1950 HMV Radiogram repurposed

This is actually my 2nd Volumio build. The first was a simple one with a Pi ZeroW inside a Bose SoundDock but a chance find whilst helping a neighbour take some rubbish to the dump inspired me to make something more interesting.

Whilst clearing out the shed at the village hall, this was found and placed unceremoniously in a trailer to be taken to the dump:

After a bit of research, I discovered it is a 1950 HMV radiogram. The wooden case was scratched but the glass containing the station information was intact. I did think about completely restoring it but the cost of valves alone would have been about £200 and then there was the state of the wiring inside:

So I decided I would clean up the case and glass, gut the interior and use it as a home for a more modern music source. Apologies to anyone horrified at this.

Here is the radio in various states of restoration:
I used a furniture repair stick from B&Q to fill the deeper scratches and then rubbed the entire case with teak oil to clean it up and bring some colour back.

And this is it ready for the new interior:

I had to take the Bose apart since it was too deep to fit inside the case. Fortunately the ribbon cable connecting the docking connector to the main PCB was long enough to allow it to be reversed:
And this is the Pi - an ‘old school’ Pi with a DAC that I got on eBay for £10:
Here is the completed interior with Bose, Pi and cables:

I also fitted 1m of led lights around the inside of the glass display. These are powered from the Pi’s USB port and provide a green glow. The colour can be changed but I like the green hue:

Here it is in the study and with the iPad controlling Volumio:

It sounds great. Putting the Bose inside another case seems to have deepened the sound but at the same time it is crystal clear since there is a big cutout behind the glass panes where the original oval speaker was located. It also looks great now it has been cleaned and especially at night when it glows.

This is exactly what I’ve got in mind for my first project, I’m currently trawling charity shops and car boot sales etc looking for a suitable old radio.

Great job you’ve done.

In case you’re interested, there are 3 or 4 of these currently on eBay UK in various states of repair, ranging from £5 to £40. All look like suitable donors. Search for ‘HMV radio’.

Absolutely wonderful
I have been rer-cycling other peoples chuck-out radios, record players etc. for years. Have managed to even fit a touch screen jukebox (DWjukebox software) into a 1930’s French wooden cased radio. Keep up the good work.


Thanks for the heads up Nobby!! I’ll take a look after the game :ugeek:

This looks good. I’ve also been working on a radiogram and have just got most of it working as I wanted.

have a look here: https://volumio.org/forum/led-lighing-project-t10898.html#p54556 for some details.

Any tips on how best to revarnish the top?