Today, everyone wants to listen to their favorite music straight from their mobile devices. Thus, having Bluetooth speakers makes it easy to enjoy your mobile music wirelessly. These speakers give you unlimited freedom to enjoy music without the hassle of connecting auxiliary cables. Also, Bluetooth speakers do not require any docking stations.
Although Bluetooth-enabled speakers are great, what would you do if you already have a good set of speakers that are not Bluetooth ready? Do you have to spend money buying new speakers and dump the old speakers in your basement or attic?
Well, you don’t need to waste the hard-to-earn money on new speakers, yet you can add Bluetooth functionality to your older speakers. Thus, in case you still have an old boombox that you really treasure, read on through this article on how you can convert it into Bluetooth-ready speakers.
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What Makes a Boombox Ideal for Adding Bluetooth?
Before discussing how you can make a Boombox to be Bluetooth ready, it’s great to understand what a boombox is and why it’s ideal for adding Bluetooth capability. Just some decades ago, no music lover lacked a boombox, regardless of age or the music genre they liked.
Generally, a boombox is a portable, all-in-one audio player and radio. It’s usually powered by removable batteries or AC. Older boomboxes were a combination of a radio and cassette player. Subsequent boomboxes included radio and an mp3/CD player. They were popular among street dancers and restaurants. Almost all homes had them as they would add joy and life to parties.
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Today, technology in audio equipment has changed significantly for the better. Thus, older audio devices have been replaced with technologically advanced units. The boombox is one such audio player/radio that has since disappeared. As such, most of us have forgotten all about boomboxes. Most of them are stored in attics while others are gathering dust in sheds.
Although you may assume that boomboxes are of no use today, this is totally far from the truth. If you have one that is still functional, you can revive it and modernize it by adding Bluetooth. This way, you will make it usable and functional by converting it into Bluetooth-ready speakers.
Steps by Step Guide on Converting Your Old Boombox into Bluetooth Capable Speakers
This process is an easy DIY task. All you’ll need is some basic knowledge on dismantling, assembling, and soldering electronics. Thus, if you like working around electronic devices, these steps will be quite easy to follow. Also, you’ll not have to invest in new speakers. You’ll just need to buy a Bluetooth adapter, which is quite affordable.
Step 1- Opening Your Boombox
The first step in this DIY project will involve taking apart your boombox. Check the casing for screws and use the right screwdriver to unscrew them. Avoid forcing the casing open since any excessive force may damage the screw holes or casing. Just remove each screw one by one and do it carefully. As you remove the screws, place them in a safe area where they won’t roll over and get lost. You can put them in a small plastic container or attach them to a magnet.
Once you have unscrewed the boombox, detach the casing and put it aside. Inside the boombox, you’ll find one speaker on one side and another on the other side. The speakers typically face the front side of your boombox while cabling protrudes from the backside.
Inside, you’ll also find an amplifier board, radio board, power supply, driver, and some cabling. You’ll need to go through the interior components carefully to become more familiar with them. Ensure you know the location of each component to assist you when reassembling the unit such that you’ll know where to put each piece back to its original place.
It would be best to take pictures or recording a video of the interior components to make it easier for you when reassembling.
Step 2- Understand How the Boombox Works
Before doing anything else, you’ll need to learn how your boombox works. While some boomboxes may have differences in design, they all have the same kind of basic components. You’ll need to trace the transformer in your boombox. The transformer functions by decreasing AC voltage from the mains supply into DC power for powering the radio. Most boomboxes operate at 9V DC. The transformer is usually fixed to a diode rectifier to convert incoming AC into DC. This diode is then attached to the radio board, driver, and amp board.
The key role of the radio board is offering radio functionalities for the boombox. The role of the driver is to control the cassette functionality. The amp board functions as the controller behind the volume level fed into the speakers from the boards. The amp board is connected to the two speakers.
Step 3- Assess the Bluetooth Module
Before attaching the Bluetooth module to your boombox, you’ll need to check its voltage. Check from the board in the module for voltage. In case it runs on 5 volts DC, then you’ll have to add a voltage regulator in your boombox to get it compatible with your boombox’s voltage. In case you fail to do this, you might end up blowing your Bluetooth module.
Step 4- Connecting a Voltage Regulator
First, attach the Bluetooth adapter to the regulator. To do this, you’ll need to solder the Bluetooth module power cable onto the regulator power output. Once done, attach the regulator on the diode rectifier. You’ll solder the rectifier power input wire onto the diode rectifier power output. Be extra careful when soldering the wires since they’re light and tiny and may break easily.
Step 5- Connecting the Bluetooth Module
Solder the output of the Bluetooth module onto the input of the amp board. Once you’re done soldering, your board will have five main components which are the amp board, Bluetooth adapter, power supply, regulator, and speakers. Also, ensure there’s no short-circuit created when soldering. Any short-circuit may blow up some components.
Step 6- Assemble Everything Together and Reattach the Boombox Casing
Ensure all connections are done right. Secure all the components in place. Then reattach the boombox casing and ensure all screws are in place. Once done, you can power on your Boombox-ready speakers and enjoy streaming music to the Boombox from your Bluetooth-enabled mobile device.
By adding Bluetooth to your old boombox speakers, you will save money and avoid throwing your beloved, old radio/music player away. Moreover, you’ll surely appreciate your work by adding new technology to an older audio player, thereby giving it new life.