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post #1 of 47 Old 01-04-2019, 03:19 AM - Thread Starter
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The Parts Express “Blast Box” Build Thread :)

Welcome AVS members to my Blast Box build thread!



To learn a bit more about speaker designing and cabinet fabrication, I finally decided on getting a kit of sorts. I landed on this kit because it looked to be quite the performer for a measly $250. It’s a 5 driver portable boom box thing with a dedicated subwoofer. Yes I know, dedicated... subwoofer... and it’s paired with an 8” passive radiator!



Parts Express - Blast Box 200 watt portable bluetooth speaker kit #300-7162[/QUOTE]



Drivers include:



2 - Dayton Audio ND25TA-4 1” Titanium Dome Neodymium Motor Tweeter



2 - Dayton Audio DSA90-8 3” Aluminum Cone Midrange Driver



1 - Dayton Audio DCS165-4 6.5” Paper-Kevlar Subwoofer Driver



1 - Dayton Audio DS215-PR 8” Poly-Coated Paper Passive Radiator



Now I’d like to point out that these drivers are all quite hefty and it’s a testament to the quality of Dayton’s extensive lineup. The 6.5” woofer weighs in at 4.85 pounds and this magnet sure looks the part. The hefty 1.5” magnet paired with the large rubber surround is rated for 6mm of xmax but I actually used this driver to replace my dad’s Samsung HTiB subwoofer and I can tell you that 6mm is a far cry from what this thing can do. When I start a YouTube channel for my audio adventures I’ll make sure to upload a excursion video because it’s quite intoxicating how much this little sub moves.







Here is the parts layout. Quite a bit of stuff, crossover parts, wires, etc. But I wasn’t discouraged. Being my teenager self, I grabbed the cool looking stuff (Drivers, Amp, and Wood) and got to work. I began to dry fit the drivers and wood together while also figuring out this amp.







The amplifier is easily the star of the show. It’s a 200 watt rms 2.1 channel amplifier. 50 watts to the Left and Right each, and then 100 watts for the subwoofer. It has variable control knobs for subwoofer volume, subwoofer lowpass filter, mids + highs volume, treble volume, and system volume. It also has a 150hz highpass switch which I’ll be talking about later. It comes with multiple expansion connectors for stuff like line in (RCA) connection, battery pack(s) for mobile usage, leds for battery health, and comes with Bluetooth! I might have to buy a second one of these and build a little box to have me a good quality mini-desktop amplifier. The Signal to Noise is 100 dB which is quite impressive for something so cheap and tiny, measuring in at 4x4”. All of these features for nothing more than $40. Yep. $40. I don’t want to know how many kids in sweatshops had to make this thing to have it cost $40, but I gotta say they did quite a phenomenal job.



So after my preliminary “fun-time” of dry fitting, I assembled the crossovers and wired everything up to make sure it was all functional, only to figure out that my batteries have no where to go! They forgot to pack the battery holder/protector apparently Parts Express was really nice about it, I called them, only waited about 3 minutes on the phone or so and after I explained my situation, the person I was talking with, Kelly, sent another one out, no questions asked. Sad that it didn’t come with the rest of the package but I’m not pissed off or anything. Luckily, like I said this amp has it all, and it has not only pheonix connectors for DC input but a dedicated DC jack. So I just took my DC plug that was SUPPOSED to be charging my batteries and just plugged it into the amplifier. Boom. All good. Who needs batteries anyways



All my drivers functioned out the box which is always good. The crossovers I assembled work, no sparks or fires luckily, and my tweeters aren’t trying to play 30hz tones. Seems legit, time to sleep on it and wake up in the morning and glue this baby up



Glueing was a breeze if I was being honest, the precut wood was fantastic. I clamped it up and even used an old ancient dell desktop to weigh down one of the face plates. It must have been about 5 minutes of gluing and 2 hours of waiting. No hiccups anywhere, but I think I forgot to glue two pieces on one of their sides but I glued it on every other side so what’s the deal right? Rookie mistake, please forgive me gods of the DIY section of AVS



Once I felt it was solid enough, I took the clamps off and slapped it a couple of times and was pretty satisfied with my work. First wood working project I’ve ever done and it doesn’t look like a complete failure. +1 for me



Started putting drivers in and gluing and screwing and soldering and all that other stuff. SOLDER IS HOT PEOPLE. It hurts. It really does. I do not recommend being near whatever you are soldering because the solder jumped off and burned my hand and it hurt a whole lot more than hot glue. I did burn my self with hot glue too but it was basically nothing compared to the solder



Here’s the final product:







I painted the top acrylic piece black and it’s definitely the most attractive part about the speaker. Well it’s close between that and the 8” passive radiator... the Reference series that Dayton puts out is always quite good looking. Not as good looking as their Ultimax drivers though



I also added a pretty sketchy shoulder strap from my laptop bag and some twine I glued on so I could bring it to my basketball game today. My varsity team loves their loud pregame warm up music which is one of the main reasons I bought this. They loved basically everything about it, the clarity, bass, how loud it got, how “cool it looked” even.



