Raspberry Pi Minitel Project Adds Portability to Retro Computer

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Jeremy Cook)

We’re definitely suckers for vintage computers here at Tom’s Hardware but throw in a Raspberry Pi and we’re guaranteed to be excited. Today we’ve got an awesome retro upgrade project to share from a maker known as Jeremy Cook who has decided to upgrade an old Minitel 1B terminal with a Raspberry Pi 3B.

According to Cook, the Minitel was found at a garage sale a few years ago. The idea was to replace the hardware inside with a Pi alongside a battery for portability. This evolved into the final project we have today which also includes a few upgraded features.

The biggest physical change you’ll notice is the screen, which was replaced with a 10.4-inch LCD panel. This required a few 3D-printed components to properly mount inside the original Minitel shell. The keyboard is original but uses an Arduino Pro Micro to simulate a USB HID keyboard for the Pi.

To add portability, Cook is using a 12V Lithium-Ion battery. This battery can be recharged via external USB access. There's even a battery-shaped LED indicator to see how much power is available at a given moment.

We often insist that the best Raspberry Pi projects are the ones you can recreate at home and, thankfully, this project is 100% open source. If you want to see how to upgrade a Minitel yourself, check out the full guide created by Jeremy Cook at Instructables.

Ash Hill
Freelance News and Features Writer

Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer with a wealth of experience in the hobby electronics, 3D printing and PCs. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting while also finding the best coupons and deals on all tech.