There were couple points in time when I was in need of:
- a purpose for a SBC i've had laying around;
- a platform to experiment with general purpose embedded system that ran Linux;
- a case to dip my toes into elaborate electronic box design in CAD of choice with further employment of FDM 3D printing to make this design real;
- a backup computer of sorts, not necessarily a performant one, but with easy access to it's detachable constituents;
- a proper scratch to an itch of an intense desire to have a cyberdeck which materialized after you know who did his rizz; add a few rounds of scrolling through existing and fictional designs related to the matter also;
- having a semblance of a doomsday communication device due to recent events (especially country-wide blackout periods); dunno who I would talk to while inhabiting this kind of dystopia, but my wishful thinking makes me hope that I will be able to set up a few LoRa nodes to talk to my buddies after comms go up in smoke and before electronic warfrare starts to cover residence areas.
Initially I was trying to cram everything into a CNC control panel which was bought in a local flea market, but eventually I've fired up FreeCAD and after a year and some (primary parts were not designed during the 2023 Cyberdeck contest, but as you may know, the hardest project part starts after 85% of progress - and so few of those % were rushed after contest was announced) ta-da - Zvychai One (case logo natively spells "ЗВИЧАЙ 1") came to fruition, featuring:
- 8G Raspberry Pi 4;
- 5" Eyoyo TFT display;
- 40% KPRepublic BM43A keyboard powered by QMK;
- Geekworm X708 v2.0 UPS HAT with double 18650 battery holder as a primary power management system;
- design that is self-sufficient in base configuration and yet aims to tick a few boxes to be extendable;
- clicky connector lid action thanks to some magnets from Aliexpress.
Primary features should be pretty self-explanatory - this is a RPi based machine with some autonomous capabilitues.
The "extendable" part is what i would like to drive the project further, namely:
- 3 pairs of "Picattiny rail" like moutning points for different heavy-duty attachments (currently carrying handle, detachable strap holders, ethernet switch and SDR receiver caddy with antenna attachments are available; keyboard carrier is also on this rail);
- 1 module well (to the right of the screen) which can house.. whatever you can fit there - a devboard, a PCB, a RGB macro input panel, beefy power source etc;
- 2 smaller module openings (top left and right), which probably can house sensor boards, cameras, small displays etc.;
- 3 auxiliary openings on primary case and keyboard carrier - initially to be used for wiring between the two and/or installing a USB hub or additional battery inside the keeb carrier, but they are vacant for now and covered with bolted on lids;
- 1/4" tripod mount to, well, put it on a tripod; with adapters it probably can be used to mount a GoPro or a light source, you name it;
- 3 LEDs near charge level indicator resemble a "notification panel" with user defined function;
- the "spine" under the back cover also has several points where heat-set nuts can be installed and then something can be bolted to them;
And as a bit of closing trivia - "Zvychai" can be roughly translated as "tradition"/"custom" from my native language. Name is partially influenced by how domestic electronic industry of the past named household appliances it was producing (just look up names of TV sets/casette players in USSR).
Despite naming it "One", it is actually a 4th iteration of the design and that is what reflected as "v4" in design files.