This is a brief description of how to build a retro-styled terminal, using a USB keyboard and a Raspberry Pi with serial adapter. The total cost would be about $100. This is a possible solution if you need a dedicated display for a retro-computer kit (for example, an Altair-Arduino, PiDP11/70 or RC2014), and don’t want to buy a used DEC VT terminal from eBay.
Rather than 3D print the pieces, I designed them to be cut out of acrylic using a laser cutter. When cemeted together, this produces a solid unit that can withstand an 11-year-old playing Zork.
If you don’t have access to a laser cutter, it’s possible to submit plans online and get pieces in return from mail-order companies. If you have a branch of company such as TAP Plastics nearby, go in and have a chat to see what they can do for you.
Each Friday is PiDay here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts, tutorials and new Raspberry Pi related products. Adafruit has the largest and best selection of Raspberry Pi accessories and all the code & tutorials to get you up and running in no time!
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.