Michaël Duerinckx


Posts Tagged ‘Electricity’

Hacking a line-in socket into an 80s radio and cassette player

A few years ago, my grandmother gave me one of the old radios she had lying around the house. My late grandfather’s hobby was participating in radio quizzes, which led him to win a lot of radios; I assume this was one of them. The radio was manufactured in the early 80s, so the guts are relatively easy to tinker with; everything is on single-layer PCBs.

Frontal photo of the radio before any alterations were made, showing buttons on top, speakers on either side of a cassette deck, slider buttons, a radio tuning dial across the top, and sound volume indicator lights
The radio, as it looked before opening it up

I realised that the audio quality of this old boy was really decent, so it would be a waste to just let it sit in a cupboard. I don’t generally listen to the radio that much, and I don’t exactly have a big collection of music on cassettes either (and if I did, I’d digitize it anyway). To really get some use out of it, the most logical thing would be to have a line-in, letting me hook up a phone or whichever external audio source.

So, I set to work, opening the machine up.

Photo of the radio laying down on its back, the front part of the case taken off. Revealed is the mechanism of the cassette player, various sliders, PCBs with various components on the left and right, and the transformer on the far left.
The front part of the case taken off, which removes the speakers


Economic desklamp hack

Today, I decided to fiddle with things a bit.

We had these LED spots in the house, just like these (random google images find), but they broke pretty fast. When I had replaced them with regular halogen spots again, I decided to see what’s inside them, and see if I could perhaps find what’s wrong with them.

It turned out there’s a simple circular PCB with a sort of high-power SMD LEDs mounted on there. In the other part of the spot, there’s a small transformer circuit, which, as it turned out, is what’s broken. I test the LED board separately, and found that it just runs on a typical 12V DC, which is why I decided to do something with them.

I’m not going to bother trying to get the broken circuitry back to work, though.

Anyway, I got the idea to replace the halogen lamp of my desk lamp, with the LED part of the spot. I took some pictures, so you can have a look.

Desklamp 01

Here’s the original, intact lamp.