Vintage Bluetooth Radio Easy Conversion - Noob - diyAudio
Go Back   Home > Forums > General Interest > Everything Else
Home Forums Rules Articles diyAudio Store Gallery Wiki Blogs Register Donations FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Everything Else Anything related to audio / video / electronics etc) BUT remember- we have many new forums where your thread may now fit! .... Parts, Equipment & Tools, Construction Tips, Software Tools......

Please consider donating to help us continue to serve you.

Ads on/off / Custom Title / More PMs / More album space / Advanced printing & mass image saving
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 12th September 2014, 10:09 PM   #1
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Sep 2014
Default Vintage Bluetooth Radio Easy Conversion - Noob

Hi there everyone . totally new to all this electronics world. I recently purchased a vintage radio that is the exact one that I grew up with when I lived with my grandparents, so it has a tremendous nostalgic value to it. I want to add it to my newborns room so that he too grows up with it. With that said, it's an AM radio and besides the white noise, really wouldn't have the broadcast that would be suitable for the baby. So, I want to in a 99.9% non destructive way apply bluetooth capabilities to it. And I found the below 6w amp that seems like a snap to add to the radio. All I have to do is tuck away the current AC cord, add left/right speaker wires to this guy, wire up the potentiometer, which I hope turns it on too and not just applies volume, and plug the little guy up.

the amp is made by thingylabs and its the bluetooth one. It says the below
Powered from 5VDC USB supply
Screw terminals for connecting speaker and external volume adjustment potentiometer
High quality (44.1KHz/16 bit) stereo output
Optional external play control buttons. (Play, Stop, Forward, Reverse & Volume)
5VDC Power USB Supply
Up to 2 Speakers

here's my 3 questions. What are my limitations with this amp? Can the two 4OHM speakers on the radio handle this amp? And if the speakers are mehh sounding, what are my limitations in upgrading them to function with this amp. And finally, can I reroute the current lightbulb to this amp to light up when turned on or should I get an LED with what I assume is a resistor to get it all right. Again, I'm all new to this and I just want to have a DIY I can tell my son later I worked on. Thanks

I also found on amazon a GOgroove Universal Retro Radio that I can buy for 40 dollars that someone posted a video with the what the inside looks like. It seems to have everything I need, Bluetooth, NFC, LED Lights, a potentiometer and a microphone for calls as a plus. Only problem is that it's battery operated. I can take all of the insides out and put it into the vintage radio on a corner. 40 dollars seems cheap and safe, but the battery kills it and if I can safely convert it to a AC / DC power than I would go for that.

What would you guys do?
  Reply With Quote
Old 14th September 2014, 01:35 AM   #2
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Sep 2014
Did I put this on the wrong thread? Should I have posted it on another category?
  Reply With Quote
Old 19th September 2014, 03:36 PM   #3
DF96 is offline DF96  England
diyAudio Member
Join Date: May 2007
Originally Posted by javy
What would you guys do?
I would use a very very low power AM transmitter, fed from whatever music source I wanted to use.

Did I put this on the wrong thread? Should I have posted it on another category?
'Construction tips' is almost certainly the wrong place. 'Everything else' might be the right place.

You can ask one of the Mods to move it by self-reporting - click the red triangle at the bottom left of each post. It will say that you should only do this for forum violations, but it is OK to contact the Mods for other purposes too.
  Reply With Quote
Old 22nd September 2014, 02:10 PM   #4
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Sep 2014
Thanks a million DF96
  Reply With Quote
Old 22nd September 2014, 02:29 PM   #5
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
diyAudio Moderator
kevinkr's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Blog Entries: 6
I'll move it.
"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." - Thomas Paine
  Reply With Quote
Old 23rd September 2014, 01:47 AM   #6
diyAudio Member
Join Date: May 2009
Location: New Zealand
As DF96 says, if the radio works OK (may need attention by a restoration specialist), you may be best to use a miniature AM radio transmitter. They used to be commonly available 20 to 30 years ago, but I suspect you'll struggle to find one. Otherwise, the Thingylabs amp looks suitable. They don't specify speaker impedance but because of the low voltage it runs on it is almost certainly designed for 4 ohm speakers.

They specify a 5v supply with 2.1mm power plug, but the picture shows a mini/micro USB jack. Buy the amp first, then buy a separate supply to suit what they deliver. Don't buy their $5.50 USB cube supply, it is likely to be unsafe. Spend a bit more and buy a name brand. For example, a genuine Apple one from an Apple store will be fine. Can't be too careful when kids are concerned.

If you want the volume control to switch the unit on and off, you'll need to buy a potentiometer with a switch on the back, and cut into the lead from the plug pack so that you can wire the switch to it. Probably safer to switch it at the wall socket.

How do you plan to mount the potentiomenter to the case? You won't want to destroy its value by drilling an extra hole, though you could probably get away with mounting it on the rear panel (inconvenient to adjust though).

For the dial light, most dial lamps are 6.3 volts. If it is, you can wire it to the 5v supply. You'll need at least a 1 amp supply instead of the suggested 500mA supply if you do that.

For more advice, we really need pictures - outside and inside of the radio.

Last edited by Don Hills; 23rd September 2014 at 01:51 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 23rd September 2014, 10:05 AM   #7
DF96 is offline DF96  England
diyAudio Member
Join Date: May 2007
I understand several AM transmitters are still available, some as kits and some as ready-made. Look on valve wireless websites for recommendations (e.g. UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Discussion Forum).
  Reply With Quote
Old 24th September 2014, 04:29 PM   #8
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Sep 2014
Thanks for all your help guys! We decided to utilize the amp from Thingylabs for now until I feel totally comfortable with electronics. I have ZERO experience with this stuff. The Thingylabs was a plug and play sort of device with some limitations. The radio is totally barely has volume, I guess in 1952 it was ample, but with so much normal house noise, its only good at the moment if you're reading a book and want some background music. So I'm not sure if it's the speakers or just something else. I'll keep digging around. Thanks you guys!
  Reply With Quote


Hide this!Advertise here!
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
70's Cable radio Speaker to Bluetooth Speaker vvvyper Full Range 14 22nd May 2013 05:45 PM
Vintage Console Subwoofer Conversion cogitech Subwoofers 6 11th April 2013 11:35 PM
Noob easy to build class a MagnumOpus Solid State 5 24th December 2012 10:29 PM
Silvertone radio to Guitar Amp conversion question. Goldstache Instruments and Amps 0 23rd January 2012 05:30 PM
Radio to guitaramp conversion hum problem Krille Instruments and Amps 6 12th August 2010 06:54 PM

New To Site? Need Help?

All times are GMT. The time now is 03:23 PM.

vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 1999-2017 diyAudio

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2