Introduction: Listen to Your Tunes for Working in High Noise Levels.
This is my first crack at this so bare with me.
Problem : at work we are not allowed to wear headphones and seeing as there is a 100% hearing protection rule this is how I beat the system.
We are allowed radios but we are in a steel building and radio reception is down to only 3 or 4 week stations and a strong one with a crappy genre.
Solution: supply our own music.
Now I will tell you what and how I did.
I acquired an old boom box radio/ tape player while out curb shopping one day. The tape player was nonfunctional.
March 3 09 update: I added a 5 volt usb connector since the first Instuctable.
See the final steps.
Step 1: Prepare the Found Radio
First thing I did was gut the no good tape deck out of the box.
I did not show this because I did it a long time ago and it was just a matter of unscrewing some things and pulling a few wires and so on.
Step 2: Tunes
Now I have the radio ready I needed my own tunes.
Enter the CD / MP3 / WMA player
Burn a few MP3 cds and lets boggy while we work.
Sure makes the day go by faster.
Best thing "Commercial Free tunes"
Step 3: Transmitter
Add FM Transmitter
the picture shows the later mod where i combined a battery pack to supply both cd player and transmitter.
Originally I used the factory setup each unit using its own batteries using 2 AA rechargeable in the cd player and 2 regular AAA in the transmitter.
the rechargeables lasted about 5 to 6 hrs and replaced them with a second set to finish of the shift.
the carbon batteries in the transmitter lasted from a week to 3 weeks depending on the quality of the batteries.
advantages : with this setup I was able to transmit about 100 feet in all directions and everybody liked my oldies station. Lots of volume when everybody was tuned in. Kinda Peed off the bosses (Yuck yuck)
I burned a cd full of MP3s which lasted almost 2 shifts.
I used 5or 6 cds full of MP3s with different genres. (tried to keep everybody happy)
Step 4: Remod the CD Player, Tuner and Power
This was great for a few years then tragedy struck and the CD player plug developed a loose connection so home the setup came to get remodded.
I came up with this gem. used 2 C cell to power both CD player and transmitter which lasted longer but I lost the range. (To bad so sad. I was getting tired of" can't you play something else?")
Step 5: Enter New Technology
Now I have a new transmitter and new Mp3 player. The big one had all along but was only 256 meg great for walks but not long play. the silver one 2 gig (Lovely about 3 shifts worth of music with out a change.
Problems shorter range and battery in Mp3 player only lasts 4 or 5 hours and had no USB port to recharge.
Step 6: Problems Again
Solution I used a 4 pack of AA rechargable batteries to keep up charge.
Made a USB adapter for power and didn't work. Still only 4 hrs playtime.
Back to the drawing board.
Step 7: Problem Solving
Out comes the players Lithium ion battery.
After some research I found out that the Lithium Ion battery only wanted 5 volts not 6 so quick math tells me Ni Cd rechargeables are only 1.2 volts times 4 equals 4.8 close enough to 5 volts.
Success (yipee) plus I get 2 1/2 days on a single charge (using 600mAh)
Step 8: Make Battery Pack
Now I have to connect the battery pack to MP3 player.
this was done on other instructables so no need to go into great detail.
Cut a USB cable strip wires and attach to battery pack. ( make sure you use the correct polarity. Red wire is positive and black is negative..
I attached a wire tie for stability.
Step 9: An Other Great Mod for the Radio.
I decided that I would make a hardwire connection to the radio.
This step was done with trial and error till i found the right connections.
How I done it was to connect the ground wire to a ground on the amp then with the MP3 player playing I probed a wire on other parts of the circuit board till I herd the play coming from the speaker.
I lucked out , it didn't take long to find it. now I just soldered the wire to those connections and I have music. The mp3 player controls the volume so I can turn down the radio so I can't hear it.
I haven't put this into a real long test yet but short ones seem to work OK.
Reassemble the radio and it's off to work I go on Monday to give it the final work out.
Step 10: Final Comments
Tried it at work today and worked super.
Lots of volume and nonstop play.
I know this wasn't the first time this was done but I thought I would throw in my version just for variety.
Good Luck with you project.
Step 11: March 03 / 09 Update
Since the last installment I have added two 5 volt usb connections.
See pictures below for finished result. (close up pictures are a bit blurry.. sorry)
Step 12: Update Parts
I found a 5 volt wall-wart I had saved from a now defunct route.
The wall wart must put out 5 volts DC. 500ma is probably plenty
Then I picked up a couple of usb wires and I was off to the races.
Because I didn't want to carry around a long wire all the time I cut off the small usb plug and hard wired it into the radio. (more on this later)
Step 13: Update Instuctions.
First I had to find a place to put the wall wart so seeing as I wasn't using the battery compartment so that was I put it. I also had to cut away some of the plastic to make it fit.
Now I cut the cord off leaving about half a foot (6 inches /15 cm) for hook up.
Cut off an other half foot of wire you need this for High voltage hook up. (120 volts in Canuckland)
Take that wire and strip off the insulation on both ends On one end you will put a female 110 plug. (cheated and soldered it direct. I recommend you not do this) Now find where the live wire comes in and solder that there.
Step 14: Update Continued
Now take the wire left on the wart and strip the ends on it.
I guess I should have told you that had to check the polarity before I wired it inside.
you can do this using a volt meter when the voltage reads in the positive manner mark the positive wire (usually the one that the red test probe touching is it )
Cut and strip the usb wires leaving enough to work with. cut off the (data) wires you don't need.
Hook up the wires positive to positive and negative to negative (red to red and black to black) or what ever
I am not going into how to hook up the usb wires (Color codes) because there is a lot of instuctables telling you how to do this. (that's where I got the idea from)
Step 15: Update Continued Again
Now I found a place to put the female usb connector cut a hole just big enough to fit .
Now shove it through the hole and hot glue it in for stability, I hot glued it from both sides.
I took the wire with the little connector and feed it through a hole in the radio.
I also wire tied it to a post in the radio for stress stability so they could not be pulled out by accident.
Now I put it all together and went to work.
Sorry for the blurry pictures.
I wrote this after I finished the project or I would have taken more pictures of the process.
Step 16: Update 2016
Well most of that stuff has been scrapped or removed. The radio is no longer at work and neither am I so it sits in my shed/workshop. Retirement is great. it give me more time to fiddle around with stuff. I might even make a new Instuctable someday.
We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.