Balsa wood epoxy (5min)Knowledge of electronics, woodworking, and mechanical skills needed for this conversion. The radio was a 1950 Eatons Viking in very rough shape. The right know used to control tuning, it 's now the volume. It has great sentimental value as my mother and her family sat around it during WWII to listen to the war news.
Dating vintage radios
After its conversion its an AM/FM radio with MP3 player, with Bose bookshelf speakers and 150 watts of power.(2015 update: I also added an input selector switch to the back to choose from AM/FM and Bluetooth link to my iphone) This instructable cannot cover all radio conversions for all models of radio's, but is a good starting point, its also a complicated build requiring you to think on your feet and come up with your own solutions, I will give you all the information I can.
On to parts and supplies: Tools: Hammer Screwdrivers Soldering iron solder drill with bits jig saw sanding equipment (orbital sander recommended) Oven Parts: Replacement AM/FM receiver (KLOSS model 1 used here) Small Mono or Stereo amplifier (Pyle 160 watt used here) Speaker(s) (Bose bookshelf speakers used here) Speaker wire scrap particle board 3/4" thick Supplies: sand paper (if your case is in good shape, 400 grit to 1000 grit) Lexan sheet plastic (available at most hobby shops in 8x10 sheets) Carpet glue paint (some cases including mine had black or gold trim) Varnish Wood stain wood filler 1/8" plywood to make cabinet back or paneling.
I also got the cabinet French Polished which cost me $1000. Thinking of doing something similar for my vintage 6 volt truck radio -- converting it to modern 12 volt equivalent using pcb's and keeping analog tuner and volume control.
It works like new and looks great in my front room and it's all ready to pass on to the next generation. Doesn't have to be sophisticated, just play AM tunes is all. I have a Philco 40-160 that I want to modernize but I have little to no experience with electrical wiring. I plan on only replacing the one speaker and not two, so do I need an amplifier of this size?
And is there a cheaper radio that will work for me? Many radio/amp selections will work, Sony makes a great $20 radio, and I used the small pyle amp just to save space, I also wanted the thing to be very loud, try the thrift store for radio's and amps, you can always cut the cases down on an old analog receiver.... Add me to the list of those who are currently working on a similar project.
I then researched how much a fully functional one would be and perfect ones go for about 300.00 bucks.So I decided to modernize it, but keep the old look, and make the old controls work a new radio.It's now fitted with a 35 watt PA amp and a pair or JBL bookshelf speakers. The fabric wiring was pretty shabby and a local man rewired it for me and put a nice piece of imported authentic cloth over the speaker.All up less than 0 and he replaced the bulb in the magic eye.First of all let me point out that this .00 Western Royal console radio was broken, and in my assessment would cost more to repair than to convert into a classy good sounding radio.I was at my local thrift store a few months ago and saw this radio, its case was not in too bad a shape, but when plugged in nothing happened. When I got it home and took the frame out of it, it was apparent that it had been on fire, and that most of the point to point soldered electronics were cooked.