Monday, August 23, 2010

Old Stereo into a Digital Stereo

I picked up an old stereo console in a yard sale for about $2 a few months ago. I have been looking for that exact thing for quite some time, but as common as they were in the 70's, they are very hard to find anymore.

The first thing I did when I got it home is turned it on to see what was working. It did power up but the radio was buggy and the turntable wouldn't do anything. So, I pulled out the old electronics and set to work on refinishing it. Since it was a combination of wood and plastic parts, refinishing the wood was not really an option as I couldn't also refinish the plastic. There was also a bit of water damage on the top. So, I decided to sand it down and completely repaint it in brighter colours. I wanted it to have more of an old arcade or calliope type of appearance to it.

Well, I succeeded in doing that. I then set to work installing the new electronics which consisted of an older computer running a simple jukebox interface. So now, when you lift the lid of the cabinet, you are greeted with a flat-screen monitor displaying selection cards and selection buttons. You can flip through the songs and play them just like you would with a real jukebox.

It works fantastic and it sounds authentic. It is completely hack proof and the kids love to listen to it. I hope to eventually get a chance to build another one, but I have completely different ideas as to how this one will look.

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