Introduction: Retro Radio Upgrade
Runner Up in the
Amps and Speakers Contest 2016
Retro gadgets are extremely hot!
Things that are cool and have the right patina is easy to find and buy on the secondary market. But there are some things that are more sought after than others. Both me and my girlfriend are very fond of old radios with nice design for example.
In this instructable, I'll tell you how I upgraded a broken old radio with new electronics to a fully functional and stylish Retro FM-radio.
Step 1: Required Components
To begin you are required to find a really neat old radio to start from. That´s the hard part!
Old radios can be purchased on auction sites such as eBay. But you can also find treasures at flea markets, etc. My girlfriend found one broken for only 1.12 USD.
Next thing to do is to get new electronics. For me, it was relatively easy, I bought a cheap new FM-radio from a shop for about 22 USD.
Before the purchase, I went through the manual to ensure that all the features I wanted were included.
Features that I wanted:
- Battery and 230V power supply
- Small size (for fitting inside the old radio)
Tools that can be helpful for this project:
- Screwdrivers in various sizes
- Drilling machine
- Soldering iron
Step 2: Removal of Old Broken Electronics
In order to fit the new electronics in the old radio case, I was required to completely remove all the old contents from the case.
In order to maintain the old look some panels and buttons were fasten with a new construction and glue.
Step 3: Preparation of the New Electronics
The newly purchased radio was screwed apart to take out the electronics. I was surprised how small it was compared to the old broken components.
Be careful and observe how all the wires are contacted.
Step 4: Installation of the New Inside
I choosed to make two new holes on top of the old casing for the new knobs representing volume and frequency. It had also been possible to use the old control knobs but it would have required more work.
Be sure to take accurate measurements of distances and placements for the holes.
I had to make some small modifications to the new knobs to fit properly. For example I had to grind down a few plastic pins.
When control knobs was there it was easy to install the rest of the electronics and make sure that all connections were right. I used a flat iron to attach the battery holder. Since the inside is not visible the appearance is not important.
Step 5: Stylish Retro Radio Ready for Use
The final result was very good, both me and my girlfriend thinks. We have received many comments and appreciation from friends and family.
The radio was used many times during the summer. In retrospect, it was a good choice be able to use both batteries and grid connection for the mobility.
There is great satisfaction in giving new life to old gadgets. Especially considering today's materialistic society. I highly recommend to implement a similar project like this.
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