I found an old Penncrest on Craiglist for a few hundred bucks, ad said it worked, so I went and picked it up. When I got it home, I took it apart and began testing the functionality of all the parts. Everything inside was belt driven, and the belt on the reel-to-reel had completely disintegrated over time, so it would power on, but it didn’t work. So I began to think about what I could put in its place.
I landed on a custom Raspberry Pi driven Volumio build using some of the console’s original hardware. I loved the mechanical feel of the “blender buttons”, and decided I’d use those as input.
First thing I did when I got it home was crack it open and take a look at the guts. The speaker wire was in pretty rough shape, so priority one was replacing that. After that a little cable tidying was in order, and then everything looked great. I had an audiophile friend swing by to help me test the speakers to make sure there were in good working condition, and they were working perfectly.
While inspecting the furniture, we noticed a small hole in the bottom front, and traced some wires there from the inside. Because we had the wiring diagram on hand, we found that this was an “on” indicator bulb, which had long ago burnt out. The part number listed for replacement was “GE 51”. Turns out these are pretty common in things like pinball machines, and so LED replacements can be found all over the internet. I selected green.
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