The choice of enclosure for a cyberdeck project often involves two options: repurposing a pre-existing device or crafting a new case from scratch. Each approach has its merits, with repurposing offering a vintage appeal and DIY cases allowing for tailored designs. However, in the case of the CyberTapeDeck, designer Matthew ingeniously combines both methods. The cyberdeck convincingly resembles a classic 1980s portable tape deck, but it is entirely 3D printed upon closer inspection. This hybrid creation boasts not only authentic aesthetics but also practical features such as a functional extendable handle and buttons. These buttons are recognized by an internal Raspberry Pi 3, emulating a macropad via an Arduino Pro Micro but why not try out some newer models such as the Raspberry Pi 4 or Raspberry Pi 400 or go even smaller and use a Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W.
Despite its retro facade, the CyberTapeDeck integrates modern elements. The tape door’s role is assumed by a seven-inch LCD screen, although the mechanism to angle the display remains unreplicated. Impressively, Matthew aims to kindle his son’s interest in electronics and programming through this project. A terminal block mounted over the faux “speaker” facilitates on-the-go experimentation by connecting to the Pi’s GPIO pins, eliminating the hassle of exposed wires.
Notably, Matthew generously shares the STL files for all the 3D printed components, enabling others to recreate this cyberdeck or potentially repurpose it as a nostalgic-looking media player. The CyberTapeDeck exemplifies a balanced blend of vintage design and contemporary functionality, serving as an educational tool and a source of inspiration for cyberdeck enthusiasts and electronic tinkerers alike.
Read more: 2023 Cyberdeck Challenge: CyberTapeDeck