View Full Version : Boombox Slimdevice
So anyone have any good ideas or completed semi-portable SB3 mods?
At first I was thinking of getting a boombox player for my iPod like this one:
However after thinking about how I would use such a device, I realised I would always be within range of my wifi network. Would be perfect if I could just use my Squeezebox.
However the squeezebox would have to contain the SB3, small amp, full-range speakers, and battery pack for atleast 4 hours of play time.
This device would be used in the garage (AC power could work), kitchen (AC power could work), and Deck and yard (battery power required).
So I know I have read threads about people wanting such a beast. Has anyone actually built one, and was it worth it?
Any recommendations on parts to use.
I think my approach would be to modify an existing ghetto blaster, I'm sure you could find one with enough room for the pcb and display to be added. Everythhing else you need would already be there, give or take a 5 volt regulator.
What I ended up doing is getting a wireless outdoor speaker and a PDA to control the music. The speaker can run off batteries or AC adapter. I'll probably use it mostly on power, but it claims to have 100 hours of battery life with 8 C-cells. You can use rechargeable batteries and it will recharge them when it's plugged in.
So with this set up the speaker and the PDA are the only things that need to move around. Squeezebox can stay indoors. The speaker I got does not have a handle. I kind of wish it did, but I'm not planning to move it around a lot. There is another wireless outdoor speaker by Acoustic Research that does have a handle if you think you'll want to carry it around a lot. (Mine is from Radio Shack. Originally my hubby got me one by Advent, which was cheap, but it only worked for 2 seconds.)
When I bought everything I was expecting to use it with the Squeezebox, but then I found out I can also use the PDA as a remote control for J. River Media Center on the PC. Since my PC has multiple speaker outputs, I might do it that way so I can use MC's Smartlists.
Except for a short test of the speaker range (which was fine), I haven't had a chance to use it outdoors yet. I just got the PDA 2 days ago, and the dry-pak PDA pouch just came today. So I might get to try it later by the pool. :-)
At first I was thinking of getting a boombox player for my iPod like this one:
I'd recommend the IM4 rather than the IM7.
As much as I dislike RokuLabs, I think they nailed exactly what you (and I) want with the SoundBridge Radio (http://www.rokulabs.com/products/soundbridge/SoundbridgeRadio/index.php). I wish SlimDevices had a similar product. Think of it as a squeezebox with built-in speakers. Unfortunately, it's still not shipping yet.
In the meantime, I bought a 3-piece Cambridge Soundworks powered speaker system intended for PCs to achieve a "semi-portable" SqueezeBox. It's not too bad! Not weather-proof, but that's OK since it's portable...
I made a squeezebox boombox a few weeks ago from an old Pioneer portable casette/ radio that I had in my college days. I had originaly hoped to cut costs by using a slimp3 but got a dud one from ebay so I had to bite the bullet.
So the parts I used were:
1 mini itx power supply & power pack (220Vac to 12V dc)
squeezebox 3 wired
Old Pioneer boombox
My mechanical skill are a bit limited, & hence the results are functional, not beautiful. I would say the effort was well worth while. Works every time I switch on. One regret is not buying a wireless sb. Drawback is if I'm away from home, say in a hotel, I have to take the box apart & connect it to a pc to change the bridge ssid. Perhaps I'll look into getting a wireless card some time for the sb.
I've not tried batteries as I've no need for them but I reckon the ITX supply will accomodate this if needed.
Pale Blue Ego
I actually have all the pieces to make one. I thought about getting a wooden box, putting big casters on it, and then mounting a spare SB, powered 2.1 speakers, and a homeplug ethernet adapter. Yes, it would need AC power, but one cord can supply the power and the network. I have 3 outdoor AC plugs around the house. Add a 100' retractable extension cord and I'm golden.
I'd love to see pictures of y'alls boombox rigs if you can post some.
My wireless outdoor speaker + Pocket PC solution is working out fine for my needs. And it's actually preferable to a boombox since I don't have to carry a heavy thing in and out all the time.
I've enclosed a pic, none too pretty as I said but functional.
(here's some filler text for the pickiest forum I have ever used)
There is another wireless outdoor speaker by Acoustic Research that does have a handle if you think you'll want to carry it around a lot. (Mine is from Radio Shack. Originally my hubby got me one by Advent, which was cheap, but it only worked for 2 seconds.)
How is your wireless outdoor speaker holding up? I really want to get one but the reviews are very mixed. I see the Acoustics Research (AW-811) one on Amazon a lot. I also see one at Radio Shack which might be the same one that you have. I like the handle but I'd also like one that works for awhile!
Let me know if you still like yours.
The Radio Shack wireless speaker is holding up great and really puts out the sound! We have just under an acre of property and you could be on the other side of the property from where the speaker is and still hear it like you're almost next to it. (Does a good job drowning out the neighbor's ghastly country music.) I leave it outdoors on a little shelf with a roof all summer long and bring it in for the cooler months when we're not using the pool. Oh, and I put a makeshift handle on it using some shoestrings I had hanging around. :-) I had some interference with it once, but I moved the transmitter about 5 inches and never had a problem after that. I'm very happy with it!
Glad to hear the speaker is working great, Sue. I want one! The only one on the Radio Shack website that looks like what I'm looking for is this: http://www.radioshack.com/sm-900mhz-wireless-indoor-outdoor-mono-speaker--pi-2159722.html
Is that what you have? Or did they carry a different model a year ago?
I have a Radio Shack nearby so I'll have to go check it out sometime. Just curious to know if that is the one you have.
Thanks again for the info.
That's the one! Why'd you have to show me that... it's $30 cheaper now!
In the picture, you can see how that top part is elevated. There are posts in that space on the left and right sides. That's what I tied my shoelaces to to make a handle. :-)
Excellent, I'll be picking one up this weekend hopefully. And at a bargain price too! At that price, maybe you need another one for the other side of the house?? :)
If you haven't bought it yet, Slickdeals has info about a Radio Shack coupon.
"RadioShack has a Friends & Family coupon that can be used at their stores for a discount of 10% off brand name items and 30% off Radio Shack brand items, valid June 21 and June 22 from 5PM to 9PM."
Awesome! I'll print that out at work tomorrow and head over there tomorrow night. That'll be a great price.
It took me a month to get it but I finally got it this weekend. They are tough to locate around here.
So far it works great! One thing I noticed though is that when I have the transmitter plugged into the SB, the volume was pretty low even on full blast. Once I plugged it into my receiver then I could turn it up as loud as I wanted. Have you seen this or do you have your transmitter plugged into a receiver?
The problem is that my receiver disables the speakers if something is plugged into its headphone jack. So I would only be able to use this if no one was in the house using the receiver. Probably not a big problem for the most part.
My transmitter is actually plugged into rear output jack of the sound card in my PC. I use it with J River Media Center instead of the Squeezebox, and then I use NetRemote on my PDA to control it.
I did use it with the Squeezebox for a short time, and I think I did have to turn the SB volume to full to get a decent volume on the speaker.
It seems like last year I got more volume out of it than I am getting this year. My PC is on Windows Vista now rather than XP, so that is the only thing I can think of that would have changed it. But I still get plenty of volume for my use out by the pool.
Do you use replay gain? I wonder if disabling it would give you more volume.
Good idea. I will experiment with the Replay Gain setting in SlimServer. I actually have it turned on currently and some of my tracks have the tags in them.
Waldy I think your boombox is excellent! Don't sell yourself short with regards to its beauty. That 80s aesthetic is totally coming back!
retro cool, thanks mate :) Unfortunately the missus didn't see it the same way, blocked out too much light. Had to downsize. What do you think?
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