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Preamp/Faceplate for Table Radio/Boombox WISH LIST...

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  • donradick
    Great ideas, Tom!
    Besides building a number of these devices and discovering strengths and weaknesses of various components, your
    professional experience as an educator really shines. I agree with many of your observations - the typical membrane
    remote with the little "clicker" buttons not only feels cheap, it feels like it's just waiting to die, then you are out of business,
    since they aren't available separately.

    If I can jump into your thread here -
    I'd like to build an internet radio type box - I'd like to have maybe 4-5 preset internet streaming "stations" that
    would connect over wifi. I don't need or want to stream bluetooth (or airplay) audio from my phone, but it's possible
    that a simple BLE app would offer remote control of the "radio".
    Are the components available, or would this require a lot of integration?

    Thanks in advance..

    Leave a comment:

  • tomzarbo
    Here is what it might look like in classic 'Dayton Audio' mini-amp style:

    Click image for larger version

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    Leave a comment:

  • tomzarbo
    Here are some of the table radio's I've made so far for comparison:

    Toni Table Radio:

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    Bantam Table Radio:

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    Sound Travelers:

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    That one didn't use a faceplate, but you get the idea.

    Almost forgot about this one for my Wife's sister and husband:

    Click image for larger version

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    I have several more ideas in the pipeline that I'm excited about building as well.

    One I'm excited about is a Bantam Table Radio 2.1 version which will delete the PR's on the L/R speakers and add a 5" subwoofer for deeper bass and more output.

    Another I'm jazzed about is a super-small 2-channel radio with a very minimal footprint using the ND65 drivers. Think Sound Traveler or Toni Table Radio, but more compact, possibly a bit taller, angled up a bit too.


    Leave a comment:

  • Preamp/Faceplate for Table Radio/Boombox WISH LIST...

    Happy new year fellow Tech-Talkers...

    I've spent the last few years really enjoying messing around with smaller table radios and such. I've used several types of preamp boards including one from Parts Express and several from Aliexpress/Amazon. They're all mostly 'okay' with some pros/cons.

    Since Parts Express/Dayton Audio has the ability to get pretty much anything made they way they want it, I was thinking about how nice it would be to have a 'Dayton Audio' themed preamp faceplate for the many, many table radio and boombox designs that are built by us DIY'ers. Look at the project showcase and you'll see that many of the new things that are being made revolve around this small and/or portable all-in-one music solution.

    Dayton Audio has a "look" or "Design Language" with their small amps... Black brushed aluminum, knurled metal knobs with machined exposed aluminum knobs, quality feel with the switchgear, attractive high-contrast fonts, etc. I would absolutely LOVE to use a Dayton Audio designed and appearance preamp on future table radios instead of taking chances on whatever unit that Aliexpress is selling hot this quarter.

    I'd like to make a list of what I'D like to see in a preamp/faceplate board, and see what you guys think should be included feature-wise.

    Here is my list:
    (1) Rotary Input. Could be built-in or even external like the Sure unit. I'd like it to default to volume up/down, but with a press it could also toggle to inputs which would change as you turn the dial.
    (2) It should have the ability to turn-on another device (amplifier) 'Trigger-On' I think it's called, which we could attach to a relay of some type to turn on the actual amp. Maybe a 3-5 second delay, or adjustable delay?
    (3) It should have a real remote with rubber buttons and use AAA batteries, not be a membrane credit card thing with button cells... those things just feel cheap.
    (4) I know this may be more difficult, but a connection for a line level pre-volume L/R output for a spectrum analyzer would be awesome as well! In other words no matter where the volume is on any input, the spectrum analyzer would display mostly the same output, regardless of volume level. I love spectrum analyzers.
    (5) Probably goes without saying, but USB/SD flash card music input... maybe even cell charging through that port if not too difficult?
    (6) Classy looking display,
    (7) softer tone for Bluetooth alert, not the full-volume voice that some have. Similar to PE's all-in-one 30 watt per chanel amp/player. It has a low volume voice prompt... that's the way it should be done!
    * If it had the classic Dayton small amp look that would be excellent....
    (8) Subwoofer output with built-in crossover and maybe even level control... that way you could connect whatever amp you wanted for whatever size sub you wanted, that would give some good nice flexibility.
    (9) FM radio with decent reception. Most other cheap faceplates include a decent FM radio these days, shouldn't be too hard to implement.
    (10) 3.5mm input.

    This level of quality and appearance:

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    Heck, maybe even something with a built-in amp if it approaches 50 watts or so?

    Parts Express has been great at listening to DIY'ers and has been catering to this type of product more and more, for example the new amp series with built-in DSP.
    I love making these types of small radios for friends and family, but am getting a little frustrated with the hit-or-miss, cheap boards I mostly see out in the marketplace. The great community that is Tech Talk has personally helped me navigate several struggles/issues with some of these preamp boards... from noise issues, to reducing voltages, etc. but I know if Dayton resolved to do it right, they could make a truly fantastic product that would be a pleasure to operate.

    Please add your thoughts and list of features you'd like to see, maybe it could happen?

    Last edited by tomzarbo; 12-10-2020, 07:03 AM.