A Little Electronic Help? | PITH + VIGOR by Rochelle Greayer

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A Little Electronic Help?

2/22/2012

It’s been a week since the Big Red V-day but I still have some following up to do. I want to share with you what my sweet husband gave me (which I will get to hopefully later today) — but I also wanted to ask for help with the present that almost was. I wanted to ask you all this before the holiday, but I had concerns, primarily that my husband would see what I was up to and any surprise would be ruined. But now that it doesn’t matter (I told him) — I need some help.
See, I found these two completely cool speakers at Agent Gallery Chicago. They are both vintage about the same time as our house. My husband has mentioned a number of times while helping me in the garden how nice it would be if he didn’t have to carry to iPod speaker outside, running extension cords and perching it precariously on the milk box in order to get us our much needed gardening tunes.

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He has this vision of M*A*S*H-like war camp speakers that would be mounted on the large electrical pole on our driveway. Reconfigured to be able to broadcast iPod output throughout our garden. Cool right?

1940horn01

And being the completely selfless person that I am — who has no ulterior motive to get him to help me more often, I thought it would be wonderful to see if I could figure this thing out.
I got as far as finding the speakers, but have no idea what to do next.  Any ideas for converting these into something I can hook up to modern technology?

Oh and did I mention the garden party throwing aspect to this whole idea. Fun!

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  1. Gordon Rigg says:

    Looks the sort of thing an ex army man would have in his garden to send his ipod music out. I prefer the first one rather than the 2nd (could just be the dirt!)

  2. Geoff says:

    Rochelle-
    Getting this done may not be as difficult as you think, depending on the actual specifications of those speakers. Put an ohm meter across the inputs you should have something slightly less than 4, 8 or 16 ohms. With luck you will have 2 8-ohm speakers. At that point it’s simple: Nick on down to the pawn shop / Goodwill / Big Box and collect a gently used Hi-Fi receiver of more than 20W / channel. Install said receiver in garage or garden shed connect speakers to the speaker out’s on the back of the receiver and your iDevice to the receiver’s “line in” with the appropriate 3.5mm to RCA (or whatever the receiver has) cable. Be gentle with the power on these speakers, they tended to be /very/ efficient since they were made to be driven with tube amps which were expensive in high wattage. If you shoot me some closeup photo’s of the backs of the speakers I may be able to help out a bit more. If they are /not/ 8ohm then we’re into impedance matching the amp and it gets complicated. Likewise if you are going for the whole vintage PA setup.

  3. rochelle says:

    Geoff — You are a genius – I am going to share this with my husband and see if we need more help — will let you know! Thank YOU!! -R

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