Instructables
Picture of Vintage Wi-Fi Internet Radio
C:\Documents and Settings\alinke63257\My Documents\My Pictures\radio\1.jpg
C:\Documents and Settings\alinke63257\My Documents\My Pictures\radio\15.jpg
C:\Documents and Settings\alinke63257\My Documents\My Pictures\radio\20.jpg
C:\Documents and Settings\alinke63257\My Documents\My Pictures\radio\7.jpg
C:\Documents and Settings\alinke63257\My Documents\My Pictures\radio\2.jpg
C:\Documents and Settings\alinke63257\My Documents\My Pictures\radio\11.jpg
C:\Documents and Settings\alinke63257\My Documents\My Pictures\radio\6.jpg
C:\Documents and Settings\alinke63257\My Documents\My Pictures\radio\18.jpg
C:\Documents and Settings\alinke63257\My Documents\My Pictures\radio\3.jpg
C:\Documents and Settings\alinke63257\My Documents\My Pictures\radio\16.jpg
C:\Documents and Settings\alinke63257\My Documents\My Pictures\radio\19.jpg
C:\Documents and Settings\alinke63257\My Documents\My Pictures\radio\13.jpg
C:\Documents and Settings\alinke63257\My Documents\My Pictures\radio\9.jpg
C:\Documents and Settings\alinke63257\My Documents\My Pictures\radio\10.jpg
C:\Documents and Settings\alinke63257\My Documents\My Pictures\radio\21.jpg
C:\Documents and Settings\alinke63257\My Documents\My Pictures\radio\12.jpg
C:\Documents and Settings\alinke63257\My Documents\My Pictures\radio\17.jpg
C:\Documents and Settings\alinke63257\My Documents\My Pictures\radio\4.jpg
C:\Documents and Settings\alinke63257\My Documents\My Pictures\radio\8.jpg
C:\Documents and Settings\alinke63257\My Documents\My Pictures\radio\5.jpg
C:\Documents and Settings\alinke63257\My Documents\My Pictures\radio\14.jpg
An vintage radio turned into a modern Internet Wi-Fi radio


 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Find a Vintage Radio

Picture of Find a Vintage Radio
I found a local vintage radio dealer in town. He's a real purist and is only interested in preserving radios with the original electronics so he really didn't have any interest in helping me out. It took awhile, but he sold me this empty box for $30.

Step 2: Buy an Internet Wi-Fi Radio and Take it Apart

Picture of Buy an Internet Wi-Fi Radio and Take it Apart
C:\Documents and Settings\alinke63257\My Documents\My Pictures\radio\3.jpg
C:\Documents and Settings\alinke63257\My Documents\My Pictures\radio\4.jpg
After a few Google searches, I came across this product which seemed a good fit

www.acoustic-energy.co.uk/Product_range/WiFi_radio/WiFi.asp

Its not cheap though and goes for $300. I shopped around a little and was able to get one for $260. The other one out there is this one and is slightly cheaper www.reciva.com/joomla/index.php?page=shop.product_details... but I needed to be able to attach a knob to the volume control for the retro look as opposed to an iPod like volume control

Now take the radio apart

Step 3: Paint the Buttons

Picture of Paint the Buttons
I wanted the buttons to match the face plate so found some matching paint at Michael's

Step 4: Drill holes in bezel

Picture of Drill holes in bezel
Face plate holes cut with Dremel Tool

Step 5: Mount the Display

Picture of Mount the Display
Mounted face plate with the display from the Internet radio, the red dot is an old radio dial

Step 6: Radio Grille Cloth

Picture of Radio Grille Cloth
C:\Documents and Settings\alinke63257\My Documents\My Pictures\radio\11.jpg
C:\Documents and Settings\alinke63257\My Documents\My Pictures\radio\13.jpg
The radio box I bought didn't have the old grille cloth anymore so I needed to buy a replacement.

It turns out there is a web site called www.grillecloth.com/ that sells the same grille cloth patterns used in vintage radios. It costs about $10. They also include a nice guide on how to install which involes using spray on starch to make the cloth stiffer and then ironing it.

Once ironed, then spray some glue and glue it in.

