T1W7: Assembling the Box

You should have all the parts of the music player wired up and it should have been tested to work - it's much easier to fix before it goes into the box! Now we will mount all the boards onto the box panels and assemble the box to finish the project.

Here is a link to download the assembly instructions from the kit manufacturer.

Mounting the Boards

Step 1: Remove the Plastic Film

The first step in assembling the box is to remove the plastic film from the rest of the acrylic pieces. As before, scratch at a panel corner to pull up the film and then slowly peel it off both sides of the panels.

Step 2: Mount the LED Board

Find the acrylic panel with two smaller round holes - this is the bottom panel that we will mount the LED board on. Find two short hexagonal stand-offs and attach them to the panel with two short screws. Note the orientation of the panel from the picture to make sure the standoffs get mounted on the correct side!

Line up the LED board with the standoffs with the LEDs facing toward the edge of the panel. Use two more screws to attach the board to the standoffs. Since the LED board is soldered to the power jack and switch on the back panel, you will have to keep the two panels together on your work surface as you assemble the rest of the enclosure.

Step 3: Mount the MP3 Player Board

If you connected the speakers and power wires to the MP3 player board for testing, you must disconnect them to mount the board on the enclosure panel. Don't try to pull on the wires to get the connectors out, they fit too tightly. Using your needle nose pliers, grab on to the sides of the plug and rock it back and forth slightly while pulling it out of the housing. Tim can help with this if needed.

Then find the side panel with the large rectangular hole and the row of circular holes for the LEDs. Put the MP3 player board into the slot from the outside with the buttons down (toward the LED holes). Attach with screw and nuts.

Step 4: Mount the Speakers

Using four sets of screws and nuts, attach the speakers to the side panels with the wires towards the bottom edge (the longer side with the rectangular slots).

Step 5: Connect the Power and Speaker Wires

To wire up the other parts to the MP3/Bluetooth board, snap the white connector end from the power jack on to the end connector on the music player board. Note that the connector should only fit one way, there is a ridge on one side of the connector that goes into a slot on the music board header (toward the edge of the board). Then plug in the speakers the same way - note that the shorter wire speaker should go the "Right" output connector in the middle.

Step 6: Testing

Once you have everything connected together, we can test the circuits before assembling the panels into the rectangular case. Ask Tim to check over your wiring first, and then plug the black USB-style cable into the the power jack and the USB A port of a power supply or phone charger (there are some on the power strip used for the soldering irons.) Tim should be able to use his phone and see the music player board over Bluetooth if everything is working!

Assembling the Enclosure

With a working music player we can assemble the acrylic panels to make the rectangular enclosure. The panels fit together with tabs and slots and are fastened with the smaller screws and nuts included in the kit.

Step 7: Lining up The LEDs

The first step in the box assembly process is getting the LEDs to line up with the holes on the front panel. Find the front panel with the MP3 player board mounted and test fit it onto the bottom panel with the LED board. The LEDs at the edge of the board need to fit through the holes in the front panel. They may need some gentle bending and pursuasion to fit - try and get the end LEDs bent to the right level, then line up the middle LEDs at the same height, then adjust each LED horizontally to fit into the hole.

Step 8: Attach the Front Panel

Once the LEDs are aligned with the holes and the front panel fits flush against the bottom panel, attach it with a screw and nut. Insert the nut into the slot on the bottom panel and hold it from the bottom of the panel so that it lines up with the screw hole in the front panel. Then insert the screw into the hole, find the hole in the nut, and screw it into the nut by hand. The slot should keep the nut from turning and allow you to fasten them together. Don't over tighten at this stage, just get the screw into the nut so it is holding the panels together. Be very careful not to flex the panels once they are assembled or they can crack.

Step 9: Attach the Side Panels

With the front panel attached, attach the speaker panels on the sides in the same way. The side panels have one screw that holds onto the bottom panel and two screws that link it to the side panels. When inserting the nuts into the slots on the panels, rotate the case so the panel is facing down before inserting the nut, that will allow you to use gravity to position the nut while it is supported by your finger. Attach all four sides and lock them together with the screws and nuts.

Step 10: Attach the Top Panel

When everything looks good, attach the top panel by fitting it into the tabs and slots. Flip the case over so the top panel is on the bottom, to allow you to hold the nuts in place while inserting the screws. The top panel is held together with four screws from the side panels.

Once the top panel is on, your project is finished! Here is a quick reference to the player functions and remote control: