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Modding Project: Brixton Briefcase

Discussion in 'Modding' started by modgodtanvir, 25 May 2008.

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Which idea do you prefer?

  1. Idea 1: The phat speakers.

    10 vote(s)
    66.7%
  2. Idea 2: The practical media station.

    5 vote(s)
    33.3%
  1. modgodtanvir

    modgodtanvir Prepare - for Mortal Bumbat!

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    UPDATE 26/05.2008 - Sketchup diagrams and circuit diagram.

    I am going to buy a retro 1980's boombox (see my Big Bass Boomer Thread in General) and it has caused a whirlwind of inspiration for my to build a tribute media centre. Essentially, what I hope to end up with is a retro styled, over the shoulder, bass pumping, Fresh-Princing, music station.

    Idea 1
    I could do what they did here:
    [​IMG]
    http://metku.net/index.html?path=mods/ghettoblaster/index_eng6
    Except of course, mine wouldn't be so minimalist. Lots of controls and buttons and retro styling would be my priority naturally. However, I would need to power this off a 12V DC battery, and the amplifiers to power the speakers require: 12V DC. A pretty convenient match I know, but this leaves me completely handicapped as with regards to other things to add to it... I would just have a large, elaborate pair of speakers. If I were to run a CD player or a radio off this, it would detract from the power available for the speakers, and if I turned the speakers up slightly, I assume the other devices would cut out. The only choice would be a 35mm stereo jack to run an mp3 player off... I could make it such that either an MP3 player was charging or the speakers were pumping out tunes. The advantage is that this would make for the most powerful audio set up, with the least work. The disadvantage being that I wouldn't be able to run anything else off the battery.
    Costs:
    Audio amp: £25
    Battery: £15
    Speaker Drivers: £20-25
    Chassis and bits and pieces: £20-25

    Idea 2
    Alternatively, I could use the same battery to power a pair of computer/ home-entertainment speakers:
    [​IMG]
    and one of these:
    [​IMG]
    Its a slim HDD media player, which holds a 2.5" drive, and plays the media from it. It runs off roughly 6V, I could happily use 5W speakers off the same battery pack, giving me a completely portable, 160GB media centre which I could share with my friends, which also plays DIVX video if you connect it to a TV, and stores my files if I want it to as well. The disadvantage is that it isn't as much of a 'big bass boomer' as the last one (still loud), which can't run as big drivers, and would be a more compact beast. The advantage is the functionality: I could have a bit of power on tap to run other devices, and even an MP3 player dock. The deep speaker box I make could be adapted for much deeper bass.
    Costs:
    Speakers: £15
    Media Centre: £15-20
    Battery: £15
    Chassis and bits and pieces: £20-25

    I would be very grateful if anyone could give me an opinion on which they think would make a better system; which would be a nicer one to own and live with? :thumb:
     
    Last edited: 26 May 2008
  2. mvagusta

    mvagusta Did a skid that went for two weeks.

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    I say go for idea 1, but make it a replica.

    I don't think it would be that hard, you'd just have to paint or make some stickers to go under a few pieces of perspex, some polished metal or chrome trim, plenty of knobs & sliders, and baammm = replica boom box, but with 100% modern internals. Definitely worth spending a little extra to make it! You could do it with 4 speakers aswell..

    12v for the amp, and the mp3 player has it's own battery, no probs :thumb:
     
  3. modgodtanvir

    modgodtanvir Prepare - for Mortal Bumbat!

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    Yeah, I think I'll do a replica of a classic!

    If I did go with Idea 1, I think I just found a way I could quarter the price:
    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/126822
    Very cheap speakers, with 3 drivers in each. At 15W, its v. powerful, and assuming a max current consumption of 1200mA, I could run this off the battery that I have found. It still has no surplus to run anything else though...

    Does anyone have any experience of different speaker systems? Will I experience a major difference between 15W rms and 5W rms speakers? And how will the 15W Rms sound compare with some cheap stereo drivers?
     
    Last edited: 25 May 2008
  4. modgodtanvir

    modgodtanvir Prepare - for Mortal Bumbat!

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    You know, I could wire something like a PS1 LCD onto the front of Idea 2... though I'd have a slide-on cover if I did...
     
    Last edited: 25 May 2008
  5. Oreon_237

    Oreon_237 CHEA BRO!

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    go for 1, the amp in this is awesome madness!
     
  6. modgodtanvir

    modgodtanvir Prepare - for Mortal Bumbat!

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    You know, I think I'll do both!

    I've decided I like the ideas so much, I really can't deny myself the right to do both of them!
    I think I'll do Idea 2 first:
    A) Because I already have some of the parts needed.
    B) Its the one that would benefit me the most
    C) Because it will be insightful for me in speaker design. I don't want to be using £50 drivers if I don't know how to set them up!

