Turn a Vintage Radio into a Stylish Home Theater PC

3D Printing & Imaging CNC & Machining Raspberry Pi
Turn a Vintage Radio into a Stylish Home Theater PC


Media center PCs are usually something that you try to hide inside an entertainment center, or possibly behind a subwoofer. If you’d rather display your HTPC proudly as a work of retro futuristic art, look no further than this 40s-era radio converted into a Raspberry Pi media center.

This project was originally envisioned as being built inside of a wooden case from the 1930s, but they tend to be more expensive than the later “Bakelite” case eventually used for the housing. The radio did actually still work when received, but it needed extensive work. This included many coats of lacquer and sanding to make it shine as shown in the picture above.

Internally, the Raspberry Pi and other components are mounted using 3D printed brackets. Although there is quite a bit of space inside, the ‘Pi had to be turned at an angle in order to fit correctly in the chosen orientation. The cardstock backpanel was cut out using a “Wishblade” CNC cutter after being drawn on a CAD program. It’s an interesting technique, and the machinery is much cheaper than a laser cutter or CNC router if you only need very light materials cut out!

Another interesting feature of this “radio” HTPC is that it actually includes an internal speaker, so it can still function in a similar way to how it was originally designed. Check out the gallery below to see the construction steps!

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Jeremy is an engineer with 10 years experience at his full-time profession, and has a BSME from Clemson University. Outside of work he’s an avid maker and experimenter, building anything that comes into his mind!

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