Raspberry Pi meets 1942 Crosley Radio

crosley_radio_side_webA while back, I saw a picture online of a restored antique radio that caught my attention.  The accompanying  post described the process of restoration.  I’m not into radio restorations but I think the old wood radio cases are very “cool”.  I also recently contributed to a Kickstarter project for HDMIPi, an “affordable 9 inch High-Def screen for the Raspberry Pi”.  I thought that I might place the screen and R-Pi inside an old radio case.

After looking on eBay and craigslist, I could not find a suitable enclosure for the HDMIPi and paper mockups showed the screen to be a bit small at a distance.  I used my old original iPad as a test device for measurements and viewing.  I liked the viewing and pixel size of this its screen.crosley_radio_back_web

Well, the HDMIPi was going to be slow in coming (still is) and I saw (fairly) inexpensive 1024 X 768 iPad displays and driver boards on eBay.  I also found a old 1942 Crosley radio case that had a front cut-out that was very close to the iPad screen size.  The radio portion was not fixable so the case was reasonably “priced”.  I bid on it … and won.  I then had yet another project demanding time 😉


I ordered an iPad screen and display board from China, cleaned up the radio case, grabbed a lepai amplifier and speakers from amazon, added one Raspberry Pi and created my Radio-Pi.  I currently use it for playing movies and music but may make it a bedroom device for monitoring weather, time with alarm, webcams, etc.  I plan to put up more of a how-to with lots of pictures.  Let me know if you’re interested in the comments.


 More picts in response to comments:

Created a frame for the LCD panel
Created a frame for the LCD panel
Showing the LCD panel with carrier surround and acrylic cover
LCD panel with carrier surround and acrylic cover
Power cord mess - needs work
Power cord mess – needs work!

16 thoughts on “Raspberry Pi meets 1942 Crosley Radio”

  1. Mounting an LCD screen and driver board is a challenge. How did you accomplish this? Is there a clear protective cover over the LCD?

    1. Will try to add more picts ASAP. I made a sandwich of: a sheet of scratch-resistant acrylic (from Tap Plastics), the LCD board and the plastic shipping “container box/board” (has custom cut-out for the screen). I attached to the radio’s front frame (from the inside) using mirror/glass plastic holders with screws. The driver board and video controls are mounted to the cabinet using velcro. You can see that in the back picture, above.

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  3. This is absolutely beautiful.
    I am curious as too how all of the components are wired for power. Are the Pi, amp,and LCD pulling from the same source?

    1. Hi Jezra, you’ve asked about my least favorite components of my Radio-Pi 🙁 I currently have 3 big power adapters hanging off an extension cord, Two are 12 volts (2A and 3A for the video driver board and amplifier) and one is 5 volts (2A for the R-Pi). I’m thinking about combining the 12 volt adapters into an “internal” power supply but that might be large (12V, 5A). I’m also looking at a PC power supply that has both 12V and 5V output. We’ll see…

      1. Andy, I feel your pain. Twice I’ve connected a 5v amplifier to the 5v GPIO pin, and the result has a lot of crackle and interference. The elusive ‘single power cord’ hack is out there somewhere.

  4. I would love a very detailed how-to on this. I’m wanting to convert an old radio for my in-laws for listening to npr and such for them. What you have come up with would be perfect. The more detailed, the better. I can adapt as needed with the parts I can find.

    1. I am also very interested especially in using the front screen to display images and I assume change as you switch channels? What software did you use to achieve this?

  5. Very nice, have wanted to do something similar but using a SDR dongle, alas Pi isn’t quite strong enough to do it all, but can act as a superb client for a machine running the server. Does your stream radio from internet? What software did you use ?

    Awesome job. Can’t wait for your how-to.

  6. this looks great. I would also be very interested in a more detailed how-to.

    how do you control it? with an app or the buttons on the bottom? or is it actually a touch screen?


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