Rainier Falcons > The FalconForum  

Go Back   Rainier Falcons > The FalconForum > General Forums > Tech Talk

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-14-2013, 07:58 PM
ew1usnr's Avatar
ew1usnr ew1usnr is offline
Senior Forum User
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 846
My Sound System.

I have a 1963 Futura. The original 1963 transistor radio that was in the car wasn't working so I bought a working 1962 Falcon vacuum tube radio off e-bay for $62. I really like the vacuum tubes. They take a minute to warm up and then kick in with a snap. The original speaker was mostly disintegrated, so I bought a 5” x 7” replacement radio speaker ($24.95) from Classic Auto Parts. The speaker fit perfectly and sounds great. The radio can be turned up LOUD without distortion. There is not much to listen to anymore on AM, however, so I bought a period Radio-Shack brand "Realistic" FM converter off e-bay for $25. I added one of these to the Falcon I had in high school when disco took over the AM band. My "new" FM converter worked, but FM has too many commercials, the pop music is horrible, and the "oldies" stations were playing disco and Phil Collins (also horrible). So, I bought an MP3 player off e-bay $2.60 (direct from China postage included). The MP3 player plugs into the cigarette lighter and broadcasts an FM signal, that gets picked up by the FM converter and amplified by the vacuum tube AM radio and played through the new dashboard speaker. The little thumb drive is 8 GB (I think). I loaded it with 10 CD's and it only took 14% of the capacity. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the car radio is plenty loud even while driving with the windows down. Now I can drive around while listening to BB King, Chuck Berry, the Grateful Dead, and Joni Mitchell blasting out of my single dashboard speaker (how the car was originally configured). The MP3 player just plugs in, and the FM converter is mounted with Velcro. I can easily remove them anytime and revert the car back to all original. See the following picture (click on it to make it larger):

Sound System.jpg

The little gauge behind the MP3 player is an inside thermometer that I bought off Amazon.com for $9 (I think). I had a magnetic dashboard thermometer on the Falcon I had in high school and wanted one for my "new" Falcon. I snipped off a strip from an old aluminum license plate and bent it to make a mount for the thermometer. I colored the strip black with a sharpie and mounted it to the bottom of the dash with a magnet and then attached the thermometer with its self-adhesive backing. Since it is mounted with a magnet it can also be easily removed.

Last edited by ew1usnr; 06-28-2014 at 02:40 PM. Reason: spelling errors
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-15-2013, 02:52 PM
61ranch 61ranch is offline
Active Forum User
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Eagle Point OR
Posts: 55
Thats what I call thinking outside the box. Well done. I am in the process of converting some old drive in speakers to house the speakers for my sound system and using an old suitcase for the amp and sub enclosure so you dont see them (I have a 2dr wagon so you see everything in the back). Nice job.
__________________
No matter where you go, there you are...
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-16-2013, 10:26 AM
BillP 98201's Avatar
BillP 98201 BillP 98201 is offline
Senior Forum User
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Marysville
Posts: 448
Cool idea!

I just left the old radio in the dash, and mounted an Alpine head unit under the dash. I also use flash drives in my glove box. This gives the freedom to expand my sound system. Great thinking out of the box
__________________
Bill Proctor .. 1963 Falcon Sprint. Looking forward to learning new things.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-28-2014, 02:33 PM
ew1usnr's Avatar
ew1usnr ew1usnr is offline
Senior Forum User
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 846
Radio Noise Supressor

I have been happy with my "MP3 broadcaster to FM converter to 1962 vacuum tube AM radio" sound system. I was driving around listening to Leslie Gore belting it out from my dashboard speaker this morning.

Sound System.jpg

But ... there has been an annoying degree of static mixed in with the music. I have resistor spark plugs, noise-suppressor spark plug wires, and a capacitor on my generator and wondered what else I could do. I just ordered this in-line power supply filter from e-bay for $5.77, shipping included. The price seemed good. You run the power through it and there is a black wire that hooks to ground. I will run the power supplies for both the AM radio and FM converter through this gizmo and see if it reduces the noise.

Power supplu noise supressor .77.jpg
__________________
Dennis Pierson
Tampa, FL
"The Wonder Falcon"

'63 Futura Hardtop (260, Ford-O-Matic, bench seat)

Last edited by ew1usnr; 06-28-2014 at 02:43 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-30-2014, 10:44 AM
Luva65wagon's Avatar
Luva65wagon Luva65wagon is offline
Chapter President
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Lynnwood
Posts: 4,410
Blog Entries: 4
If you go all the way back to AM (no MP3 player), do you still get similar "static" coming through on stronger stations? These old tube radios, like any of the AC versions I've restored, have paper and filter capacitors inside and these, like the electrolytic's it may have, dry up over time. When this happens capacitors can make a lot of noise in the output. You mention buying a "working" radio, but not whether it was serviced.

