After receiving a broken Bose Waveradio in the hope that I could possibly fix it, it was eventually evident that I had no idea what I was doing and wasn’t going to fix it. I have some thoughts on how it was constructed as well as the components that one could “harvest” from it, but for now, here’s a video of the components.
So here’s my opinion for what it’s worth on these machines component and construction-wise.
Construction – You pay top dollar when buying one of these little radios, but as with most things you get what you pay for. They’ve put soft pads on a lot of the components, presumably to dampen extra vibration, which is a nice touch. It’s cool to see the insides of the speakers, which are dominated by a large chamber which supposedly gives the Waveradio it’s distinct sound.
As for being hacker-friendly, I was really surprised at how easy it was to take apart. Large screws for most things, and most of the wiring snapped off quite easily. The CD player itself, somehow snapped into three pieces by only unscrewing two screws. The only caveat is that there is a large capacitor on the largest board. If you have plugged in your radio recently, be extremely careful around this as it can shock you for a long time after it’s been unplugged!
Sure, this one died (I have some guesses why later), but from the looks of the internals, the Waveradio seems extremely well-built.
Components – Not looking at the quality so much as what you could get out of one if you wanted to salvage things, this unit provides a cornucopia of interesting components. The main screen could make a good numerical display if it’s still working, and the CD player will provide 2 tiny motors as well as 1 small motor. The speakers look like they could be used as a unit or possibly separated (may cause damage, they’re sealed into the plastic housing) if hooked up to an amplifier.
There’s also a large (10,000 uF) capacitor as well as at least one smaller one. One component that I couldn’t yet identify is seen at 0:07 to the left on the video. If you know what this is, please let me know in the comments.
Forensic examination – I really have no idea what happened to this unit, but the CD that was originally stuck in the loading mechanism had lots of what looked like dried syrup or Coke on it. Also, some of the wires going the the mystery component had some cuts in the wire. Not sure if that happened on installation or someone attempted a repair, but this couldn’t have helped.
So worth taking apart? It’s pretty easy, so maybe, but be extremely careful around the capacitor. If you’re not qualified to avoid or discharge it (like with a digital camera), this may not be for you.