• It’s alive!

    Taylor Hay05/05/2024 at 10:13 0 comments

    this morning started with soldering the usb cable to the Pi, and what a headache that was! Turns out the usb cable I was using had data lines in it, but they weren’t terminated at the usbc and… cheap nasty cable. So I had to do it all again. But I got the keyboard talking to the Pi, bypassing the physical usb port.

    Next was spot welding a little 1s3p 18650 pack, and replacing the big lipo pouch that the power bank originally had. These are 3000mah cells, so I have 9000mah total - pretty nice!

    I once again had to remove the usb ports on the power bank board, and solder a chopped usbc cable on, but I like that the back can be removed, unplugged, and the pi can be powered externally (I already had to use this feature to hook up an external monitor to get Kali Linux working on the Pimaroni screen)

    The board + batteries JUST fit! And it’s nice to have USBC fast charging.

    Annoyingly this board cuts the output when I’m charging it, so it’s unable to boot the pi when plugged into USBC - which is not ideal. So I might revisit the charging board.

    I do however really like the battery percentage display, that fits though the case. It’s a bit too bright, but a bit of Smokey acrylic might help that in the future.

    It’s running Kali Linux on a 32gb card at the moment - and does exactly what I had in mind! So far battery life seems to be excellent.

    I’ll make some qol updates and probably reprint the case in a nicer material next!

    Edit: If anyone is replicating this project, getting the Hyperpixel to work with Kali requires another step - I hooked it up to an HDMI screen and ran the following command 

    curl -sSL get.pimoroni.com/hyperpixel4-legacy | bash

     And in the config chose my Pi type and Screen (square vs rectange) 

    rebooted and it worked! This link might have more info if that doesnt work for you.

  • Blackberry Pi

    Taylor Hay05/01/2024 at 12:15 0 comments

    My keyboard arrived yesterday! I wasted no time pulling it apart, making a few changes to my case model, and printing a new revision.

    The Pi+Hyperpixel screen assembly fits great. It drops in from the front and secures from the back, and then a bezel (not pictured) will attach to the front.

    The keyboard is great - and the mouse works better than I expected! Very easy to get around a full desktop environment - Plasma feels great, even at 720x720!

    At the moment, the keyboard is plugged into a USB Port on the outside, but my plan is to directly solder the USB cable to the pins, and print a little "USB blank" to close up the port that will be used for the keyboard/mouse.

    So far it's on track to need no software - meaning you can install anything you want on the Pi, as long as the Hyperpixel is supported. No software needed at all - it's all plug and play.

    Next step is the front bezel, back cover, battery, wiring and power button.

    Stay tuned!

  • And so it begins...​

    Taylor Hay04/12/2024 at 06:43 0 comments

    This has actually been a long time coming! I built a CinePi cinema camera last year, and although it's great - I dont actually need / enjoy working with cinema footage... so I decided to use the incredible Hyperpixel screen, and the best Pi in my collection (Pi 4, 8gb) to make a handheld Linux PC. Excellent for portable Pen Testing with Kali, or doing anything! Mainly though, I just think it's cool.

    The keyboard has always been what's held me back though. I was going to design a PCB with a heap of tactile buttons, kinda like in the Armachat devices - but they dont look nice to type on, and it still leaves the question of a mouse open.

    When I saw this Blackberry breakout keyboard with a mouse built in - I knew it was destiny! I ordered one, and grabbed the STL files from ZitaoTech's Github, reverse engineered them into a solid body (best Fusion 360 feature ever...) and then designed a case that holds the Pi and the Hyperpixel screen.

    I should be able to transfer the keyboard into my new frontplate, and use the original backplate. Hoping that I can use it as a USB device without the battery.

    A chopped USB cable soldered directly to the USB pins on the pi will take care of connectivity - and that's my mouse and keyboard sorted! 


    The case is still very much a work in progress, but a large 10,000mah pouch lipo will be integrated into the back part of the case.

    It will be a bit thick - but I love the idea of lots of battery life... I'm using the power bank's button to power it on an off, and I'll reroute the power bank battery % display somewhere to keep an eye on that. I could possibly integrate it with software, but that seems hard. And a physical battery display visible from the outside (similar to early MacBook Pro's that had that little button) will be cooooool!

    The bottom case of the keyboard is the original mesh here, while the top part is integrated into the rest of the case

    Once the case is finalised, I'll aim to machine parts from aluminium and print parts via HP Multijet Fusion from PCBWay (similar to my Cyberpunk Baofeng Radio project)

    Just waiting for the Keyboard to arrive, and I'll post an update when it's more assembled!