Tech: Radio Case

2022, Oct 23    

In a flashback to 2014 and my (slightly) safer PC construction attempts we have a more-photos-than-words look at fitting a PC inside an old radio case.

As there was/is something I find intriguing with the design of old radios it is no surprise that during a car boot visit I spotted an old radio (with broken internals) that I decided to purchase. The goal here was simple:

  • Remove the broken insides
  • Sand it to remove the old varnish/stain/smell of smoke
  • Stain/varnish to improve how it looks
  • Fit my existing PC inside it
  • Have a quirky-looking PC

With all that in mind, lets get to the pictures!

Radio Case 01
The shell of a classic radio (with the glass and knobs removed)

Radio Case 02
Despite its age it was still in relatively good condition

Radio Case 03
After an exterior sand to remove the varnish (ready for staining)

Radio Case 04
More of the exterior sand (showing the bits that I missed)

Radio Case 05
Stained and varnished, both better looking and smoke-free

Radio Case 06
Glued-on motherboard screw mounts (they were also screwed into the wood)

Radio Case 07
The motherboard and PSU fitted (cables to be routed later)

Radio Case 08
Shelf added (for the drives etc)

Radio Case 09
The rear of the case (with added vent holes)

Radio Case 10
The finished system (including a new fabric mesh hiding a large fan)

I really enjoyed creating this case however it didn't last more than a few months as there were a few things I really didn't like / should have done better:

  • The timber trim at the front (beneath the glass) was broken during disassembly
  • I never added subtle lights behind the glass to show when the PC was running
  • The small bits I missed when sanding did stand out if you looked at the front
  • The vent holes on the back were rushed and weren't straight

Hindsight is useful, and looking back I would definitely have approached it differently. That said, it did make for amusement at LAN parties :-)