Core Electronics Forum

Antique Radio w/ Spotify Streaming

Hoping you can help me here, I’m considering kicking off a little project that will end up as a birthday present for my Dad.

What I would like to do is purchase an antique radio and augment it with a Bluetooth receiver of some sort, so he can do stream music from Spotify (via a phone, tablet etc).

The idea would be to gut the insides to some degree and mount the required components to make this happen.

I was wondering if anyone could advise me as to weather this product would be suitable for achieving this outcome ( https://core-electronics.com.au/bluetooth-audio-receiver-and-playback-module-bluetooth-4-0.html ) - Could you also tell me if it has some sort of power save mode, I’d like it if it could remain on as long as the power is on so that it is available to connect to at any time without have to push a button or anything to turn it on.

It probably not my intention to utilise the existing amp nor the existing speakers – for the sake of simplicity I would probably install a new set of amplified speakers. This leads me to my seconds question.

Would be suitable to use a set of these speaker? (https://core-electronics.com.au/usb-powered-speakers.html) - ie. Would they be compatible with the bluetooth reciever and do you think they be load enough. Do they produce a reasonable quality of audio?

Lastly, what do you think would be a good way to power these components? The speakers are USB powered, which made me wonder if I could possibly install a powered USB hub and power both the Bluetooth adapter (5V DC) and the speakers at the same time.

Thanks in advance

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Awesome project idea Shane, I’d love to see it come together! I think @Josh might be able to help you across the line with this one, we were discussing a similar idea only last week.

Hi @Aidan,

Thanks for the reply.

As I put more thought into this one, I went round and round with different ideas about how best to achieve what I’m chasing here. From my original idea (list on the original post), to using a stock standard Bluetooth receiver and speaks, to using a Raspberry Pi with a Spotify connect package installed (this actually works quite well)

Considering the audience, and a little time pressure - the old man’s birthday is this weekend, I dialled back the techie coolness factor and went with the option of simply installing an off-the-shelf Logitech Bluetooth receiver with a set of small Logitech desktop speakers.

I picked a nice old 1950’s (I think) Astor Antique Radio (see link below) that will house it all and set about dismantling the insides over this weekend just gone - Courtesy RadioMuseum.org

I’ll re-use the metal frame that you can see in one of the images, and mount the speakers somewhere near where the exisitng single spear sits. I’ve managed to rig up the a means of making the volume control functional (again, not in any cool nerdy way) and I’ll install some LEDs to light up the tuning dial.

I might look at doing something similar for my own shed, somewhere down the track, I really dig the look of these old radios. I’d probably go down the path of using something like a Raspi Zero (with an Audio hat) and controlling it via Spotify Connect (this is the one I tried - [RaSpotify](https://github.com/dtcooper/raspotify - which works well)

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Sounds like you got it working for his birthday, but you could always upgrade it in the future (or just plan this for the one in your shed) if you really want that techie coolness factor. Once the idea Aidan and I were discussing last week gets fleshed out a bit, you might see it up on the website, with instructions on how to build your own!

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Hi Josh,

I’ll indeed be interested to see what you and Aidan knock out, for a potential future build

The old man’s birthday is actually this weekend, so a few more days work yet, but progressing well thus far.

Thanks again.

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I think it would be worthwhile @Josh

You build it and I’ll print the housing :wink:

Hey guys,

Not sure if anyone is really interested but I thought i would provide an update as to how this little project turned out. In the end I purchased a 1950 model Astor NJ mantle radio and fitted it with a Logitech Bluetooth Receiver and desktop speakers. I also added a USB powered LED to provide the illumination to tuning dial (which was faithful to the original operation of this model).

By utilising a couple of the pulleys I found in the radio itself I was able to make the volume know work as you would expect and turn up / down the volume of the speakers.

Below is a few pictures of the inside and outside of the radio taken at the completion of the build. Most importantly, my Dad was pretty chuffed. He’s now embarking on an adventure into the world of Spotify and streaming music.

What is not shown in these images is simply the wooden back cover for the radio which worked to help the depth of sound out of these little speakers.

[https://photos.app.goo.gl/UFnSxC7SHEEuixUm6]

If I had more time, I probably would’ve work to incorporate more options, like airplay and Chromecast alongside the Bluetooth connectivity. I dare say I would have used something like a Raspberry Pi Zero (with an audio hat of some sort) running Spotify connect and the other services. I would have also liked to incorporate the Google assistant for voice control, and all the other cool stuff that it brings with (news, sport and weather reports etc, etc) - but that might have to another radio, for another shed. Like mine perhaps…

That looks really cool Shane! I like the ingenious use of pulleys.

Definitely keen to see your next one, it sounds like a great idea. Plan it out, and we’ll be happy to help with whatever you need :slight_smile: