Hacking an Eveready Radio

My wife has a cheap Eveready radio that she bought to listen to Gareth Cliff on 5fm in the mornings in the office. The radio isn’t anything fancy, its a basic radio with a little digital clock on it.

The biggest problem with this radio is that it appears that the battery only lasts a few weeks and they cost R 25.00 a battery… the radio was only about R 45.00 (it didn’t come with a battery though).?The conspiracy theorists in me says the reason it goes through batteries so quickly is because its made (or at least branded by) a battery company.


Yesterday the battery started to die and the wife wanted me to buy another battery for it… Thats when I had a light bulb moment (to quote Oprah) and decided instead of buying another battery I would hack the radio to run off the mains power.

I got approval from the Wife for this project, although it couldn’t cost more than the battery or a new radio.

Multi Voltage "Wall wart"

So yesterday after work I went in search of one of those “wallwart” multi voltage power supplies, the only one I could find at the local mall was a fancy switch mode power supply that put out up to 2.5amps but it cost R 199 a little over budget. A visit later to my in-laws saved the day when my father-in-law found a box of the little wallwart’s in the garage that he inherited, I grabbed a few in case one of them didn’t work and took it home.

I scratched through my parts bins and found a DC jack that the wallwart’s plug fitted and a few bits of wire and I was ready.

First job was undo all the screws on the radio and get it open, once open I quickly traced all the wires and worked out where on the board they all go. The plan was to wire the jack in so that when the plug was in it would disconnect the battery and run off the wallwart but when you remove it, it’ll work off the battery again. 20 minutes of soldering, cutting, wire stripping and fiddling with various screws and it was done.

I double and?tripled?checked everything with my multi-meter so that I didn’t blow anything up when I plugged it in, stood back and switched it on… and didn’t let out the magic smoke. After the successful switch on, I drilled a hole in the back to mount the jack, routed all the wires round the board and put it all back together.