How to Waterproof a Boombox: Enthusiast-Level DIY

How to Waterproof a Boombox Enthusiast-Level DIY

Boomboxes have been around to make the music industry explode out of proportion. Even though they’re not any type of novelty in the industry, a lot of people would argue that boomboxes are still relevant.

They’re portable, they support different types of formats, and they are cool, but they lack something—they’re not waterproof. Hence, let’s take a look at how to waterproof a boombox using a very strange concept.

The DIY market is filled with products for these types of projects, which can be very rewarding. In addition to the boost of confidence, having a waterproof boombox can be really useful in a lot of different scenarios, so trying to make one seems like the most obvious thing to do.

How to Waterproof a Boombox: The Basics

There are different means on how items can become waterproof, but the general idea is that everything needs to be sealed. This might be a problem with boomboxes since they have a lot of different openings—all of which can cause a leak that will ruin the device.

In order to overcome such, the boombox must be, more or less, built from scratch. Everything, from electronics to speakers must be handpicked and fitted in a perfectly-balanced device.

Materials and Parts Needed

To start off, an essential part of this build will be the case. The waterproof case must be big enough to hold all of the items. Some power tools are necessary for finishing this project, such as a drill, sandpaper, and an electric saw. An ice cooler case can be a pretty good choice.

The saw will be used for cutting the parts for the top panel, which will be used for everything: charging, power on and off button, and controls. The panel must be measured very precisely to fit the top of the waterproof case.

As there are plenty of buttons and items to fit on the panel, the user must first make sure that radio, preferably one that comes with a USB slot will fit. Also, a power switch, some LED lights, a charging port and even a solar panel should be present for a fancier project. The solar panel will definitely increase the battery life.

The speakers will be mounted on the case’s sides, so they need to be picked to fit. Keep in mind that all of the components must be waterproof, so going for a waterproof radio panel and speakers is essential.

The item list for this project will be something like this:

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    A waterproof radio panel (one with a USB is port is preferred)
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    Waterproof speakers
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    A power switch
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    A power LED
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    A cigarette lighter port for charging
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    A 12V battery (The bigger, the better, but size should be picked after factoring all of the component sizes)
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    An optional solar panel
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    Sandpaper
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    Epoxy or silicone
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    A laser-assisted electric cutter or saw
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    A drill with different heads

Procedure

Start out by drawing the speaker slots. Cut them using either the saw or a circular head on the drill. After the initial cut, use a sandpaper head with the drill to smooth out the edges and make a perfect fit for the speakers. The speakers should be screwed into the case as tightly as possible, and the remaining space can be filled with epoxy or silicone.

After the speakers have been mounted, make sure to place the battery and glue it in place. Don’t just toss it in the case, build a wooden base that fits and place the battery on it, instead of the plastic shroud. It’s best to glue everything, as having loose parts in a somewhat big case can prove to be very problematic.

Mark out where the components will fit on the front panel. Using wood for the front panel is a good idea since the case comes with a lid that shrouds the controls. Wood is more comfortable to cut than plastic, making it the best choice for the project.

After marking out the panel’s layout, use the laser-assisted cutter to make the slots. Afterwards, use sandpaper to make the cuts smoother and start placing all of the items on the panel. Lastly, use some industrial-grade wood-to-plastic or metal glue to make everything stick to the panel.

Cable management is a very important step in the build, so it’s a good idea to invest in some tools that will facilitate the process. Some busbars, zip ties or elastic bands will make everything easier. Just use a busbar for “+” and one for “-” then connect both of them to the battery.

After everything is connected, before sealing the interior with the front panel, give the whole device a small test to ensure that all of the parts are working accordingly. If that’s the case, glue the wood to the case and seal it using silicone. Aesthetics aren’t that important, but go the extra mile and make everything look nice; it’s going to be more satisfying.

If you are not that handy, don’t sweat it!

This can be an intimidating project, and it does require a lot of patience and possibly a few failed attempts in order to produce a usable product. However, that’s not such a big problem because the market has plenty of pre-built alternatives for people who like a safer bet.

There are plenty of Bluetooth waterproof boomboxes out there, and they’re top notch when it comes to quality. The only issue is that they’re a lot more expensive and don’t provide the functionality that this project offers, especially for campers.

For instance, the lighter port can be used for charging or powering devices. A small reading light can be connected and used in a small campsite, as well as phones and virtually anything else that would run off a 12V outlet. If you’re willing to go the extra mile, this how to waterproof a boombox guide provides you with the general outlines towards making your own waterproof boombox.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of products out there that are arguably cheaper and with a better build quality, but they don’t provide users with the satisfaction level of a successful DIY project.

When doing this project, always ensure that you measure everything twice and cut once.

Also, always pick compatible components and plan for failure. If you do that, then this will be a very satisfying experience.

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