The sort-of-ghetto ammo box stereo!

Have you ever caught yourself, while sitting around, wondering what life would be like if you had a set of battery-powered speakers mounted in a metal ammunition container? No. You haven’t nobody actually thinks like that. But nonetheless, I decided to make one.

From the get-go, I knew that I wouldn’t be doing anything super new and original, nor would I be going bravely where none have gone before. I’ve seen plenty of posts on HackADay and similar, showing off peoples’ awesome ammo-box stereos. Theirs were much better than mine was going to be, But the difference between theirs and mine is that I don’t have theirs. I only have mine, so who gives a crap what anyone else’s is like?

So with that attitude, let’s begin.

For the battery, I chose the  NP7-12 SLA battery I got from Newark’s Blogger Outreach Program. In return for a review of the item, they gave it to me free. Off to a good start!

Rather than design my own amp system, which I totally should have done, I opted for something that I already had. I had a set of PC-speakers that had served me well, so I volunteered them. They had originally run off of an AC to AC wall wart, so I had to “Adapt” Them to work with 12v DC.

Side question: Who the heck even designs AC-to-AC wallwarts? That’s so un-handy! I mean, I guess with no rectification they can save space, but really? You can’t stick 4 diodes and a capacitor in there like everyone else? Anyway, yeah. Time to do this. Image

In the upper right, you can see my AC to DC conversion, which consisted of cutting the diodes out and jumpering some stuff. Boom, now we’re in business.

The next thing I had to tackle was how to mount the controls. I had to desolder the pot in the lower left, solder 6 wires between it and the board, and then mount it in the box. I did the same for the power switch, but without removing the old one. Here’s a pic.


So now we’re on to the hard parts: Mounting all of this stuff in the ammo box. I sanded and painted the speaker grills, and then mounted them, with liberal amounts of hot glue. I mounted the speakers behind them in a similar fashion. Then I drilled and mounted the power LED, 3.5mm jack, power switch, and volume knob, Here’s a closeup of the “Instrument Panel:”


It’s no aesthetic masterpiece, but it’s really not too shabby either.

Now that the mounting was done, I put everything in the box, securing the battery with velcro so it doesn’t fall all over the place. That way it’s removable for charging, and if I want to replace it I can. The only thing it doesn’t have is a fuse, which I’m going to add ASAP, because I don’t want it to explode.



(For some reason the light makes it look like the left grille is pushed in at the bottom, and I ran to check when I looked at this picture, but everything is fine.)

Here’s a video!

Anyway, yeah. It’s not super pretty, but it sounds okay and it’s rugged enough to have outside with me while I’m shovelling/working/etc, so  I’m pretty satisfied.

Semi-obligatory: The battery I got from Newark is awesome and you should all go spend your money there. (All joking aside, the battery does exactly what I need it to and I have exactly zero complaints. Thanks, Newark!)

Thanks for reading! You can subscribe to my blog by putting your email in to the right. Or don’t. I don’t care. That’s just like, your opinion, man.

-Noah Farrington