Commodore PI




Introduction: Commodore PI


This is my project of how to recycle old parts and components and give them a new life.

I had this Commodore Datassette player sitting in box for a many years. It was still like new. In my bedroom I have an old LCD tv and I tought that it will be great to build Media Centre with option to play HD movies or stream Video or Music.

Bottom line was to not to buy any parts , only to use what I can find in workshop.

So there it is- ready to entertain again - Commodore Pi

Step 1:

Heart of it is Raspberry Pi 1 board. You can use newer but I had this one only. To connect all peripherals I used two USB hubs. One of them is inside the body. It is used for WIFI dongle, Bluetooth dongle ,sata connector for 2,5''HDD, and Teensy board that's responsible for pushbuttons. Second hub is on side of body. It is used to connect external memory such as memory sticks or to connect wireless keyboard if needed. Remember to run power wires directly to hubs for better power distribution.

To make pushbuttons working I had to change commodore mechanics. By removing motor and one metal bar keys are not locked in position but work as momentary buttons. New board with 6 pushbuttons is mounted under mechanism.

If you good with programming you can connect them directly GPIO on PI.In my case I used another chip board I had- Teensy.

After simple programming Teensy is working as 6 buttons keybard (left,right, up,down,enter,escape) This 6 buttons is enought to fully control KODI interface

For LAN , audio/video ,power and USB/b sockets I had to build new board, solder it and connect it with Pi.

Step 2:

At this point my new player was almost ready but than I found in my drawer some old 2'5" hard drives. together with usb/sata converter their size was almost identical as tape cover on my Commodore. I could not leave this oportunity. Small cuts and alternations and HDD enclouser was ready, hot glue gun was very usefull too.

I have two of 2,5" HDDs. one is 500Gb samsung and second is 120Gb SSD.

Designed "tape like" stickers on drives give that special old style look when inside player.

Hole left after removing tape counter was used for infrared sensor. I had old apple remote. Luckily new Kodi has some remote presettings and I found out that my remote was included on it so I didn't have work hard to make it work. Old record red Diode is now used as power indicator.

Step 3:

Despite it's only Raspberry Pi One this player is surprisingly fast. There is no problems to open MKV files of 10Gb or to stream HD videos over net and internet. There is many devices connected via USB but still there is no lags.

Last task was to design new sticker to go over buttons. I had to rename some of the buttons and there is Raspberry logo included. To do this I scan top of Datassette and used Photoshop. You can print it same size on A4 sticky film and cutout what's needed.

There is many many good addons to download, my favourite is DI.FM for music streaming.

My new-old Commodore is finally working and I'm finding it useful almost everyday.

No money was spent building this project.

I hope you enjoyed this post.


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    5 years ago

    Fantastic and brings back heart felt memories!

    DIY Hacks and How Tos

    This a awesome. I love the merging of the really old technology with modern upgrades.