Boombox Cyberdeck Blasts the Nostalgia

This project combines a boombox and cyberdeck to harness '80s nostalgia for the perfect device.

Cameron Coward
9 months agoRetroTech / 3D Printing / Displays

Cyberdecks are almost never built for a practical purpose. Instead, makers create cyberdecks for the joy of the process and to evoke a very specific cyberpunk aesthetic. That aesthetic tends to reflect nostalgia for the '80s—the decade in which William Gibson published Neuromancer and introduced the "cyberdeck" moniker. Few consumer devices elicit '80s nostalgia quite like a chunky boombox. It is nearly impossible to carry a boombox without feeling like you're escaping from New York. This project combines a boombox and cyberdeck to harness that nostalgia for the perfect device.

This project started with a Sanyo M2440H portable radio with built-in cassette tape deck. It wasn't what most would call "beautiful," but it did look about as '80s as consumer devices get (despite hitting the market in the late '70s). It was also the perfect size for this project. There was just enough room to fit a keyboard in place of the speaker grill and a small LCD where the radio tuner used to be. The radio tuner knob was even repurposed as for a joystick, which is a fantastic touch. A working analog VU meter completes the look.

Like most cyberdecks, this one contains a Raspberry Pi single-board computer, though the maker doesn't specify which model. We do know that it also contains an Arduino Pro Micro board, which connects the PS2-style joystick to the Raspberry Pi. The small screen is a 1602 LCD, while the primary display is an 7" Elecrow LCD that attaches to the radio with a 3D-printed mount. Power comes from a LiPo battery pack through a Geekworm x708 power management module. We're not sure which keyboard this cyberdeck has, but it appears to be a 65% size model.

The awesome thing about cyberdecks is that they let makers express themselves and this is a perfect example of that expression.

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