    So, without further ado, I propose:

    Project: Brixton Briefcase

    Deep in 1980's Brixton, where peeps play footie with their homies, and watch Emmerdale and the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, exists a beast...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    So what do you think?
    The idea is that it is ghetto, hence Brixton, but civilised and modern, hence, briefcase.
    A closer look:
    [​IMG]
    Reveals a custom speaker surround, with the letters BB (Brixton Briefcase). A tape deck with a bit of retro hifi labelling, such as 'Auto Reverse' and 'Heavy Duty', and retro buttons and knobs.
    Open the doors:
    [​IMG]
    And BAM, we reveal a 4" wide LCD, and the tape deck is in fact: an archos docking station.

    Features include:
    .a 12V DC rechargeable battery
    .a set of bass loving 5W speakers
    .a laptop HDD
    .a Multimedia player, playing both audio and video
    .mp3 player connectivity
    .charging dock for my Archos 605.
    .external video and audio connectivity

    A lot of features to boast. Ultimately, this is simply somewhere to put my beloved Archos, and a place to keep a backup of my multimedia. Its my everyday stereo, after college/uni, when I really don't want a 500W subwoofer giving me a Mr Motivator workout.

    And how, do I expect to run this thing of 12V?
    Check out my circuit diagram, done with the most advanced modelling software known to man:
    [​IMG]
    The battery is capable of upto 12.6V DC. It has two outputs: a 12V wire, or a 5V USB. I can either run the HDD, or the USB charger. And it outputs the 12V DC with the same port which charges it.
    The HDD consumes max 5.6V DC. This leaves roughly 7V for my outputs.
    The three outputs are either:
    A set of speakers, or, a PSone screen, or a headphone socket. I also have the option of a VGA port round the back for the TFT.
    Essentially, its a nightmare of SPDT or DPDT switches, and a circuit which tries to do a little too much... Pandora's box! :dremel:

    So what do you think? Is there anything wrong with my circuitry? Can you think of anything to be improved? My A* at GCSE Electronics is all I take in with me, on this long and gruelling journey....

    Modding commences: As soon as I have enough parts!
     
  7. modgodtanvir

    modgodtanvir Prepare - for Mortal Bumbat!

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    Having slept on it, there are a few amendments to make:
    Using a DPDT switch, I can wire the USB and the HDD lines, so either one is on or the other.
    I think I'll organise the switches, such that they are in sections: MP3/HDD Audio/HDD Video/External
    As well as a VGA output from the HDD, I'll put in another which will allow access to the screen for external sources.

    I think first, I will get to work on the chassis, hence the speakers, and then the battery, to have a set of battery powered speakers. I'll need to buy a multimeter and a soldering iron... Then I'll buy the HDD casing which allows me to multimedia-fy my hard drive... wire it up to the speakers, as well as the archos charger... And finally I'll do the LCD. I'll modify it to work for the PC, so it has a VGA input, and then I'll work on a way to get power to it. From my idle browsing, I'm told it has a 7.5V input, but needs a 5V input to get going... The PS1 LCD has its own small speakers, which, in my Sketch, are the two at the very top, disguised as tweeters. Either the LCD is on, or the speakers.
     
  8. modgodtanvir

    modgodtanvir Prepare - for Mortal Bumbat!

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    Or alternatively.... I could do a replica of the legendary Sharp GF-777Z.
    [​IMG]

    Really just the biggest, baddest, bumping-est boombox from the 1980's... and I've just bought one and its waiting for me at my uncle's house!!! I'm so happy...

    And at the moment, having collected a few bits and pieces, I'm considering miniaturising this legendary piece of kit, for my personal enjoyment.
    Here are the Sketchups:
    Whole thing:
    [​IMG]
    With the covers blown off:
    [​IMG]
    And round the back...
    [​IMG]

    The funniest thing is the scale of the whole thing. Its based around the same set-up as my previous idea, but its less than a foot wide! To put this into perspective, here it is next to a basketball:
    [​IMG]

    Essentially, it is still a set of speakers for me to listen to my MP3 player. The Tape-deck is actually a docking station for my Samsung YP-K5 (iPod killer:p). The internal 120GB Hard Drive is wired to a media player which keeps control of all the audio and video on board, wiring it to the speakers and the VGA port round the back. No screens this time (don't want to OVER complicate things). I would have liked to make it louder, but I really am restricted by the fact I want to keep this portable, without installing 10 D sized batteries (which I'm told the original runs off).

    Love to hear your opinions dudes (and dudettes).
     
  9. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Looks good, although you might have shrunk it TOO much. It's like a boom box for Paris Hilton's dog there.
     
  10. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    ^^^ Design classic, tbh.
     
  11. modgodtanvir

    modgodtanvir Prepare - for Mortal Bumbat!

