Classic Car Radio Upgrades
Most British classic car radios of the 50s, 60s & 70s were made to receive Medium and Long waves (AM) only. Still fine today if you only ever want to listen to the Shipping Forecast, Test Match Special or Five Live. But if your tastes are more eclectic then you need a modern radio that receives FM and possibly DAB. There are very many modern car radios that do this but what if you want to keep the period correct radio for your classic car?
I can help you with this.
If you have an original radio for your classic car, RadioRescue can almost certainly upgrade it. I offer various levels of upgrade from a mono only FM conversion through to a full four speaker stereo conversion with DAB and Bluetooth options. The conversions also include a correctly buffered input for an iPod or other external audio source. As an authorised Aurora Design agent I only use their products which are superbly made and the very best on the market. I also have quite a large stock of unconverted radios which can be converted to your specification.
FMC-2 Mono FM Conversion
The Aurora Design FMC-2 module is a tiny addition to your radio which does not alter the original functions of the radio but adds FM reception and an iPod or other music source input.
When converted, the radio looks and works precisely as it originally did. MW and LW are still present exactly as they were. The controls and pushbuttons work as intended. But, click the radio off and on quickly and the radio switches to FM. You can then tune in the FM stations with the tuning knob. If your radio has presets you can set them as normal. Click it off and on again and the radio reverts to the AM bands. Normal operation of the On/Off switch simply switches the radio on to whatever station it was last receiving.
Plug in your iPod and the radio switches automatically to the new input source. Unplug it and the radio will wait 20 seconds and then switch back to the last station it was on.
The module can be configured for either negative or positive ground radios.
Should you wish to return your radio to stock condition at any time, the FMC-2 module can easily be removed.
Prices from £195 installed in your radio.
FMR-2.7 Four Speaker Stereo Conversion
The FMR-2.7 is a full stereo FM radio which is small enough to fit inside most classic car radios. The unit also covers the Medium Wave AM band in mono sound. Its highly advanced design can drive up to four speakers at 45 watts maximum output or two speakers at 75 watts maximum output. Unlike the FMC-2, this module does not use most of the original radio electronics but only utilises the tuning, volume and tone controls. The number of speakers connected is automatically detected and where appropriate, virtual balance and fader controls are created.
The outputs are all fully short circuit protected. Although available as negative ground only, the module has protection against accidental battery connection reversal.
This is the one to go for if you want a stereo system or if the radio you have is incomplete or unrepairable.
The conversion is supplied with pre-wired connections ready to interface with your classic car’s harness. External connections are for four speakers, dial lamp and electric aerial if needed.
For DAB/DAB+ digital radio channel reception, an option board is available. This option does not need a separate aerial and greatly increases the functionality of the radio.
A stereo iPod or other music source input is supplied with the standard conversion and operates in the same way as the FMC-2 (see above).
The radio speaks all control operations in plain English. No external units are needed; everything is contained within the radio.
Prices from £295 installed in your radio.
BT-2.5 Bluetooth/AAC Adapter
Imagine cruising down the road in your classic vehicle with your favorite music streaming from its original radio. A call comes in on your smart phone and the radio softly mutes as the call comes in over the radio. Sound impossible?
Not with the BT-2.5 from Aurora Design LLC! With the BT-2.5, any radio that has been converted with an FMR-2.7 can be brought up to today’s standards. Streaming music from your Bluetooth enabled AAC/MP3 player or smart phone, or taking hands-free calls, it’s all possible with the BT-2.5.
While anyone can buy a cheap off-the-shelf Bluetooth solution with its hanging cords and cigarette lighter adapters, Aurora Design offers a fully integrated solution with unrivaled features.
The BT-2.5 was designed from the ground up to fully integrate with the FMR-2.7 AM/FM receiver offering features and performance that can’t be matched in cheap off-the-shelf products. Fully integrated into the radio, there’s nothing for you to fumble with or cords you have to connect to use.
When a call comes in, the radio softly mutes and the call comes up. The LED on the FMR-2.7 will change colour to let you know you are in the Bluetooth mode. No wasting the radio’s Auxiliary input on a Bluetooth dongle. No fumbling for knobs or switches to select the Bluetooth input. No fumbling for little buttons on the adapter or touch screens. No switching back to the radio in the middle of a phone call if no one is talking for a few seconds, or when playing streaming audio if it goes quiet. The FMR-2.7 and the BT-2.5 talk to each other to keep in perfect harmony, just like a modern Bluetooth equipped car.
And now with the introduction of high quality AAC support, all your music will sound even better! No need for your phone to convert your music to low quality SBC, the BT-2.5 will playback AAC encoded music directly for the highest quality possible.
The groundbreaking new Voice Assist feature joins the Aurora Design innovated Voice Command feature. Just as the Voice Command feature lets you speak to your radio, the Voice Assist feature lets your radio speak to you to help you with basic radio operation. No having to remember confusing beep tones or complicated LED flash patterns and colours. The radio will announce “ready to pair” when you open Bluetooth pairing. It will then tell you “pairing completed” or “pairing not completed” so you’ll know exactly what’s going on.
The microphone on the BT-2.5 can be mounted internally to your radio, or externally for best audio quality. Even if your radio has an internal microphone, you can still plug an external microphone in at a later date to get even better quality! The BT-2.5 contains advanced echo cancellation and noise reduction algorithms for the best sound possible. The external microphone comes with a 3m cord so it can be place anywhere in the vehicle for the best performance. Notice on most modern cars with hands-free operation, the microphone is mounted on the headliner right above the windscreen. With the BT-2.5’s external microphone this can also be easily accomplished.
Controlling streaming audio playback is just as easy. Just as you would tune the radio to a different channel to hear different music, by simply tuning the radio up or down while streaming, the BT-2.5 will skip to the next/previous song. No little buttons or menus to fumble with, just use the same controls on your radio you normally use.
Designed to meet automotive OEM and SAE performance specifications, the BT-2.5 represents a no compromise design. All critical components are full automotive OEM grade parts, not lower cost, lower quality parts designed for aftermarket/consumer products. Every aspect of the design and operation of the BT-2.5, no matter how insignificant was scrutinized, resulting in a product that performs beyond the expectations of even the most demanding user.
Unlike many aftermarket Bluetooth products that are not certified or have been heavily modified, the BT-2.5 is based on a fully certified module. With certifications for FCC, IC, CE and the Bluetooth SIG, you are assured of the most robust, compatible product available.
Price £245 when installed with FMR-2.7