I’ll be talking more about the design and overall performance of the Blast Box and what I would and/or will change tomorrow but it’s late and I need some sleep!



———————————————— ———

Alrighty I’m back! Who wants to hear more about this thing? I do!

Alright let’s talk about the kit itself. Wood was a decent fit, not perfect, it took a little hammering and roughing in of each piece but everything settled down eventually. I do wish they added a bit of bracing because this Subwoofer driver is EXTREMELY POWERFUL. It is flexing the whole box. Moving it even. The wood is not very thick, and I think this is the main problem, so I will definitely be adding bracing when I get the time. They did use a very nice plywood however so it is quite light for it’s size. It’s not light at all loaded with the drivers and such.

Alright let’s talk electronics. It appears that the crossover design is something like a 3000hz 2nd order crossover between the mid range and tweeter. Not bad, no complaints about this, the mids and tweeter sound quite nice together. However, there is NO HIGHPASS ON THE MIDRANGE. This is a problem people. My 3” midrange speakers are trying to play 30hz notes! This is causing bass modulation and it’s starts messing with the sound, almost like those block rockers and that ruins the point of this while project.

They instead, relied on the fact that the board has a 150hz highpass switch built in to the amplifier board. This will not do. It is only a 6dB/octave high pass and there is still bass coming out off the midranges. This brings me to my second modification. I will be adding a 130-200 uF capacitor to the Midrange drivers to create another 6 dB/octave high pass to stack with the amplifier’s high pass and get an effective 12dB/octave high pass which should fix this.

The subwoofer and passive radiator are really the only things I had no complaint about. Maybe I wish the passive radiator had a bit more xmax but that’s about it. Like I said this subwoofer driver moves LOTS of air. The installation guide suggests 3 weights on the passive radiator, but after multiple trials, I did two, because mid bass is more important in music than low bass.

Lastly I’ll be painting it black and updating with photos for the final project.

Thanks for reading this and I hope you learned something!
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Last edited by Russdawg1; 01-07-2019 at 11:17 AM.
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post #2 of 47 Old 01-04-2019, 10:27 AM
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Looks good! That's a neat amp. Are you going to finish it or leave it bare? And when is that sub getting built???

P.S. I'm finding your soldering endeavors entertaining

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post #3 of 47 Old 01-04-2019, 10:29 AM
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Nice job!

Thanks for the write-up and pics.

I didn't know this kit existed. Looks very handy!

Parts Express - Blast Box 200 watt portable bluetooth speaker kit #300-7162

Sources/processing: stack of stuff that if it isn't vintage now, it will be soon!
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Last edited by fill35U; 01-04-2019 at 10:35 AM.
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post #4 of 47 Old 01-04-2019, 10:42 AM
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Neat! I have never even thought of something like that. Cool, congrats!

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post #5 of 47 Old 01-04-2019, 11:53 AM
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Thanks for posting this! I didn't know about this either. Looks really cool. Good job getting it all together.
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post #6 of 47 Old 01-04-2019, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrusherW9 View Post
Looks good! That's a neat amp. Are you going to finish it or leave it bare? And when is that sub getting built???

P.S. I'm finding your soldering endeavors entertaining
Yeah... solder isn't for teenagers that's for sure. There's a reason I didn't show the built crossovers :P

They may or may not be taped into a ball of sorts

I'll probably finish it eventually. After I fix the crossover which I'll be talking about today :P

I have no idea on the ETA on the subwoofer, my neighbor is all over the place.
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post #7 of 47 Old 01-04-2019, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
Yeah... solder isn't for teenagers that's for sure. There's a reason I didn't show the built crossovers :P
You'll get the hang of it. I've been soldering since I was about 13 and have used that skill for various hobbies since. Pretty handy skill to have.

