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Old 03-03-2007, 12:27 AM   #26
Frizzle Fry
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Re: My Factory AM Radio is now mp3 Compatible!

Thanks for all the comments guys. That's what makes posting stuff like this worth while.

Oldgold, I actually looked for logarithmic pots, but found the linear(s) in the right size/shape/specs/price so I went for it. Sweet amp you've got there.
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Old 03-03-2007, 01:18 AM   #27
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Re: My Factory AM Radio is now mp3 Compatible!

That is sweet! Wouldn't work on my truck though... with the potholes around here, even a digital mp3 player would skip.
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Old 03-03-2007, 04:26 PM   #28
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Re: My Factory AM Radio is now mp3 Compatible!

You could run an HD-Radio receiver through it. Only if it has no pre-amp of it's own. Otherwise there's no point.
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Old 03-03-2007, 11:30 PM   #29
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Re: My Factory AM Radio is now mp3 Compatible!

that is friggin awesome! you should sell the converted radios, i,ll bet alot of people would buy them.
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Old 03-04-2007, 09:30 AM   #30
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Re: My Factory AM Radio is now mp3 Compatible!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yukon Jack View Post
Incredible . . . just incredible. You could surely make some money marketing these conversions!
I want one now
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Old 03-04-2007, 12:50 PM   #31
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Re: My Factory AM Radio is now mp3 Compatible!

thats amazing!!!
your smart man!
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Old 03-09-2007, 03:45 PM   #32
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Re: My Factory AM Radio is now mp3 Compatible!

Update!

I decided that mounting the control panel in place of the ashtray went against the whole purpose of running my audio through the factory radio--to keep the stock look. So I ran the cable up the A-pillar (thanks to Rockford Fosgate for providing plenty of it), and over to the the spot between the visors. I will admit that it was easier for me to do this because it's a Suburban with the headliner removed. Yes I did have to drill one hole, but I also weld... Now I can get one of those cup-holder ashtray replacements

Here's the before and after:
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Last edited by Frizzle Fry; 03-09-2007 at 03:50 PM.
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Old 03-09-2007, 03:52 PM   #33
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Re: My Factory AM Radio is now mp3 Compatible!

i was thinking about your solution, as well as those guys online that do the radio conversions to modern electronics. after having the radio apart, do you think it would work to gut the inside and replace it with the guts of the one below, which retails for about $30? then still have all the controls and then some?


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Old 03-09-2007, 04:52 PM   #34
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Re: My Factory AM Radio is now mp3 Compatible!

You'd lose the tape deck, but who cares. I bet it wouldn't be too hard to make that work. Is that actually a mechanical dial? Interesting idea. Try it!
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Old 03-09-2007, 05:51 PM   #35
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Re: My Factory AM Radio is now mp3 Compatible!

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Originally Posted by Frizzle Fry View Post
You'd lose the tape deck, but who cares. I bet it wouldn't be too hard to make that work. Is that actually a mechanical dial? Interesting idea. Try it!
yup, it's all analog. i definitely wouldn't care about losing the tape deck. wal-mart and target both sell this radio (wal-mart has the best price, i think.)

the challenge will be to sync the tuning knob. i was actually thinking about replacing everything, even the shafts, and putting the original knobs on it. then, of course, using the original face and tuning dial. i might be able to swing a $30 experiment this weekend... i'll let you know (without hijacking your thread this time... )

actually, i figure it'll be just less than the quality of the usa-1 autosound ones...so i don't want to spend much on it.
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Last edited by cstanley; 03-09-2007 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 03-09-2007, 08:02 PM   #36
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Re: My Factory AM Radio is now mp3 Compatible!

cstanley wrote:
Quote:
....after having the radio apart, do you think it would work to gut the inside and replace it....
Hey, that is an idea. I wonder if the board out of a late 70's-early 80's GM AM/FM radio could be made to work in our radio chassis. They both use the permeability slug-type tuner, and even that looks the same. Make an FM only out of it, and just remark the dial for the FM stations. Hmm, I really nead to clear the bench and try this...

The thing that really bites about most newer shaft-tune radios is they don't have the presets, so maybe you can keep the preset feature in your modification, that would be great!!
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Old 03-09-2007, 09:52 PM   #37
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Re: My Factory AM Radio is now mp3 Compatible!

