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Old 13th Dec 2017, 12:46 am   #1
mark2collection
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Default Bush DAB90A Project Radio

First & foremost, no vintage radio was lost in the production of this project. It's not a typo either, this really is a Bush DAB90A … only, made by me … Please, read on ...

Atop my pile in the graveyard corner of my workshop lay, for a good number of years, a very badly damaged, empty, Bush DAC90A cabinet. Not only was it cracked, had various deep scratches & a couple of chunks taken out of it, but, someone had (at some stage) fitted a carry handle too, which left two largish holes and indentations around its mounting!

The empty cabinet came will a haul of bits from a chap who closed his workshop back in the early 1990's … With the amount of damage to the cabinet, there would not have been a graceful way of making less than obvious repairs.

I do not make a habit of such activities to such things, I repair/restore vintage radios sympathetically, retaining as much originality as is practicable, yet in this case (pardon the pun) the cabinet had two choices, & one of those was the bin!

Since I also had a couple of DAB radios buried under the pile in 'the graveyard' & the wife liking the DAC90/DAC90A styling, (she's not nearly so keen on the programme content left on A.M though) you know what's coming next …

One of the DAB sets in the pile was beyond repair, in that, you couldn't buy a replacement DAB module from the manufacturer, even they couldn't repair it (parts obsolescence I believe). The sets for sale on-line tended to have the same fault as mine, so a scrapper it remained. The other DAB set was actually a pretty good tuner, standard 19” design, typical of mainstream early 2000's 'Hi-Fi' separates … only trouble was, it had a PSU fault (not major) BUT, cosmetically flawed, not something you'd grace your house with, it wasn't pretty. Mercifully, the DAB module was ok (& owing to the firmware installed, it could not be used in my previous 'scrapper'). Could this tuner, which also had serious cosmetic issues, be sensibly installed into my duff DAC90A cabinet? In a word, yes!

Some 2 years of part-time careful planning, measuring, metalworking & electronics know-how, I finally had a DAB chassis which would fit inside an unmodified DAC90A cabinet.

Essentially, I made sure the bits would fit, then repaired the DAB tuner, gave it a good test with a variety of aerials, tried it around the house, then set to work. I removed the SPDIF/Coax/Phono output sockets, made my own tone corrector circuit which also mono'd the output of the tuner, made an amplifier, capable of 40 watts RMS (but limited to 10 Watts), wired in a large 16x2 LCD, assembled my chassis plus wiring looms, made the 'dial' bezel & had glass cut to size. I also fitted the menu/auto tuning buttons around the back, trying to keep the classic DAC90A lines … The loudspeaker is a modern, kevlar coned jobbie, rated (I think) to 100 Watts, & owing to the frequency cut-off, I had to install a tweeter behind the LCD, which evens the soundstage somewhat.

Even the brass chassis locating lugs have been manufactured especially for this set.

Whilst all this was going on, I obtained a set of (scratched) matching knobs & a battered DAC90A speaker grille, which was surreptitiously straightened out. These items were then handed to our local/tame car body shop, the grille painted RAL 'Cream' & the cabinet along with knobs were repaired & painted RAL 'Duck Egg' … meanwhile, I had designed a new back panel for the radio, which was sent away to be made from a 'Traffolyte' type material, laser cut & engraved. If the aerial, buttons & power socket look off-centre, they're not, it's just poor camerawork.

How does it sound? Impressive! Given that an awful lot of stations on DAB are mono/compressed, you would never know you're listening to a table-top radio.

Whilst embarking on this project, it was pointed out by friends that you can buy perfectly good DAB radios in the shops, & whilst this is true, none of them look or sound like this!!!!

Front-left control, power/volume, front-right control, tune up or tune down, push to select. Side control, LCD brightness … I considered a tone control, but having an adjustable brightness control has for us, proved useful on many occasions.

I don't think I've left anything out, hope the pictures 'explain' the detail involved. Sadly, in my 'enthusiasm', I do not have 'before' pictures of the DAC90A cabinet as found.

Mark
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Last edited by mark2collection; 13th Dec 2017 at 1:05 am. Reason: Spelling error.
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Old 13th Dec 2017, 12:49 am   #2
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Default Re: Bush DAB90A Project Radio

... pictures of the cabinet & back panel ...

