Bluetooth mini boombox


A number of people thought my last project should have been its own thread, so I guess I will start doing that :wink:

I had seen these really fun retro laser cut ‘boombox’ projects various places on the internet. They always caught my eye so I decided to give it a try.

I grabbed an older unused Bluetooth speaker and tore it down to its components. After measuring all the resulting parts I was able to design the basic layout, fitting everything into as small an enclosure as could manage. I think I should have made the entire face an etch. I thought having the outlines as a crisp score would look good, but the hot spots at the start/stop points are pretty noticeable. The face is a second layer, so I can easily replace it if it ends up bugging me enough. It is just cheap unfinished 1/8" Baltic Birch. I might further finish it out with veneer on the sides and back or I might just leave it very DIY looking.

Both my kids love it and wanted to claim it as their own, but this is the first project I think I might just keep for myself!


Could you give a picture of the ‘guts’ so we can see the fit of all the components. Otherwise … nicely conceived and executed. :glowforge::sunglasses:


Cool project!


I did not think to document the build and it is now all glued together. I do however have a second of the same BT speakers so at some point I might build a second (I do have all the files now and a laser!).

There is not much to BT speakers, at least this one. A single board with the amplifier and BT components which I have mounted high on the back with the controls and microphone visible in the photo of the rear. There is a lipo battery that I glued to the bottom of the enclosure. The charge port and line in jack were a module I mounted on the left side. There were the two speakers you can see on the front and then a passive radiator that I mounted low on the back. The status LED sticks out the top.


Here is what it looked like before I gutted it.


I like the quarter for scale. Very nicely creative. You’re the first one I’ve seen tear down a BT speaker and repackage it. Most of these are to just drop your phone in and “amplify” the phone’s speakers.

Did you have to explain the cassette to your children?

FWIW I like the “hot spots” from the engraves. They add an extra touch IMHO, but as I’ve advised @PrintToLaser - don’t take aesthetic advice from me! :small_airplane:


My kids are actually pretty well versed in vintage audio gear because that is one of my hobbies. Not a fanatic about it, but I have built my own tube amplifiers and electrostatic speakers.

I recently backed this:

If all goes well, my kids will be building their own turntable this fall.

I did have to explain VHS tapes when they saw them at a thrift shop. 3.5" and 5.25" floppy disks were a big shock when I explained what the capacity is compared to a Micro SD.


Hmmm… is it sacreligious to tear down and repackage a Bose BT speaker? 'cause I might want to do that now!!!


Honestly, that is still a big shock to me. I remember on my first home-built 286 machine that I opted for the low density 3.5 inch drive just to save a few dollars. I think it was 770K as opposed to the high density 1.4 Mb capacity. It had 1.5 Mb of RAM and a 40 Mb hard drive too! It was pretty high end (less the 3.5 HD) for it’s day back in the early to mid 80s. :smiley:

Edit: For the record, it cost more than the GF did with an air filter. I spent $3500 on that computer!


Absolutely make it your own! :sunglasses:
Why? Because you can!


the nice thing is there are so many sales out there for bluetooth speakers that it should be easy to snag one fairly cheap to repurpose.


I remember spending $500 on - 15 mb of RAM!
I just managed to dispose of it not that long ago. Saw it rolling around in the bottom of the computer parts box for all these years and couldn’t manage to bring myself to recycle it because, yeah.


i was just thinking that i remembered buying 16mb of ram (4 4mb stick) used. meeting a guy in a coffee shop and handing him $400 for that used ram.

and paying $1200 for a used IMB 5150 with two full height 5.25" floppy drives, no hard drives, and a state of the art CGA (4 color) monitor.


My 2nd gen Moto X has a decent speaker on both ends of the phone facing forward. Best sound from a phone I ever had, so I am still considering a box enclosure to plug it into.


I think the biggest ah-ha moment for me in this vein was when I realized that the phone in your pocket has exponentially more computing power than the machines that put man on the moon.

Tremendous what we’ve done to advance technology.


One of the offices I worked in used to house some of the mainframe computers from back in the Apollo era. It was a 40 x 40ish room with a raised floor, etc.

The computer that used to occupy that whole room had a whopping 4K or RAM.

Even these days, it took a long time before the shuttles ever got glass cockpits.


Awesome project! (I might just slap a decorative cover on that old Walkman from my grandmother and make it look like a boom box.) :grin:


Remember buying my first IBM PC in Austin, TX in Jan 1985 BD (before Dell). 2 floppies, no HD, 256kb ram, and a Princeton Graphics orange monochrome monitor + add the 9 pin dot matrix printer for the ripe old sum of $2,500. :glowforge::sunglasses:


Yeah, “why would anyone ever need more than 64k?” Now look at the power of a phone…
Having lived through that stuff gives us a perspective that is alien to kids today.


Since we are taking a trip to the past, here is the first computer I remember having of my very own. And it was portable!

My father was a computer systems administrator and would bring home broken/outdated equipment for me to play with. This one got some extra love and we installed a 5mb Hard Card. After some time you would have to tap the hard drive to get it spinning, but that worked pretty consistently until it was retired.