Introduction: Raspbmc Mediabox Steampunk Style

I wanted to have my personlal, nice looking Mediabox with a big display and remote control. I' ve been playing around with the Raspberry for a while so I decided this would be the platform of choice for this project. I' m actually a fan of Steampunk so I decided to use a Steampunkish style for the box.


  • Raspbmc user interface accessible via a 7" inbuilt display
  • control via any IR remote
  • control via web interface
  • control via smartphone / tablett app
  • audio output via Cinch
  • Samba, FTP support

Step 1: Needed Parts and Tools


Here is a list of the basic parts I used for building the MediaBox:

  • Raspberry Pi Model B: 30..35€
  • a small SD card (256MB or so)
  • USB stick for the operating system (2GB)
  • USB hub with power supply
  • 7" Display set from Pollin 39,95€
  • Edimax WLAN stick: 7,99€
  • Flirc IR remote control USB dongle: 19,00€
  • Speedlink Vigo USB soundcard: 11,95
  • wooden box from the art supply store (W240mm x H180mm x D145mm)
  • small wooden bar (about 100mm x 5mm x 5mm)
  • brass spray
  • junction box with 3 spaces
  • Velcro tape

All together the whole thing will cost you about 130€.


For cutting the holes in the wooden box I used a Dremel. If you don' t have one you can use a coping saw. Also you will need:

  • sandpaper for smoothing the edges
  • wood glue for the wooden bars holding the display in place
  • wood drills for the supply cable

Step 2: Mounting the Display

The display set comes in three parts: the actual display, the main board and the control panel. All three parts of are connected quite easily by plugging the flat cables in the appropriate plugs according to the manual.

For mounting the display to the wooden box you have to cut a rectangle. I used a Dremel with a straight edge guide (Dremel 678) here. Surely one can also use a coping saw. Don' t cut the rectangle to big because you have to smoothen the edges with sandpaper afterwards.

To fix the display in place I used small wooden bars and placed them inside the box around the display. Use wood glue to fix them.

I wanted the display to be removable in case something on the box has to be changed. So I decided to use Velcro Tape for fixing the display. This makes it easy to detach the display just by removing the tape. The display's mainboard is attached to the backside of the display also with Velcro tape. It is important that the backside of the mainboard does not touch the outside of the display otherwise there will be a short. If the tape is thick enough this should not be a problem.

For using an IR remote the Flirc USB adapter needs to be applied to the front plate as well. I placed it under the display.

Step 3: Add the Interior

After the display has been mounted it is time to add the rest of the box's interior. I preferred the quick and dirty way and used a 3 way distribution box for power supply. I mounted the Raspberry on a wooden platform with spacers. All components are again mounted with Velcro tape to allow fast removal.

Step 4: Painting and Decorating

To give the whole thing a Steampunkish look I used brass spray and some decoration material from the local art supply store.

Step 5: Setting Up Raspbmc

After everything is mounted one needs to install Raspbmc on the Raspberry. Download the latest version for your operating system from I recommend installing Raspbmc on a USB drive rather than a SD card. For some kind of reason it is much faster and saver. However you will still need a SD card as bootloader.

Metropolis Skin

When you have succesfully installed Raspbmc and start your system you need a Steampunkish skin. The Metropolis skin provides this. Install the skin via Settings / Appearance / Skin / Other. Afterwards choose the theme Steampunk.

Flirc Addon

For configuring your IR remote control you can plug the Flirc into your PC or Mac and use the Flirc software for teaching. Another comfortable way is to install the Flirc Addon for XBMC on Github.