The amplifier board uses a car stereo amplifier chip which can handle up to 20 watts. All the other parts are rated similarly, which means that all the components are huge compared to what I have worked with before. The capacitors alone are the size of a tootsie roll!
Thanks to the ratings of the parts, I made this board to be entirely through-hole instead of partially surface mount as I usually do. The board layout was fairly simple as the board only has one IC and otherwise passive components. I designed the board to have two planes - a ground plane and a power plane - and to have much thicker routing than any previous board to be able to handle the immense strain of 20 watts of power.
I normally also have my boards made at OSH Park, but this time a new opportunity presented itself. Professor Rumsey at Indiana Tech invited me to use their new milling machine for my board, and it was one of the coolest experiences I have ever had! I was, for the first time, able to watch as my board was made and each of the holes was drilled and the traces made.
Once my board had been fabricated, I hand-soldered each of the components in and found that the board worked! It has more than doubled the volume of my R2 so he can be heard in even the most crowded rooms.