Sometimes, I get bored and build stuff - Stereo Cooler

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Sometimes, I get bored and build stuff - Stereo Cooler

Postby urbanbigfoot » Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:47 pm

I decided I needed to build a stereo out of a spare cooler I had laying around. So I ordered some marine components - Sony Receiver and 650W Amp, a pair of Infinity marine speakers, and a 10inch Bazooka subwoofer. Throw in a marine deep cycle battery and BOOM!This thing rocks pretty hard.

Fitting the components to the rough openings
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Starting to add the internals - mount the amp, receiver, and battery.
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Start wiring it up...
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Some Subwoofer action...
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And BOOM! It's alive!
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I might have to haul this thing out on Wednesday night. You may have guessed...it's heavy, but boy does it rock the tunes. It'll be great for camping, tailgating, and anything else where weather might turn rainy. This thing isn't 100% water tight...yet, but it is pretty close.
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Re: Sometimes, I get bored and build stuff - Stereo Cooler

Postby jnecessary » Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:58 pm

Sweet! Just be careful, you have to understand the power of that thing!
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Re: Sometimes, I get bored and build stuff - Stereo Cooler

Postby NoyzSource » Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:11 pm

Is your amp going to overheat without any airflow?
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Re: Sometimes, I get bored and build stuff - Stereo Cooler

Postby Farmboy » Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:22 pm

how 'bout some solar power?

My RAGBRAI buddy had something similar back in the day. Turns out that a 48 qt cooler fits perfectly in a BOB Trailer.

www.bobtrailers.com
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Re: Sometimes, I get bored and build stuff - Stereo Cooler

Postby bigfish » Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:12 pm

NoyzSource wrote:Is your amp going to overheat without any airflow?

A couple of old computer fans would do the job
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Re: Sometimes, I get bored and build stuff - Stereo Cooler

Postby urbanbigfoot » Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:28 pm

Hasn't overheated yet, but it might. I'll bring it out tomorrow night and run it for awhile. I'm curious how it'll perform under power for a more sustained period.
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Re: Sometimes, I get bored and build stuff - Stereo Cooler

Postby DL1030 » Wed Oct 05, 2011 8:10 am

should be fine with heat. custom car installs have them in much tighter enclosures (and in the trunk). I know I have.

Battery life on a class a/b amp would be what i would worry about. 600w might be overkill...or not :) For longer life turn the amp off and leave the car stereo to power the speakers. you will still sound good. (not sure how it is wired or what the amp is. 4 channel, bridged one side? mono amp? so many options)

cant tell what is holding the battery in place, you got a strap in there?

I would suggest baffles. (http://www.amazon.com/Brand-Installbay- ... B0036W4TEW). those will keep the back pressure from the sub from over extending the cones of the 5.25"s. they will also give your midrange a bit more depth.

everything looks real good, now dust off some beastie boys and fight for your right to party.
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Re: Sometimes, I get bored and build stuff - Stereo Cooler

Postby NoyzSource » Wed Oct 05, 2011 8:27 am

Good call on the baffles.

To really help seal the cooler you will need a small child to sit on the lid at all times. :)

I was thinking that if you ported the cooler on each side then had a small fan running to cycle the air the amp would stay cool enough. Only needed if it becomes a problem. I would bet the amp has an overtemp function that will cut the output if it starts overheating so it may not ever be a problem.

Battery life - standard car battery has about 50Ah rating when new. This would probably be at a 5A draw for 10 hours. 5A draw from 12V is only 60 watts.

Stereo (AVG) - 40 watts
Amp (AVG) - 200 watts
12V supply for 240W is about 20A. Straight division says 50Ah divided by 20A is 2.5 hours but the curve is not straight. Higher currents kill batteries faster. 20A would probably pull it down to 2 hours life. I think this means we need to experiment with everything tomorrow. All in the name of sound (pun intended) engineering.

You have to put an old school analog ammeter on the outside in series with the battery. It will bounce around all over the place with the surges. Match it with a blue LED backlight.
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Re: Sometimes, I get bored and build stuff - Stereo Cooler

Postby urbanbigfoot » Wed Oct 05, 2011 8:28 am

Thanks for all the pointers Dave! If you're around tonight, I'll have you take a look. I'm a little worried about the battery life w/ the large amp, but unless I rewire it, the amp has to be on for the sound to flow. I'm not sure the best way to handle that. The amp is a 4 Channel amp. I use the rear in/outs for the Sub.

I still have to strap the battery down. I bought a battery box w/ strap, but it won't fit in the cooler, so I have to fabricate something to take it's place. I think a cargo strap could be nicely fitted to work.

The baffles would be a great idea...I didn't even think about that. I'll have to order a couple of those bad boys.

I still have a few minor tweaks to make. I need to get some flexible wire conduit to clean up the mess of wires, and I'd like to build a platform to enclose all the components...and it would act as a nice shelf for placing an iPod and other items.

I also added a little bling last night...though I still have to conceal the wires.

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Re: Sometimes, I get bored and build stuff - Stereo Cooler

Postby Farmboy » Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:16 am

I guess I have one fundamental question here? with all that shyte in the cooler running the stereo, where do you put the beer?
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Re: Sometimes, I get bored and build stuff - Stereo Cooler

Postby Jaxon » Wed Oct 05, 2011 12:09 pm

Battery life and amp overheating are going to be heavily dependent on the type of music. Most music is pretty dynamic, so high current draw should be very brief. If you like listening to something like Techmaster P.E.B. then you might have a good chance of overheating the amp without ventilation and/or killing the battery quickly. You could always hook up jumper cables from a car to recharge the battery or possibly rig up a 12V power converter to power it from an electrical outlet.
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Re: Sometimes, I get bored and build stuff - Stereo Cooler

Postby urbanbigfoot » Wed Oct 05, 2011 12:30 pm

Farmboy wrote:I guess I have one fundamental question here? with all that shyte in the cooler running the stereo, where do you put the beer?


