A Mini Modular Folding Cyberdeck

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Version 3.0 of a little project I've been working intermittently on for several months. The goal was to build a tiny pocketable computing device that would have a few sensors and USB expansion ports for peripherals. I also wanted it to have a modular design with minimal soldering so that parts can be easily upgraded or replaced.
Improvements over the last iteration include an upgraded keyboard on sliding rails, larger secondary displays that fold down over the main display, a 4-port USB hub breakout that replaces the old 2-port breakout, a higher capacity 18650 battery, an integrated battery gauge, heart-rate and blood oxygen sensors, the camera and thermal infrared imager have been relocated to the back, a GPS module, a 9-DOF sensor array, and a completely redesigned and more modular 3D printed structure, using less filament, and with adjustable tension screws on the battery hinge.

Some notable features include:

  • An 18650 LiPo battery that also acts as the pin for the folding hinge mechanism
  • A Solder Party BBQ20KBD keyboard mounted on a sliding rail mechanism
  • An Arduino Pro Micro and USB hub board located under the keyboard that uses a 2-axis analog joystick to emulate a mouse, and two tac buttons for right and left click
  • 10x programmable buttons mapped to GPIO and mounted around the primary display
  • An Adafruit BME688 temperature, humidity, pressure and gas sensor, also calculates altitude
  • An AMG8833 thermal imaging sensor
  • Secondary flip-up 128x64 and 128x32 OLED displays with system stats and sensor readings
  • A MAX30102 heart rate and blood oxygenation sensor
  • A PA1010D GPS module
  • A BNO085 9-DOF sensor (magnetometer, accelerometer, gyroscope)
  • Three USB ports at the top that can be used for expansion dongles such as audio, Ethernet, SDR, etc.
  • An Adafruit Zero Spy Camera module located on the back next to the thermal camera (Accessible via HTTP stream)
  • An Adafruit DS3231 Precision RTC

Mini-Deck IR PCB Mount 3.0.scad

Mount for 20mm x 80mm prototyping PCB

scad - 2.10 kB - 08/07/2023 at 18:20


Mini-Deck I2C Hub Hinge Top 3.0.scad

Hinge for Adafruit Qwiic / Stemma QT 5 Port Hub

scad - 1.04 kB - 08/03/2023 at 20:39


Mini-Deck Keyboard Platform 3.0.scad

Keyboard half of reverse clamshell

scad - 2.07 kB - 08/03/2023 at 20:39


Mini-Deck OLED Generic 128x32 Hinge Top 3.0.scad

Hinge for generic 128x32 OLED

scad - 1019.00 bytes - 08/03/2023 at 20:39


Mini-Deck Magnetic Battery Connector Cover 3.0.scad

Cap for magnetic battery connectors

scad - 447.00 bytes - 08/03/2023 at 20:39


View all 16 files

  • 1 × Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W $15
  • 1 × Set of Adafruit Hammer Headers for GPIO pins $2.25
  • 1 × Adafruit Raspberry Pi Zero Case $4.75
  • 1 × Zero4U Raspberry Pi USB Hub $9.95
  • 1 × Pimoroni Display HAT Mini $21.50

View all 36 components

  • Addition of Prototyping Perfboard

    Smeef08/10/2023 at 14:05 0 comments

    After adding six buttons to the already existing four on the Pimoroni Display HAT Mini, I was left with just enough GPIO pins for an IR transceiver (LED and receiver driven by LIRC), the antenna pin for RPiTX, and one pin for PWM audio. I needed to connect to these pins while the display HAT was attached to the Pi, and while still maintaining some measure of modularity and serviceability. 

    Enter the UUGear 2x20 low-profile female GPIO header. It's only about 2mm in height which allows it to fit perfectly under the HAT header, with about half of a mm clearance for wires to pass over it. This allowed me to create a removable connector with wires soldered to a 20mmx80mm prototyping perfboard mounted to the Pi with a custom designed 3D printed bracket. The components for the IR blaster, antenna connector, and speaker will be mounted to the perfboard. The plan is to use the Adafruit STEMMA speaker for audio output.

  • Third Display

    Smeef07/30/2023 at 07:19 0 comments

    Designed and printed new bracket and added third 128x32 OLED with 9-DOF and GPS sensor readings:

  • Location, Motion, and Orientation

    Smeef07/25/2023 at 12:20 0 comments

    Added a PA1010D GPS module and a BNO085 9-DOF sensor on right side. Had to rewire all the I2C devices to allow the wires to get where they needed to go. Also 3D printed a redesigned mounting bracket around the primary display with additional mounting points on the right side, and a 1mm increase in height to allow the secondary display to flip down parallel with the primary display.

  • Biometrics

    Smeef07/19/2023 at 13:26 0 comments

    • Added Qwiic / Stemma QT 5 Port Hub 
    • Added MAX30102 pulse and blood oxygenation sensor on 3D printed hinge
    • Redesigned and replaced bracket for MAX17048

  • Redesign and Upgrades

    Smeef06/27/2023 at 14:44 0 comments

    • Redesigned and reprinted all 3D printed parts
    • Swapped DreamGear MiniKey for BBQ20KBD. 
    • Swapped 128x32 OLED for 128x64 OLED
    • Swapped 2-port USB hub board, for 4-port USB hub breakout
    • Added additional tac buttons to Display HAT Mini for a total of 10 GPIO buttons.
    • Added MAX17048 battery gauge
    • Added AMG8833 thermal imaging module
    • Added sliding rails mechanism under keyboard
    • Relocated camera to back of unit next to thermal imager
    • Battery terminals are now attached with magnets for easy swapping of batteries

  • Display Swap

    Smeef09/25/2022 at 01:37 0 comments


    Completed swapping out of Adafruit Mini PiTFT 1.3" display and custom 7-button GPIO HAT for a larger Pimoroni Display HAT Mini. The Pimoroni Display has also been modified by adding five tac buttons in addition to the four that came with it, for a total of nine buttons mapped to GPIO, to compensate for keys that aren't on the DreamGear MiniKey keyboard.

View all 6 project logs

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Enjoy this project?



Garra wrote 07/19/2023 at 19:10 point

oooooh, I love the looks and vibe of this!

  Are you sure? yes | no

Smeef wrote 07/19/2023 at 19:36 point

Thank you!

  Are you sure? yes | no

Melissa Matos wrote 09/27/2022 at 02:29 point

I love that keyboard. And yes, a beautiful Frankenstein of a thing.

  Are you sure? yes | no

mshirley wrote 09/12/2022 at 05:41 point

This is sexy. 

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Tom Nardi wrote 09/10/2022 at 17:24 point

This really nails the "assembled with scrap parts" look, and I'm all about it. The use of an 18650 cell as a hinge pin is also a fantastic detail.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Smeef wrote 09/15/2022 at 07:38 point


  Are you sure? yes | no

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