book collections email follower instructable user

Give your digital assistant some analogue style by retro-fitting it into an old cassette player or radio!

In this Instructable I'll take you through installing a new-spec Google Home Mini into an old-tech cassette player from the 1980s. Why would you want to do such a thing? Well it gives your home mini a cool retro look, makes it easy to wall-mount it and costs next to nothing. Also fun.

The build is fully documented on YouTube at https://youtu.be/Ys2LJ_-bc0Y and there's a chapter link in each step. Let's get started!

Step 1: Choosing and Dismantling

Picture of Choosing and Dismantling
3 D_MainDismantling_Moment2.jpg
3 D_MainDismantling_Moment3.jpg

The first thing to do is find an old radio or cassette player - junk shops and secondhand sales are great for this, and the beauty is you don't have to worry about whether it works! Obviously you want to find one that suits your style and will look good hanging on the wall, but there are one or two other things to consider. The Google Home Mini is about 10cm in diameter and just over 4cm deep, so you'll need to make sure the speaker is roughly the same size and the old case will have enough room.

For extra coolness choose an old unit where you can see the speaker through the grille - this will allow the home mini's indicator LEDs to shine through.

Dismantling video: https://youtu.be/Ys2LJ_-bc0Y?t=216

Dismantling is usually straightforward with an older player, just take out all the screws you can find and pull it apart! The cassette player I used only had about half a dozen screws holding it together, and once the back was off it was just a case of working around snipping wires and removing circuits until the speaker was exposed.

This style of cassette player is ideal as most of the mechanical parts are located away from the speaker under the cassette compartment, I left most of these intact as they were holding buttons & knobs in place. In this case the speaker was held in place by a single heavy wire, stretched between two metal clips - you may find speakers held in by screws and brackets too but either way the Home Mini can still be fitted easily (more on that later).

With all the loose wires trimmed back and the original speaker removed it was time to fit a newer, smarter one.

I LOVE THIS!!! Even my wife (who HATES my tinkering) loves this and asked if I could do one for her...lol Cheers Mate!
MisterM (author)  the_eradicator9 months ago
Excellent! I'm still looking for an oversized 1950s hairdryer to house one for the bedroom, don't think I'd get away with a tape player in there. :)
Alex in NZ10 months ago
Neat! Nice adaptation of the donor kit :-)
MisterM (author)  Alex in NZ10 months ago
Thanks! Wish I had as many home minis as I have broken cassette players!