Instructables
Picture of Old Radio Amplifier for iPod
Ever work in the backyard and not want to use those pesky headphones that always get in the way.

Well I wanted to use my iPod in the backyard using WiFi internet radio. Are you too cheap to buy one of those fancy expensive ipod amplifiers. Well what better way is to use a amplifier powered by those incredible little Eneloop batteries for dirt cheap.

I used a old beat up radio that I got at a thrift store for $1.50 gutted it and used the shell, including the battery compartment, speaker, amplifier and of course my iPod and bang, portable loud internet rechargeable radio that you can use for years to come.
 
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Step 1: List of Items Needed

Items:

*Old radio; $1.50 at thrift store non-working

*Amplifier (from the original radio it self or from something else like portable speakers); $5.00

*Eneloop batteries (my radio needed 4 "C" size batteries); About $20.00 check on Google

*"C" size adapters (or "D" size adapters whatever your radio needs); $5.00 for four

*male to male 3.5mm connector; already had one laying around

*and a ipod or media player; already had mine

Tools:

*Electrical tape

*Hooks and Loops (Velcro)

*Wire cutters

*Screw drivers

*Multimeter (it helps)

*Spare wires for testing

Step 2: Gut the Old Radio

Take out all the unnecessary parts of the radio.

I used the screw driver to take out most of the guts.

What I left was the tuner dial, all he swiches and knobs to glue on later, the speaker, and the head phone jack to use to plug the ipod into and the AC/DC switch to use for on/off.
The point being is to leave the radio looking normal from the outside.

This part is optional:
I still wanted the tuner dial with the station numbers to work.
The dial moves by a string and pulley system.
I cut the string short and then tied it so it can move the dial on the radio, purely aesthetics.
I then placed back the dial into the radio compartment and it moves as if it works. Great!

Next putting in the amplifier.

sczahra4 years ago
great instructible. i just made the same thing basically although i left everything iintact. all you have to do is take a headphone cable- leave the plug end, and cut the other end. solder the leads to the pins on the volume potentiometer and you can still have am fm radio and as soon as you turn on the ipod the radio can be turned down and your ipod will control the volume instead. great idea using the amp though!
I used to have one of those amplifiers, too bad they didn't put a volume knob on it.
Phil B6 years ago
I was hoping you would show us where you cut into the old radio circuit board to utilize its amplifier.
carpetah Phil B5 years ago
Hi, i've done it very easyly. I conected the earphone out to the volume potentiometer, without changing anything on the radio. Whenever i push play the station i'm listening changes for the ipod song. (sorry for my english!)
yep. i'm seconding that. something i've been wanting to figure out...
I know the trick is to find the first amplifier stage in the radio's circuitry and tap in there. Probably the best way to do it is to connect or couple it with a couple of 1 microfarad electrolytic capacitors to avoid problems with voltage imbalances. The place to make the coupling is probably easier to find in an older radio because the circuit is made from individual components instead of whole sections encased in one chip.
Some older radios have an INPUT jack to plug in accessories. This way, all you do is plug the ipod straight to that, with a resistor in series so as not to overload the old amp.
mskogly5 years ago
Very cool! I got inspired and made my own last night, but without the amplifier (I didn't have one. But I DID poke around a little bit and found a point on the circuit board that seemed to amplify the input signal a bit. Not much, but enough to be noticeable.

Thanks for the tutorial!

Check out : The WEALTH AUTOPORTABLE homemade Ipod dock!

http://pappmaskin.no/2009/01/diy-the-wealth-autoportable-homemade-ipod-dock/
Punkguyta6 years ago
>Ever work in the backyard and not want to use those pesky headphones that always get in the way. .Yes but the stereo speakers in the window usually suffice quite well.
navgate (author)  Punkguyta6 years ago
Yes you can use your stereo, but if you don't have a stereo you can use your ipod and this contraption.
Patented6 years ago
Nice old style music player! + 1