This is the Raspberry Shortcake. For its design I started with a hard-shell case and three main guiding principles: I wanted as big of a screen as I could reasonably fit, I wanted a mechanical keyboard, and I wanted to leave the case unmodified.
Principle 1: Big Screen
I wanted to actually be able to use this for software development and a small screen just wasn’t going to cut it. The biggest screen I could fit in the case was a 10.1-inch bare lcd I bought off eBay. The screen along with its driver board is mounted to a sheet of pvc and screwed into the lid of the case using the mounting holes.
Principle 2: Mechanical Keyboard
If you’ve ever used a cheap membrane keyboard you know… they kinda suck. My goal was to actually use this, as I previously stated, and so I made sure I would be able to fit a mechanical keyboard. I ended up going with an Anne Pro 2. As space was very limited, I removed the keyboard’s case to slim it down. I mounted it using brass standoffs to the top of the bottom chassis.
Since the mouse, the switches, and the pi’s ports are physically next to the keyboard, I figure I’ll put the info on them next to the info on the keyboard:
For the mouse, I bought a Pimoroni Trackball and mounted it just below the keyboard and wired it into the pi’s gio. It works like any trackball mouse, but it is small and rgb!
There are 5 toggle switches and a battery voltage display just above and left of the keyboard. The switches are wired from left to right to: turn on main power, toggle charging mode, turn on the battery voltage display, turn on the screen, and turn on the pi.
On the other side from the switches are the 2 usb and the ethernet ports. I extended the unused usb and ethernet ports of the pi to these panel mount ports so they can still be used.
Principle 3: Unmodified Case
For this project I bought a Nanuk 909 hard-shelled case. This case has mounting holes that allow the user to attach hardware to the inside of the case without modifying it, thereby preserving the integrity of the case (and just all around making it easier on me).
The entire innards of the deck needed to be completely removable from the case since I wanted to keep everything manageable while not modifying the case. To do this, I used 10mm aluminum extrusions and sheet pvc to build a chassis for the bottom. In it I attached the Rapberry Pi 4, the battery pack, the voltage converter (Oh yeah, the screen takes 12v and the pi takes 5v so I got a 6000mah 12v battery pack and a 12v to 5v dc-dc converter), and the charger (Right, that… Well, you see, I didn’t want to carry a separate charging cable for the deck. Especially since the battery pack needed a specific lithium charger to charge it. So instead, I just put the charger in the case with everything else and now there is a built-in cord to charge from mains voltage).