Enhanced 80s Boombox with RPi, VU Meter, Ability to Play a Single Tape
While musical playback moved from tapes, to CDs, to downloads, and now streaming some time ago, there is still something appealing about the style of vintage 1980s boomboxes. Perhaps it’s the idea that you can take it anywhere to make/let others experience your well-thought-out mix tape — or for hackers it could be the fact that, unlike modern portable devices, there tends to be a lot of space inside for extra components.
Such was the case with the Sanyo M W200 L boombox that hacker “mosivers” found in the trash, now featuring a single working tape deck. After some inspiration from this build on Hackster, he decided to modernize the device, placing a touchscreen and Raspberry Pi 3 B+ inside the non-working “A” tape deck, while leaving the “B” deck functional for mix tape use. Stereo output is from the Pi directly, using the existing amp and speakers to pump out tunes.
The revamped boombox also features a VU meter where the tuning assembly previously resided. An Arduino Nano is used to analyze signals coming out of the Raspberry Pi to coordinate LED pulses, and when listening to the tape deck, two different LED animations can instead be used. Finally, a 20,000 mAh rechargeable battery is installed in the boombox, allowing for portable use without having to supply C or D batteries!