Introduction: Music Box Created From Recycled Components

Some time ago I changed my car radio. The old was working fine, but it was missing a lot of useful functions — touch screen, GPS, the new music formats (flac…), video, rear view camera…etc. So I was wondering what to do with it. One possibility was to sell it on ebay, but I did not hope that I can receive more than 30 bucks for it. I decided to make a music box based on this radio — it could be used by my daughter, which gives dance lessons to the children in the schools. This instructable show the process of making the music box and shows the final result.

Step 1: The Speakers

Somewhere in the basement I have found a broken cassette player. I took its speakers to be used in the music box.

Step 2: The Housing

Making such projects always faces the problem of finding the proper housing. Because I am not carpenter and I can not design a suitable box by myself, I searched in the Internet what could be used for this purpose. In Amazon I found a wooden box with suitable dimensions. I decided to use it for the purpose.

Step 3: Mounting the Speakers

To make a holes for the speakers I used a circular saw. Because the hole diameters were not enough big for the speakers, I enlarged them with hand saw. To shape the holes I used a sandpaper rolled over a tennis balls box. From a pieces of wooden lath I did a holder for speakers, where the screw should be fixed. These holder I glued with wood glue.

Step 4: Added Port

On the bottom side of the box I mounted a small plastic tube serving as a port. I cut also holes for the power connector, the power button, the fuse holder.

Step 5: Painting

My first intention was to paint the box in different colors. I did it for the main body, but I was not satisfied with the result — the paint was irregular and was not looking nice.

Step 6: Modifying the Style

I decided to wrap the box with vinyl sheet, which was looking better. Such sheets can be found for cheap in aliexpress or ebay. Over the speakers I mounted grids taken from old cars radio speakers.

Step 7: The Front Cover Works

Now the front cover has to be done. I cut a hole for the Radio. I wanted to mount also some light effects. I cut a hole also for them. The front panel was wrapped with black vinyl sheet.

Step 8: Power Switch, Fuse…etc

On the bottom wall I mounted the power switch, the socket for the power cord, a fuse holder and 9-pin connector for additional external speakers.

Step 9: Front Panel Redesign

During the assembling process I decided to change the front panel design. I wanted to add also analog VU meters and some colorful led panel with audio visualization. The Analog VU meters I bought from Banggood. Searching them now I did not find them there, but these ones can be used instead. For them I 3D printed holder frames. Unfortunately I was not able to upload the scad file. If someone is interested in their design, I can send it him by email. The drivers used for the analog VU meters are these. To illuminate the VU meters I used a 12V short LED strip glued over them.

Step 10: Audio LED Effects

I bought from Banggood a DIY LED kit for audio spectrum analyzer. To make it black I have to glue a black transparent sheet. It was mounted by the use of small metal bars and wooden holders. The LED Spectrum analyzer was bought here, this or this can be used also.

Step 11: Further Works on the Front Panel

I mounted the metal frame holder of the car radio.

Step 12: Electronic Works

As power supply I used switched power supply module for 12V, 5A. The all connections circuit is presented on the picture above. I tried to use the same colors used for the standard radio connectors cables. Because the LED spectrum analyzer is supplied by 5V USB adapter, I soldered a small PCB containing a 7805 linear regulator on which output I connected an electrolyte capacitor ( 680uF ), and female USB socket. Another big electrolyte capacitor (6800uF) was connected in parallel with the output of the AC/DC supply block (this capacitor is not shown in the schematic). The analog VU meters driver boards are supplied directly by the 12V source, and their input voltage can be in this range, I connected them directly to the wires (unused) of the rear speakers. But to apply the audio signal to the LED spectrum analyzer I designed a small board containing dual 5KOhm potentiometer at which middle terminal the input signal for the LED analyzer was tapped. In this way the signal can be adjusted so that at maximum sound power the frequency LED bars are fully on.

Step 13: Assembling of the Music Box

To close the box I decided to use small neck hinges. From the other side — a key lock. Because the LED spectrum analyzer has a touch control pad at the back side, I decided to use the lock as control pad and soldered a wire to both. But the spectrum analyzer became out control and finally I cut this connection and put a small hornbeam close to the spectrum analyzer board instead having the control pad soldered with the lock..

Step 14: Project Finished

The music box works fine — it has the following functions:

  • FM/AM radio
  • USB MP3 player
  • AUX input
  • CD player
  • Analog VU meters
  • Audio spectrum visualizer
  • Additional speakers connector

The quality of the sound is good, enough strong to sound a big room and I hope my daughter will be happy with it.

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