Why do you want to have a tiny $5 Linux system on a chip? Because you can cram it into a discarded LCD monitor and you’ve got a useful device. [zarderxio] did just that, satisfying the age-old dream of the kitchen computer with junk that was lying around in the basement.
There’s not much to this hack. The Raspberry Pi Zero needs a 5V power supply and the screen has 12V, so a step-down converter takes care of that. [zarderxio] hard-wires the monitor out of the Zero straight up to the monitor’s input jack, and hot-glues a USB hub to the outside of the monitor for a keyboard and mouse. (Because if there’s one thing we know, it’s that the Raspberry Pi Zero needs more USB ports: see exhibit A and exhibit B just for example.)
Now you’re all thinking, “USB keyboard and mouse?!?! I want a touchscreen!” Do you really? In the kitchen, with sticky fingers? Well, the screen in [zarderxio]’s junk box didn’t have a touchscreen, and this makes it more flexible, so we’re on the side of the quick hack done. Who knows, maybe he’ll hack yet another Raspberry Pi Zero into a smudge-proof recipe controller?
Instructables user [Mike Craghead] was in the middle of building a very compact public computer kiosk when he ran into a problem with the processor fan. It was too big for the enclosure and had to be swapped out with a fan that did not allow the motherboard to monitor its rotational speed.
Motherboards don’t like this situation very much, and each time the computer was started, it would hang at the BIOS screen waiting for someone to press the F1 key to continue. Knowing that everything was just fine, and that there were no BIOS options which would allow him to ignore the error, he crafted a simple solution to the problem.
Since the computer just needed someone to press the F1 key, he figured he could rig up a small dongle that would always hold down the key for him. After verifying that the OS would ignore the stuck key, he tore apart a keyboard and traced the circuit matrix to identify which pins he had to short in order to represent the F1 key press.
Satisfied with his handiwork, he plugged the board into his computer and found that everything worked just fine. Sure it might not be the most elegant solution to the problem, but it gets the job done at a cost of zero dollars – you can’t beat that!