Vintage Car Radio Now Plays Games And Chiptunes

[MisterM] seems to specialize in squeezing new electronics into old but good-looking technology. His latest creation focuses on a space-age specimen: an interesting car radio from 1963 that could be pulled out from the dashboard and taken along wherever. The beat goes on, thanks to a shiny built-in speaker on the bottom.

He replaced the non-working radio guts with a Raspberry Pi 3 running RetroPie and a Picade controller board. A Pimoroni Blinkt LED strip behind the radio dial glows a different color for each emulated console, which we think is a nice touch. [MisterM] built this console to play in his workshop, and even made a dock for it. But in a lovely homage to the original radio, it’s self-contained and can be taken to the living room or to a friend’s house. There’s also a USB port for whenever player two is ready to enter. For [MisterM]’s next trick, he’ll be converting an 80s joystick.

We love that [MisterM] repurposed the dials as housings for start and select buttons. As he points out, this keeps them out of the way while he’s wildly working the controls. Just enter the Konami Code to unlock the build video below.

Do you dream of playing Donkey Kong absolutely everywhere? Check out the ultraportable mintyPi 2.0.

16 thoughts on “Vintage Car Radio Now Plays Games And Chiptunes

    1. http://www.teko.it/en/products/family/AL/series/tekal-4

      Really, one could build the same thing and get same vintage look and functionality using a proper electronics box. By the way before 3dprinting a container a quick look at the Teko catalogue could be useful.
      Being a transistor radio I suppose that it could be almost working and there are MW and LW transmitters. I am sure that most of old timers could repair it and probably have all the spare in the shack.

        1. Well, it is designed to be used stand alone. So no car needed…
          Anyway, fun little radio, a pity it is now degraded to a rasp pie box, but that’s life. Not all devices can end up in a museum. And in order to make the few ones in the museum more special… many have to vanish somehow. Projects like this are great for that. So by destroying this one all other remaining radios of this type have now increased in value.

    2. Agreed. I’m not against discreetly enhancing the function of an old device with newer tech, but there is nothing discreet about this. It was originally a combo in-car and portable radio; a tasteful update would be to keep the original functions and also mod it to be a WiFi-connected internet radio, perhaps with a tastefully small OLED integrated smoothly in to the face plate, and a rechargeable lithium pack. This mod, which just uses the case as a shell to hang obscenely mounted video game hardware on, is disrespectful to history and the intent of the original designers.

  1. I hate these kinds of stories. A much more interesting story would be an analysis of what part failed and how they went about repairing it. That thing looks like cheap garbage with the modifications. I too like finger painting over top of fine artwork.

  2. Vintage car owners often desperately look for these kinds of radios. A 1960ies car with a hole in the dashboard or one complete with the right kind of radio makes a big difference.

    My prediction: The (repaired) radio might have survived decades. The gaming box will be on the trash in a couple of years.

  3. First of all until the 1990 most of car radio were aftermarket radios, so in a 1960s car an original radio of the period is spot one while a fake vintage is not. If you want an hot rod it’s better to put a modern sound system.

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