Electronics Project: 1937 radio hacked into an iPhone dock

This is an electronics project of mine. It’s a 1937 Philips radio modified into a docking station.

The reason I did it was because I had this old Philips radio laying around. And I couldn’t use it because it only had an AM receiver. So, I thought it would be cool to make it into an iPhone dock =D

How I did it

The first thing I did was to remove old the old parts from it.


1937 Philips RadioInside Old Philips Radio1937 philips radio stripped

Replace old speaker element

Then I cut out the front of an old speaker and replaced the original speaker element. The reason for this was that the original element didn’t have any bass at all.

If you don’t have an old speaker laying around, you can find some cheap speaker elements from Parts Express.

Old speakerSpeaker placed inside radioSpeaker placed inside radio (front view)

Add docking function

To dock the iPhone and get sound from it, I used a Fiio L11 from Parts Express.

It enables you to charge the iPhone and get sound output when you plug it in.

iPhone dock componentiPhone dock component

Amplifier circuit

To amplify the sound, I used a TEA2025 amplifier circuit. It gives 2.5 watts of power, which was sufficient for this project.

Amplifier circuit TEA2025

Parts Express also has cheap audio amplifier boards for your electronics project if you don’t want to build one yourself.

Add Display

I made the display by drawing it on my computer, then printing it out on a sheet of paper placed behind a plastic window. I used LEDs on the back to indicate volume and source selection. The LEDs are controlled by an Arduino.

Radio Display (bare)Radio Display (with LEDs)Radio display working


Here is the schematic diagram for the LEDs:

Electronics project LED display


J1, J2, J3 and J4 are connected to outputs of the Arduino. The volume knob is a dual potentiometer (two potentiometers in one), so I have used one to control the volume and connected the other one to an input of the Arduino. The Arduino then controls the LEDs according to the potentiometer.

Download Arduino Code

The finished project

Finished electronics project - old radio iphone dock

If you liked it, please share and leave a comment below =)

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19 thoughts on “Electronics Project: 1937 radio hacked into an iPhone dock”

  1. I love that you have salvaged your old radio than throwing it to the garbage.

    Do you have the circuit for your LED volume indicator?


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