How I converted a non-functional 1940's radio to house my Bose Sound Dock
Step 1: Get Old Radio...
I have a Bose Sound Dock, which plays the music from an iPod. I also have a farmhouse that dates to the Civil War. My wife and I decided to decorate in period, and keep the rooms looking 'old'. She is an antique dealer, and came across a 1940's tube radio that did not work.
I decided to modify the radio case to accommodate the Bose Sound Dock. First, I pulled the three knobs off of the front.
Step 2: Remove the Back Panel and Old Radio...
Then I unscrewed the service door of the cabinet, to reveal the radio guts. Underneath the cabinet, there were four more screws that secured the radio to the case. When I took those out, the radio came out.
Now I was left with a radio, with a dial and frequency pointer attached, and a case with a small, clear window. This window displayed and protected the dial. I gently removed the pointer from the radio dial - it was like a clock hand, sticking to the end of a rod. It had a thin cylindrical catch on it. I took tin snips and cut slots into the cylinder, making it like four little metal tabs sticking up
Next, I unscrewed the dial face from the radio, removing the four screws. It was flat, like a clock face, and dirty, so I cleaned it. Then I stuck the pointer back in through the hole in the face and bent the tabs back over the hole to keep it in place. Just to make the pointer stay in place, I duct-taped the tabs down as well. After cleaning the window on both sides, I put the dial back in place in the window, and duct-taped it on the inside, to the inside front of the case.
Now, I had a radio with a dial/pointer in it, and three holes where the volume, tuning and on-off knobs went. I stuck the knobs back into the holes and bolted them in from the back (just for aesthetics). I also put two little hinges on the back cover of the radio box, so that it would afford easy rear access.
Step 3: Insert Bose Sound Dock...
This is what a Bose Sound Dock looks like:
Step 4: Position Sound Dock in Case...
Now, I had the shell of a radio, with nothing in it. I stuck the Bose Sound Dock inside and plugged it into a plain, brown extension cord - the Sound Dock's regular power cord is bright white, and sticks out. I could have also spray-painted the Sound Docks's power cord, I guess.
The Sound Dock has an infrared wireless remote, and no clear, red window on the front of the unit, to show where the infrared receiver phototransistor is, so I looked at the screen mess over the speakers. I saw the phototransistor behind the mesh, so I knew where it was. It just so happened that the old radio's dial also had a hole in approximately the same location as the Bose's receiver phototransistor - so I just oriented the Sound Dock near that hole. Close enough - the remote works!
Step 5: That's It - You Are Done!
Close the rear panel and you are done!
One thing that I didn't expect is the glow - when you activate the iPod by changing the volume, powering on, or changing tracks, the bluish white backlight glows for five seconds, and illuminates the dial, as well as the speaker's cloth mesh. Spooky!