Your Raspberry Pi deserves its own screen and stand! Why share your Raspberry Pi with the living room TV? Give your Pi its own stand and battery so you can operate it anywhere in the house or in your office. Imagine having your own retro TV cardboard stand for your Raspberry Pi with the option of adding a battery pack so it is completely self contained! Well…that’s what this instructable is all about. Transforming a Retro TV cardboard stand that was made for an iPad into a stand that looks like it was made for your Raspberry Pi.
So what motivated me to create this project? 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 an old “black and white”…..that’s right “black and white” TV screen (especially during the Pong days). I don’t miss playing Pong on a black and white TV screen, 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” cardboard TV screen stand for the Raspberry Pi would be a great discussion piece on anyone’s desk.
So let’s begin our instructable build with a parts list!
Step 1: Gathering Your Parts and Equipment
- Safari TV Cardboard iPad Stand – You’ll 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 make it work with my Raspberry Pi to create a stand alone cardboard HDMI stand. If you decide to order from them, let them know about this instructable and that iTapArcade sent you to them.
- (Optional) 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 (that you have to make with an exacto knife). Having a driver card with audio capability also provides and alternative distribution of sound.
- Stand Offs – I decided to go with the metal standoffs for mounting the HDMI screen to the cardboard. It makes for a sturdy connection and helps with the proper flushing (depth) of the HDMI screen relative to the outer cardboard frame of the TV. These stand offs are also used to mount the HDMI driver board to the back of the cardboard TV frame.
- HDMI Coupler – This made connecting the Raspberry Pi HDMI connector to the HDMI display a breeze. Since I didn’t want the bulkiness of a HDMI cable cluttering the mounting process on the back, this was the way to go.
- Velcro – Velcro is necessary to attach the optional battery and the outer frame of the cardboard TV. This allows you to easily remove the outer frame to potentially make screen changes or other swaps to the retro TV build.
- (Optional) Drill – I decided to drill my holes into the cardboard for a cleaner hole, but since it is cardboard you can easily poke holes through with a pencil or pen. Just make sure the hole is not too big since you need something for the mounting screws to attach to once screwing in the stand offs.
- Exacto Knife – An exacto knife is needed to create the cardboard frame around the 10.1″ HDMI Display. I transformed the throw away pop out cardboard TV tube portion into a frame. As you are assembling the stand, make sure not to throw anything away until you have completed the build. You will need the TV screen tube pop out of the kit to create the inner frame of the TV. I first traced out the HDMI Display on this pop out, then cut out the square out with an exacto knife. Knowing my trace is actually the outside boarder of the 10.1″ screen, I adjusted my cut so the cutout extended onto the peel off adhesive portion of the screen. If you are interested in getting or creating a custom TV frame without having to do the cutout let me know. I am actually working on creating cardboard frames for those interested so you can avoid the exacto knife cutting process.
- Needle nose plyers – Plyers are handy for holding the stand offs while mounting the HDMI display to the cardboard back
- Screwdriver – Phillips screwdriver is needed for mounting the HDMI driver board and HDMI display to the cardboard stand
Step 2: Assembling the Retro TV Stand Back
- Assemble the Cardboard Retro TV Back by using the double-sided adhesive squares (that come with the Retro TV) between the three cardboard layers for assembly.
- Attached the knobs to the square pop out as shown in the picture using the double-sided adhesive squares.
- Attached the square pop out with the attached control knobs to the outer layer of the three stacked cardboard layers representing the TV Stand Back.
Step 3: Determining the hole placement for the HDMI Screen and HDMI Driver Board
This step explains how to mount the HDMI screen and driver board to the Retro TV back. I have included a template with holes that you can print to guide you in placing the holes on the back.
- Print the hole template guide. Make sure your printer is set to print 100% of the picture so it isn’t improperly scaled.
- Cut out the upper right rectangle and three rectangles on the template guide so you can properly align the template guide before marking holes on cardboard back. There are 8 holes that need to be marked.
- 2 of the holes are for mounting the control buttons of the HDMI Display
- 4 of the holes are for mounting the HDMI Display
- 2 of the holes are for mounting the driver board of the HDMI Display
- Drill or puncture the 8 holes so the Retro TV back is ready to mount the HDMI Driver Board
Step 4: Mount the HDMI Driver Board and Control Panel to the Back of the Cardboard TV
- Get two standoffs and mount the standoffs to the HDMI display driver board
- Mount the standoffs and driver board to the Retro TV back
- Get two standoffs and mount the standoffs to the HDMI display driver control panel board
- Mount the standoffs and control panel board to the Retro TV back
Step 5: Cut out Inner Cardboard Frame and attach to HDMI Screen
An exacto knife is needed to create the cardboard frame around the 10.1″ HDMI Display. I transformed the throw away pop out cardboard TV tube portion of this cardboard kit into a frame. As you are assembling the stand, make sure not to throw anything away until you have completed the build. You will need the TV screen tube pop out of the kit to create the inner frame of the TV. I first traced out the HDMI Display on this pop out, then cut out the square out with an exacto knife. Knowing my trace is actually the outside boarder of the 10.1″ screen, I adjusted my cut so the cutout extended onto the peel off adhesive portion of the screen. If you are interested in getting or creating a custom TV frame without having to do the cutout let me know. I can work on creating customized cardboard frames for those interested so you can avoid the exacto knife cutting process.
Once cutting the frame, you can remove the adhesive from the HDMI display and mount the cardboard frame to the HDMI display.
For more detail: Battery Operated Cardboard HDMI Retro TV Stand for your Raspberry Pi