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 at Tom's Hardware US. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting.