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Raspberry Pi Drives Custom Retro Gaming CRT TV

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: JamHamster)

There’s nothing quite like playing old school games on old school hardware and no one knows that better than maker and developer JamHamster. Today we’re excited to share an update on JamHamster’s Raspberry Pi retro CRT TV gaming console project which began a few months back and has finally reached a point of completion as demonstrated in a video shared this week to Twitter.

We first covered the progress on this project in late March, showing off the beautiful interior and custom metalwork used as a mounting platform that JamHamster took the time to design from scratch. The hardware rests inside of an old Realistic brand Portavision 7 TV purchased used online. This project reuses the shell of the television but also takes advantage of the flexibility of more modern tech. Gone is the large glass CRT screen, in favor of an IPS screen and curved lens giving the 4:3 image that retro look. Running the show is a Raspberry Pi which uses an RGBerry HAT to add RGBS and SCART outputs for a more classic retro gaming experience using an actual CRT television. That said, an external display isn’t necessary as this build features an 8-inch IPS screen housed behind a thick curved lens crafted by JamHamster from a solid chunk of acrylic. This lens creation process was detailed thoroughly on his blog.

JamHamster is no stranger to handmade Pi projects. In fact, he has an extensive history of crafting sleek metal cases and integrating retro hardware into one-of-a-kind finished projects. Some of his original creations include this shiny all-metal arcade cabinet and this all-in-one arcade joystick platform. He's also created a variety of projects that are housed inside of hardware like this Spectrum ZX PC emulation project that runs inside of an old cassette tape, this Raspberry Pi 3A+ powered GameBoy and this Sega Game Gear that runs RetroPie.

You can expect JamHamster as an upcoming guest on our Raspberry Pi-themed show, The Pi Cast, to show off the final project and its new features. Recent design additions include a glowing SD Card slot that lights up orange, a signature accent color for JamHamster creations, when the Pi is powered on as well as subtle professional details like custom ribbon cables.

To see the new demo video of the final Raspberry Pi project, check out the original thread shared to Twitter and be sure to follow JamHamster for more cool creations and sleek custom designs. Don’t forget to tune into The Pi Cast for an interview with JamHamster and an up close look at this clever retro TV gaming rig.

Ash Hill
Ash Hill

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.