Step 1: 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
After a few Google searches, I came across this product which seemed a good fit
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
I wanted the buttons to match the face plate so found some matching paint at Michael's
Step 4: Drill Holes in Bezel
Face plate holes cut with Dremel Tool
Step 5: 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
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
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
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
Do a quick test to make sure everything works before final installation in the radio box
Step 10: Final Install
Put everything together in the case.
Now the hardest part of the whole project, negotiating with the wife for a place to put in the house. After some discussion, the radio now has a nice home. Despite the small speakers, the sound is actually pretty good. It also has an audio out so I'm later planning on hooking up to a central sound system for the house.
Acoustic Energy also released a new firmware which you update wireslessly which is pretty cool and one very nice feature is you now can configure your favorite Internet radio statics on their web site www.reciva.com which will then automatically download to the radio. This is a very nice feature because there are over 5,000 Internet radio stations in their directory and even though its sorted by location and genre, its a big overwhelming to navigate through and is much easier to do on the web. You can also add your own radio station URLs on the web site which will then download to the radio which comes in handy if you have a local favorite radio station that is not in their directory. Recently they've also added a podcasts so you can listens to podcasts too.