No room for beer -- I'm just gonna drink beer provided by from someone-else, for once.
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Re: Sometimes, I get bored and build stuff - Stereo Cooler

Postby urbanbigfoot » Wed Oct 05, 2011 12:32 pm

Jaxon wrote:You could always hook up jumper cables from a car to recharge the battery or possibly rig up a 12V power converter to power it from an electrical outlet.


I've included a 12V charger that can be used to supplement the power as it runs. I've also wired in an ACC outlet so I can charge it from another booster pack, or what not.

Keep the ideas comin'...I'm trying to create a monster here.
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Re: Sometimes, I get bored and build stuff - Stereo Cooler

Postby Jaxon » Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:36 pm

urbanbigfoot wrote:Keep the ideas comin'...I'm trying to create a monster here.


External connectors and a switch to hook up external speakers. I have some spare cabinet speakers laying around if anyone wants them for free.

Ideas that may be a little or a lot over the line: Lexan windows. Epoxy paint. Something with carbon fiber.
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Re: Sometimes, I get bored and build stuff - Stereo Cooler

Postby steveo » Wed Oct 05, 2011 2:44 pm

First I must say that is 1 AWESOME cooler! I have some ideas but please keep in mind I have no idea if any of these would work as I am not very knowledgeable about how stereo equipment and/or electronics work. But anyway taking what Jaxon mentioned and adding lexan wouldn't be cool to build a top to cover the battery and wires kind of like what the lid does but in the cooler. Then mount the amp on that. Then cut a hole in the top of the cooler and put in the lexan so would be able to see the amp. Maybe add some lights as well.

I am definitely with farmboy you need to find someplace to put the beer! If you could make a watertight compartment to hold a 6er at the least taht would be saweet!

Anyway that is my 2 cents.
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Re: Sometimes, I get bored and build stuff - Stereo Cooler

Postby Farmboy » Wed Oct 05, 2011 4:08 pm

urbanbigfoot wrote:
Farmboy wrote:I guess I have one fundamental question here? with all that shyte in the cooler running the stereo, where do you put the beer?


No room for beer -- I'm just gonna drink beer provided by from someone-else, for once.



Ouch. Guilty.
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Re: Sometimes, I get bored and build stuff - Stereo Cooler

Postby DL1030 » Wed Oct 05, 2011 4:16 pm

With Eric's math you are not going to be able to do ragbrai rides with the cooler going all day as is.

How i would remedy that...power the speakers from the headunit. headunit on battery power lasts over 8hour if memory serves. so no matter what happens to the amp (fuse blows, beer explosion, overheat, etc) you will still have tunes. I would also add a switch to the remote wire (blue) to be able to turn the amp on and off. this allows you to show off when needed and save battery life the rest of the time. Those two changes will increase the battery life.

going forward from there you have two more options, add a second sub to bridge off the, now un-used, amp channels (assume you are matching ohms correctly after bridging (it cuts the resistance in half)), more subs = more fun. or replace the current amp with a more efficient class d mono amp. more output for less input and it runs cooler.


no matter the temptation for a cooler/beer, i would not combine. bring a friend with another cooler.

other idea would be to build an ported enclosure for the sub that fills in the extra space. decware has some pretty killer designs for huge output from bandpass boxes with super tiny speakers (as does google). would likely double the overall weight but would also damn near double the output. huge fan of their designs!

i will keep thinking
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Re: Sometimes, I get bored and build stuff - Stereo Cooler

Postby bigfish » Wed Oct 05, 2011 4:51 pm

Never stop moving forward- Mark
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Re: Sometimes, I get bored and build stuff - Stereo Cooler

Postby TodHort » Sat Dec 21, 2013 1:15 am

Farmboy wrote:how 'bout some solar power?

My RAGBRAI buddy had something similar back in the day. Turns out that a 48 qt cooler fits perfectly in a BOB Trailer.


I think using solar power is very nice thought.. I know it is expensive but worth..
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Re: Sometimes, I get bored and build stuff - Stereo Cooler

Postby drifte » Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:00 pm

I've had so many different ideas for building something similar, I just always quit when I get to adding up the cost to doing it the way I want. Some smaller car batteries are an option for one. I wouldnt run that big amp either. Parts express has awesome little t-amps that would put out the same power as that headunit, with less power draw, and you can plug an ipod directly to it or phone. it would take up no space at all. Then select good speakers to run off that power. A sub would be fun, but a huge power draw. as that ones setup, maybe you can power it off the two rear channels of the headunit, assuming the subs dvc? Id guess this came together mostly with spare parts, but if someone was to build from scratch theirs a lot lighter more efficient options.

I designed a system for my motorcycle once, just never came to creation.

some class t amp examples.
http://www.parts-express.com/lepai-digi ... m--310-302

http://www.parts-express.com/lepai-lp-2 ... y--310-300

One of those mated to 2 or 4 speakers from the mini-speaker selection would be awesome with a small battery pack. I had dozens of small solar panels that would have given a nice trickle charge too, but I think they got tossed in the move.

mini speakers
http://www.parts-express.com/cat/mini-speakers/27
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