For picknicks we use a small cooler and with the upcoming spring and summer it seems like a great idea to add an audio system to it. Most DIY coolers with audio that I found on the internet are huge. Not only do they have large speakers and amplifiers but they also have a huge lead battery hardly leaving any space for the picknick gear. I want a tiny, one speaker system that sounds nice but is lightweight and leaves plenty of room for the other stuff. I also wanted it nicely integrated in the cooler without too many wires. I therefore started to design and build one.
Choosing the audio components
I started this project by choosing a suitable battery. As stated above lead batteries are relatively large due to their low energy density. Lithium polymer batteries on the other hand have large energy density, four to five times higher than lead according to this source. Prices of polymer batteries are also very reasonable nowadays.
Next I chose the amplifier. I was looking for a small one with just enough power to provide a good sound with a proper speaker. There is plenty of choice but I chose the Kemo 3,5W (M031N) since it’s small but also humidity and shake proof. It also comes in a nice package and has a broad operating voltage range from 4.5-12V/DC.