Retro Radio Designs

Talk about anything and everything not related to this site or the Dreamcast, such as news stories, political discussion, or anything else. If there's not a forum for it, it belongs in here. Also, be warned that personal insults, threats, and spamming will not be tolerated.
Post Reply
User avatar
DaMadFiddler
Team Screamcast
Team Screamcast
Posts: 7953
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2004 7:17 am
Location: San Francisco, CA
Contact:

Retro Radio Designs

Post by DaMadFiddler » Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:48 am

Lately, I've been fascinated by the idea of using old schematics to build new "old" radio consoles, with a few slightly more modern features added in (FM, stereo sound, external inputs, ability to use external speakers--and serve as a subwoofer if external speakers are used). This is not something that I have the resources nor even the skills to follow through on, but it was still fun to do the design work.

Here are a few quick sketches I did, along with thoughts on each. Each design has a tabletop version and a full console version, with the idea that the same chassis could be used for both models in a pair:

Image

This is the fancy one. It would only have one large woofer, but that would be behind a grille cut out in a silhouette of Caesar (console version) or a laurel crown (tabletop version). This one would be intended for use with L and R satellites, and has an eye tube mounted in the top section of the dial escutcheon. As you can tell by the name, I was going for sort of a Greco-Roman look, inspired (loosely) by my love of the Wurlitzer 950 jukebox:

http://www.benniesfifties.com/sales/juk ... zer950.jpg

Image

This is the most rounded one. I should have drawn a side profile as well, to show the curve better. Those top bits sticking up aren't part of the dial escutcheon; they're a tiered chrome fin (think The Rocketeer's helmet). There is a tuning eye mounted in the top section of the dial escutcheon, and in this case the escutcheon would be chrome rather than the brass I envisioned for the other two. This model would have straight-up stereo sound; no large woofer, just two stereo speakers--large ones in the console, and small ones in the tabletop. The other two designs I started with the console and then designed the tabletop from that; in this case, I started with the tabletop. I based it loosely on this iPod dock by Acoustic Research:

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/4 ... AA300_.jpg

The problem with this design is that the tabletop version doesn't leave enough room (or ventilation) for the chassis as envisioned, and would make it a royal pain to get to the tubes. So the tabletop version probably has to go back to the drawing board.

Image

No tuning eye on this one. The WH emblem is the "logo" I use for all my custom designs for... well, anything. In the console, the concave area would be open; the woofer would be mounted behind the WH grille in both models, with left and right tweeters mounted behind the slits on the two side columns in the console, and the side slits being just for show in the tabletop, which would only have one full-range speaker. The idea is that it would basically be a modified 2.1 internal sound system, with L and R uppers and a center woofer. As with all my designs, external speakers could be attached, with the console's internal speaker array either serving as a subwoofer or an L+R (switchable). The dial escutcheon is a more rounded rendition of that found on the RCA 7k and related models.

Incidentally, this is the only one I think I'd stand any chance of actually being able to make myself. I intentionally designed it with lots of straight lines and block shapes so that it would be easier to build.
User avatar
Christuserloeser
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5936
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2003 12:16 am
Location: DCEvolution.net
Contact:

Re: Retro Radio Designs

Post by Christuserloeser » Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:42 pm

Perhaps you should consider doing this for a living? Designing old school radios with modern features.
Insane homebrew collector.
User avatar
DaMadFiddler
Team Screamcast
Team Screamcast
Posts: 7953
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2004 7:17 am
Location: San Francisco, CA
Contact:

Re: Retro Radio Designs

Post by DaMadFiddler » Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:48 pm

Christuserloeser wrote:Perhaps you should consider doing this for a living? Designing old school radios with modern features.
I've actually thought about it before... but that would require startup capital that I don't have, and the market would be limited enough (especially right now) that it would be incredibly difficult to make a go of it. I do know a couple of people who are reverse-engineering some of the more rare/valuable vacuum tubes to start producing them for radio restorers, though.
User avatar
Christuserloeser
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5936
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2003 12:16 am
Location: DCEvolution.net
Contact:

Re: Retro Radio Designs

Post by Christuserloeser » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:04 pm

The startup capital can be acquired by talking to someone at your bank. I am sure they'll at least know what you need to do to get a credit for a company that produces things like these.

I think the target audience for equipment like these would be people that can afford to pay a bit more for a good radio, so I wouldn't worry about the current financial crisis.
Insane homebrew collector.
User avatar
DaMadFiddler
Team Screamcast
Team Screamcast
Posts: 7953
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2004 7:17 am
Location: San Francisco, CA
Contact:

Re: Retro Radio Designs

Post by DaMadFiddler » Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:45 am

Bah... looks like the image links are broken. I'll see about fixing these when I get a free moment.
Post Reply