Quote:
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Yep, with the iPod RCA adapter. All this mod does is give you the ability to adjust line level into your amp or crossover (and on/off). So anything that puts out an analog audio signal can be run through it. The best iPod RCA adapter is the one that runs from the bottom port, not the headphone jack. You can get this type with RCA out and charge capability.
depends...
in my c10, I have a mini jack come from my ipod into back of my headunit, from the ipod headphone jack, you can control volume on ipod...
in my work van I have another that connects to bottom of ipod, no ipod volume control.
I prefer the volume control.
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Old 04-26-2007, 11:12 AM   #38
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Re: My Factory AM Radio is now mp3 Compatible!

Now if only there was a way to make the other knob skip to the next track or something that would be really cool.


Nice work - I'll be doing that soon.

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Old 06-06-2007, 11:53 AM   #39
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Re: My Factory AM Radio is now mp3 Compatible!

Did you end up with an FM tuner? If so, how is it controlled?

I'd like to modify my 69 pickup's stock AM radio to work to work with a digital AM/FM tuner. If it will also take inputs from a remote CD or MP3 player, that would be a bonus, but not a must have.

Any ideas?
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Old 06-07-2007, 04:46 AM   #40
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Re: My Factory AM Radio is now mp3 Compatible!

That is poetry in motion. I am constantly amused, as well as amazed at the capabilities of the posters on this site. As with everything, I have not done, I find things like this incredible. I admire your courage and quality of work. Not to mention, it beats the hell of those who butcher the dash on their classic truck, to install the latest technology in their rig. I dig the unmolested dash and factory look, with the features of modern technology.

Exceptional work!

Tony
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Old 06-07-2007, 05:06 AM   #41
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Re: My Factory AM Radio is now mp3 Compatible!

That is really cool. I'd seen something like this before in a '56 Bel Air, but it was just for on/off and volume control.

That's probably the most creative solution I've seen.
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Old 07-06-2007, 12:05 PM   #42
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Re: My Factory AM Radio is now mp3 Compatible!

Can the addition of RCA jacks be done and the AM still function?

I have an XM system that can be hard wired with RCA jacks, but I would really like to keep the AM ability or AM/FM as the case may be (haven't bought the radio yet).
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Old 07-06-2007, 07:11 PM   #43
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Re: My Factory AM Radio is now mp3 Compatible!

Thanks guys. It's still working perfectly

As for keeping the radio functionality, that would be a little more complicated. Anything can be done, but I'd have to have one to play with to come up with the solution. My radio didn't work but looked great, so this was perfect for me.
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Old 07-08-2007, 11:41 AM   #44
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Re: My Factory AM Radio is now mp3 Compatible!

Holy crap.....................very impressive
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Old 07-13-2007, 11:41 PM   #45
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Re: My Factory AM Radio is now mp3 Compatible!

Would you have to change the factory pots in every case, or does this depend on your amp choice?
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Old 07-15-2007, 01:17 PM   #46
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Re: My Factory AM Radio is now mp3 Compatible!

If you want stereo volume control they have to be replaced.
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Old 11-03-2008, 07:26 PM   #47
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Re: My Factory AM Radio is now mp3 Compatible!

After reading your awesome "how to" on this old AM radio, you have inspired me to make an attempt to do it with the radio off my truck. I figure for what it cost me in parts and having some free time late at night that I would give it a try thanks to your AWESOME details.
I will keep you posted on my success or failure.... I dont know anything about electronics but I know how to take stuff apart, follow directions and rebuild.... Wish me luck.

thank you Frizzle Fry
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Old 12-09-2008, 07:47 PM   #48
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Re: My Factory AM Radio is now mp3 Compatible!

Cool man!

To answer your question:
The wiring for the switch is like you said: 12v in (I used a key-switched source), and 12v out back to the jack (not to the light). So the three pronged jack on the back gets a 12v source (ign switched) and has a 12v out that comes from the left knob power switch. I then used that output to send the power-up signal to other components in the system like the MP3 player and amps. A separate power source from the dash lighting circuit was used to power the internal light. That way it's lit when the dash is lit.

Here's a little schematic I threw together for you. Hope it helps:
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:32 PM   #49
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Re: My Factory AM Radio is now mp3 Compatible!

Thanks Mike!!!!!


I will try to work on it tomorrow while I am at the shop....
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Old 10-04-2009, 08:50 AM   #50
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Re: My Factory AM Radio is now mp3 Compatible!

Bringing this back from the dead. I just got finished doing this modification this morning. I don't even know if mine works yet, but I will hopefully have it wired up into the truck soon.
One thing that I did that I wasn't quite sure about was the wiring of the inner light. I soldered its wire to the "12v in" connection along with the wire the runs to the potentiometer, because on my Chevy radio the third connection is for ground and had a connection soldered to the frame of the radio.
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