Portable Radio Upgrade

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I found a DeWalt DC010 portable construction site radio discarded by the side of the road, and decided to modify it.

I’m definitely not the first with this idea, at least two of my fiends have modified the same radio.

As stock, it includes an AM/FM tuner, and the ability to run off a cordless drill NiCD pack, but not charge it, and thats about it. On the inside, its quite empty, so that leaves plenty of room for extra components.

The plan is to remove the internals and replace them with
– An Orange Pi Zero.
РA cheap 100w TPA3116 amplifier board.
– A 6s2p 18650 pack with BMS for 24V portable power.
– Onboard battery charger, also, the ability to run from mains power.
– Aux, USB and network inputs.
– Bluetooth dongle on the ‘Pi to enable cordless streaming.
– A VFD or OLED display replacing the tuner bar graph.
– Skip button, a big red button for going to the next song on the playlist.
– Better speakers and quite possibly a subwoofer speaker.
– Possibly a PoE input and/or output, I’m considering doing more with PoE around the house.
– Possibly some sort of FM tuner or USB SDR, but listening to commercial radio is low on the priority list.

As far as connectivity goes, the radio will be equipped with
-Wifi
-Bluetooth
-Ethernet
-3.5mm direct input to amplifier
-USB port
-32GB MicroSD card with ample space for an internal music library.
To support various ways of streaming or uploading music to the radio.


The first modification after taking it apart completely was to replace the 4W speakers with some 3 way “150w” speakers. Obviously they’re more like 50w in real life, but they should work very nicely.

This is the TPA3116 amplifier board that will be going into the modified radio. It sounds quite good in combination with the speakers.

The 3 way (power) switch was replaced with a big industrial button, the tuner knob will be fitted on top of a rotary encoder with push button, and both will be interfaced to the Orange Pi The volume knob will be directly interfaced to the amplifier volume control.

Current status: Work in progress.