The Steampunk "Wildbad 7"




About: Dan Aetherman, Steampunker, Inventor and Adventurer - Creator of fantastic victorian machines, gadgets and movieprops - Visit me on and on Facebook:

Dear Steampunkers, dear Followers and DIY Fans out there

Today I would like to share a new Steampunk project with you. May I can give you some inspiration to build your own unique music machine.
The "Wildbad 7" is based on an old tube radio from SABA made in 1957 which was completely destroyed by a water accident. I got it for free and I loved the great design with the vacuum tubes. 

So the idea to build a Steampunk "Wildbad 7" was born!

The following steps may give you some ideas how you could build your own device. May you don't have the same parts, but be creative. There is always a way to create something unique!

Step 1: Preparing the Base - the SABA Wildbad 7 From 1957

First I had to clean the old chassis from the radio and the tubes. I made that only with a wet towel, because I wanted to keep the old patina on the metal parts. I checked the tubes and replaced the running ones by broken ones, because they will be only decoration.

Step 2: The Upcycling

After I finished the cleaning of the chassis I startet with the upcycling. That's what I love on Steampunk!
I choosed a lot of old metal and brass parts, some more old vacuum tubes, vintage light bulbs and so on...
You have to be creative. Try to imagine how such a machine would look during the victorian time and they used brass, copper and glass to build stunning machines.

Step 3: The New Heart - a Small MP3 Board With an USB-Plug

After I finishes the upcycling I prepared a cheap small MP3 module for a few bucks to use it as the new heart of this Steampunk Machine.
It's powered with 5V and has only 4 small buttons.
For the buttons I had a special idea: I changed the original buttons of the "Wildbad" to use them to control the MP3 device.
A few words about how I did that: I used the metal frame of the chassis for the "minus". Then I used self adhesive copper foil to create the contacts under the metal arms of each button. To the copper foil I soldered the cables for the buttons (see the pictures).
The used MP3 module saves the volume and the position of the tracks when the power is switched off. So I could reuse the original power switch as power button.
The small module is placed in the corner under the chassis.

Step 4: Questions? Feel Free to Ask!

I hope I could give you some ideas how to build a very unique MP3 device with the vintage spirit of the past.
May you will find such an old tube radio somewhere in the junk yard. The MP3 modules you can get cheap from an internet seller.
Please feel free to ask if you have some questions.

Sincerely yours

The Chocolatist

DIY Soundhack Contest

Second Prize in the
DIY Soundhack Contest

Vintage Contest

Participated in the
Vintage Contest

Epilog Challenge V

Participated in the
Epilog Challenge V



    • Stone Concrete and Cement Contest

      Stone Concrete and Cement Contest
    • Planter Challenge

      Planter Challenge
    • Barbecue Challenge

      Barbecue Challenge

    19 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    That is very very cool. I've done something similar- I used an old android phone, and a console radio/ record player- connected the headphone out through an attenuator cable into the phono connector. Hit play on Pandora and voila!

    Nice work!

    1 reply

    Hi! Thanks for your comment and your interest. To use an old phone is a great idea!! I used some old pocket PC's for other music devices too. One is in progress right now. It will be presented as an Instructable soon.... Cheers The Chocolatist


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Hello again , thanks for the feedback for my first steam punk.Yours are truely
    Fantastic.I also saw you use a bronze tap in one of your other instuk'
    I have just got into steam punk and am looking at your works for inspiration.
    They are too much for me.Can;t get any where near like yours. but will try .
    thanks for all your amazing works of ART.

    1 reply

    Thank you very much for your nice comment - that's where I get the power from to create new Steampunk Artwork. Your work is fantastic and I'm very curious what you will present next time! I'm looking forward for that! I send you greetings from my small lab in the Swiss mountains.

    Oh.... I think I fell in love with the wildbad. Do you think it possible to make a similar record player device? Epic is all I'm going to say.

    1 reply

    Thanks for your message (PM). Looking forward to see more from you like the Steampunk ant. Greetings from Switzerland!


    6 years ago

    This is epic! Keep up the good work! Looks awesome and I look forward to building it in the near future

    1 reply

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Looks cool, but speakers are designed to be in an enclosure (or an infinite baffle, which is getting technical). So no matter what speaker drivers you use, they will sound far, far better than hanging in the air like this. I think you might have addressed this in your comment below though ;)

    1 reply

    Thanks for your comment. For sure you are completely right, the speakers are not designed to use like that - and the machine would sound much better with an enclosure.
    At the moment the "Wildbad 7" is a piece of Steampunk Art for an exhibition, functional, but not made to enjoy real perfect music. May I will change the speakers later, when I use it in my home.

    Thanks. The sound is not high end, but good. I placed the machine in a box with open front, so the sound becomes a lot better and there is less dust...


    6 years ago on Step 4

    I don't know a damned thing about electronics or anything closely related, but I have to tell you that this is seriously COOL. I love the look, and commend you for a job well done!

    1 reply