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    Lol I think it is rather small. I suppose when I build it, it'll have to be a few centimetres bigger either way since I have wiring and structural support to consider (battery/HDD holders). I think I might borrow my neighbour's chihuahua for a photograph with it, once I'm done. I think, because I'm not quite ready to have a go at making something REALLY powerful, I might just stick with something small and crazy. I suppose the idea is that if its smaller, the maximum volume it creates makes it sound bigger than it is...

    It really is. I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it. Hence my purchase of one and my subsequent hour Sketchuping.

    But yet, here is another design I quite like:
    [​IMG]
    (not the shoes, the boombox)

    This is a new, updated Lasonic blaster, with an iPod docking station as well. This inspired me to spend the morning creating this:

    [​IMG]

    Essentially the same thing, but for my Samsung YP-K5. Based on a classical design, but with modern styling - I think it looks quite good. THough I still think I prefer the other one... any opinions on which looks better?

    And just in case you're interested:
    [​IMG]
    Here they are next to each other. The Sharp is based around the Logitech X-140 speakers, and the La-Samsung is based on my test unit Harman Kardon old school speakers.
     
    Last edited: 29 Jun 2008
  12. jhanlon303

    jhanlon303 The Keeper of History

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  13. modgodtanvir

    modgodtanvir Prepare - for Mortal Bumbat!

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    Lol due to a rather foolish error on my part, my diagrams of the GF-777Z have all been off scale. (For some reason, I had the 7cm drivers down at 4.5cm:p).

    So here is another picture, with it scaled up:
    [​IMG]
     
  14. modgodtanvir

    modgodtanvir Prepare - for Mortal Bumbat!

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  15. Poisonous

    Poisonous Incestuious

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  16. modgodtanvir

    modgodtanvir Prepare - for Mortal Bumbat!

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    Oooh! There's one on ebay! Some very detailed pics there. Thanks for the link! £350 is a rather big price to pay though... mine was £90 (well 12000 BDT) and new old stock, so in just as good condition.
     
  17. jhanlon303

    jhanlon303 The Keeper of History

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    Last edited: 29 Jun 2008
  18. modgodtanvir

    modgodtanvir Prepare - for Mortal Bumbat!

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    Well, I must say, I am bored, so I thought I'd take a few pics while I gather resources.

    This is my almighty battery:
    [​IMG]
    Outputs a voltage of 12.6V DC - 10.8V DC from the main socket, and 5.5V DC from the USB socket. 1800mAh. And it comes with an array of leads. I think I'll be converting these to stereo jacks and sockets (think headphones) for the sake of compatibility. It also has an LED at the end, so when I'm not blasting some tunage, I'm making shadow puppets in the bedroom.

    And speaking of tunage, here is the subject mp3 player. Hopefully, my pico-boombox should double up as a docking station for this:
    [​IMG]
    As you can see, it is fairly sleek, I think its rather gorgeous, and my friends tell me the Pussycat Dolls and Fergie use them:

    (Is that a good thing?)

    And they are together, the battery charging the MP3 player:
    [​IMG]
    (Just to see that it works)

    And just for your amusement, here are the speakers I have dismantled to study:
    [​IMG]
    Behold the awefulness.

    And the insides I am trying to make sense of:
    [​IMG]

    Because there are SOOO many docking stations available for the 'Pod, I really am quite intent on making something rather exclusive for the Samsung... but at the same time, I''m smitten by the charm of the 1980's ghettoblaster, especially that GF-777Z.

    In jhanlon303's link, I did stumble across this:
    [​IMG]

    Now, I'm thinking... maybe I should base a design around this... It has the boombastic charm of the GF-777Z, AND the sleek lines required in a docking station for my little MP3 jobby. The only thing it is NOT is a 1980's boombox... though was it ever going to be...? :eyebrow:
     
    Last edited: 4 Jul 2008
  19. mvagusta

    mvagusta Did a skid that went for two weeks.

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    Take a photo of the underside of that circuit board, and we should be able to point out exactly where to connect the battery supply cables to.

    Those speakers would probably sound good in a suitable small box, but without the exact specs it's hard to make a suitable box :sigh: You could just guess and look up the specs of some similar speakers, ie: size, surround type & stiffness, magnet size, cone material & thickness. If there is an electronics/audio store near you that sells speakers complete with specs, then it would be worth having a quick look and getting them.

    Complementing little speakers with some small cheap piezos for the highs would be good too. No crossover needed either which is a good thing!

    = Ultra cheap little boombox :rock:

    Are you gonna spend some time making the case look like a boombox replica?
     
  20. tranc3

    tranc3 ADHD Modder

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    I remember, a few years ago i had a 12" sub, and two 6" speakers. in a back pack ran off a "universal portable" battery. worked good, just not nearly as cool as this. waiting to see the out come.
     

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