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Thread: Ammo can radio!

  1. #1
    Flashaholic brandocommando's Avatar
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    Default Ammo can radio!

    If this does not count as personal gadgetry, I don't know what does!


    I made this a few weeks ago and figured I would show it off a bit on here. It was totally free to build using stuff I had laying around the house. I used an old Sony boom box for the required electronics, an old set of Yamaha surround sound speakers for the drivers, and my old boss gave me the ammo can for free! It sits on my workbench in the garage (man cave) so I can rock out while I am out there working on all my flashlight related projects!


    The hardest part was figuring out how to organize all the stuff inside the box so it would clear the lid and the backs of the speakers, and still give me access to the volume and tuner knob. Cutting the holes for the speakers (with a jigsaw) was not fun either... If you look, here you will see that the circuit board is mounted on a piece of wood. This is important because it keeps all the electronics from shorting out against the all metal housing!


    There are 4X 5" 8 Ohm speakers running full range (no crossovers). It is very loud and has surprisingly good sound quality! I have worked in the car and home audio industry in the past so I had a pretty good grasp on the speaker wiring. I have built several wooden boxes, and speakers and I was blown away by how good this actually sounds! I think the donor radio was 40 watts or so...

    The tuner really pulls in the stations as well. I am not sure why, because I only put a 12"-14" wire on the antenna terminal. It might be because of the all metal housing, but stations that were full of static on my old radio come in crystal clear on the ACR (ammo can radio!)

    I could have rigged it up so it it would run off of battery power as well, and I probably still could...
    The unit is fairly heavy and big. It measures 17X11X6. It's intended purpose was for use as a desktop system, currently it will only run off of 120V AC.


    Here, if you look across the top you can see all the little black knobs. From left to right you have the volume knob, the on/off/AM/FM switch, then the bass, mid, and treble knobs. There is also a surround sound button hanging down in there (on the very left.) The blue wire on the upper right is the antennae, it just hangs down inside the box and works great that way. You can also see the transformer in this pic. It is all the way at the bottom and is also mounted on a wooden board.


    The lid closes and fully latches shut (which improves the bass considerably.) It clears all the knobs inside just fine.


    This is the tuner knob. It sticks out of the back side of the ACR. I was thinking about writing some station #'s on the box to aid in tuning, but I have not done so yet.



    I have several, several hours into this project. but it is very enjoying to see it every time I go out to the garage. So far it has worked flawlessly and I look forward to getting years of listening pleasure out of it.

    I hope you guys enjoy this, thanks for looking!
    Last edited by brandocommando; 12-31-2011 at 02:28 AM.

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ammo can radio!

    Clever stuff; does it receive AM radio okay with the lid on? I would think you'd get a bit of a Faraday cage effect in a metal box..

  3. #3
    Flashaholic brandocommando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ammo can radio!

    Surprisingly, closing the lid does not affect the reception at all.
    I could easily run the wire outside the box but I like the clean look it has now. AM comes in OK, but the FM is very good!

  4. #4
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Ammo can radio!

    cool box.

    tight fitment indeed.

    i would like them speakers to be covered by grilles or something like that so it would withstand some abuse also. or accidental poke of something in garage.

    and you know the sound could be inproved by some filling material too.

    now im looking one of my ammo cans with evil eye.. could be cool.. but then im out of a can.. (they arent easy to find over here)

    -been looking for a sorta bomb and water proof, tiny boombox battery operated though. maybe this will inspire me to build one for next summer.
    *MaKiNG SeNSe iS NOT My PRioRiTy* *One is None, Two is One, But Butter is Better*
    *Flashaholism: DeeP DaRK HoLe im falling into, glad that I have my flashlights to light the way.*

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* Jumpmaster's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ammo can radio!

    If you want it to be completely self-contained, fit a couple of 12v gel cells in the bottom.

    I basically did the same thing when I made my APRS setup 5-6 years ago...used a .50 cal can for mine (different application, but same issues...panel mounted connectors, etc.)...

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