What to do with extra parts? Make more deck.

A project log for Hackypuff Jr.

A cheerful little cyberdeck made from a Pi4 and 80s thermal teletype.

carpespasmCarpespasm 10/03/2020 at 02:350 Comments

I started on my "big" cyberdeck, dubbed the AXE-1770, shortly after getting the teletype keyboard going. Where the teletype conversion was quick and dirty, progress on the 1770 has been slower and more deliberate since I want to use that as a daily-driver when it's done.

One problem with doing something slower when you know how to knock things together as a proof of concept quickly though is The Itch. The urge to pull out the hot glue gun, slap something together, and call it good enough. Sometimes that urge is a good thing. Sometimes it'll get in your way.

As I hit small roadblocks or was waiting for parts to arrive on the 1770 I realized I had basically all the parts I needed to make that little teletype keyboard into a second cyberdeck with a raspberry pi 4, touchscreen case, and battery bank. A pi4 is totally enough computer to use as a lightweight laptop, so I thought I'd scratch the itch to move along and make use of some of my parts pile and toss together a "low effort" cyberdeck from stuff I already had around. It took longer to download a fresh copy of Raspberry Pi OS than to hot-snot all the parts together and get it working.

I showed it off on the cyberdeck cafe discord group, having been keyed into that group from my half-done log for the AXE-1770 deck build log, and one of the admins there asked if they could publish this one, so I wrote this up so they'd have more than a couple photos to show. But I couldn't just show it off like that with no more fanfare than "i tossed some stuff together ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ". It needed some personality, even if it is playing second fiddle to my main build.