Old Tech – Stocking Up for Winter

With Autumn coming the decent car boot sales are drawing to a close, so we’ve hit them pretty hard this weekend to stock up on source materials for winter projects.

The nice boxy old Orion tape player at the back cost £1, and the wood effect Steepletone transistor radio on the right was 10p.

The Hitachi personal cassette player is this week’s star find however, and I didn’t even leave the house to grab it, it was a gift from mother-in-law Rosemary. It’s a really lovely little thing, early to mid 80s and very solid, part-metal construction with a double headphone socket.

Within about 5 minutes I realised that the clear window in the tape door is exactly (and I mean to the mm) the same size as a Raspberry Pi HAT. This discovery bumped the little cassette player right to the top of the project list (sorry cuckoo clock), and I started thinking straightaway about what kind of HAT would look good in there.

The headphones are fairly toasty but unmistakably 80s, just missing the foam pads. I’m not 100% what the big orange button was for, I assume it was just a locking switch that would break the connection to the phones and act as a mute button – innovative!

Parts are on order, I hope to have the little Hitachi project finished in a couple of weeks (though it still has 2 other completed projects in front of it to be published first).

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