The Faux-Retro “tape” player runs on ESP32 and 80s Vibes

At first glance, this gorgeous retro style is built by the audio player [Max Kern] Absolutely can be a pass for the actual article. But then you take a closer look and realize that the “tape” that is playing is actually an animation running on a 320 x 240 IPS display, and the front play and rewind buttons are not the chunky electromechanical thing of the past but are actually cleverly reused MX keyboard switches.

By now you have probably realized that this player is quite a bit smaller than you first imagined, which means that in this case also it is a modern fabrication. While it may perfectly encapsulate the look and feel of a piece of consumer electronics of the 1980s, it was squirted on a thoroughly modern desktop 3D printer.

Still, [Max] CAD design ensures inclusion of draft angles and a distinct separation line in case Looked As it was in the injection mold. Following a similar argument, he decided against using a modern rechargeable battery pack to get electronics, instead opting for a more age-appropriate AA battery set.

In terms of hardware, the custom PCB is an ESP32 WROOM, a MAX98357A I2S audio amplifier, an FT231XS USB-to-serial chip, with enough passive and regulators to keep them well fed and happy. The ESP32 has enough computational horsepower to chew through MP3 files, which are conveniently loaded via an SD slot next to the player. Since the player was originally intended for audio books, onboard playback is limited to a mono speaker; Although there’s a 3.5mm audio jack to plug in a pair of headphones when the built-in speaker doesn’t work.

Watch the video after the break to see how the player is assembled, as well as a demonstration of its simple three-button user interface. It seems like a pleasure to use, though the rapid progression and the lack of rewind sound effects surprised us somewhat by giving us otherwise impeccable attention to detail. We would assume that there are some technical limitations that make it particularly difficult to implement and that their absence is still present. [Max] Get up at night

As impressive as the final product is, we can’t say it’s a surprise. Honestly, we wouldn’t expect anything less [Max] At the moment. Its adaptive OLED macro pad fascinated us again in 2020, and its ZeroBot is still one of the most glamorous designs we’ve ever seen for a DIY two-wheeled robot.

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