December 3, 2023


Your Partner in The Digital Era

Another person managed to healthy an whole Raspberry Pi laptop or computer inside the overall body of a cassette

This is not a throwback. If almost nothing, it’s basically a toss-ahead. Made to display how much we have occur in a span of 4 a long time, this cassette has a completely-operating Raspberry Pi computer within it working a ZX Spectrum emulator within it. Hacked with each other by Stuart Brand, the cassette pays tribute to his very first-ever personal computer, the ZX Spectrum. The ZX Spectrum was an 8-little bit personalized household personal computer made by Sinclair Analysis. Ironically sufficient, Stuart would compose packages on the ZX Spectrum and retail store them on cassette tapes. 40 decades later, the entire ZX Spectrum laptop or computer can pretty much healthy inside of the same cassette’s plastic physique, with a couple of small changes created to let the elements and ports to line up beautifully.

Designer: Stuart Brand

Creating use of his time concerning jobs, Brand name decided to head down to his garage and brush up on his tinkering and coding skills. “I wouldn’t have experienced a clue how to build any of this things ahead of lockdown,” he mentioned. “It goes to show that you under no circumstances know what you are capable of until you give it a go.”

Confronted with a space constraint, Stuart chose the Raspberry Pi Zero W for the job. “Cassette shells make for a terrific kind aspect,” he mentioned, “I began with a simple black spare cassette shell and utilised a little hand file and side cutters to take out the plastic supports in planning for fitting the heatsink.” The heatsink (demonstrated at the leading of the short article) was made from scratch too, working with a sheet of scrap metallic and a bandsaw to trend the crude shape of the metallic heatsink. A Dremel, needle documents, and high-quality-grit sandpaper had been utilized to finesse the shape.

The 5mm inside of the cassette meant Stuart experienced to hack collectively his option. To guarantee that the PCB of the Raspberry Pi Zero W didn’t close up peeking out as a result of the cassette’s two holes, he finished up carving out a part of the PCB, guaranteeing the illusion was finish. Thankfully, this didn’t have an impact on the features of his laptop or computer. “I missing some GPIO ports, but it was effectively worth it to get the tape wanting suitable.” Stuart then cleverly applied the prime and the bottom of the cassette to house his ports, allowing you to quickly connect cables to the gadget and get it performing. That demanded a bit of chopping and sanding far too, though it did not do just about anything to the cassette’s entrance profile, leaving it wanting accurately the way it should really. In reality, to total his construct, Stuart even printed labels that he would then stick on top of the cassette! He now uses his ZX Spectrum Pi Cassette as a ‘pick up and play’ product each time he fancies “a rapid bash at some outdated university gaming.”

Unfortunately, though, there aren’t any schematics for other individuals to make their individual ZX Spectrum Pi Cassettes. Describing himself as a haphazard tinkerer with little electronics practical experience, Stuart went into the task headfirst, with small preparing or detailing, and with the overall method properly mapped out in his head. “I really do not have any schematics to share,” he apologizes, “and in no way measure everything.” His only standing guidance to people wanting to emulate his construct is to “leave considerably extra place for cables than you think you are going to require.”

Stuart’s make was featured in this month’s formal Raspberry Pi journal MagPi issue 116.