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Old 4th April 2011, 06:05 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Default Connect ipod/laptop to old 1950's radio

I wonder if anyone can help me.

I have recently acquired an old 50s radio / record player in perfect working order. Its a GEC BC 9442, if that means anything to anyone. However it doesn't play FM radio so only gets rubbish stations, and I don't own any records to play on the turntable, so I was wondering if if is possible to create a connection for my ipod/laptop etc.

Now I know absolutely nothing about electronics really, so this is probably extremely foolhardy, but I like a challenge and don't have the cash to get it done professionally. I have worked out it's a valve amp but beyond that I really know nothing. Apparently these old electronic things can be pretty dangerous?

Anyway if anyone can give me any advice it would be much appreciated, and do feel free to tell me I'm being a complete idiot and should just leave it alone.

Many thanks.
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Old 4th April 2011, 07:09 PM   #2
Cassiel is offline Cassiel  Libya
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Madrid

It can be made to work as an amp but, obviously, if you don't know anything about electronics, not by you.

Getting the schematic would be a first and then maybe read some simple books about tube amps and electronics. And yes, it can be dangerous - tube circuits usually have high voltages.
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Old 4th April 2011, 07:21 PM   #3
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Aug 2009 has a schematic for that unit although you must be a member to download it. Just guessing I would say that the phonograph uses a ceramic cartridge, don't know for sure. If that is the case, there is no RIAA equalization circuit and possibly you could connect your ipod/laptop directly to the same point in the circuit that the phono input connects with very little modification.

As the previous poster mentioned, if you don't know anything about electronics, then this is not something you should try yourself.
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Old 4th April 2011, 07:30 PM   #4
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Location: San Antonio
One could obtain a low-power AM transmitter, connect its input to the ipod/laptop source, and tune in the signal on your vintage console via the AM band.
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Old 4th April 2011, 07:59 PM   #5
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Location: Wayne, West Virginia
If it doesn't have a power transformer then ground is connected to one side of the AC line. That would present a serious shock hazard and possibly damage your laptop and you.
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Old 4th April 2011, 08:02 PM   #6
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What LP AM transmitter are you thinking of? Virtually all use a wall-wart or battery.
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Old 4th April 2011, 08:11 PM   #7
Hi_Q is offline Hi_Q  England
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Good news is that the chassis is AC only and employs a mains transformer so the 'live' chassis problem associated with many radios of this vintage is not a problem. Hopefully the record deck plugs into rear chassis sockets marked P.U. (pick up) and all you need to do is plug in your ipod instead and switch the radio controls to Gram. If the input from the ipod is too great and therefore too loud and distorted then you may need to apply a simple attenuator but let's see how you get on first. If you get a lot of interference when handling the ipod then you may have to reverse the connection on the PU sockets.
BTW if the record player has not been used for a considerable time then you will certainly have to replace some components, especially the wax covered capacitors.
It is standard practice for equipment of this vintage especially the coupling capacitor C52 in the audio circuit and also C42 and C50. Excessive hum can also be caused by poor high voltage smoothing capacitors C56 and C57.
The circuit I have is very poor and may not provide a good copy but you should be able to purchase one at very low cost at
Vintage Radio Service Data
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