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post #8 of 47 Old 01-04-2019, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fill35U View Post
Nice job!

Thanks for the write-up and pics.

I didn't know this kit existed. Looks very handy!

Parts Express - Blast Box 200 watt portable bluetooth speaker kit #300-7162
Thanks for reminding me to add the link!
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post #9 of 47 Old 01-04-2019, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcmccorm View Post
Thanks for posting this! I didn't know about this either. Looks really cool. Good job getting it all together.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpmst3 View Post
Neat! I have never even thought of something like that. Cool, congrats!
I didn't know they existed either but I think it's because Dayton released their new battery holder the "LBB-3" which was an upgrade to their old "KAB-BE". The new one is supposed to hold the charge better and have more expansion options. Stuff like multiple battery holders in series to extend the runtime of the speaker when not plugged in. I plan to do this, but I'm actually missing the first one!

Oh and this amp is relatively new. Its quite the amp as I said the first post Gonna be my number one recommendation for people who want a cheap 2 channel stereo
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post #10 of 47 Old 01-04-2019, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
I didn't know they existed either but I think it's because Dayton released their new battery holder the "LBB-3" which was an upgrade to their old "KAB-BE". The new one is supposed to hold the charge better and have more expansion options. Stuff like multiple battery holders in series to extend the runtime of the speaker when not plugged in. I plan to do this, but I'm actually missing the first one!

Oh and this amp is relatively new. Its quite the amp as I said the first post Gonna be my number one recommendation for people who want a cheap 2 channel stereo
who makes the amp, and is there a link to it ?
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post #11 of 47 Old 01-04-2019, 10:38 PM - Thread Starter
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who makes the amp, and is there a link to it ?

The brand is listed as Parts Express. It’s called the “TP3611D2 Class D 2.1 Bluetooth 4.0 Amplifier Board”.

http://www.parts-express.com/tps311...e-con--320-635

Theres the link for ya.
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post #12 of 47 Old 01-05-2019, 08:46 AM
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My Executive edition is coming soon. It took awhile.
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post #13 of 47 Old 01-05-2019, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
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My Executive edition is coming soon. It took awhile.

Nice! Let me know how you like it!
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post #14 of 47 Old 01-06-2019, 11:19 AM
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Nice!

I also just finished an "Executive" (last night). Haven't listened to it yet as they recommend charging the batteries for 24 hours for first charge. Why I didn't charge them up during the build?...idk.

I think these will be a popular kit in the future. I mean who doesn't want a badass portable bluetooth speaker! Most commercial bluetooth speakers kinda suck.
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post #15 of 47 Old 01-06-2019, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Nice!



I also just finished an "Executive" (last night). Haven't listened to it yet as they recommend charging the batteries for 24 hours for first charge. Why I didn't charge them up during the build?...idk.



I think these will be a popular kit in the future. I mean who doesn't want a badass portable bluetooth speaker! Most commercial bluetooth speakers kinda suck.

They do! That’s why I built this one! So tired of the scratchy distorted Block Rockers and “Monster” speakers out there. Quality components make good speakers so these kits by Parts Express were bound to sound good.

BTW, you can just plug the DC input for the charger into the board if you like. That’s what I am currently doing since they forgot to pack the battery holder with me grrrr.
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post #16 of 47 Old 01-06-2019, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
They do! That’s why I built this one! So tired of the scratchy distorted Block Rockers and “Monster” speakers out there. Quality components make good speakers so these kits by Parts Express were bound to sound good.

BTW, you can just plug the DC input for the charger into the board if you like. That’s what I am currently doing since they forgot to pack the battery holder with me grrrr.
True. I figured I could probably that!
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Alrighty I’m back! Who wants to hear more about this thing? I do!

Alright let’s talk about the kit itself. Wood was a decent fit, not perfect, it took a little hammering and roughing in of each piece but everything settled down eventually. I do wish they added a bit of bracing because this Subwoofer driver is EXTREMELY POWERFUL. It is flexing the whole box. Moving it even. The wood is not very thick, and I think this is the main problem, so I will definitely be adding bracing when I get the time. They did use a very nice plywood however so it is quite light for it’s size. It’s not light at all loaded with the drivers and such.

Alright let’s talk electronics. It appears that the crossover design is something like a 3000hz 2nd order crossover between the mid range and tweeter. Not bad, no complaints about this, the mids and tweeter sound quite nice together. However, there is NO HIGHPASS ON THE MIDRANGE. This is a problem people. My 3” midrange speakers are trying to play 30hz notes! This is causing bass modulation and it’s starts messing with the sound, almost like those block rockers and that ruins the point of this while project.

