Tech Tear Down: CD/Radio/Cassette Boombox

It’s been a good long while since I’ve really dissected a bit of electronics. But I finally got another chance after uncovering an old broken CD/radio/cassette player in the basement! After some tests, I determined that the CD player part of it didn’t work. Since no one uses archaic cassette tapes anymore, and a radio that weighs ten pounds is pretty impractical,¬† I naturally snapped it up to tear it apart. ūüôā

boombox before teardown
The boombox before dissection; note that it’s quite dusty. It was manufactured in 1997 so it was about 20 years old.

Disassembling it was pretty trivial. There was only a few screws which held the casing together, and each internal part also held in place with screws. The most challenging part was removing the large speakers. Each was both glued and screwed, so it took a little extra prying to get them off.

The boombox can be powered from both batteries and the house current, so there’s both a transformer and a large compartment to hold eight D cells. There’s one large PCB that combines the circuits for the CD player, cassette player, and radio player, with a few offshoot PCBs to connect the controls.

I was able to salvage some good parts:

  • x1 2-digit 7 segment display
  • x2 DC motors (they’re rather weak)
  • x2 8ő© 3W speakers
  • x1 microswitch
  • x1 large potentiometer
  • x1 fancy radio-tuning gear
  • a few plastic casings for switches and knobs
  • various wires and connectors

Check out the following images of the torn-apart boombox.

Major parts of the boombox.

plastic casing of boombox

tape player part of boombox

closeup of cd player_boombox ttd

bottom half of main pcb_whole radio

closeup of cd player controls

This is one of the large speakers I salvaged.

main pcb of boombox

closeup of radio tuning pcb


Two Possible Pi Cases

my two pi case ideas

I’ve contemplated making a different case for my Raspberry Pi Model B and I’ve come up with two different ideas.

Case Option #1: A Heavily Decorated Cardboard Case

pi in cardboard caseI still have the cardboard box that my current Model B plastic case came in, and I could use the pre-sized cardboard box to make a simple dust case for my Pi. I would just have to cut some holes in the box for the peripherals, and maybe add some foam padding on the inside bottom. The fun part would be embellishing the outside of the case with glitter and unicorn stickers. (okay, I would NEVER put unicorn stickers on a Pi EVER, that would be a crime) I could add some kind of cool artwork with circuit symbols on it.

Of course, it would be an amazing pun to buy a mini raspberry¬†pie¬†to use the box it comes in as a Pi case, but, alas, I’ve never seen one in the store.

Case Option #2: Re-purposed Portable Cassette/Radio Player Case

cassette radio playerMy other case idea is using to put the Pi in an old AM/FM radio and cassette player that I found. The cassette function never worked on it, so I took it apart, to discover that the Pi fit quite nicely in it. The radio function still works, and I haven’t decided if I should¬†leave it for an extra function to the case, or remove to leave more room for the Pi. It does fit on top of the radio circuit quite nicely, but I would have to add some kind of insulator to seperate the radio circuit from the Pi and I would only be able to run the Pi headless because there’s not enough space to attach any peripherals.

I could remove the radio circuit completely or building my own smaller radio, but I’m probably better off using the Pi as an internet radio.There would be plenty of room to¬†also add a Liion battery and turn it¬†into a completely wireless case for the Pi to run it headless.

pi inside radio player

I’ll be working on one of these soon and I’ll post a image¬†of what I end up doing!