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Adventures in Analog: TeleMania Jeep Portable Boombox

Updated on April 20, 2017
Jesse Drzal profile image

I am a lifelong music fan and musician, and also enjoy raising analog awareness and promoting the culture.

A peek under the hood of the Jeep Boombox. Also has storage sleeves for compact discs which is a nice touch.
A peek under the hood of the Jeep Boombox. Also has storage sleeves for compact discs which is a nice touch. | Source

The Free Table Strikes Again

As I have mentioned in other articles, my town's recycling center has a free donation table and sometimes you can find old analog equipment for the taking such record players, cassette decks and storage, records, and all kinds of audio equipment. One such find was my TeleMania Jeep portable boombox.

Source

History

These boomboxes were produced as early as 1995 exclusively for Chrysler Jeep automobiles and were included as a package in the purchases of some Jeep vehicles up to the late nineties. A really unique item, and to be honest I had no idea what this was until I opened the latch out of curiosity. It has AM/FM radio, CD function and also a cassette deck. It also has a standard power cord and can also run on D batteries for portability.

This was advertised as water and shock resistant, and it looks really rugged and durable, with thick heavy plastic and a bottom skid surface that resembles a tire track. It can definitely see some kids in their Jeep back in the day, off-road rallying with this thing bouncing around in the back. The toggle system for functions is really unique as well.

The outside of the Jeep Boombox is made of strong plastic and seems to be very durable.
The outside of the Jeep Boombox is made of strong plastic and seems to be very durable. | Source

Cleaning Up

The boombox had some grime and dust on the outside as if it hadn't been opened in a few years. The inside was actually really clean, perhaps it did not get much use or it was cared for nicely. All functions worked, but the antenna jack where it plugs in is broken or a piece is missing so I could not get the antenna attached. No big deal.

The cassette deck heads and rollers had very little dirt and were really clean, so once again either there was not much use or it was maintained nicely. Remember, this was produced in the mid-nineties and some people had already switched over to compact disc.

Side view of one the reflectors and speaker.
Side view of one the reflectors and speaker. | Source

Jeep Portable Boombox in Use

The sound of this boombox has pretty low volume, especially the left side speaker, could be an issue there internally with it. Not necessarily booming bass either, this boombox probably would not be my go-to option if I had to rock a dance party. My preferred method of using this is to line out from the headphone auxiliary to my Bluetooth speaker with a cord or to use headphones. The Bluetooth line out is my preferred action and I can get a pretty decent sound.

The compact disc side works well and will play a disc that's a little scratched up. The toggle switch controls across the boombox are a little clunky and loud but nothing terrible.

The cassette deck side functions great, but there is some loud hiss during tape operation and is pretty annoying actually. Once again, I really don't know the history of the unit or have another to compare with so I am not sure if there are internal issues or if that is just the way it operates, but the noise does seem excessive. So with that being said I really don't use the cassette function all that often on this.

Because of the broken antenna, I don't use the AM/FM radio functions either, although it does turn on and operate.

The bottom plate comes off with two tabs and stores the power plug and houses the batteries.
The bottom plate comes off with two tabs and stores the power plug and houses the batteries. | Source

Thoughts on the TeleMania

Although this has been way surpassed as far a modern audio equipment with Bluetooth speakers and things of that nature, this would have been really cool to have back in the mid-nineties, as there was nothing quite like it back then. You got a rugged tough player that featured three functions you could bring by a campfire, beach or wherever you like.

A Jeep fan who has nostalgia for the brand would be into this also. Pretty cool find, although it is not the most usable unit for me I like the unique factor of the boombox. Cool stuff.

Back view of the Boombox. The only use other than to look cool as far as the reflectors are concerned would be that you can party with it in the dark?
Back view of the Boombox. The only use other than to look cool as far as the reflectors are concerned would be that you can party with it in the dark? | Source

TeleMania Jeep Boombox Poll

Were You Already Aware That The Jeep Boombox Existed?

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The TeleMania Jeep Boombox used with my Bluetooth speaker which I line out from the headphone jack. Because of the weak speakers this is how I like to use the boombox.
The TeleMania Jeep Boombox used with my Bluetooth speaker which I line out from the headphone jack. Because of the weak speakers this is how I like to use the boombox. | Source

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      Mario 6 weeks ago

      Any idea what function the mic jack on the back serves? Can it be used as a line in port?

    • profile image

      Justin 7 weeks ago

      That antenna piece on the back is just a water/dust cover the antenna only fits in the rear hole in certain directions and if you's still has the antenna it can also fit on the inside of the box by the am-fm control

      Mine is also missing and the cassette play mine is fairly quiet but it's old so I don't expect it to be silent