They instead, relied on the fact that the board has a 150hz highpass switch built in to the amplifier board. This will not do. It is only a 6dB/octave high pass and there is still bass coming out off the midranges. This brings me to my second modification. I will be adding a 130-200 uF capacitor to the Midrange drivers to create another 6 dB/octave high pass to stack with the amplifier’s high pass and get an effective 12dB/octave high pass which should fix this.

The subwoofer and passive radiator are really the only things I had no complaint about. Maybe I wish the passive radiator had a bit more xmax but that’s about it. Like I said this subwoofer driver moves LOTS of air. The installation guide suggests 3 weights on the passive radiator, but after multiple trials, I did two, because mid bass is more important in music than low bass.

Lastly I’ll be painting it black and updating with photos for the final project.

Thanks for reading this and I hope you learned something!
Thanks for the update! I'm interested in the kit but want to make sure I don't run into any issues. Do you think the executive version will have the same issues?
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post #18 of 47 Old 01-10-2019, 03:55 PM - Thread Starter
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The Parts Express “Blast Box” Build Thread :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Juheebus View Post
Thanks for the update! I'm interested in the kit but want to make sure I don't run into any issues. Do you think the executive version will have the same issues?

Hmm. That’s a good question. I don’t think so. I’m still going to recommend you buy some 150-200uF capacitors for the midrange but it’s not needed unless you want to blast it at 150% volume like I need to to satisfy my varsity team’s SPL wants. It’s just that the 150hz 1st order highpass on the amp isn’t enough to filter out all of the bass from the midranges. A capacitor will fix that but like I said isn’t really needed.

I’m going to recommend you also purchase a second battery holder and set of batteries if you would like extended use without needing the charger. I have the wiring diagram if you would like to do so.

Oh and make sure to dry fit

Edit: Don’t forget extra bracing like I suggested! That Yung driver is supposed to be the real deal also so you will probably need bracing also.
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post #19 of 47 Old 01-11-2019, 12:29 PM
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Any opinions on which kit is better? The Blast Box 200 vs. the Executive?
Same amp, smaller sub on the Executive (5.25")

I'd like a good garage/yardwork bluetooth boombox like this. I'm a little concerned about the lack of good grilles for the Blast Box as discussed in the product Q&A.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Macker View Post
Any opinions on which kit is better? The Blast Box 200 vs. the Executive?

Same amp, smaller sub on the Executive (5.25")



I'd like a good garage/yardwork bluetooth boombox like this. I'm a little concerned about the lack of good grilles for the Blast Box as discussed in the product Q&A.

Someone discussed this in the Q&A I believe.

The Blast Box would be a better outdoor speaker due to better, wider dispersion and of course, larger woofer coupled with a bigger cabinet.

The Executive would make a better indoor, space conscious speaker, since it has a smaller volume. I would expect the bass to be a little less than the Blast Box, but indoors, you’ll get a whole lot more room gain. The concentric drivers aren’t... bad...? They’ve had mixed reviews. But the 3” designer drivers by Dayton are quite nice. Real smooth.

There’s probably more details I missed, I will go look when I get the time but yeah.
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post #21 of 47 Old 01-12-2019, 12:39 AM - Thread Starter
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post #22 of 47 Old 01-12-2019, 08:36 AM
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OP thank you for making this thread! I enjoyed reading it and look forward to updates.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
... This brings me to my second modification. I will be adding a 130-200 uF capacitor to the Midrange drivers to create another 6 dB/octave high pass to stack with the amplifier’s high pass and get an effective 12dB/octave high pass which should fix this.

The subwoofer and passive radiator are really the only things I had no complaint about. Maybe I wish the passive radiator had a bit more xmax but that’s about it. Like I said this subwoofer driver moves LOTS of air. The installation guide suggests 3 weights on the passive radiator, but after multiple trials, I did two, because mid bass is more important in music than low bass.

Lastly I’ll be painting it black and updating with photos for the final project.

Thanks for reading this and I hope you learned something!
Would you please elaborate on how the wiring for the added capacitors is done? I'd like to get this kit as well, so I'd like to know ahead of time which exact capacitors I should be ordering and how to wire it. Do I just connect a new capacitor just before the signal for each 3" driver? One capacitor for both?