Step 7: Mounting the Speakers

Picture of Mounting the Speakers
C:\Documents and Settings\alinke63257\My Documents\My Pictures\radio\15.jpg
Now take the speakers from the Accoustic Energy Radio and mount them on a board that will fit inside the radio case

Step 8: Motherboard

Picture of Motherboard
Used the Dremel to re-shape the existing Acoustic Energy enclosure for the motherboard and also mounted a tube and capacitor on the top for aesthetics

Step 9: Test

Picture of Test
Do a quick test to make sure everything works before final installation in the radio box
nathanjh134 months ago

I applaud your effort but on the other hand this can be seen as a shame? An alternative is to keep the superb tone and overall "magic" of the original radio (or restore to working) and simply add on an input connector for a wifi connected device, as shown elsewhere, as well as here:

http://blog.kf7lze.net/2011/04/20/repairing-antiqu...

This would be the best of both worlds.

alinke (author)  nathanjh134 months ago

It's a fair point and appreciate the feedback. Just so you know for this particular project, the case came from a radio dealer who sold it to me as just the shell, it didn't have any guts/tubes, etc. and was just an extra case he had just lying around. The radio dial too was an excess part lying around not in an original / functioning radio.

hhamilton22 years ago
Want!!!!!
jackfaciale3 years ago
nice !
wow that radio guy charged you alot you can buy a working tube radio for $20
Where might i ask? You can barely get tubes for less than ten
yea now you usally have to buy tubes from an independant seller or ebay both are 50% chance for working
woutervddn4 years ago
I really like this. My gf and I bought an 1958 brAun radio. She allready had the same radio, so now we're going to restaurate it. I'll be doing this with the other one. But I'm gonna try to make my own internet radio cause those things are WAY over priced..
tinkernaut6 years ago
Very nice!!! Too bad you had to destroy this beautiful radio dial. I would have kept the dial intact and somehow mounted the controls and display elsewhere (though, pretty hard on the case you used). Alternatively, you could mount pushbutton switches in drilled holes on the case, wired them to replace the control switches on the board, and then, for the display, cut a window on the radio dial plate closer to the center, thus not obliterating the frequency markings. Much more work, but it would look better. Still great work, from a long-time electronics re-caser.
alinke (author)  tinkernaut6 years ago
thanks for the tip but I bought the radio case bare so it didn't have any existing dials or buttons
static alinke4 years ago
LOL you did such a good job of making the face of the new radio look old you have some freaking out about what you did with an old radio dial. As I take it the only old about the dial is the red pointer center and associated pointers.
Golem1004 years ago
Great job, both on the radio and the instructable.  Like tinkernaut though, I was pained by what was done to the old dial.

I have an idea for a similar project, but I want to hide an MP3 player inside that will constantly cycle through as many old time radio programs as can be packed into it.  Then, when someone turns it on, it will sound like it's picking up broadcasts from the time when the radio was made.
msspurlock7 years ago
So where do you get one of these cabinets without paying an arm and a leg?
Try flea markets.  I found a Philco 46-350 (http://www.tuberadioland.com/philco46-350_portable.html) for $25.  It has all the original works and an unbroken leather strap.  It is missing the battery though.
Try ebay. You can bid on radios with OK cases, but bad innards --- missing tubes, frayed wiring, blown caps. Price should be cheaper due to the extensive restoration work needed for those radios. If you don't mind plastic cases of recent-vintage radios, you can have them for a song. (I just added a bunch of competitor bidders for myself ;-)
ja11694 years ago
i did something similar but much cheaper.  if you like the vintage look: buy a set of cheap computer speakers (with wall outlet plug in and a 3.5mm input jack).  Place speakers in old stereo casing that has been gutted.  Run 3.5mm cord outside the box.  Plug in Ipod and play.  Same look at about 10% the priceof this one.
Wittner5 years ago
Why is this project called 'Vintage Internet Radio'. It's actually just take a new radio, take the case off and put it into an old case! Weird!
megg5 years ago
this is great! anyone have any tips on how to do this without buying the wifi radio, though? an arduino shield, perhaps?
andersad5 years ago
You might be able to make and amplifier out of that vacuum tube to drive the speakers; however, with only one, it would be mono instead of stereo. The speakers are right next to each other and you may not notice.
Beautiful cabinet you've got it in.
man i was on the verge of doing this same thing i have a console radio i am working on --- in the process of refinishing the wood and searching for the right wifi radio that will fit glad there is someone out there that has done this -- i;ve got to get off my butt and finish this project!!!!! kudos and nice project!!! DM
I hope that we will see an instructable on your project also.
I didn't even know such a radio existed Thanks, looks pretty cool
Hugo.B7 years ago
I like it, I currently have a project to to install a computer in an old radio.

H.B.