RetroComputer Prototype


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Iam from the age of the 8 Bit computers. And, as you can see, on the Lab section of this website, i am a fanatic for electronic inventions, and a geek . I always dreamed about to have an 8 bit computer computer again. My first computer was a Apple TK-2000 (Only existed in Brazil), from Microdigital and i am always a big fan of those “All-in-one” computers. Keyboard and CPU in just one piece. But the computers aren´t cool anymore after the IBM PCs…

 Building my own computer    

So, i started wondering about to build a little computer following this old form factor design, but with a “modern computer” inside a unique piece like a console + Keyboard…
Then something happened… The release of RapsberryPI , a very small computer and very cheap ! ($35). That made that light lit in my head again… 😉


Let’s build that ugly Box ! 

So, i bought a Raspberry Pi and started to build my working prototype. I bought some components, like USB hub, RJ45 female connector, etc. Planned the position of the pieces over a piece of wood. At this time, i decided that´s better to put the RaspberryPi on the left-top corner, because of the HDMI and SDCard connections. Then i disassembled the usb hub, the power adapter, etc. The next step was to fix everything insite, and find a way to power the raspberry without using the micro-usb (the default way to power a RasPI…
I did a little research on google and found a way. I just can put the 5v power directly on the pins of GPIO using pins 2 and 6 (if i remember correctly) to drive the Pi, and it worked as expected. So, 1 problem less.
After that i did the measures and cut all the wood pieces (Back, front and right side) to give acess to all PI connections.
Take a look at this image  with the process :

Building process

The Building process of my RetroComputer based on Pi. 1-2-3-4 Building then 5-6-7-8 Testing !

 

 It´s Working, but it need to be sleek ! 

Now, that´s my prototype is fully working, i finally proof my concept design and components layout. I took this ugly prototype and measure everything again to translate it to the 3D Software. I made an 1:1 scale prototype inside 3dsmax and designed the final look of my retrocomputer based on the real one.

That little guy now is my retrocomputer, emulating a lot of old systems like Apple II, Sinclair, AtariST, Atari800, MSX, and some consoles like AtariVCS (2600), Nintendo 8Bit, SNes, MegaDrive, Mame, ScummVM, DOS BOX (AbandonWare Games). Changing the SDCard my RetroBoxPI boots as a complete Media Center System running XBMC. And i have the option to boot it like an ordinary computer, just boot the linux (debian) SDCard… So that’s how I would like the final product to look like…
RetroBox Virtual Prototype CloseUp
RetroBox Virtual Prototype
 Drag the line left and Right 
RetroBox_SdCards2b_wireRetroboxCorona_02
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