I got the idea for this after watching Dave’s teardown of the 1984 Sinclair flat screen pocket TV and thought it looked like a good candidate to make a cool retro style status display housing.
So soon after watching Dave’s teardown I headed off to eBay and picked one up, this one was non-functional to begin with (dead CRT) so I had no qualms about gutting it. With the guts and the fresnel lens removed you are left with a nice big space with a nice clear window for the screen…
…It turned out that the Raspberry Pi Model A was almost exactly the right size but despite trying many different orientations I couldn’t quite get the case to fully close with it inside (if only I’d had this then) even after carefully bending the pins on the display over 90 degrees so they were parallel with the board. In the end I bit the bullet and decided to slim the Pi down by desoldering the composite video socket, audio output socket and the 26 GPIO pins. I then soldered the wires from the display directly to the necessary pads on the Pi. Now it fit with room to spare.
I used some Sugru to hold the LCD in position and covered it with a piece of plastic so it doesn’t short out on the Pi which sits nicely above it between the original standoffs. I’ve also used some Sugru to fit an infrared remote receiver in the window for the old tuning dial and to fill the holes for the original control wheels I cut one of the wheels in half and stuck them in with yet more Sugru, From the outside it looks as Sir Clive intended.
For network connectivity I have used the tiny Edimax EW-7811UN WiFi dongle and I’ve added one of these MicroSD adapters to further reduce the footprint of the Pi. With all this done everything fits inside nicely with the USB cable for power exiting via the original power socket hole. There is also a pair of speakers and a small amplifier board hidden under the Pi on the right hand side, more on that later.
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