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Old School Minitel Laptop

Hi everyone,

On this Instructables, I will explain how I manage to convert an old Minitel to a “brand new” laptop ideal for taking notes in college ^^.
This project was one of the first I made, so the wiring is not perfect and some photos are missing, but the overall idea of the project is here. Now you can do it easily thanks to the wiring diagram and all the files availables.

The idea :
Converting an old Minitel bought at a garage sale into a battery-powered laptop.
The Minitel screen has been replaced by a 10.4 inch LCD screen.
An Arduino board is used to simulate a keyboard for the Raspberry Pi which is the brain of the computer.
You can’t hear on the video, but the old school keyboard sound pretty cool ^^.

History :
At the beginning the Minitel had for objective to make it possible to consult a national telephone directory. Afterwards a surcharged number 3615 allowed to consult various sites such as gaming sites and messaging site. The Minitel was launched in 1980, nearly 12 years before the world wide web.

Minitel informations :

Référence : Minitel 1b
Manufacturer : Alcatel (French company)
Performance : 1200 bit/s in reception and 75 bit/s in transmission
Purchase price : Free for all the subscribers to the telephone network
Price in use : 60 francs per hour (9.15€/hour)
In 1993, there were 6.5 million Minitel in circulation in France and the surrounding area

To make a Minitel laptop you need :

- 1x 10.4 inch LCD screen + driver
- 1x 12V Li-ion battery (Mine is 9.8Ah but you can choose the capacity you want)
- 1x 3S 12V battery charger protection
- 1x 3S lithium indicator battery
- 1x Arduino Pro micro
- 1x Raspberry Pi 3 B
- 1x Step down power supply LM2596
- 1x Cable USB type A to micro USB 50cm
- 1x HDMI Cable 50cm
- 1x 12V 2A Power Supply
- 1x 12V Jack connector
- 1x Copper perfboard 5cm*7cm
- Some wire or dupont cable
- Some electrician tape
- A wireless mouse

Required tools :

- A soldering iron
- A 3D printer
- A dremel
- A glue gun

Optional tools :

- A multimeter
- A 3rd hand”

Link to article