Earlier this year, Martin Mander obtained a 1963 Sky Tourer radio for £4 at a “car boot” sale. This radio was originally meant primarily for in-car use, but was also removable with its own speaker for playing tunes on the go, inspiring him to turn it into a portable Raspberry Pi gaming console. This, of course, involved him ripping the internals out of the unit to allow space for a Raspberry Pi 3, but as the radio was already broken and missing its car docking cage, no working retro-tech was sacrificed for this build.
With everything cleaned out, the radio was split into two halves, with a nice red top section for the joystick/button holes, and a bottom half that houses the Pi itself. Drilling holes for the buttons was a nerve-wracking process as it couldn’t easily be replaced. After properly clamping things down, however, the needed holes were successfully cut with a paddle bit, along with smaller holes to fasten down the joystick’s corners. Small start and select buttons were placed in the original volume and tuning knobs, and holes for the HDMI, power port, and USB cable were also cut in the back.
In addition to the interface buttons, a Pimoroni Blinkt! programmable LED strip was embedded behind the tuning section, providing illumination via the build’s RetroPie installation. It’s a beautiful and functional project, and as shown in the video below, it can be transported from room to room as desired, as a sort of nod to the original’s take-with-you functionality!