Raspberry PI X-PC

A project log for The X-PC. Hackaday Prize 2022 Entry

Old laptops reconfigured into new computers for schools.

Neil LambethNeil Lambeth 10/22/2022 at 20:020 Comments

As previously mentioned, I've been given  lots of old laptops. Most have working motherboards and screens so they can be turned into X-PCs.

But I've also got a load with dead motherboards, this means I've now got a lot of working laptop screens with nothing to drive them. I thought about turning them into monitors but I really wanted to turn them back into working computers. I touched upon this in my original post where I mentioned making a Raspberry Pi version, back when you could actually buy them! I also wanted to develop the idea of using some sort of hinge to set the screen angle.

So I fired up FreeCAD again and started designing the Raspberry Pi X-PC (will also work with other SBCs in the same form factor).

Here's my first prototype, this is also designed parametrically, so the screen size can easily be changed to match your laptop screen.

You'll need to add a screen driver for your laptop screen, but these are pretty easy to find on AliExpress. I'll add more details on this later. 

I've made an MDF prototype using a 10" screen, this makes a nice compact system.

It's very much a work in progress, but the hinge works surprisingly well!

There's access to the USB and network ports on the Raspberry Pi. As well as access to the GPIO header on the front.

Here's the hinge folded flat.

Here's the inside, It still needs some work but you can see the RPi and screen driver.

I think this has the potential to make a great portable system, so I started adding space for batteries.  

I'm really pleased with this design and I'm looking forward to getting it finished so I can put it to work.

More updates coming soon!