Adding Wireless Controls To Vintage Stereo Equipment


[Jean] was shopping around for a vintage stereo receiver, and happened upon a broken, but repairable Marantz 4240. After getting things back to working order, he thought it would be great if he could use his iPhone to remotely control the unit (PDF Writeup, Schematics and Code).

He scrounged around for parts, and after locating a PIC and a handful of parts from old copiers and printers, he got down to business. He etched some custom boards to house electronic bits, then strapped motors to the volume and source selection knobs. He also rigged up the push button power switch on the receiver, using a small servo and a bit of string.

Now, he can control everything using his iPhone, which communicates with the stereo over WiFi. While the power, volume knob, and input selector can be triggered remotely, he still has the ability to tweak any of these items manually if desired.

We think that this is a great way to add modern amenities to vintage electronics, without ruining the aesthetics of the components. Don’t take our word for it though, check out the video demonstrations [Jean] but together after the jump.



11 thoughts on “Adding Wireless Controls To Vintage Stereo Equipment

  1. Wow! Incredible work. The way the input selector was implemented is very clever, minimizing the (already substantial) strain on the servo. I really love how it’s a two-way implementation, with sensors passing manual data back to the phone.

  2. Invite a friend round and ask him to turn the volume down.
    Then turn it up with your remote when he’s not looking and say ‘Please can you turn the volume down’
    Your friend may get a bit fed up after you do this a few times.

  3. Pin> Actually, the iPhone version is just to validate the concept, the motorizing stuff. I will make a standalone remote soon, as soon as I have the design thought through..

  4. I used to have a more modern (but no where near as classic) marantz amp that had a motorized volum knob, kept me amused for hours (I am easy to please). This is a great idea though, I have often wanted this for source selection on my Kenwood 3020… btw, that era of marantz gear has a big following as it is really nice kit, I had almost the same tuner / amp and got ~£175 on fleabay for it…

  5. I have some vintage McIntosh amplifiers in a rack. I need some way of turning the amps on and off remotely. in the past stereo equipment had electrical receptacles for daisy chaining a number of components so turning on one turned on every component in the daisy chain. no more , now stereo equipment has proprietary triggers that only work within the same family of components. what am I to-do???

    1. You need a CATV converters w/ remote. ( Panasonic, or Scientific-Atlanta or others that were used when cable was analogue.
      Try to obtain several w/ same name…that way one single remote is used simulta. for all boxes.
      They supplied high power back in the day….and can be used with common multi plug outlets
      that will accept 3 to 5 power cords.
      Your primaries should be 1 or 2 power amps, then 2nd’s might be DVD and VCR players w/ other low power components such as mixers, equalizers and such.
      There, you have it.
      You’re welcome,
      Ray Bert

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