Crafting the Ultimate Steampunk Entertainment System

Craft & Design Technology Workshop
Crafting the Ultimate Steampunk Entertainment System

Michael Greensmith felt that modern day stereos were simply boring. For his home, he wanted something that really looked great, and worked great too. After finding an old radio that was badly in need of some refinishing, he started work on the Ultimate Steampunk Entertainment System, or U.S.E.S.

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Currently the system houses a guitar amplifier, sound system, and even robotic pop-up candles. As you can see, it looks fantastic and sounds pretty good too. Michael has shared directions on how to build this system on our community platform, so you can follow along if you’re so inclined.

Michael is working on version 2, which will have apps for changing the sound of his guitar amp and will also feature a very special remote control: “the brick.”

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Here you can see the brick in use on a different system. Constructed from old typewriter keys, brass, wood, and acrylic, the brick is a fantastic example of functional steampunk.

Functional electronic gadgetry in Steampunk is sadly lacking; lots of enthusiasts focus on achieving a “look.” I just followed up the design aesthetic with the next set of logical questions: How would a remote control function in the steam era? How can I mesh modern remote capabilities with steam era mechanics?

If you’d like to dive into the details of the construction of this remote, check out the full build log on our community platform. For those of you that are tempted to try to recreate something like this, Michael has some thoughts on how he’d do it better in the future:

If I were to redo the SRC, I would make it a bit more streamlined.  I hadn’t counted on the wire taking up so much room, so the control ended up being thicker than I would have liked.  I would definitely go the route of using momentary switches.

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I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity I see in makers. My favorite thing in the world is sharing a maker's story. find me at

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