Slot Load Music CD Player, to retrofit in a 1957 Motorola Radio? Help finding a CD Drive, or get a Laptop Drive to work?

Hello, my Mom has an old 1957 Motorola Radio. The radio has a lot of sentimental value. My Mom keeps it on display and occasionally turns it on to bring back old memories. Unfortunately the radio no longer works, which isn't a big deal to my Mom, as she loves it just as a statue. I had an idea to remove the innards, which can easily be done from the rear of the radio. Now the front of the radio has a slotted grill design, which a CD could easily slide through it, and it would conceal the Drive, keeping the original look of the radio. In short I need any kind of slot loading drive that will play music CDs without the need of a computer. That is the only problem holding me up on this project. I want to install the CD player and connect it to small computer amplified speakers that can all be hidden inside the radio. I can even solder lead wires to the eject, skip, and play buttons. So that I can hide them in the back of the radio, or possible figure out a way to make it remote controllable. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much, HandyAndy

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jeff-o8 years ago
Could you hide an MP3 player in there instead? Then you could rig up the radio's controls to control the MP3 player.
handyandyny (author)  jeff-o8 years ago
Great idea, except the radios controls are not in everyday usable condition. They look great but they are poorly designed and have had a small crack in one of the dials that was glued.
Hmmm, that might be a difficult hack then. It's hard to know without seeing them.
handyandyny (author) 8 years ago
Hello everyone, I could use some more ideas regarding my radio build. 
Okay, the original radio had tubes in it which would glow amber when in use.  Anyone know of a light bulb that would replicate the look of an old radio tube?  The bulb doesn't have to look like an old radio tube, but it should give off the same kind of light.  You won't see the bulb, only the light it gives off.  Thanks again.
handyandyny (author) 8 years ago
Okay, I thank you all for your great ideas.  I have decided to turn the old radio into an enclosure for amplified speakers.  I will have an auxilary jack in the back to connect it to an mp3 player.  I have decided to go this route, because If I can teach my Mom the basic functions of the mp3 player, then she can also have her music with her on the go.  I can easily fit a set of amplified speakers into the old radio and keep it looking stock.  Thanks again.
handyandyny (author)  handyandyny8 years ago
Also, I will have the dial on the radio work the amplified speakers.
handyandyny (author) 8 years ago
Hey, if I have to I'll give in to what would be simple and just go with an mp3 player. She could always just turn it on and I could have it set to shuffle the songs. I know she would want to select a song to play rather than listen to a random one, but It would be to complicated for her to work.
handyandyny (author) 8 years ago
Here is some more info on what I need to get this to work:
Must have a Slot Loading CD Music Player
Inside Dimensions on the radio are: L= 3.5" D= 4.5" W= 10.75"
I could hide the controls on the rear panel of the radio, but a remote control would be even better.
I'd rather stay low tech, and not use something like an mp3 player, because my Mom would not be able to use it. : )
I figured I would use Computer Amplified Speakers, and Slot Load Cd Player.
A Car Radio is also a great idea but I don't have the depth for it inside.
RelaxedSoup8 years ago
Interestingly enough, a normal computer CD drive will decode the audio internally, without the need to be plugged into a computer. So all you need to do is come up with some sort of power supply (5v, 12v and ground) and you're good to go.
There's and instruct. for that or maybe I saw it some place else. Like make or hack-a-day.
There are several Instructables actually... here's one that seems pretty good.

On a side note, I find it funny that the word "instructable" isn't in their own spell-checker...
Re-design8 years ago
What about a front loading car stereo. You can run it of a 12 v. wall wart and you don't need amped speakers. You could probably get a working one really cheap at a pawn shop, wrecking yard or maybe even pepboys auto.
handyandyny (author)  Re-design8 years ago
Thanks, but a car radio will be just a little too big for the enclosure. Although, that would have been great because I could also get one that would have a remote control. Thanks for your help.