MutantC v3 open hardware DIY UMPC works with Raspberry Pi and compatible SBC’s

FOSDEM 2021 open-source developer event will take place online later this week, and yesterday we compiled a list of talks, with one entitled “MutantC PDA introduction – open source and hardware PDA shell” piquing my interest.

The talk will be about the third revision of the hardware which allows you to create your own UMPC or handheld computer powered by a Raspberry Pi SBC or other compatible single board computers including Asus Tinker Board S, PINE H64 Model B, Banana Pi BPI-M4B, among others.

MutantC v3 is versatile and highly customizable as can be seen from the specifications highlights:

  • Supported SBCs – Raspberry Pi Zero, 2, 3, 4 and compatible.
  • Arduino for keyboard – SparkFun Pro Micro 5v/16Mhz or SparkFun Qwiic Pro Micro – USB-C
  • Display – 2.8-inch, 3.5-inch, or 4-inch “GPIO” LCD such as AdaFruit PiTFT 480×320 display
  • Custom PCBs for display, mainboard, and thumbstick
  • Expansion
    • External 12-pin “docking” connector with UART and I2C
    • Internal header with power I2C, UART, and GPIOs for add-on boards (e.g. GPS)
    • Adafruit STEMMA QT and SparkFun Qwiic connectors
  • Sensors – BME280 (3V) pressure, temperature and humidity sensors, MPU6050 accelerator and gyroscope,
  • Misc – Various buttons and tactile switches, Joystick, RTC + CR1220 batttery, 13x LEDs, buzzer
  • Power Supply
    • TP4056 charger board (USB-C, micro or mini USB), MT3608 step-up converter (non-USB)
    • 1x 18650 Li-ion battery with at least 3,000mAh capacity
      x 3.7 v CR1220
  • Dimensions – TBD
Block Diagram Part 1 – Arduino keyboard and charging circuit
Block Diagram Part 2 – Display, sensors, and expansion headers

The enclosure needs to be 3D printed, and you’ll find several assembly guides on the project’s website. Software-wise, MutantC works with the stock Raspberry Pi OS image plus the LCD driver, although the developers also recommend using CuboCore apps optimized for smaller screens. You’ll find all resources, including the STL files, and EAGLE hardware design files on Gitlab.

You’ll find a detailed overview of MutantC V3 hardware and a demo with Raspberry Pi OS in the video below.


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