Old capacitors can fail in not so good a way (like little fire crackers), so if this isn't known for sure whether they are original or not, you may want to consider this if the power supply filter (ahem.. another filter capacitor) doesn't resolve your issue. Most places will service these in about 3-5 weeks for about $125.
__________________
Roger Moore

63 "Flarechero"
powered by: '65 289-V8 | T5 | 8" TracLoc rear



Last edited by Luva65wagon; 06-30-2014 at 11:07 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-30-2014, 04:33 PM
ew1usnr's Avatar
ew1usnr ew1usnr is offline
Senior Forum User
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 846
I like vacuum tubes.

Hello, Roger.

I have not had the radio serviced, but I don't hear the static when it is running off just the battery. I hear the static when the engine is running and it gets louder when the engine runs faster. The antenna mast should be shielded from the engine by the hood and fenders, so my guess is that the static is coming through from the power supply.

Another twist is that the broadcast signal from the MP3 player is not very strong, so I have to turn the radio up and that makes the static louder. So ... I am going to try adding an amplified antenna inside the car and right next to the MP3 player. I'll mount the antenna under the dash right next to the MP3 player. That should minimize interference from other radio stations or external static and it will feed an amplified signal to the FM converter so I should not have to turn the AM radio up as loud to hear the music. The antenna amplifier has a red wire that goes to a 12V power supply.

amplified antenna.JPG

I ordered this amplified (see above) “New Universal Car Windshield Glass Electronic Radio Non-Directional Antenna 12V” from e-bay for $2.87, including shipping from Hong Kong. The price seemed right. “Can amplify FM signals. Strengthen the weak signal receiving sensitivity.” Specifications: Input voltage: 12V, FM gain: 20±3dB, AM gain: 18dB, Absorption: -8mA, Power supply: 60-100 MA, Working frequency: 48-860 Hz, Noise factor: ≤ 7 dB, Output impedance: 75 Ω, Output standing wave: ≤3.
__________________
Dennis Pierson
Tampa, FL
"The Wonder Falcon"

'63 Futura Hardtop (260, Ford-O-Matic, bench seat)

Last edited by ew1usnr; 09-19-2015 at 05:35 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-30-2014, 10:44 PM
Luva65wagon's Avatar
Luva65wagon Luva65wagon is offline
Chapter President
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Lynnwood
Posts: 4,410
Blog Entries: 4
Well Dennis - none of that can hurt. I was just wondering whether the noise was there with the engine running and only AM station tuned. Filter capacitors are just that - filters to remove minuscule changes in voltage up to radical changes. Smoothing everything out. Noisy tube radios are usually a result of these no longer doing their job. With the engine off, the battery voltage it pretty stable and there would not be anything happening to induce noise.

Let us know what happens with the new bits.
__________________
Roger Moore

63 "Flarechero"
powered by: '65 289-V8 | T5 | 8" TracLoc rear


Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-04-2014, 08:35 AM
ew1usnr's Avatar
ew1usnr ew1usnr is offline
Senior Forum User
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 846
This is great!

I added the filter in-line with the power to the AM radio and the FM converter this morning, and .... Wow! The static is gone. The music plays crystal clear. It sounds like a CD, it is that clear. The filter very much exceeded my expectations.

Power supplu noise supressor .77.jpg

I don't think that I will bother with the amplified antenna now. This is perfectly fine the way it is.
__________________
Dennis Pierson
Tampa, FL
"The Wonder Falcon"

'63 Futura Hardtop (260, Ford-O-Matic, bench seat)

Last edited by ew1usnr; 01-30-2015 at 05:53 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-29-2015, 03:59 AM
ew1usnr's Avatar
ew1usnr ew1usnr is offline
Senior Forum User
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 846
Spring-base antenna

I bought a “New vintage style spring radio antenna top side fender cowl mount round base NOS fits one-inch hole” off e-bay. It has a 33-inch fixed mast, 56-inch cable, and a Motorola type plug.

4.jpg

This antenna is not stock, but it is period correct. The Falcon station wagon that I had while in high school had a spring-base antenna like this and I always that it was pretty cool. It will keep the antenna from being broken off in an automatic car wash.

