Old Stereo Console Upgraded Into a Liquor Cabinet

This newly converted cabinet can play music, change light levels, and lift up the alcohol via either touch controls or a smartphone app.

Cabe Atwell
3 months agoHome Automation / Sensors / Robotics

Walking around a thrift store, It never crossed my mind to modernize some of that dated furniture. But now, I'm inspired.

For this project, Zethus took an old console stereo and transformed it into a new stereo and a liquor cabinet with electronic touch controls that open the cabinet and lifts up the alcohol like something out of a sleazy '70s movie. It’s great. All of the features can be controlled from the smartphone web app as well. Overall, the cabinet runs off a Raspberry Pi and is part of a Logitech Media Server-based multi-room audio system.

The old console stereo, which was built in the 1950s, consisted of a tube receiver and a record player, which were used for the electronics. To start things off, he installed a scissor-lift linear actuator, which was done by taking apart a standing desk. All the electronics were removed, and both the desktop and legs were cut off to fit inside the cabinet. Button controls are now the relay board, which has the same functionalities.

Zethus implemented limit switches to the standing desk to prevent it from going too high while being raised. To drive the linear actuator for the lift mechanism, Zethus installed an ESP8266 circuit that connects to a smartphone web app to operate the lift, lightning (bottle and ground lightning) and music playback. The music runs off Raspberry Pi, which also controls the display for the vacuum fluorescent display and the VU meters based on the music choice. Lightning levels and music playback can be adjusted from the up-and-down touch controls.

Next, he enclosed the cabinet by using some Baltic birch plywood and installed the touch controls for the drink lift. The controls were centered between the speaker grill cloth and the plywood, where the speakers were mounted.

To add in some music to the stereo cabinet, Zethus used a max2play system along with a bunch of homemade AMP and DAC boards for the Raspberry Pi. To create a unique display with the Pi, he used a couple of Noritake VFDs. To integrate the displays into max2play/LMS, he converted TTL serial to “real” serial. He even wrote the VFD code in Python, but later on, he had to rewrite it in C due to issues.

Moreover, he needed all four relays on the relay board for the motors, so he used the relay for the lights. This wasn’t a significant issue, switching it out with the light boost converter board from the ESP8266 circuit, which also allowed dimming at the same time via PWM. The entire desk is powered by a 29VDC 3A supply.

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