Antique Radio Update — 1

One of the pieces of fur­ni­ture my wife brought with her when she moved in was an old radio / phono­graph play­er that had been gut­ted of pret­ty much all of the work­ing parts. All that was left was the switch­es, old tubes and an ancient speak­er. I thought it would be a good project to try and turn it into a stand­alone mp3 play­er using the old but­tons as the inter­face. So after ask­ing for per­mis­sion, prob­a­bly the most impor­tant step, I pro­ceed­ed to fig­ure out how to make this work.

The first point I should make is I know noth­ing about elec­tron­ics, beyond plug­ging them in and look­ing for burnt parts when they do not work any­more. So I knew this was going to be a learn­ing expe­ri­ence. I decid­ed on the Net­duino ( ) as the prod­uct to try and make this work, which uses C# and Visu­al Stu­dio to devel­op in. I also real­ized the Net­duino would need some­thing to decode mp3’s, so I pur­chased a VS1053b shield from Spark­Fun. ( ) In some of the pic­tures or videos you may see a Net­duino Plus ( it has an Eth­er­net port ), I was using both boards to devel­op on and may use the Net­duino Plus in the future if I can fig­ure out how to stream mp3’s to the shield. Both prod­ucts I select­ed have a ton of online sup­port and infor­ma­tion. Luck­i­ly I was able to find infor­ma­tion I was able to under­stand and a lot of peo­ple ask­ing the same ques­tions I had. Also Net­duino and Net­duino Plus have a cou­ple of books you can get with them cov­er­ing all of the basics. They were also very well writ­ten and avail­able on their site.

After tak­ing the con­sole apart I real­ized I had a radio switch with 5 selec­tors, two poten­tiome­ters and a four sec­tion switch. There actu­al­ly may have been more, the radio has two more but­tons, but I think one was to set the sta­tions back in the day and the oth­er was to turn it off (I think). I decid­ed to use the selec­tor to turn the mp3 play­er on when it was switched to phone and the five radio but­tons to switch between gen­res of music. As well as try to use one of the poten­tiome­ters for vol­ume.

My first step was to take the parts out, hook them up and try to get elec­tric­i­ty flow­ing through them to see if they worked. I was sur­prised the radio but­tons worked well, phono­graph switch worked and the poten­tiome­ters seemed to work.

Next to work this all togeth­er with the mp3 play­er shield. I will post some code when I am fin­ished. It is all rather ugly right now.