Compact, wireless, and with a GPIO interface that allows you to hack almost any existing hardware, the Raspberry Pi is amazing. But this is not the only amazing technology of the last 50 years.
Home arcade games, color TVs, stereos, video players: at one time, these were also the favorite technologies. Perhaps you have something to stroll around in your loft, garage, or basement, waiting for the time to come again?
That time is now. You already know your Raspberry Pi is awesome, so why not use it to turn your old tech into amazing tech? That’s the beauty of upcycling, and in this article, we’ll show you how the Raspberry Pi can be used in this way.
1. Retro Hitachi Info-TV
We’ll start with one of the coolest Raspberry Pi builds you’ll ever see. Built by my Martin Mander, this is a 1975 Hitachi I-89-311 portable TV that has been turned into a data center.
Content appears in Chrome’s full-screen tabs, and the settings dial is set to switch between pages, not channels. Along with adjusting the volume slider to scroll up and down the page, the TV also comes with an IR motion sensor that turns off the screen when you’re done watching.
Inside is a Raspberry Pi 3, a few custom switches that make it easy to control the TV in the original, and a 4:3 8:4-inch Pimoroni display. Check out this guide to Instructables for a complete tutorial.
2. Victorian Smart Mirror
Smart Mirrors is a popular build for DIYers who are looking for a Raspberry Pi project. This example takes that idea and winds the clock back with a truly retro reflector.
Its creator explains how he worked on the project for about three weeks using a double-sided mirror, a 32-inch flat screen display, and a Raspberry Pi 3. For a 117 display weight.
This project offers various views such as a calendar and weather forecast, news feed (RSS) and information from the Nest household box. The mirror also displays the current Spotify track, an image of the moon showing its current phase, and a satellite view of the Earth from the Deep Space Climate Observatory.
3. Tomy Turbo Outrun
One of the most popular toys of the 1980s was the Tomy Turnin’ Turbo Dashboard, a racing mini-game with a mounted steering wheel and shifter. The Turbo Dashboard lacked any essential digital components and relied on basic lights and a track that appeared to be mounted on some kind of drum.
Very high tech.
YouTuber and blogger CircuitBeard took an old Tomy Turnin’ Turbo Dashboard and connected it to a Raspberry Pi running Turbo Outrun. It looks like a match made in 8-bit racing heaven, the assembly uses the original wheel, key, start button and shift lever. Aesthetically, the only real difference is the display, which is now a 3.5-inch TFT screen.
However, inside you’ll find a Raspberry Pi 3, a PowerBlock board to handle the Pi’s on/off requirements, and a Picade board to handle the analog steering wheel. Check out the blog post for full details.
4. Retro Panasonic Boombox Touch Screen
Remember the 1980s? You may have seen it in movies or nostalgic shows like Stranger Things. Or you may have taken a daily time travel from that time to the present. Be that as it may, the boombox—a portable, battery-powered cassette and radio player with powerful speakers—was a must-have piece of technology for many teenagers.
Here, the original Panasonic device replaced the cassette player with a 5-inch touch screen, rechargeable batteries, a compact audio amplifier, and a USB audio adapter.
The end result is a slightly ostentatious touchscreen digital music player with retro flair.
5. Bang & Olufsen Internet Radio
Martin Mander has perfected this radio card and the 1979 Bang & Olufsen cassette deck which has been expertly upgraded. Inside is now a Raspberry Pi, speakers rebuilt from a cheap soundbar, an LED mood light, an LED track display mounted on the cassette itself, and an AD557 D/A converter to run the VU meters (though not in time). to music).
The end result is a wireless internet radio player that looks absolutely authentic!
6. Make an Old Car Digital
Nowadays, any device can be connected to the car via the OBD-II port. port But what if your car predates OBD-II technology?
In the video above, YouTuber 240SF demonstrates how to connect a Raspberry Pi 3 to a Nissan 240sx s14. The resulting digital instrument panel displays the current speed, rpm and coolant temperature. Using the Chromium browser, the dashboard is the touch screen of the Raspberry Pi to configure the touch screen which has the Pi installed, as well as a 3A car power supply/switch, complete with USB ports.
This project requires a vehicle equipped with a Consult port — unfortunately there is no (easy) method to improve analog cars in this way.
7. Raspberry Pi Spotify Cassette Player
Fans of retro music players and mixtapes will be especially interested in this build. With cassettes hiding NFC tags associated with Spotify playlists, this player contains a Raspberry Pi, an NFC reader, an amplifier, and a custom circuit board to connect the cassette player’s physical buttons to the GPIO.
The end result is wonderful. Using the MusicBox app, the Raspberry Pi connects to Spotify and loads playlists into memory, waiting for a prompt to play. Each NFC tag is associated with a specific playlist, and pressing the play button on the cassette deck starts the song.
8. Polaroid thermal paper
Anyone with a Polaroid camera, new or old, knows that it’s very expensive to run one. To find a solution to this problem, DIYer Tim Alex Jacobs took a 1980s Polaroid Sonar Autofocus 5000 and installed a $3 thermal printer in a photo booth. Along with this, the redesigned device has a Raspberry Pi Zero and Raspberry Pi camera module.
While some components were gutted, Jacobs retained some. For example, the updated camera still uses the same shutter button. After spending several months building, Jacobs was able to bring the load time down to 2 seconds. We encourage you to check out his giant blog post for details on building your own.
9. Teddy Ruxpin Digital Assistant with Alexa
YouTuber Tinkernut shows off how he turned old Teddy Ruxpin into an Alexa-powered smart teddy bear. Inside is a Raspberry Pi, a Raspberry Pi camera module, a battery, and some audio hardware.