Dummy Wireless (Radio) front for stage prop

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Project by Don Johnson posted 11-09-2019 01:45 PM 747 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Dummy Wireless (Radio) front for stage prop
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Having risen to the challenge of producing dummy rifles for one of my son’s theatre productions – – his latest request was for the front of a pre-war wireless set to be used in a production of Goodnight Mr Tom.

I searched on the ‘net for pictures of old radios, and finally found one that seemed to have a suitable dial. I had to play with the copy to straighten its keystone effect, before printing it onto acetate on my laser printer. I had some opal plastic sheet to which I could attach it, which I fitted it into a recess cut in a suitably-sized sheet of MDF. I had some white LED strip from which I cut a short length, and with a suitable holder and a 12V battery, could illuminate the dial by sticking the strip to the back of the opal. Four dummy knobs were fitted, with the one at the top left being attached to a switched potentiometer so that, as in real life, when rotated it turned on the illumination.

In another recess I put a board covered with traditional acoustically-transparent cloth which I had left over from a gramophone renovation – – and added some trim to the two recesses, plus a base to enable it stand upright.

I was only required to produce the front of the dummy wireless as the props department were to add a cardboard box for its use on stage.

When I sent the finished front to my son, I advised him that when the actor turns on the set, there should be a short delay before the sound gradually appears because in those days prior to transistors, valves with heaters were used, and they took time to get going. He said that he was delighted with the front, and mentioned that he had added the words, Its warming up into his script.

-- Don, Somerset UK,

4 comments so far

View recycle1943's profile


3376 posts in 2157 days

#1 posted 11-09-2019 02:49 PM

perfect !! Don, you need to apply for the set decoraters job and get paid for your talent

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View crowie's profile


3276 posts in 2486 days

#2 posted 11-09-2019 09:20 PM

Nailed it sir.
Pity there weren’t any of the old one still around to use and show the younger generations.

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View robscastle's profile


6458 posts in 2739 days

#3 posted 11-09-2019 11:23 PM

Nice job …I am just waiting to hear the radio Ga Ga now !

and if your into it,

-- Regards Rob

View clieb91's profile


3667 posts in 4470 days

#4 posted 11-12-2019 11:13 AM

nice looking replica.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

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