3.jpg

Dennis.
__________________
Dennis Pierson
Tampa, FL
"The Wonder Falcon"

'63 Futura Hardtop (260, Ford-O-Matic, bench seat)

Last edited by ew1usnr; 01-29-2015 at 03:36 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-03-2015, 05:34 AM
ew1usnr's Avatar
ew1usnr ew1usnr is offline
Senior Forum User
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 846
A Falcon's Progress

As an upgrade to the the sound system in the Falcon, I finally got around to ordering a car antenna male to two female adapter from Amazon for $4.92 including postage.
Car Antenna Male to Two Female Adapter.jpg

That will let me leave the outside antenna connected while also adding my $2.87 power-amplified antenna inside the car along the bottom edge of the dash.
amplified antenna.JPG

The amplified antenna will boost the weak FM signal broadcast from my $3 cigarette-lighter MP3 that is received by the FM converter that plays through my AM radio.
Sound System.JPG

That will give a stronger input signal to the radio so that I a get a louder output volume and will not have to turn it all the way up in order to hear it.
__________________
Dennis Pierson
Tampa, FL
"The Wonder Falcon"

'63 Futura Hardtop (260, Ford-O-Matic, bench seat)
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 07-06-2015, 09:32 AM
Luva65wagon's Avatar
Luva65wagon Luva65wagon is offline
Chapter President
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Lynnwood
Posts: 4,410
Blog Entries: 4
Wow Dennis. Next will come a GPS navigation unit. Maybe streaming video? I can see it now.
__________________
Roger Moore

63 "Flarechero"
powered by: '65 289-V8 | T5 | 8" TracLoc rear


Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 09-19-2015, 05:21 PM
ew1usnr's Avatar
ew1usnr ew1usnr is offline
Senior Forum User
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 846
ReadyRad

My amplified antenna idea didn't work. The sound actually dropped when I turned it on. The amplified signal must have caused an automatic gain in the radio to attenuate the signal.

But then I saw something called a "RediRad" MP3 to AM radio adapter in MAC's auto parts catalog. MAC's wanted $125 for it, but if you go to the manufacturer's web site or Amazon you can buy it for $99.
ReadyRad AM N.jpg

“RediRad Model AM/N - Universal AUX Input - Ideal for AM-only Radios in Collector / Classic Automobiles with Negative-Ground Electrical System, made in Delafield, Wisconsin, USA” off Amazon for $99 + $4.99 postage. See: https://rediscoveradio.com/
“If your Freedom Machine still has its original AM-only radio, congratulations! For so many reasons, there is simply nothing like seeing the factory radio in the dash. But where is the MUSIC? Certainly not on the AM band! Wouldn't it be GREAT to have an auxiliary-input jack for your original radio - without having to resort to an expensive, invasive 'conversion' service? NOW YOU CAN! At only $99, the non-invasive RediRadTM lets you fully enjoy music favorites from any portable source through your existing, functional audio equipment. Have all of this capability without broadcast interference or hacking up that beautiful dashboard! The new RediRadTM model AM/N operates on either 6-volts or 12-volts with a negative-ground electrical system (basically everything U.S.-built after 1955), and an AM-only radio.”

I also bought an MP3 player off Amazon for $18.
RCA M6204 4 GB Video MP3 Player with 2-Inch Color Display .98.jpg

I just hooked up a "RediRad" adapter in The Wonder Falcon and it works just like they said it would. Billie Holiday and BB King sounded great through the dashboard speaker.
2-DCP_0280.jpg

I have the wire that connects to the MP3 player coiled up in the ash tray. I can pull it out to extend the wire and have the MP3 player on the middle of the bench seat while I am using it. I can put the MP3 player in the glove box when it is not needed and tuck the wire back in the ash tray.

3-DCP_0283.jpg

Now I can drive the Falcon while listening to every Grateful Dead album ever made. Yea!

You might notice what appears to be a choke knob while the V-8 motors were supposed to have an automatic choke. That is because an enterprising former owner installed an additional cigarette lighter where the choke delete plate had been. My car has his and hers cigarette lighters! The radio push buttons have melt marks and nicotine stains from people putting their cigarettes in the ash tray. People in the 1960's liked to smoke.

Dennis.
__________________
Dennis Pierson
Tampa, FL
"The Wonder Falcon"

'63 Futura Hardtop (260, Ford-O-Matic, bench seat)

Last edited by ew1usnr; 09-20-2015 at 05:42 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 06-11-2017, 06:48 PM
ew1usnr's Avatar
ew1usnr ew1usnr is offline
Senior Forum User
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 846
YouTube to MP3

There is a program that can be downloaded for free off the internet that is called FreeMake. It allows people to save music off YouTube as a MP3 file.

See: http://www.freemake.com/free_youtube_converter/

Freemake.JPG

Someone can google "Billboard Top 100 Hits" and the add whatever year they want. Then they can download every song on the list from YouTube.

See the hits for 1963, for example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billbo...ingles_of_1963
__________________
Dennis Pierson
Tampa, FL
"The Wonder Falcon"

'63 Futura Hardtop (260, Ford-O-Matic, bench seat)
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Air Conditioning System Hal Cogburn Cars and Parts For Sale or Trade 2 10-21-2010 04:20 PM
Hydraulic system for convertable top Bob & Izzak Sinclair Tech Talk 0 05-16-2007 09:30 PM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:40 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.