Maker Pro

Portable stereo/MP3 player for when I work outside

I'm revisiting a project I made a couple of years ago to improve the housing (& probably make it sound a bit better too).

Sidecar Bob

Dec 19, 2021
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Dec 19, 2021
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Sidecar Bob submitted a new Project Log:

Portable stereo/MP3 player for when I work outside

The current project is mainly moving this project to a new case but first a bit of background:

For many years I have recorded streaming radio programs to listen to in the shop. I retired in 2016 and started catching up on household maintenance and renovation projects that I didn't have time or energy for when I worked full time and in 2017 I added a vegetable garden (which has expanded since then) so when the weather is nice I spend quite a bit of time outside. I still wanted to listen to my recorded shows while working so I lugged a small laptop around with me for the first few years but by 2019 I decided a small stereo that I could play the (MP3) shows on would be better so I started shopping.
I was intrigued by the panel mount modules that are on eBay and other sites so I ordered a "5V MP3 Player Decoder Board LCD Screen Amplifier 3W*2 Music Player USB FM Radio" with a vague idea about bolting a pair of old computer speakers together, somehow attaching it and using USB power banks to power it.

By the time it arrived I had at least had more time to think about what to do with it. It would be ideal for replacing the electronics in an old portable radio but unfortunately the closest thing I had was an old clock radio cassette recorder combination and it was too big. But it did have 2 little speakers that matched. The first thing to do was test it so I pulled the front panel off of the donor radio, connected the module its speakers and hooked it up to one of the power banks I bought to power it.


My biggest concerns were whether it would play long MP3s (the programs are 1-4 hours long) and turn it off in the middle of a program and start at the same point later. I determined that it had no problem with long MP3s and as long as I pause it before turning it off (or disconnecting the power) it will remember where it was so this is perfect for what I need.

Now I need some kind of case to hold it all. I couldn't find anything suitable for sale and was starting to think about making something when I remembered a pile of plastic cases from tools &c on a shelf in the garage shop. After a couple of false starts I settled on one, added strips of masking tape to lay it out on and and started making holes (shown after I...

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