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OT: Cordless radio

Gordon Haverland
 

Yesterday the power was out here for about 8 hours. All the radio type
stuff in the house is powered from mains, so to try and find out what
is happening, I head out to the truck and listen to the radio. For the
evening rush hour during the week, CBC Radio (Radio West program of
CBC-BC) tells people about power outages as a regular thing. Outside
of that time, they might tell you about power outages (unless you live
in the Vancouver area, where they always hear about outages).

But, this is better than the N Bell-Globemedia radio stations in The
Peace. As near as I can tell, they never tell you about the power, and
I think they only tell you the weather once per day. And all the
employees of all these Bell radio stations share the same brain cell.

I have some Makita cordless tools here. It would be nice to power a
cordless radio with one of those batteries. I see on Instructables,
someone has a thing about making a radio from various parts. I think
the socket to plug the battery in comes from a charger. Is that the
only source of a socket available?

The most cost effective Makita radio seems to be the XRM02W, which is
only available reconditioned now. I am not seeing any in Canada. The
one I did see was about $66USD. Which is a bit more than I was hoping,
but it looks like commercial radio (not like this Instructables
project, which looks like something from the Red Green show).

Ideas?

--

Gord

Frederick R. McDougall
 

Gordon
An old tool can provide the socket.  Then get or build a 9 v regulated power supply to reduce the battery voltage so you can plug in a small radio.  Another option would be to purchase a small inverter to get 110 vac to power any small appliance.  Good luck.
Fred

On Sat., Oct. 26, 2019, 16:27 Gordon Haverland, <ghaverla@...> wrote:
Yesterday the power was out here for about 8 hours.  All the radio type
stuff in the house is powered from mains, so to try and find out what
is happening, I head out to the truck and listen to the radio.  For the
evening rush hour during the week, CBC Radio (Radio West program of
CBC-BC) tells people about power outages as a regular thing.  Outside
of that time, they might tell you about power outages (unless you live
in the Vancouver area, where they always hear about outages).

But, this is better than the N Bell-Globemedia radio stations in The
Peace.  As near as I can tell, they never tell you about the power, and
I think they only tell you the weather once per day.  And all the
employees of all these Bell radio stations share the same brain cell.

I have some Makita cordless tools here.  It would be nice to power a
cordless radio with one of those batteries.  I see on Instructables,
someone has a thing about making a radio from various parts.  I think
the socket to plug the battery in comes from a charger.  Is that the
only source of a socket available?

The most cost effective Makita radio seems to be the XRM02W, which is
only available reconditioned now.  I am not seeing any in Canada.  The
one I did see was about $66USD.  Which is a bit more than I was hoping,
but it looks like commercial radio (not like this Instructables
project, which looks like something from the Red Green show).

Ideas?

--

Gord




Gordon Haverland
 

On Sat, 26 Oct 2019 17:24:19 -0600
"Frederick R. McDougall" <frmcdo@...> wrote:

An old tool can provide the socket. Then get or build a 9 v regulated
power supply to reduce the battery voltage so you can plug in a small
radio. Another option would be to purchase a small inverter to get
110 vac to power any small appliance. Good luck.
I look at "jobsite radio", and you can find units up to $500. For a
radio.

I have an IC based radio kit here, that I want to build at some point,
but I believe it is partly surface mount, which I have never done
before. And I want to build a soldering station with air flow control
for soldering before that anyway (who likes breathing flux and solder
fumes?).

Maybe the thing to do, is to find a reasonable radio, and then build a
base to stick it on. Onto/into the base, I stick the 18V socket
connected to a DC/DC converter, and then come out of the base with
something to plug into the battery "cage" in the radio.

Someone said that many 9V batteries are actually 6 aaaa batteries
inside? Really?

Anyway, it would be nice if there was some "socket" a person could buy,
which looked like a set of 6 C cells, and you just plug the whole thing
into the battery "cradle" in the radio. But there are probably
different spacings row to row, and differing lengths of springs. So,
perhaps a person has to build this socket one's self? Some battery
holders might have all the springs at one end, and some may have left
spring at top, right spring in middle, left spring at bottom (or the
mirror). If the springs are all on the same side, your adapter gets
installed by pushing against the 3 springs to put load on them and then
pushing the other end in to make contact, and then relaxing and letting
the springs hold the adapter in place. And the adapter is the height
of two C cells stacked on top of each other. If the springs are
alternating, you need to figure out some mechanism that allows
insertion of the adapter without preloading the springs.

