DIY portable stereo upcycled from old suitcase
A few year’s back my old roommate built a portable stereo system to take on “camping” trips. Now these camping trips were more like epic 3-day-long parties, and the stereo, which consisted of two speakers, a subwoofer, car stereo and MP3 jack, all housed in no-nonsense plywood boxes, was designed to keep the biggest of bush parties going long into the night/morning. So clever was this thing that it could run directly off of a car battery, or be switched over to run off of a generator. Oh, and it had this little sequencer that allowed you to plug in up to 12 different coloured light strings which would flash to the beat. Those were some camping trips. It was affectionately known as the “Redneck Rave System”, or RRS for short.
The RRS has since gone on to meet its maker, but I’ve always wanted to build something like it for those times when you really need a portable stereo. But now I’m a parent, and I don’t really go on those sorts of camping trips anymore. But I could still use a solid portable stereo that doesn’t look ridiculous as most contemporary “ghetto blasters” do, and kicks out some respectable sound.
Not long ago, I came across the work of small companies like Case of Bass and Boomcase, which upcycle old suitcases into spectacular portable stereos. There was many a day I would take some time out from a busy work day to visit these sites and daydream of showing up at a party with a cooler in one hand, and the stereo in the other to the relieved cheers of those assembled. But the thought of spending anywhere from $350 to $1000 is just too rich for my blood. And so awareness of the grim reality that I would never be the guy to come to the aid of the party set in.
Then I discovered a tutorial for a DIY suitcase/stereo conversion on Instructibles! The beauty of this approach is that with a little research and planning, you can build yourself something that suits your needs perfectly at a 10th of the cost. My eyes are now peeled for just the right suitcase, and hopefully by summer BBQ season, I will be asked to please think of the children’s wee ear drums and turn it down just a bit, while the young’uns are yelling at me to “TUWN IT UP!”