Introduction: Old Radio Android PC Case

About: I love the design and ambition of vintage technology, and the usability and potential of new - my passion is bringing the two together.

I made this about 18 months ago, just as the first APC (Android PC) boards hit the market. The original APC was an android-powered board with standard PC motherboard connectors, designed to be used with a keyboard and mouse. It had a tiny form factor (neo-ITX) and was ideal for building into a small repurposed case.

I looked out for old radios at sales after the board arrived, and picked up this Roberts one for £5. Although I'm not 100% impressed with the version of Android and the firmware upgrades and support offered, this is still in daily use as a radio and media player in the bedroom.

Step 1: Raw and Dirty Materials

The radio needed a serious cleanup, and the non-working innards were discarded.

Being canvas-covered plywood it was easy to work with, and I soon had the board fixed in place, mounted on domed tap washers to raise it above the floor of the case.

Step 2: Tidying and Tuning

The APC came with a backplate, which finished off the rear neatly. I'd left the front of the radio intact, but wired its on/off switch to the motherboard - it's great to use the original switch to power it up!

I also wired an LED cluster to one of the USB ports, to give a nice radio-like glow to the tuning dial.

Step 3: Finishing Off

I wanted to keep the footprint as small as possible, so added a small rubber zx spectrum-like USB keyboard and a wireless mouse. It's a perfect fit in the corner of the bedroom and has the retro-modern look I hoped for.

It's fairly limited being on Android 2.3, and even with Google Play "added" there are very few compatible apps around, but with ES File Explorer, TuneIn and MX Player it has enough to stream videos from the network drive and play internet radio, which is its purpose.

In retrospect I would have waited for a later version of the board with a better OS and support, but this was still a fun project to make and a practical re-use of old technology!