Mark
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Name:	06 Rear, Back Removed.JPG
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Old 13th Dec 2017, 1:52 am   #3
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Default Re: Bush DAB90A Project Radio

A Satan set.
Nice job though.
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Old 13th Dec 2017, 2:26 am   #4
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Default Re: Bush DAB90A Project Radio

That is really impressive, well done!
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Old 13th Dec 2017, 2:29 am   #5
ThePillenwerfer
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Default Re: Bush DAB90A Project Radio

Absolutely gorgeous.
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Old 13th Dec 2017, 7:41 am   #6
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Default Re: Bush DAB90A Project Radio

Hello.
Outstanding work looks the part.
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Old 13th Dec 2017, 8:58 am   #7
Nickthedentist
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Default Re: Bush DAB90A Project Radio

Wonderful work, Mark, very impressed.
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Old 13th Dec 2017, 9:04 am   #8
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Default Re: Bush DAB90A Project Radio

Well done Mark, now you will be able to see the stations on the dial, even if tuning takes a little longer.

Ed
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Old 13th Dec 2017, 9:23 am   #9
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Default Re: Bush DAB90A Project Radio

I think that is a brilliant job, well done!
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Old 13th Dec 2017, 9:53 am   #10
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Default Re: Bush DAB90A Project Radio

Amazing, well done!

If I understand correctly you've used a different LCD, do they all have a common interface?
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Old 13th Dec 2017, 9:57 am   #11
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Default Re: Bush DAB90A Project Radio

Expect now a rash of commercial versions!

Great concept, and neatly done too!
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Old 13th Dec 2017, 10:33 am   #12
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Default Re: Bush DAB90A Project Radio

Quite superb! It makes me realise how much more I still have to learn, and how little time l have to do it in.

Some enterprising people on the other side of the planet are tooling up for this right now, and I expect to receive one for repair within the next few years!

Congratulations!
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Old 13th Dec 2017, 10:35 am   #13
60 oldjohn
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Default Re: Bush DAB90A Project Radio

WOW!, great job! I'm imagining the questions raised on this forum in 60 years time! When did DAB come on air? Is there a Trader sheet for this set? Anyone else got one? and the questions will keep coming.


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Old 13th Dec 2017, 10:52 am   #14
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Default Re: Bush DAB90A Project Radio

Mark, it's funny how these things come back to bite you on the ar$, now you're obliged to produce a trader sheet!

The road to hell is paved with good intentions!
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Old 13th Dec 2017, 11:20 am   #15
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Default Re: Bush DAB90A Project Radio

This forum will be able to handle it. But fast forward a thousand years and think what it'll do to an archaeologist!

Beautiful work!

David
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Old 13th Dec 2017, 11:38 am   #16
David G4EBT
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Default Re: Bush DAB90A Project Radio

It's a real 'looker' and gladdens my heart to see work of such a high standard. Excellent in every respect - the concept, design, attention to detail, and execution.
No corners cut, no compromises - even the back panel looks excellent, it terms of design and execution. Must be the best example ever of 're-purposing'!
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Old 13th Dec 2017, 12:26 pm   #17
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Default Re: Bush DAB90A Project Radio

Yes, the back panel is particularly superb and indicative of the no-compromise approach you've shown throughout.

N.
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Old 13th Dec 2017, 12:55 pm   #18
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Default Re: Bush DAB90A Project Radio

Fantastic work.

Shame it's DAB

Visiting this forum and indeed Youtube it is heartening to see true craftsmen and women turning out both modern and traditional masterpieces.
It's very encouraging to see the young, including women turning to, for example, traditional woodworking
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Old 13th Dec 2017, 1:06 pm   #19
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Default Re: Bush DAB90A Project Radio

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickthedentist View Post
Yes, the back panel is particularly superb and indicative of the no-compromise approach you've shown throughout.
Good job you called it a DAB90a, if you'd left it as DAB90 you'd have needed a bit missing and a singe mark...
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Old 13th Dec 2017, 1:32 pm   #20
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Default Re: Bush DAB90A Project Radio

Ha ha!
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