Portable Video Looper Is Easy As Pi

We all have handfuls of thumb drives lying around with only a vague idea of what’s on most of them, right? So why not dust one off, back it up somewhere, and give it a new purpose? That’s exactly what [Cher_Guevara] did to make this portable Raspberry Pi video looper. The hardest part of recreating this one might be coming up with such a good candidate mini CRT TV.

Once powered on, the Pi Zero W stuffed inside this baby Magnavox waits for a thumb drive to be inserted and says as much in nice green text on the screen. Then it displays the number of video files found on the drive and gives a little countdown before looping them all endlessly.

We love how flawlessly [Cher] was able to integrate the USB port and a flush-mounted shutdown button for the Pi into the TV’s control panel on the top. It’s like a portable from another timeline.

[Cher] got lucky because this TV happens to have a video-in jack for connecting up the Pi. If yours doesn’t have one, you might be able to use an RCA to RF converter if the antenna is removable. We’ve got the demo video waiting for you after these messages.

Okay, that’s one thumb drive repurposed. Now find another and experiment with adding USB OtG to it.

Via r/raspberry_pi

10 thoughts on “Portable Video Looper Is Easy As Pi

  1. “The hardest part of recreating this one might be coming up with such a good candidate mini CRT TV.”

    I’m still trying to figure that one out, the price of 5-12″ black and white TVs kind of exploded early this year. I know eBay moved them into collectibles or something. But the general populace are digging them out and listing them for a hundred plus on various classified formats. Which is encouraging all the rest of them to snap up any “dirt cheap” ones listing at a more reasonable $5-$20. I can’t see what got it going, unless it was one of those clickbait things like got the $2000 black diamond disney VHS thing started.

  2. great deal! but it took me 4 minutes to cache the embedded 40MB vertical video. somehow that inspired scripting the skipping of vertical videos on a similar setup. now what is needed is some plastic polish and cleaning skills.

  3. This is cool but I would never do this do an antique TV, but it did get me thinking, you could put the same setup, plus an rf modulator into a large set of rabbit ears and get all your favourite videos on the old DuMont without doing any permanent damage to the collectible.

    1. You really don’t need to damage anything. You can splice a wire at the composite trace at the back of the board and fit a pi zero in there somewhere non-destructively. Totally removable. If it’s an older model without composite input, you’ll also need to put in an RF modulator. Usually at that point, you don’t even have to connect the video signal! Put both the modulator and the rest of the circuitry on a common ground, and the tube will get picture through the air inside the case. It leaks enough RF to jump across a foot or two.

      I find a bunch of small CRTs for home security systems that are often cheaper and less of a shame to cut into. But once again, rarely do you need to do anything non-reversible.

    2. I tried that setup to get a picture on Sony Watchman, couldn’t even see darker fuzz on channel 3, did both android box and handheld retro pacman game into the external modulator out to a 9dB gain antenna and held the whip right next to it and nothing. Dug out a 6 dB amplifier, stuck it inline, still nothing… only thing that worked was touching the antenna right to the center of the output.

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