Building a Retro-Futuristic Bluetooth Radio




Imgurian “Freshanator” inherited a wooden radio from grandparents. As it only featured an AM receiver, he decided to upgrade it with a 2.1 Bluetooth receiver in order to play audio from a variety of inputs. Along the way, LED and EL lighting was added, giving it a look that would be at home in a science fiction film made in the mid-1900s. Lest tearing up the internals of a vintage radio upsets you, the build log makes it clear that this was in fact a 1960s-era replica, and while probably somewhat rare, isn’t as historical as the original devices.

For the project, the cabinet was measured and modeled up, and after leaving enough space for electronics, enclosures for the two stereo speakers were designed and 3D-printed. While this would traditionally be made out of wood, the effect is reportedly quite good, even thought the print was somewhat marginal (actually the last on the printer before it died). Freshanator notes that “about a dozen coats of flex seal” were used to make the box air tight. The system’s sub was made “traditionally” out of wood.

Buttons for the Bluetooth amp were soldered and wired into controls on the front of the vintage radio, resulting in functional machine that’s at least passable as something from the era. Per modeling work, everything fits inside nicely, with the power supply attached on top of the sub, and the receiver board, lighting, and even a cooling fan above that.

It’s a neat build, and could be great inspiration for devices sitting around that don’t quite fit your needs, but with a ton of potential!


Building a Retro-Futuristic Bluetooth Radio was originally published in Hackster Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Original article: Building a Retro-Futuristic Bluetooth Radio
Author: Jeremy S. Cook