ThisOldGeek made a great DIY mini boombox using a Raspberry Pi. Check out the full tutorial on his site.
This project had its origin a couple of years ago. I received a nice tin box with a plastic window on the front. The window just screamed out for a special display project of some kind. The box had “Day and Night Sampler” (D&NS) embossed on the front. Thus, the name.
I decided this would be a good box to hold a small prototype of a boombox that I wanted to build, complete with Vacuum Fluorescent Display (VFD), a super-nice glowy character display. You could use a character LCD or OLED display instead of the VFD, but you’ll have to figure out how to adapt the python scripts for your particular display.
- VFD character display 20 chars x 2 lines
- Raspberry Pi attached to small amp through USB Sound card
- IR Remote Control: Volume +/-, Playlist up/down/change, etc.
- Internet WiFi Streaming of stations or play from stored playlists
- View Now Playing Song Info, Date/Time, or Weather
Before Starting This Project:
This is not a good learning project for people brand new to the raspberry pi or hardware in general. You should have experience with:
- Basic soldering and electronics
- Debian Linux
- Software installation
- nano or vi editor
- a Dremel or hole cutter
- a drill
This is a long build, but if you have the required skills, not a particularly difficult one. Working straight through these steps, you should be able to get a boombox like this built over a weekend.
Disclaimer & Warning
This project may involve potentially dangerous or hazardous activities. You undertake these activities at your own risk. The author is not responsible for any harm, injury or damage you may incur. If you do not think you have the skills to safely work on this project, DON’T!
I started with the tin enclosure and gathered enough materials to see if my project idea was feasible. After measuring and testing a rough fit for the speakers, VFD and raspberry pi, I had enough confidence that the project would work and things would fit.
Featured Adafruit Products!
Stereo 3.7W Class D Audio Amplifier – MAX98306: This incredibly small stereo amplifier is surprisingly powerful – able to deliver 2 x 3.7W channels into 3 ohm impedance speakers. Inside the miniature chip is a class D controller, able to run from 2.7V-5.5VDC. Since the amp is a class D, its incredibly efficient (over 90% efficient when driving an 8Ω speaker at over a Watt) – making it perfect for portable and battery-powered projects. It has built in thermal and over-current protection but we could barely tell it got hot. This board is a welcome upgrade to basic “LM386” amps! Read more.
Mini Remote Control: This little remote control would be handy for controlling a robot or other project from across the room. It has 21 buttons and a layout we thought was handy: directional buttons and number entry buttons. The remote uses the NEC encoding type and sends data codes 0 thru 26 (it skips #3, #7, #11, #15, #19 and #23) to address #0. You can use this to control something that is expecting NEC codes or you can pair this with our IR remote receiver sensor. Read more.
Adafruit Perma-Proto Mint Tin Size Breadboard PCB: Making a project that will fit into a “Altoids” Mint Tin? Put down that PCB shear and pick up a Perma-Proto in the new exciting minty shape!
Customers have asked us to carry basic perf-board, but we never liked the look of most basic perf: its always crummy quality, with pads that flake off and no labeling. Then we thought about how people actually prototype – usually starting with a solderless breadboard and then transferring the parts to a more permanent PCB. That’s when we realized what people would really like is a proto board that makes it easy! Read more.
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