Project goal

Create a portable sound system out of a computer bag with fancy lights and built in songs that let's folks pick the songs to be played, just like an old fashioned jukebox. Oh, and try to leave the computer bag still functional for carrying around a computer!

What's a jukebox, you ask?!?! Look them up! They were the bomb in the 50's through the 80's!!


So I got this free Twilio computer backpack from Kristina that had an 8x8 LED matrix. Seemed like a natural thing to have it respond to it's environment, so I wired in an Arduino and a microphone. Nice start to a portable disco! Then I got to thinking - hey, with a small audio amp and some speakers, I can have a portable sound system. From there, the idea for a portable Jukebox was formed.

What it does right now

Right now, it just runs a continuous loop of rainbow colors scrolling on the 8x8 array. However, it 'listens' to the ambient sound and increases the brightness of the LEDs in proportion to the sound level. Louder sounds = brighter display. With music, it essentially flashes with the beat.

What's next!

1) Add a SD card and MP3 player with a bunch of songs
2) Add a compact audio amp and some speakers
3) Create a website with the list of songs and codes
4) Add a Particle Photon or similar system to allow folks to tweet a song code from the list
5) Get it working at the IOT Hackday!

Maybe some more lights... and more power... and a larger battery.... and... and... and...

Built With

  • arduino
  • audio-amplifier
  • batteries
  • leds
  • microphone
  • mp3
  • photon
  • speakers
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posted an update

K got an MP3 player working and I have a new one to play with as well! We should have tunes! Started accumulating a box of parts to bring; speakers, amps, batteries, tubes for the enclosure, electronics of various kinds. Oh, and a soldering iron!

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posted an update

Played with the Photon. I'm hooked! The over-the-air reprogramming is worth the price of admission. Obviously it doesn't have all the libraries that the Arduino's do, but the main ones are there. Thanks to Gelicia (aka K) for the pointers!

Got some ideas on what to bring for the speaker enclosure. Got some ideas for the MP3 player. Got some ideas for additional LEDs. Now to research how to set-up the Jukebox website and Tweet feed. Probably more help calls into Gelicia!

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posted an update

1) Decided to use a Photon for the IOT engine. Got some on order to have on hand. 2) Picked out a speaker that's light and should sound good. Got a speaker enclosure idea that needs some more thought. 3) Researching MP3 players.

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