-How to make your own Ultimate Cooler-
First off i will say that this build is pretty straight forward. It does not require any soldering (if you dont do wireless audio) and can be built in a single evening assuming you have the tools.
Note : All of these parts can be interchanged with higher quality or more expensive parts if you wish. I chose to keep mine cheap because I knew it would take a beating on the river, at the beach , and party hopping.
- A cooler with wheels. (Trust me wheels are a must!) Try and find one with a lot of flat space on the top. amazon
- 2 Speakers. 5 or 6 inch ~200 watt amazon
- Headphone to RCA Y cable. amazon
- A 2ch Car audio amplifier
- A 12v gel cell led acid high capacity battery (My personal fav)
- A 12v Automatic battery charger amazon
- 4 ~3in long 1/8th wide machine screws along with 8 washers and 4 matching nuts
- A power switch. Radio Shack has some. I used an old light switch I had laying around.
- Phillips head screwdriver
- Drill (with assorted bits)
- Jigsaw or Router (optional but makes the large hole cutting a lot easier)
Step 1 – Audio Wire Up
I always like to start by wiring up the audio circuit just to make sure everything is in working order before we install it into the cooler. Follow the diagram below to get music playing from the speakers. It probably wont sound to good right now. This is because speakers need a resonance chamber to get those sexy bass levels.
Step 2 – Cooler Mod
I apologize for the lack of pictures but this is a pretty straight forward process. Begin by marking circles on the top of the cooler to lay out where you will need to cut the holes. BE SURE not to trace the outer rim of the speaker. If you do your holes will be too large and the speakers will fall right through. Also be sure to leave enough room on the inside of the lid to mount your amp. Instead use the provided template (most car speaker sets come with them) or measure the inner cone diameter and use a compass to mark circles. Next use your jigsaw or router to cut out the marked holes.
Step 3 – Speaker and AMP Mounting
Next mount the speakers in the holes you just cut. Then with your drill make pilot holes by laying your amp on the lid where you want it to end up and drill through the 4 mounting holes on the corners. Then mount your amp by threading the 4 machine screws through the holes and up through the lid, use the washers on either side so the screws dont pull through the plastic.
The result should look close to this :
Step 4 – Wiring it up
So Close! Follow the wiring diagram one more time and you should be booming. I drilled one more in the top to feed the Y cable through and screwed an iPhone case on the top to hold my phone while I the tunes are bumpin! Stay tuned for adding a Rasberry Pi for streaming audio over AirPlay.
I added some other upgrades that make the system more tolerant to water splashes, power led, dual batteries, and alerts if some one tries to steal it. I will make another post with these a little later.
Have Fun and send me pics!!!