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Hey does anyone have any ideas on how to make an old radio? It doesn't have to function. But if anyone had any ideas on how to make the outer shell of the radio please share!
Kinda like these!

 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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I actually have the exact one on the bottom (peaked oval shaped- did you know they were called "tombstone style" ???), but in a cherry finish. It isn't antique, it's a replica that has radio and a tape deck. I didn't toss it all those years ago when the thing stopped working, (future prop?) but there are lots of replica versions out there.

You probably could build one if you can't find one in a thrift store or flea market. Don't forget to check places like Craigslist either...
 

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The one pictured looks like a Thomas reproduction. You should be able to find one of these in a thrift store. I've also seen console (floor standing) radios on craigslist quite often. Sometimes they're listed under collectibles ($$$), sometimes general or household ($), and sometimes free (for me!).

Good luck,

Craig
 

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Another place you might look is a tv repair shop, maybe they will have one or two carcasses you can play around with.
 

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I was unable to find an affordable one locally, and I looked for months. So I finally ended up on ebay and bought one missing the insides and needing to be refinished. With some careful sanding and an oil finish it turned out quite nice.

Then I had to go and install a Prop-1, flicker light, and computer speakers to "hauntify" it.
 

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Bête noire
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Damn, I saw one of those radios the thrift shop today going for $20. Looked a lot like the one above, except it was very well used. Definitely old-looking. I didn't get the radio, but I did find a nice Shiatsu massager for $6. I know just what I'm gonna do with it.
 

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It might not be too difficult to make one of these if you're willing to go with a simpler design. Google "dollhouse cathedral radio" and you'll find a minature model that you can easily enlarge the front of and trace onto wood or foam sheets.

Then a bit of paint and weathering, and it should look OK in the dark.

Uncle - What sounds did you put in yours? This might be a good project for a color organ with a dim light. Spooky sounds playing and the dial flickering!
 

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Authentic tombstone radios are pretty rare and fairly expensive working or busted. A great recommendation for all you home haunters in the SF Bay Area out there looking for some authentic props I HIGHLY recommend checking into the Alameda Antique Faire. It occurs the first Sunday of every month and is located at the old naval base in Alameda (same place where they film a lot of Mythbusters!). A couple Halloween's ago I had one with a Lighting FX and mp3 player in it, totally awesome effect.
 

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Ah, a color organ that flickers the lighted dial...great idea!

What did you use for the recording on the MP3 player?

I thought that it would be fun to have old radio shows, which every now and then would be interrupted by a voice crying for help...
 

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We actually did try to mask the music with some screams and groans but found that it took away from the ambiance of soundtrack. I guess sometimes simple is better. A few songs we chose to play were:

Bei Mir Bist Du Schon - Andrew Sisters
Brother Can You Spare A Dime - Bing Crosby
Jitterbug Waltz - Dizzy Gillespie
God Bless The Child - Billie Holiday
How Much Is That Doggie In The Window - Patty Page
Just Walking In The Rain - Johnny Ray

I'll have to see if I can remember any others we had playing, but it worked perfectly with Lighting FX. In other rooms we had a little girl singing nursery rhymes and some floorboard creaking.
 

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I gave this some thought. I think the way to add to the effect is to consider it a "Twilight Zone Radio." Record the voice of some poor, trapped soul saying things like, "Help! Help!! Anybody!!!!" "Where am I? Anyone??" "Please, no, not that!" etc. etc.

Then edit them in Audacity to add a radio tuning static before and after. Also, take the songs in the list you mentioned above, edit segments of them down to 30 seconds or so and put a fade in at the start and a fade out at the end of each clip.

Drop all the clips onto the mp3 player and set it to shuffle. Or just arrange them in order and set the playlist to loop.

Overall effect is that you hear old music on the radio...it fades out...you hear brief static/tuning...you hear the voice crying for help...static again...and the music comes back. About 30 seconds later it repeats but you hear a different cry for help.

I may record these and edit them, and then post them up somewhere others can download them, I like the idea so much.

Question on the Lighting FX: What did you light up? Just the dial? The entire inside of the old radio?

Jeff
 

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I had some static and then the alternate Disney "Ghost Host Introduction" play, with the efx unit flashing a light behind the speaker cloth. You can see my first test in the link below.

This was before I had added the knobs or finished repairing the empty cabinet I had gotten off ebay cheaply because of missing innards and damage to the finish:

YouTube - 2008 Haunted Radio Test 1
 

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I ended up doing this, I found an old radio cabinet on ebay. I used a Lighting FX box, a small light bulb, some laptop speakers, and an mp3 player. Worked really well!
 

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The radio has been found! Can't wait to get started. My G/F has the entire soundtrack for the Tower of Terror ride at Disneyland and they already have the spacial echo effect applied to the track, just like in the ride. So they should sound pretty spooky.

Now I just need to locate one of those lightning FX boxes. Anyone have a link to the Christmas version of it? They're usually about 50% cheaper than the lightning fx boxes.
 
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