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ipod iphone charging station with speakers from vintage car radio

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Meet Otis. Otis is a one of a kind docking station for your ipod/iphone built from a 1949 Motorola 403 car radio, most likely from a 1949 Willys Jeepster.

We discovered Otis in barn fresh condition, with 60 years of dirt and decay. Under all the dirt, we saw the potential for an amazing dock.

To create Otis, we started by disassembling the radio and removing all of the defunct tubes and wiring. A universal docking tray was installed that fits all iphones, ipod touch and ipod classics. The inside partitions were cut out to make room for the powerful new electronics. Originally, he was flipped the other way, but to suit our purposes, we turned the case upside down and flipped the faceplate over.

The case was lightly sanded to remove most of the original finish but leave lots of character then sprayed with 6 coats of High Temp Gold Metallic engine paint, topped with 3 coats of clear. The result is a gorgeous Hot Rod inspired finish that looks authentically vintage.

The controls and bezel were disassembled, cleaned and repainted to have a red background with white station needle. We even repainted the cool white numbers and logo on the embossed glass. The chrome was hand polished, though some pitting remains, then reassembled. The original volume control was replaced and topped with a vintage volume knob scrounged from our local music store. The right dial was removed and replaced with a red LED power light. We also installed a strip of amber LEDs behind the glass that gives a warm glow from the station indicator with the speaker is powered on. A new toggle switch with retro graphics control the power to the speaker. Your Apple device charges whenever docked, whether the speaker is on or not.

Inside, we've installed a powerful 20 watt Lepai amplifier that drives a Pyle 5.25" 3 way speaker. 20 watts is a lot of power in such a small package. It sounds amazing, plenty loud enough for the average room.

Chrome hardware and a chrome kickstand finish off this amazing unit. Otis has truly been a labor of love...

ipod iphone charging station with speakers from vintage car radio