Convert AM spice rack To FM?

1. dkotschessaa

635
Convert AM....spice rack... To FM?

Seriously, this "antique" was a cool little find on our northern road trip and looks neat in our Kitchen (see attached photos).

But it's only AM. I'd like to make it FM. I'm not a major electronics hobbyist, and definately not an engineer, but I mess with radio shack kits as a kid.

Any kind of easy way to convert this so that I can still use the same controls on the front? I was thinking I could just buy a little radio from a thrift store and pull out the circuit board and replace it. But it has to fit, and the knob has to line up.

-Dave K

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2. jim hardy

5,208

The volume control knob you could remove and connect to the old board with twisted wires. The tuning knob probably not, unless it's varactor tuned.

Here's a varactor tuned kit.

It's a bit steep,
but whenever I try to save money it's usually equivalent to about 15 cents/hour...

3. dkotschessaa

635
Does radio shack or any other place still sell really basic kits for making stuff like this? They did when I was a kid, but now I think it's all cell phones and commercial stuff.

Of course it would have to be small enough to go into that little compartment you see there in the photo. I don't suppose there's away to rewire the existing board or something. (Sorry, my knowledge of this stuff is very bad).

4. jim hardy

5,208
It's not practical to change an AM radio to FM.
No good AM stations in your neighborhood?

I'd stick with your idea of a thrift store radio and clever mechanical design to work the tuner. The volume control should be easy to replace with one located off-board.
Your knobs look big enough to hide the mounting nut.

Another option - hinge that panel and place a nice digital tuned radio back there, and install a better speaker.
My kids are proficient in "Bluetooth" . If your computer is so equipped you could listen to internet radio.
But i'm still in vacuum tubes.

I've bought from these folks before
and they carry a radio that looks like a candidate for your project:
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=320-170

zoom in on the RV1 and RV2 - volume and tuning controls - they both LOOK like resistors.
One could buy old style resistors and mount them in your panel, wire to board.
Look at back of your knobs - probably they're for standard $\frac{1}{4}$ inch shaft.

Inquire of them if the controls are indeed resistors and if the speaker is 4 or 8 ohm.
If so you can run wires to substitutes in your panel..
when buying a volume control you want something called "Audio Taper" or Log Taper". The ear is logarithmic you see, so volume controls are too.

Got my fingers crossed for ya -

old jim

Last edited: Mar 20, 2013