Retro-style computer features 5-inch round display, Framework laptop motherboard

Ubuntu 22.04 retro computer round display

After completing a DIY Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W handheld PC earlier this year, Penk Chen has designed another, rather odd but cool-looking, DIY computer. The “Mainboard Terminal” is a retro-style computer with a round display powered by the mainboard found in Framework modular laptop. The computer has been tested to work with Ubuntu 22.04 out of the box with just a few configuration tweaks for the display, but other operating systems should also work considering the mainboard is based on an Intel Core  i5-1135G7, i7-1165G7, or i7-1185G7 Tiger Lake processor. There are four main off-the-shelf electronics components: Framework laptop mainboard ($399 and up) OLKB Preonic Keyboard MX Kit V3 key ($140) 5-inch round LCD with 1080×1080 resolution plus its HDMI adapter board (550 RMB = about $82) So most of the work consisted in designing the enclosure, and Penk released the STL design files on Github under an MIT […]

DIY SBC cases and SBC Case Builder tool based on OpenSCAD

DIY ODROID-H2 SBC case

Since you can’t always rely on single board computer (SBC) vendors to provide a case to match your needs, some went the DIY route. Willy Tarreau designed some laser-cut enclosures with Inkscape for various SBCs, while hominoids went a step further by developing the “SBC Case Builder” tool to automatically generate various types of 3D printable enclosures using OpenSCAD. Willy designed five similar enclosures for Khadas VIM3/VIM3L, FriendlyELEC NanoPi Fire3, SolidRun Clearfog Base networking SBC, Libre Computer AML-S805X-AC (aka “La Frite”), and AAEON UP Board. All cases are available in Inkscape SVG format, and Willy accepts contributions for other boards. You’ll need a laser engraver or CNC router to cut out those enclosures. Hominoids’ SBC Case Builder project attempt to automatize enclosure generation for SBCs using SBC Model Framework written in OpenSCAD. Work has focused on ODROID boards so far, but it should work for other vendors too. The parameters […]

SmartKnob View is a DIY haptic input knob with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity

SmartKnob View

Soon after writing about RoenDi rotary encoder with a built-in color display, readers pointed me to SmartKnob View, a similar-looking project but featuring an ESP32 module for WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, plus software-configurable end-stops and virtual detents. The latter is enabled through a brushless gimbal motor paired with a magnetic encoder to provide closed-loop torque feedback control. Just like RoenDi, SmartKnob View comes with a 240×240 round color display but adds tactile feedback so you can change the menu when pressing the display. SmartKnob View specifications: Wireless module – LilyGO Tmicro32 Plys based on ESP32-PICO-V3-02 WiFi and Bluetooth LE SoC (May be changed to ESP32-S3-MINI-1 to enable USB HID support, once Arduino core supports it) Display – GC9A01 1.28-inch 240×240 round LCD covered by a 39.5mm watch glass on rotor Motor – BLDC gimbal motor, with a hollow shaft for mechanically & electrically connecting the LCD USB – 1x USB […]

DIY Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W handheld PC (mostly) makes use of off-the-shelf parts

Penkesu Computer

The Penkesu Computer is a DIY handheld PC powered by a Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W SBC, and mostly comprised of off-the-shelf parts including a 7.9-inch display from Waveshare, replacement hinges for the Gameboy Advance SP, a 48-key mechanical keyboard fitted with Kailh low profile Choc V1 switches, and so on. Penk also happens to have designed the CutiePi tablet with Raspberry Pi CM4, and designed the Penkesu Computer (ペンケース in Japanese) as a side project without having to “worry too much about commercial viability” and as a way to remind himself why he started tinkering. Penkesu Computer handheld PC specifications: SBC – Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W with Broadcom RP3A0 SiP with Broadcom BCM2710A1 quad-core Cortex-A53 processor @ 1.0 GHz, 512MB RAM, MicroSD card slot Display – 7.9-inch IPS display with capacitive touch screen, 1280x 400 resolution, connected over HDMI via flat cable through an Adafruit adapter Keyboard – […]

DIY Pip-Boy wrist computer is equipped with Adafruit Feather RP2040 board

RP2040 Pip-Boy wrist-computer

The Pip-Boy is a (virtual) personal information processor found in Fallout post-apocalyptic role-playing video games. But John Edgar Park decided to bring the wrist computer to (real) life combining an Adafruit Feather RP2040 board, a round IPS TFT color display, directional buttons, a joystick, and a battery. The Raspberry Pi RP2040 based Pip-Boy is programmed with CircuitPython and the demo code is a slide-show with navigation controls, but you could obviously adapt the code to your needs. The main components are: Black Adafruit Feather RP2040 board Adafruit Joy FeatherWing adding buttons and a joystick Adafruit 1.69″ 280×240 Round Rectangle Color IPS TFT Display FeatherWing Tripler mini kit to connect the two boards above and the display 3D printed enclosure A 3.7V/420mAh LiPo battery for power On/off switch The design is completed with some headers, stand-offs, screws, and a nylon watch strap. You’ll find detailed instructions with the list of parts, […]

Build a DIY FM Radio with this $12 kit

DIY FM Radio kit

I’ve not used an FM radio for years, but if you’d like to teach younger generations about older technology and show them how to solder components there’s an RDA5807 based kit that would allow you to build DIY FM Radio operating in the 87 MHz to 108 MHz range. The JC-300 kit comes with a bare PCB, and all components required including a speaker, an antenna, and a holder for a 18650 battery. Some of the main components of the kit include: RDK Microelectronics RDA5807 single-chip broadcast FM radio tuner operating in the 87MHz -108MHz frequency range DA2822 Power Amplifier 66mm speaker 75 Ohm FM antenna 18650 battery holder Feet/brackets to hold the PCB vertically The system also comes with four buttons to adjust the volume and switch FM stations, plus a power switch. Nothing is pre-soldered on the bare PCB at all, so everything will have to be soldered […]

Raspberry Pi CM4 handheld console looks like a Nintendo Switch Lite

Nintendo Switch Lite Raspberry Pi CM4

StonedEge and Dmcke5 have come up with an incredibly well-designed Raspberry Pi CM4 handheld console that looks like a Nintendo Switch Lite “clone”, and that can run Dreamcast and PSP emulators at full speed using RetroPie. The RetroLite CM4 The design includes a 5-inch display, speakers, all buttons, joysticks, and D-PAD controlled via a custom Arduino board, a micro HDMI port to connect an external display, and a 4000 mAh LiPo battery charged over the USB Type-C port, and it seems to work, albeit we are told there’s still some more work to do. RetroLite CM4 specifications include: Linux capable SoM – Raspberry Pi CM4 Lite module with custom copper heatsink and fan Storage – MicroSD card slot All-on-one PCB with Arduino for inputs, TI bq24292i for battery management controlled via a PIC16F15234 MCU, and backlight boost converter circuitry Display – ~5-inch LCD IPS screen Audio – Stereo speakers User […]

MutantC V4 – DIY Raspberry Pi Handheld PC adds ESP32-S2 module

Mutantc V4 DIY Raspberry Pi Handheld

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 […]