Instructables
Picture of RadioShell: Hacking a radio for backpacking
Final Display Closed.jpg
This instructable will show you how to hack a standard radio to be durable enough to withstand being carried around within a traveller's backpack.

The RadioShell is a small, ergonomic, clamshell radio for those who value durability while travelling. The RadioShell closes flush on all sides, protecting the internal electronics and the user controls from light water damage and hard knocks. The RadioShells closed form is easy and safe to pack and once opened, intuitive to use. The RadioShell is designed for backpackers and travellers who can open the device safe in the knowledge it will not be damaged. The RadioShells portable design means that it can be used wherever the user is staying such as hotels and hostels but can also be taken with them to the park or on public transport.

Standard Radio
 
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Step 1: Exploded view and what you will need materials list

Picture of Exploded view and what you will need materials list
I have attached an exploded view of my design to help with the construction. The view also contains a material and parts list downloadable as a .PDF.

If you are unable to download the .PDF the tool and material lists are also below.

Tools Required:

• Precision Screwdrivers
• Soldering Iron
• Solder Sucker
• Wire Stripper
• Laser Cutter or Drill Press for front faces
• Hot melt glue gun
• Disc Sander or Hand Sander
• Bandsaw to cut Styrene and MDF
• Vacuum Former


Materials Required:

• 500mm Square - 5mm MDF
• 2x3100mm square – 2mm Styrene
• 300mm square – 2mm Styrene
• Hot Melt Glue
• Hard Plastic Adhesive
• Extruded Acrylic Hinge
• 16 Neodymium Magnets
• ICF – S22 Sony Portable Radio

Step 2: De constructing your radio

Picture of De constructing your radio
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Taking your portable radio and using a precision screw driver kit, unscrew all of the outer casing screws and prise apart careful not to pull too hard and cause damage to any of the inner components.

Once the radio has been opened, remove the circuitry from its clips and prise the speaker from its mount. 

You will now have a free standing circuit minus the casing for the battery.
static2 years ago
I understand the enjoyment of customizing a standard Item, and enjoying using it, in that regard you have created a good instructable detailing how you went about it. But not every instructable is one that my be duplicated by many in my opinion most would use the donor radio as is, and maybe the hardcore hikers would set out to shave some weight off it. I find it interesting that is the second project where the same model of donor radio was used, and the builder decided not to include the tuning indicator. Also interesting is the use of strong magnets in a product whose sole purpose is to receive relatively weak electromagnetic waves, however if there's no apparent problems, no problem.
jamesricedesign (author)  static2 years ago
I can understand where you are coming from, many would choose to use the original radio but I think many who come to this website are looking fro adaptations of ready existing ideas. The choice to not include a tuning indicator was purely aesthetic in my design but I cannot speak for the others that you have looked at.

The magnets used have had no adverse effects on the signal being received, which also surprised me. What you must watch for though is that the magnets do not come into contact with this circuit board as this will create a short circuit and signal will be lost.

Thanks for taking the time to look at my instructable.
It looks great, you should take a photo against a darker background so it's easier to see.
jamesricedesign (author)  frank260801152 years ago
Will do once it has been marked, thanks for the kind words
agis683 years ago
really cool....
jamesricedesign (author)  agis682 years ago
Thanks....
K-Pedo3 years ago
Nice and simple looking. Easy to build!

I had lots of fun and exciting times showing the neighbours kids how to make it!

10/10
jamesricedesign (author)  K-Pedo2 years ago
I'm sure you did
susanrm3 years ago
This is very cool. But if one doesn't have access to such wonderful shop tools as you have, perhaps a more basic shell can be constructed using Shapelock. I love that stuff.
jamesricedesign (author)  susanrm2 years ago
To be honest I am not familiar with shape lock but i just had a quick look online. As long as the final plastic once set is fairly strong I do see it as being a perfect alternative to vacuum forming especially with the added freedom of being able to mould by hand.
This is a great project. I am impressed with the fine detail that you use to build this backpack radio. Keep up the great work! Joe from Backpack and Gear

www.backpack-and-gear.com
Thanks for the words of encouragement, nice site you have there!
wow!
culross3 years ago
Radio in a soap dish - wacky and fun
Vodkapc3 years ago
I have been showing everyone that I'm travelling with and they think this is really cool....big thumbs up from oz!
Liz4943 years ago
This would be perfect me just now! I'm travelling round Australia and want one for Christmas!!!
snoon10003 years ago
This backpacking radio instructable changed my life.

For the better!
draymond13 years ago
Great work dude! Going have to try make one of these myself :)
ailsamann3 years ago
I would looove to have that on my travels!! Can i buy it off you please? It's so modern and simplistic!!