Restoring a jukebox with an Arduino

[Jim] just finished restoring an old Seeburg USC1 jukebox for his father using an Arduino, replacing an electromechanical rats nest of wires. The stack of 45 records were replaced with an Arduino Mega 2560 with an Sparkfun MP3 player shield, and he jukebox lights are now controlled with 74595 shift registers. Because his jukebox isn’t taking in money, the dollar bill validator has been modified into a ‘skip song’ button, and when there are no songs in the jukebox queue, there are 500 additional songs on the SD card that will randomly play.

We’ve seen one of [Jim]‘s builds before. Earlier this year he repaired a thirty year old Pachinko machine using the same Arduino + MP3 shield setup. It looks like [Jim] is pretty skilled at revitalizing bulky old electronics. The jukebox restoration is great and has a lot more class than the internet-connected touch screen monstrosities that we still pump money into.

Check out the video after the break for a walk through of this restoration.

Comments

  1. fartface says:

    Did this with a Pioneer CD changer. They have RS232 control. I changed the numbers for choice to CD number/track number.

    with a 200 disc changer, it worked out great and you can easily print the paper inserts as there are templates all over the internet.

  2. Jac Goudsmit says:

    I don’t really think gutting a jukebox and replacing the innards with an Arduino counts as a “restoration” (even if it plays back the sounds of a mechanism changing records), and I would have tried to retain at least some of the mechanics, but I guess it qualifies as a hack. Good work!

  3. strider_mt2k says:

    Word.
    If it was all ripped out and replaced with stuff it didn’t originally come with then it would be more of a “resto-mod”.

    People who do ACTUAL restorations might get prickly over that distinction, as it is arguably much much harderer to restore a piece like this than to modify it with modern parts.

  4. NATO says:

    Soooo…. What is the point here? He took a REAL jukebox and turned it in to a really crappy MP3 player (looking at the specs for this “MP3 shield”)?

    This is not a restoration, its an abomination. Also, yes, it’s a hack – A hack job!

    Really. Take out everything that makes it a juke box, and replace it with some cheapo beginner-level MCU experimentation kit? This is ugly :(

  5. Schnickertukens says:

    Nice hack, but NOT a restoration.

  6. ScottinNH says:

    HAD editors-
    Typo: “Sparkfun MP3 player shied”

  7. ScottinNH says:

    Also – you guys are being FAR too critical about Jim’s project.

    First, he never even mentions “restoring” – just “bringing back to life”.

    The “restoring:” claim is just Brian’s wording (I would agree though, poor choice in words, but hardly intentional).

    Calling this an abomination is not playing nice.
    It’s not even a pristine factory model unearthed in a corner, having never been used, or some other one of a kind. This was once useful 30 years ago, but became junk, and now it is useful again… and that’s a common HAD theme.

    Lots of folks take old arcade games and place modern PC components inside, and this is no different.

    • MooglyGuy says:

      Scott, lots of people gut old arcade machines and replace them with PC parts, and speaking as a MAME developer, that’s just as much of an abomination as what happened here. There are plenty of sites and groups out there for ACTUALLY restoring amusement machines such as jukeboxes and arcades, but the guy in this article couldn’t even be bothered, he just guts it and replaces it with an MP3 player that doesn’t even have particularly good quality. Well done, guy, well done!

  8. lwatcdr says:

    Using restoration was bad but the creator didn’t use it.
    I don’t know what condition this was in before he worked on it for all we know the changer was long gone.
    Now for an added coolness factor he should have used real 45s played on a record player and digitized into FLAC so it would have the crackle of a record.

    I will have to say this is the worlds biggest ipod at this point.

  9. Pete says:

    “…and he jukebox lights are now controlled with 74595 shift registers.”

    That’s a whole lot of shift registers! jk.

  10. tromano32 says:

    Hey,
    I have a similar Seeburg that I wanted to do that same thing with… only I am terrible at arduino Code… is this code going to be available for download?

  11. wmatl says:

    other than some unfortunate wording in the HAD description I don’t see anything wrong with taking a nonfunctional juke box and gutting it to give it new life. So well done. I am sure your father enjoys it. For the purest out their you guys would have wanted my head. I would have gutted the case and put in a uATX mother board and gone the PC route. although I suspect that the Arduino route would be the easiest and require the least aesthetic changes to the cabinet. So again Well Done. I for one look forward to your future hacks.

  12. tah says:

    How to restore this with Ardruino. i want to know this process
    please tell me more thanut1314@gmail.com

  13. jim says:

    Thanks for the nice comments.

    It’s not perfect documentation, but if anyone wants the code and some info about how to do this, I’ll keep my code posted for a couple months at:
    https://rapidshare.com/files/3648726353/jukebox_release_Aug_2011.zip

    This is as is and I can’t provide support, but it may help you.

  14. tromano32 says:

    this is great.. I can’t wait to get started on mine.. I am very new at C programming.. so hopefully I can get this code working on my Arduino Uno … anyone know were to get the sparkfun board cheaper than $40?
    Thanks Again

  15. ScottInNH says:

    By Sparkfun board you mean the MP3+SD board? Well you can get the chip alone at SF for $20, or $17 on eBay. Maybe it’s a few cents cheaper at futurlec.. But why create more work?

    $40 is a fair price for the card and reader and libraries and support. But you could save a couple of bucks if you forget the board and wire the buttons of an old mp3 player.

    You can certainly save a few bucks using an unofficial Mega, but you’ll get no support.

  16. tromano32 says:

    I think you are right….. I will just buy the correct board … thanks !

  17. ScottinNH says:

    Yep. It is not practical to obsess over cost on an item you only need 1 of.

    If you just want cheap audio and don’t need audio codecs like MP3, don’t forget about http://www.adafruit.com/products/94 (currently sold out)

    While the Wave Shield would not be appropriate for this jukebox project, it is plenty powerful for lesser audio-related projects like holiday decorations or an interactive/educational installation.

  18. tromano32 says:

    I thought about that .. it would work because records were only Mono but I am new to C programming and its easier to get his code working if I have identical parts… I’m alot more of a mechanical engineer than a software engineer lol

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