Trash To Treasure Bluetooth Radio And Tube Amp Build


The before image doesn’t look all that bad but we were still impressed with what went into the restoration of this radio. Perhaps restoration isn’t the right word since it didn’t manage to hold on to any of the original internals. This is more resurrection of a retro radio case for use as a Bluetooth radio.

At first look we didn’t notice that the original knobs were missing. The speaker fabric is ripped and the glass on the tuning dial is broken as well. [Yaaaam] happened to have another antique radio with interesting knobs — but he didn’t just transplant them. He made a mold of one knob and cast three replacements for the radio. After refinishing the wood he replaced the fabric and things were really starting to look up.

All of the electronic components were removed and a new tube amp was built on the original metal chassis. It uses a Bluetooth module for input which facilitates using your smart phone as the playback device without involving any wires or other nonsense. Two problems popped up after the project was completed. The first replacement power supply overheated. The second replacement had a different problem, needing some additional shielding to prevent noise from creating unwanted… noise.

This looks so much better than modern injection molded plastic shelf systems. But there are some fun wireless hacks out there for those too.

8 thoughts on “Trash To Treasure Bluetooth Radio And Tube Amp Build

    1. Face it after these radio do become disposable crap for the owners at some point. to me that someone who constructs a tube amp miigh be better tan a solid state amp. That’s why I’m perplex why a tube amp would be constructed compressed digitized audio files for

    1. The controls on that particular set would have been (if my memory serves) (in order): Off/On/Volume — Tuning — (this is where I’m not complete certain) Band or Tone

      No regen to worry about that I can see. Do correct me if I’m wrong.

  1. The problem is that these articles encourage people to butcher good, collectable radios. Most can be restored to original performance for the next half century. If you want to play “modern sound” though them use an RF modulator (100 mW AM transmitter) fed from CD, FM, MP3 or other source.

    1. Where it would be great to see them restored the reality is that old radios are most likely destined for the ewaste building at the land fill. They are the property of another. Collectables are a luxury, and the collectors of any genre are a very small minority. That thee radio will not be restore endangers no one, so not worth worrying about. Collectors can be the worst enemy of the stuff they collect, so I can’t/don’t care about their sensibilities in the least.

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