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Vintage Radio Tech


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This set brings a retro radio and its headphones to life. Although it was not modeled after an actual device, I still tried to create it based on the design style of gadgets found in the 60s. I tried to achieve that good old chunky look, but still, make it interesting.

As a child, I played a lot with LEGO, and this isn't changed as I grew up. Meanwhile, I become an electrical engineer and I worked on all kinds of modern devices. As technology goes on we used to forget about the vintage solutions. This set aims to combine my favorite free time activity with my profession, with a hint of retro style.

I always loved vintage gadgets, because there is something about them that is equivalent to time travel. Vacuum tube technology is timeless. There is something magical in the glowing filament. It emits warm orange light, and this makes it so attractive. These brilliant tubes make everyone's voice like on the radio. Back then these things were absolutely groundbreaking. Of course, they are a bit chunky and inconvenient compared to modern silicon-based solutions.

While I worked on this set I wanted to equip the radio with some electronics in LEGO fashion. Inside, there is everything, that can be found on a real radio.

Back then, these devices were a bit inefficient compared to modern technology. This is why all retro stuff had massive heat sinks and vent holes around the chassis. Of course, I used black parts, because anodized heat sinks can dissipate more heat.

The front panel of the vintage audio devices was a maze. They had all kinds of analog gauges, sliders, knobs, and clicky pushbuttons. Usually, there was a thick user manual to make things clear. When I was a child, my family had an old radio whose knobs were painted with glow-in-the-dark paint. I thought that it was magic. For this reason, I used glow-in-the-dark paint for the knobs and buttons.

The headphones in this era were crafted from some kind of metal. Back then they made things for eternity. This is why this stuff was thick and heavy. If the headphone was equipped with a microphone it was a massive mechanism on one side. They had gears, and knobs, and had a lot of flexibility to adjust it.

Making the headphones was an interesting challenge. I wanted to capture the old-school look and make it relatively strong. I had to combine various techniques to achieve this look. It took almost a month to finish this part. The head strap was a challenging peace as well. It took me 21 versions, but I think it was worth it.

The microphone mount is constructed from some technic pieces. I used two gears to create a braking mechanism for the microphone armature.

The part count of this set is around 1700.

I equipped the vacuum tubes with a light brick, to make them glow in the dark. It was really important to me, to make this thing looks nice in the dark.

Thank you for checking out my project!

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