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For a semi-permanent outdoor installation i need to waterproof a powered amplifier. (We opted against marine amplifiers for audio-input quality, and power-supply reasons)

What happens if i put a powered amplifier (2ch, 150W RMS per channel) into a water-tight, air-tight enclosure? The enclosure would be something like these waterproof Serpac suitcases, with waterproof cabling and connectors for sound in, sound out and AC in. Will the amplifier overheat? It has a fan, so it needs to circulate air. Would it work, if the enclosure is big enough, and the fan can circulate the air within the enclosure?

The enclosure will of course sit outdoors, so there is some natural passive cooling happening.

Anyone every tried that? Would love to hear some experience reports? Or if i am talking complete nonsense, please tell me so!


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Have you tried this for just a minute or two. I mean, how would you get any sound out of a box that doesn't emit anything but small vibrations. I don't think this box will lead sound that well, especially not the bass.. – Friend of Kim Mar 12 '12 at 17:59
Of course we'll have waterproof cabling through waterproof connections (cable glands) going in and out of the enclosure. Line in, AC in, speaker level out. – evsc Mar 12 '12 at 18:23
Ahh, I meant if it was completely air-tight.. – Friend of Kim Mar 12 '12 at 19:03

I see no reason why it shouldn't work fine. Modern amplifiers of that power range don't produce that much heat anymore, can work at pretty high temperatures and automatically switch off when it gets too hot, so you can definitely give it a try. But the enclosing should be a good thermal conductor, aluminium is a good bet.

If you'd like the encasing as small as possible, invest in a digital power amplifier: those produce significantly less heat than analog ones. The Behringer iNuke NU1000 seems to be the cheapest model available, but is of course not the best in terms of quality.

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that sounds encouraging. thanks! what if the case is plastic (most waterproof enclosures seem to be) - is that a problem? also: do you know of any power amps (digital or analog) that are smaller in size? not made for rack-mount installation ... – evsc Mar 12 '12 at 18:58
Plastic is a poor thermal conductor, so I'd avoid that. But if the encasing is large enough and you use a digital amp, it should be ok. — It's difficult to find professional audio power amplifiers in any format but 19". Also, anything smaller will usually have a power < 100 W. – leftaroundabout Mar 12 '12 at 19:19
thanks. you helped a lot! – evsc Mar 12 '12 at 20:08

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