For Recycle&Retrofit monthly project, I tried to bring a new life to an old OHNAR VU-EDITOR. I bought this device few years ago at a flea market and since I saw it I knew I'll fit some kind of electronics and display on it.
Although have no manufacturing date on it, I found this type was built around 60s-70s and was used to edit 8mm film reels. It was in a non-working condition so it was a perfect candidate for a retrofit job.
I kept its original look as much as I could, only few cuts and holes here and there.
To bring this guy in 2020 (not the best year but...) I decided to make it a Linux computer with the help of an Raspberry Pi and few accessories. My aim was to use for this project other stuff I had around the house and buy new stuff as little as possible.
In this image are electronic components used, except display and power supply.
- power is supplied by a laptop power adapter (18V/4.58A) and a DC-DC converter (5A). I choose this converter because accept input voltage up to 37V and I thought I might make this thing portable by using a 3S Li-Po pack instead of wall adapter.
- I used a hacked USB hub to provide power and connectivity to RPi and peripherals (audio/keyboard/etc)
- recycled USB front connector from old PC - for front 5V only
- audio - USB sound card + small amplifier and speaker (probably from some USB powered speakers, it works well on 5V)
- initial keyboard recovered from an old/non-working tablet cover+keyboard combo (looked like this) worked for few weeks then one day stopped... I replaced it with a mini wireless keyboard, as a plus, this one have a touch pad and Linux was able to recognize/use also media buttons without any extra configuration
- 5 inch display - configured to use only original frame area
- Pico HAT HACKER to bring RPI pins to front panel for easy access to them
- Raspberry Pi 3B with Buster
Last picture before start
Display mounted on frame - unfortunately I could't find a display to fit exactly on the original screen frame size so I cheated a bit, I took a bigger display (5 inch) and scaled image from Raspbian config
Display is connected to RPi on HDMI and here was a bit of struggle to make it happen. I used a short and flat HDMI cable for connection but despite the VU_EDITOR looked quite spacious it wasn't enough room for HDMI cable to bend safely. So I had to took a HDMI adapter with variable angle, remove its housing and use it to connect the parts.
First boot with display mounted
Enclosure is made from cast aluminum, some drilling and cutting was needed to make RPi ports accessible on the back, few holes for speaker and enlarge existing openings behind the front panel to accommodate a Pico HAT Hacker, USB header and a mini breadboard
In the end, a short demo of how it looks/works. After boot, wireless keyboard takes a little to initialize and audio output jumps sometimes from USB sound card to analog output, otherwise its fine.