Earlier this year we wrote about Mutantc V3 DIY Raspberry PI UMPC after noticing a talk about it at FOSDEM 2021 online conference. MutantC V4 is a new version of the Raspberry Pi handheld PC that is both easier to build and cheaper.
The new model replaces the Arduino Pro Micro board with a more compact ESP32-S2 module and offers a Lite version with even fewer parts (notification LED, IR blaster, IMU, etc..) to make it easier to build.
The new MutantC v4 shares many of the same features of the previous versions:
- Supported SBCs – Raspberry Pi Zero, 2, 3, 4 and compatible.
- Wireless module for keyboard and other controls – Ai. Thinker ESP-12K module based on ESP32-S2 single-core WiFi microcontroller @ 240 MHz with 8MB flash
- Display – 2.8-inch, 3.5-inch, or 4-inch “GPIO” LCD such as AdaFruit PiTFT 480×320 display
- Keyboard – 56-key customizable keyboard with 2x shoulder buttons for navigation
- Three custom PCBs for display, mainboard, and thumbstick
- USB-C Nurolink “docking” connector with UART and I2C
- Internal header with power I2C, UART, and GPIOs for add-on boards (e.g. GPS)
- Sensors – BME280 (3V) pressure, temperature and humidity sensors, MPU6050 accelerator and gyroscope,
- Misc – Various buttons and tactile switches, Joystick, RTC + CR1220 battery, 13x LEDs, 2x RGB LEDs, buzzer, vibration motor, IR transmitter
- Power Supply
- 5V via USB-C port
- 2-pin header for 18650 Li-ion battery
Besides ordering the boards and soldering components, you’ll also need to print the 5 pieces for the housing, and install Raspberry Pi OS, or other OS of your choice, together with the LCD drivers. You’ll find details on the project’s website and Gitlab. Right now the boards are designed with EAGLE, and the enclosure with Fusion360, but the developer plans to switch to KiCad and FreeCAD open-source tools in the next iteration of the design, possibly with the help of the community.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.