1951 Westinghouse Electric - Radio Mod


Limp Gawd
Oct 23, 2004
A friend of mine was listening to me rant about case mods one day not so long ago (and had her view the forums here for about 1-1/2 hrs as well) when I happened to mention an old radio back at my mother's house that I've been trying to find. Needless to say, I never did find that radio but she located the Westinghouse through a friend of hers.

The radio is barely in working order at the time of this writing, a heavy coating of dust inside over the metal, wood and tubes. The wires are frayed and the power cord has two alligator clips on it to make a full connection :eek:

The idea here is to maintain the integrity of the cabinet work (as it still bears a clear label on the bottom of Canada Cabinets and Furniture Ltd.) and to not disturb the authenticity of the case (for the most part). We do want to remove the original finish and may possibly varnish or oil the casing itself yet maintain the front panel arrangement "as-is".

Due to the interior depth of the case (a mere 200mm), the choice of motherboards was severly limited. I finally chose the below compents for installation:

1. Motherboard - MSI KM4M-V (192mm deep) with lan, usb, video and sound onboard.

2. A "mere" 512 Mb of RAM - (this is going to be a simple workstation for her father and this is being done on a budget). This is Kingston PC3200 CL3.

3. An XP 2600+ processor.

4. 40 GB Maxtor HD.

5. CD-RW (model not chosen yet) and not DVD at this time.

6. Floppy drive.

7. PSU - not chosen yet at this time. Either mATX or ATX will fit in this case and, as this is a bit of a budget, we may just go to an ATX for this project.

The original 4 dials will be replaced (as the dials are no longer original) with custom knobs: power button, reset button, hd activity light and a single fan bus control - but all will be made to look like radio knobs of some sort.

Cooling will be by air. A 120mm fan will go in where the speaker currently resides and an aluminum 80mm will be placed on the back of the unit (as well as outtake through the psu).

CD-RW and floppy access, though a bit cumbersome, will be placed on the back of the unit (through a sheet of lucite) so as to not disrupt the front of the case and in order to maintain as much "authenticity" of the unit as possible.

We may put in a cold cathode but this has not yet been decided for sure (on/off rocker to be located on back).

Pictures will follow as my digital camera is broken (the lens mechanism has locked up on a Kodak DC-265 - which is older than can be but has served me well for many years) and webcam shots just wouldn't do this justice. So I'm out in the next day or so to pick up some film for my Olympus IS-10 and I'll shot some print and scan.

I've misplaced a link I found online for said radio and will get it posted as soon as I can relocated it.




I'd like to see this, too- but what would worry me is whether or not the radio would be worth something to a collector. I'd hate to mod something like that just to find out later that as-is it would've been worth $10,000.... :eek:
No such luck :(

A quick scan of ebay shows Westinghouse radios of that era (plus or minus a decade) with prices around the 20 to 30 dollar range. Higher priced radios show no bids or activity.
I've admired your work . . . thanks!

I'll try to keep things up-to-date as I get along here. I finally got film yesterday and started taking photos as I got ready to gut the radio.

Hopefully I can post soon!
Found a very informative site on radio restoration and such:

Antiques Radio Forum

This should help some in terms of restoring the plastic and the wood finish of the radio to (hopefully) near original condition.