Also, would you please post the info for wiring up the added set of batteries? The manual says to add diodes but I have no idea what extra types / models I need to get. I'm thinking of using 3 battery packs for 24v, 2 in parallel coupled with the 1 original in series to get a much longer battery life and to add a USB charging port.
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Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
Yeah... solder isn't for teenagers that's for sure. There's a reason I didn't show the built crossovers :P

They may or may not be taped into a ball of sorts

I'll probably finish it eventually. After I fix the crossover which I'll be talking about today :P

I have no idea on the ETA on the subwoofer, my neighbor is all over the place.
my Grandmother taught me how to solder when i was just a little guy ( she installed electronics on the radio equipment that went to the Moon for NASA for Motorola). i wish i had paid more attention , the skill is 100 % lost now..it's a real skill though , she could fix anything electronics related as long as she had the schematics..
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post #24 of 47 Old 01-12-2019, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
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OP thank you for making this thread! I enjoyed reading it and look forward to updates.







Would you please elaborate on how the wiring for the added capacitors is done? I'd like to get this kit as well, so I'd like to know ahead of time which exact capacitors I should be ordering and how to wire it. Do I just connect a new capacitor just before the signal for each 3" driver? One capacitor for both?



Also, would you please post the info for wiring up the added set of batteries? The manual says to add diodes but I have no idea what extra types / models I need to get. I'm thinking of using 3 battery packs for 24v, 2 in parallel coupled with the 1 original in series to get a much longer battery life and to add a USB charging port.

No problem. Glad you enjoyed it.

Yep, you would add the capacitor right before the midrange on the positive side. You’ll need two as there are two crossovers. I’m going to do 200uF capacitors because that appears to be the best choice (these get expensive!) for both pricing and the effect it has. The higher the uF, the lower the highpass is. You could do 250 or 300 for something that would be even lower, 200uF is around 400hz, I think 300uF gets to 300hz. I’m going to hop on Virtuix cad right now to verify.

Here is the wiring diagram.



I am not sure if 3 is possible. You’ll have to email Parts Express.
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post #25 of 47 Old 01-12-2019, 10:04 AM - Thread Starter
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my Grandmother taught me how to solder when i was just a little guy ( she installed electronics on the radio equipment that went to the Moon for NASA for Motorola). i wish i had paid more attention , the skill is 100 % lost now..it's a real skill though , she could fix anything electronics related as long as she had the schematics..

That’s actually really cool

Both of my parents used to work for Motorola but they didn’t do stuff as cool as your grandma
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post #26 of 47 Old 01-12-2019, 10:32 AM
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That’s actually really cool

Both of my parents used to work for Motorola but they didn’t do stuff as cool as your grandma
Motorola was a really big deal back in the 1950's-1970's.. they were at the forefront of the space race and early computers...

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So I’m basically done with my Blast Box.

Sprayed it one last time today:



Scratched off a rectangle of paint from my top cover so I can see the status of the amplifier (Off, Pairing, Connected, Aux/Line in). Sadly, when I painted the last layer of paint it made a Saran-Wrap pattern:



Lastly I bought the extra LED add on so I could see battery charging status (Charging or Done):



Lastly I just need to order those capacitors and I can rest with my project done

Next up, but don’t tell anyone, a Phil 3 redesign :O

No but seriously I don’t want Dennis suing me I barely have enough money as is!
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post #28 of 47 Old 01-14-2019, 04:05 AM
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Looking good. You will have to let me know how the added capacitors work. Also it's strange that your knobs are yellow but mine are blue(see my pics below). The blast box shows blue knobs but then if you buy the amp individually it shows yellow knobs. Must be two versions out there.






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post #29 of 47 Old 01-14-2019, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Looking good. You will have to let me know how the added capacitors work. Also it's strange that your knobs are yellow but mine are blue(see my pics below). The blast box shows blue knobs but then if you buy the amp individually it shows yellow knobs. Must be two versions out there.














I did notice that, I was wondering about that too. I think it’s because there must have been a refresh of the amplifier. The original shows blue knobs, ie the stock photos, but newer photos, ie customer photos, all show yellow knobs. I wonder why this is and what was changed.
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post #30 of 47 Old 01-14-2019, 11:10 AM
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Dads not exactly happy with me spray painting next to his decently new car

Well, having seen your Dad's car............................................... ............................................at least it's black!

Next time move the car!

My daughter painted canvases in the garage decades ago and the paint on the floor is still there!

Geoff A. J., California
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