Retro Radio

Retro Radio

Warren Peace

Project Category:
Bookshelf Speakers

Project Level:

Project Time:
8-20 Hours

Project Cost:
$100 – $500

Project Description:
This is my take on an antique radio using a Dayton KAB-230 amplifier board, an Echo Dot and Overnight Sensation 2-way speaker.

Design Goals:
I wanted to upgrade the sound of my Echo Dots to listen to Spotify Premium. The regular Echo sound better, but just don’t cut it. I like the look of antique radios instead of the plastic things made today.

Driver Selection:
275-030 Dayton Audio ND20FA-6 3/4″ Neodymium Dome Tweeter
297-429 HiVi B4N 4″ Aluminum Midbass Round Frame
My selection for drivers was easy since I just used the Overnight Sensation (OS) design.

Enclosure Design:
The speaker box portion was easy too since I just used the OS plans. Creating the enclosure for the amp, power supply, and Echo Dot took a bit more planning. I used Sketchup to design the radio. I used an antique radio dial frame from a General radio I found on eBay. It took some searching to find one the right size to house the Echo.

Enclosure Assembly:
Assembly was pretty straightforward woodworking.

I used oak wood. I created false inlay with a rotary tool and a homemade jig to carve grooves into the sides. I then stained the rows I wanted darker.

The 3/4″ oak was too thick to install the potentiometers, so I routed it to be thinner where I placed them. The left pot is just being used as a switch, not a variable knob.

The Echo is held in place with friction. I lined the hole with gasket tape and pressed it into place. Took a few tries and some wax paper to let me slip it in, but It finally made it in and won’t go anywhere without a lot of effort.

I used some brass fidget spinner parts for feet. (Finally, those spinners find a useful role on this planet) The old antique radios didn’t have brass feet, but this is my take on the radio, so I felt I had some artistic license.

The grill cover is a bit simpler than the old radios too. I didn’t want anything other than the speaker cloth in front of the drivers.

Crossover Design:

I used the crossover designed by Paul Carmody for the OS speakers.

I am happy with how it turned out. Now I am working on the left channel speaker. It will be another Overnight Sensation made from oak with the same design elements, but it will be a regular OS size since It won’t house anything other than the drivers and crossover.

Previously, I built a retro video game console from a Raspberry Pi 3 for my boys. This laid an egg in my brain, and I think my next project will be a Raspberry Pi with touchscreen in a sound bar. I am leaning toward two Quark speaker and a Voxel subwoofer all housed in the sound bar. I think it’ll end up being a smart-radio/alarm clock.

About the Designer:
I am a communication strategy Marine Corps gunnery sergeant. I teach public communication at the Defense Information School.

I spend my free time in my garage building things. My grandfather was a woodworker, and so is my father. I am not as into as they are, but I picked a few things up. I like woodworking, but I also used metal and electronics.

Project Parts List:

Dayton Audio DNR-10 10 Ohm 10W Precision Audio Grade Resistor
Dayton Audio DNR-6.0 6 Ohm 10W Precision Audio Grade Resistor
Dayton Audio DMPC-0.22 0.22uF 250V Polypropylene Capacitor
Dayton Audio DMPC-1.5 1.5uF 250V Polypropylene Capacitor
Dayton Audio DMPC-2.2 2.2uF 250V Polypropylene Capacitor
Dayton Audio DMPC-6.8 6.8uF 250V Polypropylene Capacitor
Jantzen Audio 0.35mH 20 AWG Air Core Inductor Crossover Coil
Jantzen Audio 1.1mH 18 AWG Air Core Inductor Crossover Coil
HiVi B4N 4″ Aluminum Midbass Round Frame
Dayton Audio KAB-230 2x30W Class D Audio Amplifier Board with Bluetooth 4.0
Dayton Audio KAB-FC Function Cables Package for Bluetooth Amplifier Boards
Dayton Audio KAB-LED Red/Green/Blue LED Package for Bluetooth Amplifier Boards
19 VDC 3.42A Power Supply with 2.1 x 5.5mm Center Positive Plug
Red Perforated Large Hole Crossover Board Pair 3.5″ x 5″
Parts Express Speaker Gasketing Tape 1/8″ x 1/2″ x 50 ft. Roll


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