferably a RDS display like you see on cars that displays station ID, current song or program info, and of course AM stereo and lots of cool additional stations.
- Have 1/8" auxillary jack in front for your personal MP3 device.
- Have rear RCA aux-ins, lots of them.
- Have front thumb drive socket for MP3 playback
- CD player, front loading using computer style 5.25" drives.
- Have internal blutooth
- Battery compartment lid, can use screws to attach panel. Batteries will take 10, 16 or 20 D cell batteries, user selectable.
- Internal power supply.
- Bass/treble/volume (optional balance) with loudness.
- Spectrum analyzer display (can turn on/off)
- VU meter bargraph.
- 2 or 3-way speakers, 8" to 10" woofers. Or maybe 4x 6.5 or 8" woofs, ala GF-777 style
- Subwoofer (if enough old kaboom woofers can be accumulated) or maybe passibe radiator design
- 2 or 4 or 6 amps, depending upon the layout of the speaker system that will be decided on.
- Perforated metal speaker grills, if someone has the skills to bend some to fit into the design.
- Maybe true leather clad trim?
Total run limited to 10 or 20 identical boomboxes. Each direct contributor is entitled to 1 boombox of the final product (If no objections, I get 2; one for myself and one to give to another member), as I will be doing a lot of if not most of the project management and assembly labor. There will be 2 classes of participants: #1 will be direct contributors. #2 will be members wanting one but unable to contribute in any other way. Class #1 will be responsible to pledge anywhere from $200 to $400 for acquisition of parts and which could be less or more depending upon ratio of #1 and #2 participants. All labor should either be donated to the project or costs of those services shall be approved in advance by the members in the project. Class#2 members should pledge $1,000 (just guessing, could change) to the project. You will get 1 boombox. The rest of your pledge is used to pay for materials and any services cost. Don't laugh.... look at the specs above and what is involved. If you read carefully, you'll see that this is a serious project and not a weekend slap together.
Lastly, as it's hard to separate people from their money, no matter how good the deal, the chances of getting such a project off the ground is not great. It's also hard for folks to be spectators as everyone wants to get involved. But too many chefs in the kitchen and, well, you know where I'm going with this. So this is either going to be a fun project or at worse, just a fun discussion. One thing is for sure, the collective effort project is a non-starter if I'm the only one, in which case, I'll just eventually build my own for my singular enjoyment. The reason is that while I have ideas and can accumulate the parts (just buying, how hard is that?), building the boombox cabinet that meets my satisfaction is beyond me as a diy'er since I know I do not want a square plywood box. So even if the collective project is a non-starter, I'm still looking for someone to build me a suitable cabinet. Anyone?