Beach Stereo

[Adam] wanted a stereo that could stand up to rain and keep sand out. He ended up building this beach stereo out of a cooler. The cooler’s already made to be water tight. He cut holes in the front and back for marine speakers and added a water-tight bezel and cover for the controls on the deck. Inside you’ll find a marine battery to power the unit. Now he and his friends can rock-out even in poor weather thanks to this portable and rugged unit.

36 thoughts on “Beach Stereo

  1. I wouldn’t put too much faith on that cover, yes they can handle some water and maybe some sand, but it was really designed to be on the dashboard IN a boat

    or in other words don’t get beered up and decide to EXTREME TEST it

  2. In one hand you have tunes for the day, the other hand is empty because you’re cooler is full of speakers and not beer.


    Seems like a good idea, but I’m sure that thing is heavy, better be able to roll it everywhere. The drinking shore at my college required carry in/out.

  3. Man, that seems like a lot of work, investment and weight to put into a cooler without wheels. Coolers only work well for so many years, should have been pretty easy to find an older one with wheels that no longer stays cool well for cheap.

  4. Looks like a good reason for me to stay away from whatever beach this guy goes to. I hate listening to other people’s crappy music. I hope he has the courtesy to play it at a reasonable level, so as not to disturb the people who prefer the sound of waves to rap.

  5. It’s well implemented, but an annoying project. Someone above said you should be careful not to get drunk and try the extreme test. I can pretty much promise if it was next to me at the beach all cranked up and thumping rap, kiddi-bubble gum pop, mother-my-dog redneck country, or i-have-a-diamond-collar-for-my-cat opera, it would get dragged a fair bit out to where the water gets deep and we’d see just how long that cooler could keep the marine deep cycle battery floating.

  6. Thanks for all the comments!
    Haha yes no drunken stress tests.
    I agree with the annoying part of it and that’s why there is a volume knob. It is great for outdoor parties, and is not built to float down a river as many other versions are (mainly because the battery is so heavy and off center).

    I have added wheels but need to update the pictures, wait another day!

  7. my uncle did something like that except it had solar panels..
    over 10 years ago though. i wonder what kind of batteries he used because he had an amp and everything and that shit was bumpin

  8. @bruce, thanks.

    @Jeditalian, that is a good idea, or if you lived somewhere appropriate you could have an ever so popular wind generator. Thanks, I can’t wait to tweak some more and get that amp before I can tidy up the wiring and the inside. Multiple 12VDC outlets and 120VAC plug will make tailgating heavenly.

    UPDATE: Didn’t realize I was on here until later in the day. Added pictures of the wheels and how I mounted them to be removable. Thanks for the feedback.

  9. you could fit some beer in there.. keeping it cold without getting condensation on the components would be the tricky part. you could use dry ice, and a foam barrier sealed with silicone, but it looks like it could only safely accommodate a 6pack (bottles, which aren’t allowed at the beach anyway..) maybe you could manage to pack in a 12 pack of cans? you could just fill it with Heineken and drink it warm like the Germans do, if you feel confident in the security of your wiring connections.

  10. @ jeditalian, I thought about it but once I add the amp and sub-sub enclosure there won’t be room. If someone else was making this they could very well partition off part of the cooler to be used as a cooler and take apart a thermal-electric (peltier) fridge and wire it to the battery inside. Venting the hot side would be the only trick bit, not impossible, you would just have to be creative.

  11. If you built the whole thing into an insert that fit completely inside the cooler you could have the speakers firing up, but then reflected by the angle of the lid.

    Made small enough there might even be room for beer beneath it.
    It would also leave you with a completely usable cooler.

    But that’s the real “kicker” isn’t it?

    In 2010 there is no need for such a huge bulky solution when an FM-equipped MP3 player and a set of rechargeable powered speakers slipped into the accessory pocket of your beach bag could do the trick.

    Still, it would make an excellent set-piece for your modern remake of “Beach Blanket Bingo” and would look good on camera.

  12. I did the same thing 15 years ago but I put the stereo inside and the speakers weren’t marine speakers. I built the whole thing out of stuff I had laying around. Cost me probably less than $10 for caulk and misc stuff. In the end, it was heavier and more bulky than any boom box.

    The cost of a marine stereo and speakers is enormous in comparison to just buying a water resistant boom box.

  13. As a schmuck who has helped my father carry numerous deep cycle batteries for his flounder gigging, check your power math. I have found that there are many smaller options that are lighter and last just as long with a small transformer (if you even need it). I don’t know what goes through my dad’s head when he makes me carry a 40 lb battery to power two lights for 8 hours. Of course it has no handles so when it would fall into the ocean you get a nice warm bite as you pick it up and put it back in the raft. I would also warn against the CD player (sand gets into everything) and probably just go for a skim.

  14. @strider_mt2k, it definitely is overkill if that is all you are going to use it for, A simple rechargeable speaker + mp3 player or phone solution that you suggested would be great but I am using this for a lot more. I want to be able to take it car camping (because not all my friends enjoy ultralight backpacking like I do) and plug in 12v lights chargers etc. Also tailgating you can power the tv from the battery and use the speakers for the audio.

    The marine speakers I got from Amazon and were very in-expensive. Of course there are cheaper solutions but I know that this is going to be outside a lot and wanted something rain proof.

    @carbuncle, good pro-tip I didn’t think about sand and cd’s. Thanks

  15. @Addictronics No prob chief :) I surfed a ton during middle and high school and had a case logic in my sweet Delta 88 that literally ate my CDs alive. The CD player did ok BUT as a metal detector nerd, the salt air is an unbeatable beast. My suggestion: zinc anode blocks from a marine supplier for boat motors. These little guys “attract” the naughties that eat anything metal on the beach (mainly in the water) and should be cheap. Quick GOOG has some so ya can get an idea. I would personally just rip some off an old boat motor myself, but food for thought. Also dielectric grease for your metal contact hardware, as you will see the copper will green in no time, and silicone caulk in the mounting brackets. Finally lil dessicant packets from shoe boxes and letting the beast air out properly after you fresh water spray it after beach use and you should be good to go man. Mainly what happens is salt film clings to the staticy CDs and is heated up by the laser and forms a nice salty mist inside the CD player that first blinds the lens repeatedly and then rots the ribbon cables plastic film causing shorts. This can take months or years though so you may be good. Best of luck my friend.

  16. i just based that assumption off the fact that when the German girl’s parents came to America to visit and we went to Hooters, they ordered Heineken and they were disappointed that it was cold because they liked to drink it warm

  17. speaking of waterproof speakers, I’ve always wanted to seal off some speakers and mount them in the side of an inground pool, like when the lights are built in to the sides. I just think it would sound awesome underwater, instead of the music going away when you go underwater, it gets loud&clear. or for the ghetto version, just put some subs in some trashbags or something and float them in the water, face down..
    or an innertube, speaker face down in the middle, sealed off from water somehow, like that thick clear vinyl stuff or something for the bottom.. but i’d rather professionally build it into the walls of the pool during the construction phase.

  18. Not bad, if it works for him, awesome. I built a boombox just like this in a toolbox. The toolbox model isnt documented but the previous version is on my site. My toolbox boombox is a work in progress but it still works.

  19. Great build but don’t forget to open the top when charging the battery (those pesky hydrogen explosions and all)).

    I think using waterproof speakers at any depth would be problematic if you couldn’t equalize the hydrostatic pressure..they’d probably just blow out. I think there was a post on this blog about hydrophones though – they would work.

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