Antique Bluetooth Speaker


This is the wooden Art-Deco cabinet of a 1941 GE model LCP-609 AM tube radio, with entirely modern electronics inside. Only the back is not original. It contains a Belkin Bluetooth Music Receiver, a 11-watt RMS mono amplifier, a 20-watt RMS full-range speaker and an open-frame power supply.

I have long wanted to convert a wooden Art-Deco radio to a useful conversation piece, especially since I enjoy woodwork. Unfortunately radios which in my youth were consigned to campfires are now collectors items, and often go for more than $200 on Ebay. But Goodwill has a similar auction site for their national affiliates which seems to attract fewer bidders, and I won an auction there for a radio with a quite well-preserved walnut cabinet for $15.99 plus $30:83 S&H from Michigan to California. The front and sides only needed wood refinishing to make most scratches disappear, but the top had suffered too many coffee cups and had lost some varnish so I had to sand and re-finish it, unfortunately not quite the same color. The sides at the back needed splits repair, so the new back I made is inset and not visible from the side or top. Someone had drilled a hole in the side for a push-pull on-off switch to bypass the failed switch on the volume control. I plugged this hole, but it is visible. But it still looks great and could not be mass-produced now.
I gutted the inside, which could have been made serviceable. I bent to practicability by illuminating the dial with white LEDs hidden at each side, which do a much better job than the original. The original speaker was not fastened to the cabinet, which was unacceptable to me. Since I did not want to put any screws into the cabinet, the new speaker is screwed to a baffle which is glued behind the grill. This is a heavy speaker which takes up most of the middle of the interior, so the electronics and bluetooth receiver are at one side and the power supply on the other. I also provided hard-wired inputs for a MP3 player or radio, and a USB charging connector.
A photocell taped to the bluetooth receiver together with a Picaxe microtroller duplicates the pairing indication to a blue LED above the dial.

Here is the circuit description

Here is the program description