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Battery Operated Retro TV HDMI Cardboard Stand for Your Raspberry Pi - Part I

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The Raspberry Pi is a great computing device for all ages.  With its credit card type size, it is well suited to have its own screen and stand.....especially for retrogaming.  Retrogaming on the Pi is great with big screen TVs, but sometimes it is nice to bring back some of the nostalgia of "old school" gaming.  Part of that nostalgia was playing video games on old "black and white".....that's right "black and white" TV screens.  I don't miss playing Pong on the black and white TV screens, but the look of the the "old school" buttons and knobs of the TVs I grew up with would sure be cool with some of the retrogaming apps that are currently available for the Raspberry Pi.  In fact, having an "old school" TV screen for the Raspberry Pi in general would be a great discussion piece of "artronics" office equipment on anyone's desk.  This allows us old schoolers to show the younger generation a glimpse of our past while discussing what cool new things can be done on the Raspberry Pi.  

So our journey begins with this Part I of the blog.  At iTapArcade I tend to focus on "old school" with "new school" fusion projects.  Part I of the blog will mainly discuss where I got the key parts for creating the Retro TV HDMI cardboard stand.  I'll provide all the links so you can get these parts before I begin Part II in the next week or two.  By the way, there is one assembly trick to this project that I would like to see if anyone can figure it out before I discuss it in Part II.  Part III will then provide a bonus section on how to use your newly built Retro TV HDMI Pi stand with some of our iTapArcade controller specific Arduino projects.  If you like my work please follow me Twitter @iTapArcade and let others know about this project as well as my website.  Let's begin the fun!

Gathering Your Parts

Where do you begin with such a project?  I first like to look online for commercial-of-the-shelf (COTS) products that are similar to mine in concept.  I'll then determine if there are slight mods I can make to customize that product to my particular specs.  I call this "upcycling".  That's my approach to developing new projects for makers so everyone benefits from what has already being done or made available on the Internet while minimizing costs to the makers.  So what are the key parts you need to build this project?

  • Safari TV iPad Stand  - You first want to buy this cardboard stand from the cardboard safari team.  They did a great job putting together an easy to build cardboard stand for your iPad.  When I first saw this stand, I thought it was cool....but I thought it would be really cool if I could merge it with a Raspberry Pi to create a stand alone HDMI stand.  If you decide to order from them, let them know iTapArcade sent you.
  • Poweradd Monster Capacity Battery -  This is more than likely an overkill for powering both the Raspberry Pi and the 10.1 inch screen, but this battery really packs a punch.  You can purchase any type of battery, but the importance of the Poweradd is the different amount of power connections and flexibility to charge your mobile device while powering your Raspberry Pi and screen.....isn't that a cool feature.  Have your battery operated RetroTV monitor charge your mobile device while working on Raspberry Pi related projects.  Again, might be an overkill, but it sure does add a cool factor.
  • 10.1" 1280 x 800 HDMI Display - If you have your own 10.1" display to use on this project then go for it.  However, your display should have some mounting tabs like this one (they really do come in handy), and the peel off adhesive around the rim of this display is important when mounting the inner panel cardboard TV frame.  Having a driver card with audio capability also provides and alternative distribution of sound. 

What's coming next...

The remaining parts can be seen from the front and back pictures of this project shown below.  I'll have a more complete exhaustive parts list when I discuss my step-by-step build in Part II of the blog.  For now, you can at least order the main parts and start this build on your own.  Again, thanks for your time and watch out for another Tweet regarding Part II of this project sometime in the next week or two.   Have fun making!   




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