F I N K B U I L T

Scale model cockpit FPV

fpv
cool scale cockpit video

Funny Zoo Snap

man enjoys elephant My wife noticed this in the family archives.

RC Nitro motorcycle racing

rc motorcycle Motorcycle racing in Lilliput.

Manned RC Multicopter

manned multicopter
Here’s an RC multicopter big enough to ride on!

Make: Talk 004

make: Talk 004
I had a fun time talking to Mark Frauenfelder in episode 4 of his new podcast, Make: Talk!

One Man Basement Band

one man band
I feel like I could be getting more mileage out of my right foot.

Liberty

liberty vintage motorcycles An Etsy portrait. Thanks, Danny.

Tequila Sleeve

tequila the champs
Champs sleeve

Wolf-Stelzer Book Lamp

Book Lamp
My friend Tess just made the cover of ReadyMade with her cool lamp design.

Tree Stump Bug

null
Can this be for real? The design is so awesomely Thunderbirds. Via

The Nothing Box

nothing box

Thunderbirds

Thunderbirds are go
Are Go!

Command Center

command center
Sweet assemblage spaceship’s bridge.

Four Drano’s

drano
Watch the sink slowly, all but disappear from the design .

Toothpaste Aerosol

toothpaste aerosol
Aerosol toothpaste




Becker Europa II Stereo

Becker Europa

What do I like most about my iPod?

The 1973 Becker Europa II Stereo AM/FM radio.

Nothing blemishes the center console or dash of a classic automobile quite like a period inappropriate piece of audio gear. I have a 1973 BMW 2002, and I have always hated the crappy late 80′s cassette deck that the previous owner had installed in the car. I thought about getting CD player, maybe something in an unobtrusive black plastic, as anything would be better than the ill-installed “champagne” colored Sears unit that was there, and I wasn’t exactly keeping a fresh rotation of cassette mix tapes the way I used to.

I was all set to get the CD player when I saw the Griffin iTrip FM transmitter for the iPod. That’s when it dawned on me that I should put the original radio back in the car. I got on the horn to my local Mercedes-Benz wrecking yard and located the Becker Europa, the kind of radio that would have been installed by the BMW dealer upon importation of the car. Actually, it would more likely have been a Blaupunkt, but the Becker is way cooler.

After reading some reviews of FM transmitters (almost all said that they sucked) I was pretty skeptical about how the iTrip was going to perform, but it actually works pretty well for me. It is MP3 over FM radio through car speakers after all, so it’s not reference for sure, but for me, having my radio returned to its original, German, chrome bezeled glory is more than worth any compromise in sound quality.

As for the Becker radio, its phenomenal. The tone is actually quite good. I love the heavy chrome bezel and “quality plastic” knobs. The mechanical preset tuning buttons and the warm incandescent glow of the dial lights really make me feel like a kid again.

16 Responses to “Becker Europa II Stereo”


  1. Tim Says:

    Love the Becker stereo. I have a ’76 2002 and you may have inspired me to go the same route. Could I ask what M-B dismantler you contacted to find the Becker?

    Great site…keep it coming!

    Tim

  2. Steve Says:

    Tim,

    I stopped by Benz Friends in Georgetown South of downtown Seattle. Most auto boneyards will give you these old radios for a song. Ebay is a different story, I have seen Becker Europas go for $200 if they are tested and the dial lights work. Most go for less, but may or may not work. I would stick with a wrecking yard.

    Good luck.

    steve

  3. Jon Robert Quinn Says:

    This is funny. I used to have a 79 mercedes 240d with that SAME radio. It was so fun to play with but sounded like crap.

    IPOD….what a great invention. As you all may know, I am a professional musician. Meaning, I play guitar for a living. Well, I am a one man show and I dont have a band. I choose not to. I record all of the background music in the studio and convert it into a digital WAV file.

    What does this have to do with anything?

    I transfer the files onto my Ipod and plug it into my mixing boards and through the processors, amps, etc. Its my backup band. It works great. Each show is set as a play list and it just does its thing.

    Now, iTrip…what a great product. As well as my backing tracks, I have all my CDs on the Ipod too. (mp3s though). I plug the itrip into the ipod and wherever I travel, I dont have to worry about the crappy radio stations. I can hear what I want, when I want on my fm tuner. Since I drive a beater car (remember I am a musician) I dont have a nice CD player, just a cassette and fm. It does what I want and it sounds great.

    I recommend the Ipod and Itrip to anybody. Young or old. Its easy to use and is so reliable.

  4. John P. Says:

    Ahh, yes, I’ve done this, in a similar but different fashion:

    http://www.ururk.com/index.php?p=7

    Mine is a bit more destructive, but the radio was cheap, a plastic gear inside the radio broken, so it didn’t hurt me as much as it would have had the radio been in pristine condition.

    And sure, in a bug, it’s only mono, but then again, it’s a pushbutton radio…

  5. Steve Says:

    John,

    oh, yeah. My 67 ghia had a saphite IV in it!

    I think that I will try a wired connection to mine as well when I get around to it.

    s

  6. John P. Says:

    It’s nice, though I have to find a different connector (the phone line disconnects even though it is locked in) something that is small but locks. I’ll probably make the enclosure a bit nicer this summer, and take updated pictures – I was using a borrowed Sony Mavica (3.5″ floppy!!!) at the time.

  7. John P. Says:

    Steve,

    Oh, I also have to say cool site!

  8. John S Says:

    Did you know that you can purchase an adapter cable to directly plug your iPod into the 7 pin DIN connection on the back of the Becker Europa II stereo? It’s a better way to go than using an FM transmitter. I purchased my adapter cable through ebay. I have the Europa II in my 1973 2002tii. Great car and great radio. Cheers

  9. S.K. Brown Says:

    I don’t know if the iTrip is as easy to modify, but I did this modifcation on my Belkin TuneCast II:
    http://www.jiggybyte.com/tunecast.php

    It’s increased the range and no longer does the signal fizzle out. It’s improved the sound significantly, all for ~15 minutes time, a bit of soldering and a metre of wire.

  10. V.Gulliksen Says:

    Someone out there wanna help me get one of this Becker Europa II radio? Does not seem to be possible to get hold of in Norway….
    After reading this, there is a big hole in my classic Mercedes dashboard….

  11. C. Flores Says:

    My ’71 Mecedes presently has a Becker Europa II with which I am quite pleased with. Recently, the green light expired. Anyone have a vendor that supplies the light bulb?

    Thanks.

    Answer: You can get the bulbs at most auto parts stores.

  12. player Says:

    Cool!CD players

  13. Dandy_SVK Says:

    Hi friends!
    I have one piece of BECKER, but i`m not sure which type is it(is very old)…. If is somebody interesting in it can email me at: dandyplay@azet.sk

    Have a nice days…

  14. Dandy_SVK Says:

    It`s Becker Grand Prix 108MHz….

  15. archibald drinkwater Says:

    help me find an appropriate radio for my 1979 ferrari GTB……….

  16. Luke Dorny Says:

    Presently found your site through a friend of yours!
    Wonderful stuff. Love the old 2002!

    Also, I have a 71 VW Bus that i’m in process of finishing and it needs a period proper Sapphire XI or so AM/FM…
    Here’s the deal, though… wanted to make a dock for the iphone on the dashboard that will charge it, as well as pipe tunes to the stereo.
    Possible?
    Would be very interested in chatting about this with you, Steve.
    Cheers!