I think the DC/DC converter is probably more efficient than a "voltage
regulator",

All the jobsite radios (and boom boxes) come with stereo speakers with
a separation of maybe 3 feet. So, you probably have to be within maybe
4 feet of the radio, in order to hear stereo music? 8 feet? In any
event, people expect stereo. There are lots of radio's with headphones
jacks on them. Perhaps a person connects the headphone jack of the
radio to the base, and has 2 circuits come off it. One is to a
headphone jack on the base. The other circuit (which should not alter
the signal on the original lines) just looks at the low audio
frequencies, so that it can send output (through a suitable amplifier)
for a subwoofer.

I need a subwoofer like I need another hole in the head.


But, I think I found a radio which runs from 6 C cells (or AC) that has
2 speakers (stereo), AM/FM, can show RDS (Radio Data System) and has
time/alarm capabilities. Six C cells is 9V (new), so a 18/9 DC/DC
converter should work. I see some adjustable ones at Amazon.ca (first
page, about $12.50). As I understand DC/DC conversion, some high
frequencies are involved, so if we make the base out of wood for the
most part, we put the DC/DC converter inside an aluminum box inside the
wood base to shield the world from the internal RF. Maybe a person
needs a plate/foil of misch metal between the aluminum box and the
radio? And we need a spot to mount the socket so that we can slide one
of these 18V batteries into place.

Making the base out of 3mm baltic birch is probably fine, which
isolates the aluminum Faraday cage from the radio on top. Maybe there
are a couple of places to screw into the radio from the base, so that
you can carry the assembly just by lifting the radio? I can put a nice
finish on the birch case.

But, for me this gives me a source of radio that I can move around
(kitchen to bedroom) that can have an alarm function to wake me.

Am I forgetting anything? The idea is to make some generic plans, so
that people can adapt this to other radios, maybe add the subwoofer,
and so on.

--

Gord

Gordon Haverland
 

On Sat, 26 Oct 2019 17:24:19 -0600
"Frederick R. McDougall" <frmcdo@...> wrote:

Another option would be to purchase a small inverter to get 110 vac
to power any small appliance.
I managed to find a portable AM/FM/Shortwave radio with an alarm
function, which is powered by 5V wall wart (less than 1A) or by 2 AA
cells. To get a single step down DC/DC converter on Amazon is
ridiculous ($15 or so), but there was a set of 6 step down DC/DC
(adjustable, but you apparently may need to use many turns to adjust
voltage output) converter with max 3A output for about that same
price. So, about $3 per converter. A quick search at Deal Extreme
shows similar things (quantity 1) for $2. So, this isn't a great
deal. But, if I need a quick solution for similar problems, it is
there. And I can work with up to 30 or 40V on the input side.

--

Gord

Frederick R. McDougall
 

Depending on shipping cost that sounds like a great deal ---- and no soldering.  Fred


On Sun., Oct. 27, 2019, 14:33 Gordon Haverland, <ghaverla@...> wrote:
On Sat, 26 Oct 2019 17:24:19 -0600
"Frederick R. McDougall" <frmcdo@...> wrote:

> Another option would be to purchase a small inverter to get 110 vac
> to power any small appliance.

I managed to find a portable AM/FM/Shortwave radio with an alarm
function, which is powered by 5V wall wart (less than 1A) or by 2 AA
cells.  To get a single step down DC/DC converter on Amazon is
ridiculous ($15 or so), but there was a set of 6 step down DC/DC
(adjustable, but you apparently may need to use many turns to adjust
voltage output) converter with max 3A output for about that same
price.  So, about $3 per converter.  A quick search at Deal Extreme
shows similar things (quantity 1) for $2.  So, this isn't a great
deal.  But, if I need a quick solution for similar problems, it is
there.  And I can work with up to 30 or 40V on the input side.

--

Gord




Gordon Haverland
 

The radio and the little power supplies arrived today. The power
connector appears to be a micro-USB connector. I wasn't expecting
that. I think I will to find or scavenge a cord form somewhere.

The "writeup" on the radio sounded so great. The radio is not great,
it is probably okay. It picks up the local CBC rebroadcaster. It does
not pick up CJXX (Grande Prairie) inside a vehicle. It has short wave
as well, and it didn't seem to pick up anything on that.

--

Gord