Radio and Dash
- Written by Daniel Livingston
Since the car didn't come with a radio, it has no speaker either. That would be a single speaker since the AM radio is mono. No problem since speakers are still readily available that would fit the opening. The opening measured 5 in. x 7 in. and that's still a common size. What I didn't anticipate have a problem finding was an 8 ohm, 5x7 speaker. It seems that car amplifiers can be rated higher if they rate they through a 4 ohm speaker. So, I kept my eye on eBay and eventually a pair of Samsung 8 ohm, 10 Watt speakers showed up. I got them for $16 + shipping, not a bad deal. And, since there were two of them, I'd have a spare.
The speaker fit great in the opening in the dash, but the mounting holes in the speaker didn't match up with any of the holes in the car. The original speaker had a larger flange around the edge, allowing it to be fastened in the existing holes. So, I needed to fab up some mounting brackets to attach to the edge of speaker.
I love working in plastic and had some scraps laying around, so this gave me a change to be creative. Instead of adding a flange all the way around, I figured it would be easier to add two separate pieces, a left and a right. That way i could more easily reposition each bracket to line up all the holes. And, once I got one correct, the other side would be a mirror image.
I used some cardboard to mock up the brackets until I got the size and holes in the right laces, them cut them out in 1/8inch plastic. I painted the plastic a semi-gloss black so they wouldn't be noticeable through the speaker grill.
Setting the speaker back in the hole, I lined up the new brackets and attached the them to the dash with screws. I still need to put the speaker/vent grill back in place.
I hooked the radio speaker wires to the speaker terminals and turned on the radio. The static sounded great. Nice and loud. Now I need to hook up an antenna. I don't have any plans on drilling a hole in my fender for an antenna, so I;m going to try and hide one somewhere.
*- “Mono e mono” is an error caused by mishearing the Spanish expression mano a mano which means not “man-to-man” but “hand-to-hand,” as in hand-to-hand combat: one on one.
...more to come