Repairing the 1961 transistor radio Braun T220

My blue 1961 transistor radio Braun T220 works pretty good but since I’m planning to put it on Ebay I decided it was time to do the electronics versions of an oil change: The re-cap. Changing all the capacitors.

Opening it up I could find eight metal capacitors and one biggie made out of paper. When old gear is failing, the first suspect is almost always the electrolytic capacitors. I have previously repaired a Samsung monitor and a Samsung TV where the only fault was a couple of bulging caps. Total cost to fix that was under a dollar.

 


All the old capacitors from the Braun T220

In this case where the radio is close to 60 years, there is no reason to keep any of the old caps. If they haven’t completely failed yet it’s just a matter of time and if you would measure their values they are probably all over the place. It wasn’t that much work. It took me around three hours to de-solder all of them and putting in brand new ones. I had to be extra careful not to break any of the many thin copper wires that were soldered left and right in a way you don’t see in newer tech.

 


The inside of the Braun T220, before the re-cap

Powering on the T220 again I was very happy to find that everything was working and the FM signal now was much stronger than before. Also the sound volume was louder and clearer in a way that I had not anticipated. I guess the radio now sounds like it did when it was new in 1961.

All in all the whole process was pretty fun and much easier than what I had imagined it would be. Everything turned out great, which is not always the case when you start poking around in ancient tech.

 

The inside of the Braun T220, post re-cap

March 2nd, 2019|Blog, Design, DIY, Hardware, Retro|

Finished another modded Game Boy DMG-01

Check out this Game Boy that I modded recently. It’s an original red Play it loud shell with new yellow buttons and golden screen. All the usual mods of course: Backlight screen, Bivert chip, Prosound, Less noise and new silicon parts. I enjoyed doing one that really looks like a 90s toy

January 8th, 2019|Blog, DIY, Gameboy, Retro|

I’m building the BASTL Cinnamon State Variable Filter

This lazy Sunday I’m building the DIY kit version of the BASTL Voltage Controlled State Variable Filter for Eurorack.

It’s one of the missing pieces in my Eurorack system since I don’t have any good stand-alone filter. Actually I bought it about a month ago but I have been setting this aside until the new website was finished and launched. I expect this build to take around 2-3 hours.

Here is a video from BASTL where they demonstrate the Cinnamon.

 

January 6th, 2019|Blog, DIY, Eurorack, Hardware, modular|

Retro-modding old Game Boys to look good and sound great

One of my little past time hobbies for the last 6 months or so has been modding old Nintendo Game Boy DMG-01. Here are some of the nicest looking ones that I’ve done.

They all have similar internal mods, which usually are: Better visuals in the form of a backlight device and a bivert chip. Better sound with the so called Prosound mod, Bass mod and power strip capacitor mod to reduce noise and hiss.

I also always replace the internal silicon parts and the screen that covers the LCD display. Last and probably most important is to make the shell look cool which is either done by modifying the shell in some way or just finding the right combination of original shell color, screen and buttons. I gave also done some experiments with spray painting. The finish of the Game Boy at the top of this post was done by spray painting real aluminium spray two times. Two layers of coating was then added to make sure that the color stays on with use. It was a lot of work but I think the result was really good. The aluminium particles made it glitter in sunlight.

The result of my modding is something that you can use to plays the old classic Game Boy games and actually see what is happening on the screen without being in direct sunlight or under a lamp. Also the sound is of course much better: bassier and clearer.

January 4th, 2019|Blog, DIY, Gameboy, Retro|

I’m still alive

I noticed I haven’t been posting here in a while so here’s a little update to what I’ve been up to lately.

First of all, I have spent A TON of my spare time on building that Arp 2600 clone called the TTSH, or Two Thousand Six Hundred. It’s a massive build and I’m almost finished with it now. I will post some more pictures and sounds when the case and everything is done.

Also I switched jobs recently, so I’m now I’m back working with what you call User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) Design for E-commerce. I have been there for four months now, so a lot of my creative energy have been directed towards that. I’m a senior in this area and it’s something I have been working professional with for over 20 years now.

The next album is still in the works. Gotta finish it now, I know..

I have started building a TTSH Arp 2600 clone

My big DYI synth project for this winter/spring is putting together the Arp 2600 clone TTSH (Two Thousand Six Hundred). First phase was done yesterday – finishing the three analog oscillators. Next up, soldering the 4012 filter.

January 22nd, 2017|DIY, modular, Synthesizer|

I installed the Trigger IO expansion for the LXR drum machine

Here’s another little project I had been saving for a rainy (dark) day. Yesterday I brought out my soldering iron again and spend a bunch of hours putting together this little thing.
I can now use the Sonic Potions LXR drum machine to trigger up to seven simultaneous sounds on my analog gear. The sync in/out jacks allows me to either let the LXR send out a master clock or have it controlled by for example my Roland System-100 or the modular.

 

November 7th, 2016|DIY, Drum machine|