Introduction: TV - Time Machine

I was always fascinated by black & white TV's but finding one in good conditions is both hard and very expensive. that's when I decided to build my own TV.

While this is not the "real deal", building is was a blast. I joined a local maker community Snoco Makers (Snohomish county Makers in Everett, WA) and they helped me with the wooden cabinet building part.

Electronics here are the easiest part, this is basically a Raspberry Pi 2 playing videos in an infinite loop from a flash drive, a monitor and a PC speaker.

The video looper code is from Adafruit: Link. thanks Adafruit!!

There are thousands of old time videos free for download at

Description below show the process creation step by step. I hope you enjoy.

Step 1: From Cardboard to Wood

I always create a cardboard prototype to test the look and feel of my projects. Here you can see the empty cardboard case and the initial steps of building the wooden one.

Step 2: Buiding the Box

I added some trimming boards to the front and added the division between the screen area and the speaker cloth.

At this stage I was still using the cardboard frame and a generic 3D printed knob, just to see how that would look like.

Step 3: Front Panel

Front panel is basically 1/8" (3mm) plywood which I lasercut. given I got a piece smaller than what I needed I had to improvise to make it larger. Not ideal, for sure, but it worked pretty well.

The nice looking speaker fabric is from Amazon (look for Speaker Grill Cloth Fabric Silver Turquoise Stripe) even though this is not actually Fabric: it is plastic but it works great, you can trim it using a soldering iron...

It is quite transparent as some of the comments note, so I used a basic black felt (got it from Michael's) to darken it. great end result.

Step 4: Painting the TV

I wanted a retro looking so I primed the cabinet with white paint before applying the green one.

Step 5: TV Is Coming Together...

Here you can see the panel in place, retro speaker cloth and the 3D printed knobs as well. I used white PLA and painted after.

Customizable knob SCAD files are available here.

Step 6: Add the Electronics to It

Final step was to add the transparent Acrylic to protect the monitor, this white acrylic cut to give the round edge look to the monitor, and place them together.

I added the speakers, the potentiometer for volume and a rotary switch (not connected to anything in this V1) just to give the Channel button a good feel.

Step 7: TV Parts

This picture shows how simple the internal connections are.

There is a Raspberry Pi 2, which is enough to play videos with quality, a Dell monitor I got from a thrift store and removed it from its frame, a PC speaker also from the Thrift Store.

Step 8: It Works!!

This is a short video showing the TV in action. I can't really keep it on close to me because I'll stop working to watch... :-)

Woodworking Contest 2017

Participated in the
Woodworking Contest 2017