wire recorder

Yes, I have a Sears SilverTone wire recorder(78RPM record player and AM radio). Late 1940’s and working! http://www.angelfire.com/electronic/funwithtubes/Oper_Silv_Wire.html It has a 2 wire lead trailing out with an RCA plug on it. What I want to do is dub off my families recordings on to my Intel G5 and record them on to a CD. I am thinking I can use Audacity, change the RCA plug to a mini, patch it in to a Mic input, adjust the level comiing out of the recorder and dup it off… Will that work without damaging my G5? Thanks for your thoughts. Happy Holidays.
I am donating it to the Library of Congrees sound collection when finished.

Ooops, the lead wire is coming off the speaker

With something that old, check that it’s electrically safe and that there are no high voltages (AC or DC) on the output (or if in doubt, get a professional to check it out for you). If it uses valves, there will be very high (potentially lethal) voltages inside - so take care.

If your computer has a “Line Input”, it would be much better to use that rather than a “Mic. Input”.

If there is any DC on the output, it should be “decoupled” with a capacitor (anything over a few volts and you could cause serious damage).

Take great care to limit the signal level, particularly if you have to use a mic. input.

Connectors on old stuff like this do not conform to “standards”, so if possible, measure what is coming out of that RCA connector (if it’s for an extension speaker then it will be far too high without using a transformer or resistor network.)

With all that said, it should work, but it might be easier and safer to mic up the speaker.

If those are the speaker leads that you’re talking about patching in to, it won’t work. The speaker output (at least in modern days) is about 10 times higher than the highest Line Level signal. If you only have that Mic in jack, then the level is about 1000 times higher than the highest Mic level signal (speaking strictly of computer microphone inputs).

If you have some knowledge of electronics and aren’t afraid of building an attenuator circuit, you could combine these two circuits in to one:

Both of those together should get a speaker signal down to Mic level, but I can make no guarantees. As Steve said, equipment back then was not standardized, so if you want a guarantee, I’d take it to a professional radio repair shop.

You can take any signal output from the thing and make it line level some how. I think there’s a way to set the input on your mac to a high Z input, (as compared to low Z with something like an electric guitar). Anyway check some websites, a simple preamp can be made from a cheap op-amp…