Giving new life to an old tube radio

Being a big fan of days gone by when life was just better, I decided I would get myself one of those old-timey tube radios.  I found an old Philco on eBay for a great price.

I was thinking of restoring it but after opening it up and looking at the old style rats-nest electronics, I decided maybe I would try something different and a little easier.  These old radios also use a lot of power and I’m into conservation anyway.

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I started by buying a pair of USB speakers.  They are cheap and easy to take apart.

Just Google “USB Speakers” and you’ll find what you need.

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I took the speakers apart and found a small circuit board and two little speakers.

After cutting holes for the volume control buttons I mounted it to the back cover.

I made another hole for the second speaker so I would get some stereo sound.

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Here is the back of the cover.

You can see the volume buttons and speaker.

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I wanted to use the original speaker from the radio but speakers were very different back in those days.  There were at least four wires running to it so I decided it had to go.

I found a similar sized speaker and mounted it to the front behind the grill.

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I wanted the dial to light up so I removed the blue power led from the circuit board and soldered a pair of wires to that point.  I ran the wires to the location of the old bulb and connected a yellow LED.  A little hot glue holds it in place.

That’s pretty much all there is to it.  I reassembled the radio and connected it to my computer.  I opened my browser and went to live365.com to listen to an old-timey radio station.  It was SOO cool!  The soft glow of the dial and the big band music made me feel like I was back in the 1920s.

This project was totally worth it.  I use it all the time.

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