The MK01 Palmtop is a small portable computer build inspired by scifi movies.

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I am in love with the 90's palmtop form factor. I've wanted my own palmtop ever since I watched John Connor hack the ATM in Terminator 2. So after a few days of work measuring, finding the right components, and then hours of 3D printing failing and printing again... I present to you The MK01 Palmtop!

The MK01 features a 3D printed dovetail jointed snap together case, low res 4.3" tft composite backup monitor, 2cell 7.4 volt LiPo battery, 5 volt stepping voltage regulator from China that powers the whole thing, a random USB hub circuit removed from its case and stripped of its ports, small nano USB wifi dongle stripped and heat shrunk, floppy drive ribbon cable connecting everything, hot glue in strategic places, and of course a RaspberryPi Zero!

- Provided you have a 3D printer and like to solder this can be built for about $50 US

JPEG Image - 1.77 MB - 09/17/2016 at 19:24


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  • 1 × Small USB Keyboard Keyboard ripped out of cheap Chinese tablet cover
  • 1 × 4.3 inch rear view monitor Reversing monitor TFT LCD with composite video input, and runs off 12v.
  • 1 × Raspberry PI Zero Smallest Raspberry pi
  • 1 × 7.4v 1300 mah RC LiPo Unfolded 2s Lipo glued or taped flat
  • 1 × 5v stepping voltage regulator , Stepping voltage regulator takes 12v - 5v in and outputs clean 5v.

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  • New version

    modhappy09/29/2016 at 16:51 0 comments

    So I have started work on a new case design that should be pretty awsome. I plan to have a sliding cover on the bottom that allows for more accessibility to the pi zero. I'm hoping I can somehow incorporate a pin header, this way the pi can pop in and out at will. And and added bonus I have added rounded corners! I know right, welcome to the 21st Century!

  • Fail...

    modhappy09/23/2016 at 12:48 2 comments

    So I had this nice, and cheap composite 4.3" tft reversing monitor in the palmtop... But the problem is that most of these monitors on eBay are 12 volts (logically) being that they are made to go in cars. Well I know that most of the time the monitors actually run off 5 volt and they have a voltage regulator to step it down. So my bright idea was "hey just use 5 volts in the whole palmtop and solder a lead off the 5 volt output on the voltage regulator and all will be dandy". Well all was dandy for about 3 days and for some reason the screen won't come on any more. I guess the XT 150 was not a good place to tap into the 5 volt line... Well despite the fact that I killed monitor, I have a smaller 3.5" tft monitor in there now with an adapter plate until I figure out if I killed the bigger one. You live and learn!

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Tom Fleet wrote 03/28/2019 at 12:37 point

I'd be really keen to see how you went about integrating the hinge mech! 
I've been looking at doing something similar, and I think starting with a proven hinge from another product (say a dell or example) is the proper way to start.

  Are you sure? yes | no

modhappy wrote 09/29/2016 at 16:53 point

If anyone wants to help maybe I would consider uploading my project files

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V McCoy wrote 09/27/2016 at 21:41 point

Awesome project! I've been looking to build something like this for a while, do you think a usb rechargeable battery would work as well as the lipo your using? I would go the lipo route, but they're expensive and don't last very long in my experience.

  Are you sure? yes | no

modhappy wrote 09/27/2016 at 21:48 point

Sure it would work fine. Also in my experience this battery lasts about an hour with the wifi...

  Are you sure? yes | no

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