RasPi Retro Computer Station




About: I like everything from wood to plastic, all materials are good.

I'm back with a new Project.

It took a while to finish it but as always it was a lot of fun, and as seen in a later picture my daughter helped me a lot.

What is it?

Yes it is another of those Raspberry Pi builds, but hey Raspberry Pi is cool, even so cool that people start to ask in MediaMarkt (that is the place wehre I work) if they can buy it here, but unfortunately we are selling only Consumer Electronic Products, but hey always good for a talk with my Customers.

But it is more cool then those others builds.

- It has an 5" TouchScreen [5 Inch 800 x 480 HDMI TFT LCD Touch Screen]

- Battery Powered with whole charging circuit

- Keyboard is build in

- Cool connectors for GamePad USB [GX16-4 4-Pin 16mm Aviation Pug Male and Female Panel Metal Connector]

- Modular

- Handmade wooden case, in vintage style

- running a lot of software

- Emulationstation

- Raspbian

- It can even program an Arduino with the installed Arduino IDE how cool is this?

But now be inspired and feel free to ask, it is not the most detailed instruction ever wrote, but hey it's from me and my 9 months old daughter.

The process of setting up the RasPi I won't show in this instructable, there are so many and they are always the same, maybe I will wrote one separately.


Step 1: From the Paper Prototype to the Wooden Retro Case

I never draw a plan or make measurement or design something at the computer. But this time I started a little bit different before I cut the plywood I used cardboard.

Hey but stay calm you don't need to go through the some process because I measure after I finished the project and prepare those PDF for you. ;)

Step 2: Wich Parts Do I Need?

For some not so common parts I give you a link from banggood.com, it's a chinese company and most of the products they sell have an reasonable good quality. But hey sorry the Pi I can't buy there, they are to expansive.

Please only use LiIon Battery's in your Projects when you really now what you do. You can also build it without all the battery circuit stuff and just power it with 5V.

LiIon batterys are not so easy to handle and can catch fire very easy.

Step 3: Cutting Out the Pieces and Glue Them Togehter

This is maybe the most difficult part, and I'm sorry I lost the files how to glue them together.

  1. Glue the back, the left and right side to the ground plate.
  2. Glue the USB Front panel between the left and right side on the ground plate.
  3. Glue the Top between then back, the left and right side.
  4. After everything was dry I cut out a big piece in the back it is easier when you make this after assembling so it is more stable.
  5. The Keyboard and the Display won't be glued they will be fixed with screws but I use some small pieces wood to give them screews more material.

Now you can put this part of the case away and go ahead with the other parts.

Step 4: Prepare the Raspberry With the Display and Mount It Into the Front Panel

The first picture show you the cut out for the 5" display module, just measure your display and cut it out.

The second & third picture show the back of the frame I just glued 4 pieces of wood to adjust the distance between the display and the front panel.

The fourth picture show how to mount the display with the sandwiched RasPi to the frame, I just used 4 small screws to mount it.

The last two pictures show the Display in the frame and a first test run.

Step 5: Prepare the Keyboard

I just cut out the a hole where the keyboard will be mounted so, I really want a better looking keyboard but could not find one, so if someone has a good idea you are welcome.

Step 6: [Optional] the Battery Backplane With Charging Circuit.

As written in beginning only "play" with LiIon battery when you know what you do.

First Picture show the used modules, I got them from banggood.com and I often used them already

Second Picture show how to connect the modules

I got the battery from an broken Laptop battery pack one cell was "died" but the rest was quiet good.

Step 7: Throwning All Together

Here you can see it can become quiet messy when you put everything into this small device,but hey it works and there is even more place for more stuff.

Here are the two most important links I used to setup the RasPi.

First at all I used always the most actual Raspbian Image when I play around with the raspberry.

Display http://www.waveshare.com/wiki/5inch_HDMI_LCD

RetroPie https://github.com/RetroPie/RetroPie-Setup/wiki/Ma...

Step 8: Finish !!!

Just have some Games. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I go and play with my Daughter now.

Step 9: More Pictures

My daughter like it so much!!!

Raspberry Pi Contest 2016

Third Prize in the
Raspberry Pi Contest 2016



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    27 Discussions

    Thorsten Singer

    3 years ago

    Only two days ago, I received the "Instructables prize pack" for the RaspberryPi Contest.

    Because my little girl allways help me with my projects in her special motivational art, I just wanted to give her a part of the price.

    Fortunaly my Mom is very good in sewing and such things, so I decided to give my daughter the great Robot T-Shirt if my Mom can make it to her size.

    And what should I say she made it totaly incredible. Have a look at the Picture it is great.

    When I have more time to sit down and write an Instructablefor it you will find it here.


    2 years ago

    pretty darn cool in my book


    3 years ago

    Hi, great project !

    One small design flaw in my taste, is having all those ports in the front, where your hands are while typing... They might have gone to the sides.

    Otherwise great !

    1 reply
    Thorsten Singerchristophem18

    Reply 3 years ago

    Yeah you are right, but hey I like it better at the front. And to be honest when I typpe more then one command, I use an external Keyboard, I need to have big keys.

    Anyway thanks for you comment it is so great to get feedback.

    Bye for now from Germany


    3 years ago

    Great Stuff, really really great. I love the shape of the box, using the plugs gives it a nice touch. When the FreeWrite (https://store.getfreewrite.com/) came out I was thinking of building a similar "laptop/typewriter" kind-of-machine that only allows writing using a small movable b/w monitor and a keyboard similar to the old typewriters (or http://www.qwerkywriter.com).

    Anyway - having two small kids does not allow much free time - but seeing you having a 9month old being able to create things like that gives some hope:-)

    1 reply
    Thorsten SingerBLK80

    Reply 3 years ago

    You are right most of the time I spend with my little, but there is always some spare time I use to make some projects this is so relaxing and a lot of fun special when my little watch me and she like to play with my builds.

    Keep going and don't forget to teach your Kids in my opinion it's very important that they learn to be creative. It's a great hobby and the maker community is a great family.

    Thorsten Singer

    3 years ago

    Thank you to all of you for to give your vote for my project. I'm really impressed about this.

    The shirt I will give to my Mom she is a great grand mom and will make it smaller so my little daughter will have a Robot Shirt we can make partner look. You can never start early enough to be part of the maker community.

    Best wishes from Germany be creative and keep making projects.

    Thorsten Singer and Sophia


    3 years ago

    i am currently putting together a Pi dev kit and wanted portability( battery)

    you note placement of modules but do not identify them

    can you post the links, SKU, or part numbers and where you got yours.

    1 reply
    Thorsten Singermickeypop

    Reply 3 years ago


    a lot of my parts I buy at banggood even the name sounds a little bit strange for German people they have a reasonable good price and quality.

    I forgot to post the links for the battery supply part so I put them here.

    The three 18650 LiIon Cells I have from a broken Laptop battery pack, those three was still good.





    Merriman Lyon

    3 years ago

    Awesome idea! I particularly like the aviation plugs :-) It's given me some ideas about what to do with an old Bakelite Radio I have kicking around :-)

    1 reply
    Thorsten SingerMerriman Lyon

    Reply 3 years ago

    Hi, yes I see those Plugs and just wanted some of them, I think they also have some with more pins, but I'm not totaly sure and they are cheap compared to others I see in Germany.


    3 years ago

    Nice. I like the pictures with the little one! So awesome!

    1 reply

    3 years ago

    Very nice project! I just got into RasPi's and arduinos so this is going to be a fun little project! Thank you for the inspiration!