Give Your Old iPod Touch a New Lease in Life as a Cyberpunk 2077 Radio
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Wouldn't it be great to own your very own real-life version of the handheld radio from Cyberpunk 2077? Well, it turns out you can actually turn an old iPod touch into one with little to no effort.
Well, that's not entirely true. You will need some specialist tools and equipment.
Follow this simple guide to find out how.
As you can imagine, like any project of this nature, you'll need some tools and materials before you get started.
Materials and gear needed
- New of used iPod touch
- Clear Perspex acrylic/plexiglass sheeting
- Basic tools (wrench, screwdrivers, etc)
- Sheet metal
- Digital caliper
- Steel rods
- Mock metal plate plastic
- Metal files
- Screwdriver set
- Spray paints
- Cable tidies
- Dremel rotary tool and various bits
- CNC machine
- Table saw
- Mini lathe
Once you have all the tools and gear needed, it is time to get on with this great little build.
Step 1: Make the main casing for the radio
The first step is to grab your iPod touch and take a note of its dimensions. A pair of digital calipers is an invaluable tool for doing this.
You'll want to know the width, height, and depth of the unit. With those figures in hand, design the rough design for your radio using a CAD package, and print it off to scale on A4 paper.
With that complete, grab your clear perspex sheet. Remove any protective coverings, cut out the design from the A4 paper, and glue it into place on top of the perspex.
This will form the main skeleton or frame for the radio to hold the iPod and mount the other pieces too.
Once done, drill the main bolt holes through the perspex as needed. A regular power drill will do the trick.
With that complete, transfer the perspex sheet to your table saw, and cut out the main shape of the radio. Follow the lines as best you can but don't get too obsessed, we'll be cleaning up the design later on.
Once done, drill a hole in the center of one end of the perspex.
With that complete, cut out the center portion of the design on the perspex using a jigsaw. This should leave the main border piece(s) intact and in one piece.
Once done, grab some sandpaper and clean up the cut edges of the perspex. If not already done, round off the corners of the pieces too.
With that complete, take a Dremel tool and bevel any sharp edges of the piece inside and out.
Step 2: Make the front and back casings
With that complete, take your metal effect plastic. Secure it in your CNC machine and cut out a series of pieces to form the backplate of the radio.
Drill a series of holes to mount it to the frame later.
Next, take your belt clips, and mock-up where they'll be mounted on the radio.
Drill some mounting holes for the clips as needed and thread the holes to receive bolts later. With that complete, bolt the mounting clips to the back cover of the radio as needed.
With that complete, CNC some sheet metal to make the design for the front border of the radio. Use your paper template as a guide and drill the required holes through the plate.
Route the edges in places using your Dremel tool.
With that complete, drill holes in the perspex part of the radio to match the charging port, headphone port, etc, of the iPod.
Once done, hold the metal faceplate to one side of the perspex iPod holder part of the radio and drill some holes in the side of the radio to receive the mounting bolts for the antenna later and other details (like the top knob, etc).
Once complete, paint the entire perspex piece matt black.
Step 3: Make the antenna
With the parts for the main radio more or less complete, we can now move on to forming the antenna. You can either reclaim a suitable assembly from an old router, or another piece of tech or try to create your own.
The antenna is for display purposes only and doesn't need to be a functional one. In this case, the creator has decided to create their own from a block of black plastic.
Parts for the base and main antenna were machined using a variety of lathe and a CNC machine and then assembled to make the antenna.
Sadly no plans are available for this piece so you will need to guestimate its dimensions.
Once complete, spray paint or hand paint in a copper color on the main base of the antenna. With that complete, machine a series of bolts and dials from copper and insert them into the base of the antenna.
Step 4: Make the stylized main bolts for the radio
With that complete, the next step is to make the bolts used to secure the parts of the piece together -- as in the game. To do this, take a length of steel rod and machine a series of bolts to the right dimensions.
Thread them, and then cut the three-armed screwdriver head designs into their tops. You will likely need to also file them into shape at some point too.
You will also need to make the other halves of the bolts to install on the rear of the radio.
With that complete, use a mixture of steel rod lengths and the same black plastic to machine some of the other details for the radio -- like its top dial.
Once complete, mount these pieces to the iPod mounting piece of the radio as needed.
Step 5: Complete the final assembly
The next step is to mount the antenna piece to the iPod holder of the radio. Move it into place, and mount it to the perspex as needed.
With that complete, take the front metal plate, and spray it black. Once the paint is dry, spray the part in yellow.
Once the paint is dry, place the plate into position, and mount it to the perspex frame.
With that done, place your iPod into place within the perspex frame. You will want to add some small strips of soft material to act as cushioning to protect the iPod once in place.
With that complete, take the backplate, and mount it to the perspex frame as needed.
With that complete, take your custom bolts, and secure the front faceplate into place using them.
Once complete, cut a small length of red wire, and connect the antenna and wire connector at the top of the radio as shown below.
With that complete, take a pair of cable tidies and fix them into place around the Cyberpunk 2077 radio. Once done, your Cyberpunk 2077 radio is finally completed.
If you enjoyed this project and would like to bring another piece of computer game kit to life, then you'll love this guide.