Introduction: 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.

Step 1: List of Items Needed


*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


*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.

Step 3: Amplifier Installation

The most important part in choosing the amplifier is to match the same number of batteries. I was lucky this amplifier used 4 AAA batteries the Eneloop batteries I already had was 4 AA Eneloop batteries. Its about the same voltage 1.5V for each AAA and AA batteries. It ended up being about 6 volts total used.

After opening up the amplifier I found the positive and negative points on the circuit board. I attached two wires. One wire to the positive and one to the negative. I found this out by the multimeter and trial and error using the batteries.

After closing up the amplifier I applied Velcro to the back of the amplifier and the radio so it wouldn't rattle around inside the radio after I closed it up.

Next wiring it all up.

Step 4: The Wiring

The yellow and white speaker wires from the radio should be hooked up to the red and black of the amplifier. YELLOW to RED, WHITE to BLACK worked for me. Trial and error worked for me.

Next hooking up the head phone jack on the side of the radio. Originally this would be where you would hook up your head phones so you could listen privately. I made this the jack you plug your ipod into. I found out the leads by, you guessed it, trial and error to find out which connectors to use.

See the black and white wires out of that tan box on the side of the radio. I hooked these connections up to the amplifier's male jack and used electrical tape to connect it all together.

Next the power hook ups.

Like I said before the amp uses about 6 volts to operate and the old radio originally used the same voltage to power the speaker. So I found the leads the amp uses and hooked up the radio like this: BLACK to BLACK but before hooking up the the RED to RED I found a switch that was origanaly used to switch between AC and DC power. So now AC is now off and DC is now ON.

The LED on the amp came on and magic is just around the corner.

Closing shop next.

Step 5: Batteries Hook Ups and Closure

I placed the Eneloop batteries inside the "C" size adapters so they could fit since Eneloop doesn't make a C battery yet.

Then placed the batteries in the radio.

Then closed the radio up.

Next pure rechargeable bliss!

Step 6: Finally Enjoy.

Finally use the male to male 3.5mm cable to plug the ipod into the radio's head phone jack and to quote Emril "BAM" instant loudness.

The volume is excellent it goes quite high much higher than the ipod could do by itself.

The total cost: about $32.00 much cheaper than one you would buy and that includes the Amazing Eneloop rechargeable batteries.

Now kickback in the back yard with your favorite beer (or soda minors) and listen to famous sounds of internets' radio. Enjoy!

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