Restoration of an old steam radio


Max2Play Multiroomgreat upcycling project


Our dream came truewe own an old steam radio

With the Max2Play radio, it has now come true! After 21 years: we started restoring one of these. What quickly became clear to us: in principle, such steam radios do not have any useful properties in their original state. We wanted to change that and took a Mende radio from 1940. When we looked at the case, it quickly turned out that it was ideal for an LCD touch display!

The right selectionhad to be made

Of course, the touch display for itself was not enough. So we started looking for the right system and an improved, technical inner workings of our steam radio. After all, it should be able to do more than just play music. So we took a closer look at the Max2Play, Volumio and Run Audio. The latter was no longer an option for our plans, due to a lack of functionality and other various reasons. We did not also consider the Volumino model anymore. In our opinion, some features are missing here. Although all setting options were available, we ultimately decided against it. In the end, we chose the Max2Play model.

The decisionthe first work began

Very nice employees advised us for over an hour and confirmed our decision. It was a Leipzig company, which made the consultation much easier!

Who would like to be confronted with such sentences, for example: “so, Joe you just need to import the settings from an TFTP server and adjust via console in the opt directory where the application should be installed if you did all right in point 4.“ Max2Play provides finished images. Due to a lot of simple and great instructions, loading the SD card is no problem. We personally prefer the “etcher” instructions. Then you must insert the card into the Raspi and off you go! We also found it particularly good that the M2P also directly supports a 7″ touchscreen.

Now it got exciting. We took the first steps and the test run on the laboratory bench was successful. So we achieved the first goal! Now it was time to do the manual work, in other words: the saw had to be used!

First test run of Max2Playwas successful

After we adapted the plate for the technology into the housing, we next turned to the cutout for the display. This was followed by a rough test run by Max2Play to see whether everything worked as we had imagined. Finally, there were also the recesses for the loudspeakers. After careful consideration, we came to the result: result found to be good! By and large, the system was already functional!

Now the interior work beganwith unusual tools

As you can see from the picture here, the iron presses directly on the wood so that the glue sets properly. We only used solid wood or a glued board. We consider chipboard unsuitable for high-quality work.

In many older radios, the technology sat on an aluminum support that closed the housing at the bottom, so they were open there. This was no longer the case with this model. As a further highlight, the radio should now have an illuminated switch!


HiFiBerry AMP2

Here you can see the HiFiBerry Amp2, which provides enough power for the 87 mm Clarion speakers. After all, you want to experience something in terms of sound! The interior work had been completed so far, the attachment of the covering material as well as the exterior preparation followed.

The technical function test was successfulnow we take care of the housing 

We cleaned the radio with sufficient soft soap. Also, we treated the visible scratches with colored wax and then sealed them with a very thin layer of shellac. It doesn't look like new, but that wasn't the point. In the meantime, we gave the carrier plate a new covering material.

Final work

A plate was fitted, and the power pack was set. And the new radio was ready, or rather: the new multiroom server with an external USB connection to charge a cell phone or to read a stick with music, videos, etc. The attentive observer is sure to notice that we have now built in a volume control. Thus, all openings of the radio are used sensibly! It turns old Android devices into good boom clients for Logitech Media Server.

The great result!

• More interesting pages • 

HiFi Upcycling
Light elements

• Contact • 

Neufeldt & Kuhnke GmbH & Co. KG
Boninstraße 25
24114 Kiel

Phone: +49 (0) 431 – 70 57 95 91
Fax: +49 (0) 431 – 70 57 95 89
E-mail: kiel(at)