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Old 8th January 2012, 06:48 PM   #1
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Default Modernizing an old 1940's Radio

Hi, i'm new here and hope this is in the right section. Please just hear me out though i could use some help. I want to restore an old radio and also modernize it. I can do the restoration part, but i am less knowledgeable on modernizing it. I basically want to have the ability for a usb slot (i would prefer 2 one for an ipod dock and one to allow an android phone or other device user to charge their device while using the aux cord), an aux cord, and obviously the ability to listen to the radio. I just need to figure out some of the specifics, any help is appreciated. Here's a list of my ideas:

- 2x 6" speakers

- 1x 4" sub

- and then i really just need help with some sort of head unit that would recognize usb's and have an aux input and of course radio. the problem is how to wire this together and what type of head unit to use??

Thanks so much, even if you could just point me toward a good head unit for the situation or something i should be able to figure out the rest, Thanks!!
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Old 8th January 2012, 07:17 PM   #2
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Lots of people here would just cry to have anyone do that to an old radio, BUT if you must I'd think about using a modern car stereo with USB capability as a front end. Check the China sites and ebay. Typically <$100 US. Would require a 12VDC power supply, which are also quite reasonable.
Doc
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Old 8th January 2012, 07:25 PM   #3
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I'd just hate to use a car stereo deck but that may be the best option. If you have any idea's for how to modernize it (usb, aux, radio) using the current speaker (if it even still works) those would be much appreciated too! thanks
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Old 8th January 2012, 07:31 PM   #4
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Also, if i use a deck such as this one

DSX-S200X | Digital Media Receiver | Sony | Sony Style USA

what could i use to wire in a separate aux connection?? as this deck lacks an auxiliary connection, but i would prefer to use this deck still...
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Old 8th January 2012, 08:07 PM   #5
dhaen is offline dhaen  Europe
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Default Caution

Does the radio have a mains transformer? If not, the chassis could be live!
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Old 8th January 2012, 08:22 PM   #6
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Baring the unit having a live chassis, as dhaen pointed out, yes, you could use the sony deck. It shows it has line outputs that could be run right into current output amplifier. Connection would be to high side of current volume control through feed through capacitor. Use two 220 ohm resistors to mix L/R into mono. I'd say between a 4.7uF and a 10uF feed through cap of at least 100V rating. Then I'd add a stacked pair of 1n4004 diodes in each polarity between mixer resistor output and ground to clamp any back spikes from radio as protection for the new deck.
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Old 9th January 2012, 07:37 PM   #7
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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If you can post photos of the inside and outside of the radio, it would be a big help.
Since it's '40s vintage, that means tubes, mono and AM - right? You'll have to be careful if you use the tube amp section, as dhaen and thaumaturge have pointed out. It could have a live ground and will certainly have high voltages. Watch out!

In many old radios the speaker used a "field coil" instead of a permanent magnet. The speaker won't work without the power supply for the coil. If you go to a modern car radio, you may have to take that into account.
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Old 10th January 2012, 12:03 AM   #8
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I've decided to just go with my original idea and strip it out and modify it. How can i wire everything though so that it can just have one plug in and be clean and professional, ya know? also could i still wire in an aux cord somehow?? I'm not really experienced with audio systems so all help is great thank you so much!
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Old 11th January 2012, 01:00 AM   #9
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Hard to advise you not knowing your location. But in the USA I'd go into a best buy or other display room and check out what they had for USB / Aux in small home stereos. Looking at Amazon, Pyle has some interesting offers. For IPOD dock alone look at the Panasonic SC-HC35 Compact Stereo System. (But no USB/SD/MMC.)
Unfortunately, the most versatile offerings seem to be in the car stereo models. These would require a power supply of adequate size to power the rated output power. Wiring would be just as in a car.
Best of luck
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