In this post I finish up assembly of CABB. First I started with the wiring which is pretty straight forward.
First I made all the speaker wiring connections to the head units harness. I also found a suitable mounting location for the bluetooth receiver and connected it to the head unit AUX input. The bluetooth unit requires 5V as well. I snipped the transformer off its supply cable and wired it to the 5V and ground bundles as described next.
Next I clipped all the leads from the power supply. I bound all the Yellows (+12v) together, bound all the Reds (+5v) together, and bound all the blacks (ground) together. I did leave one ground wire free for the power switch. The bundles are quite large due to the number of wires. I added the 12V and ground connections from the head unit to the appropriate bundles (Yellow and black). Since I added a case 5V thermometer, I tied its power to the 5v and ground bundles. To make sure it doesn’t come apart, I soldered them, then wrapped the bundles tightly with electrical tape – you could also use heat shrink tubing.
Next I wired up the power switch. For this I took the power supplies Green lead and attached it to one side of the switch. I tied the other side of the switch to the ground lead I left free from the ground bundle.
If you test it at this point, it may or may not come on. The power supply wants a load present before it will work. Since I had the minimal draw of the thermometer it wasn’t an issue.
After validating everything was getting power where needed, I installed the ground for the antenna. For this I drilled a small hole in the power supply case and use a metal screw to hold it. Be careful where you drill this hole and the depth of the screw. Examine the case and look through the vents to determine the best contact-free location.
I then mounted the power supply in the back of CABB’s enclosure.
I then mounted the antenna, the power switch and finally the upper cooling intake vent.
Now it was time to test! Everything powered up and worked perfectly. Yes, the thermometer is in Celsius. I fried the first one on accident, and mistaken ordered this one. No worries. I only need to see if the needle crosses midway through the orange band. At that point it will be getting too hot inside the enclosure.
The nice thing about the bluetooth module I chose is that it does not require the press of any buttons to initiate a device pairing. Simply select it from the device you want to pair with. It remembers up to 8.
A shot of the completed unit playing an AUX/bluetooth audio source from my iPhone.
After I played with it for a bit, I put the finishing touch on. Stick on lettering I found at Hobby Lobby – CABB and 1.0. The color matches the JBL logos perfectly!
Afterward I moved it to the garage and tested it sound from there. It sounds very good, although requiring a bit more volume than indoors. I have used it several times since then and am very happy with the end result.
My only complaint is that the head unit loses some settings when CABB is powered off. This is due to cutting the power supply off, and not having a 12V battery backup. I knew this would be the case at inception. I only have to turn MX (Media Expander) on at power up so its not an issue I’m interested in resolving.
Summary of the parts involved:
Could I have bought a bluetooth speaker system or a shelf stereo system for $143.83. Possibly. Would it have been as fun? No! Would it have sounded as good as CABB turned out? In all likely hood, No. Wood > Plastic