A Dual Screen Luggable With Integrated RTL-SDR

It’s been fascinating to watch the development of bespoke mobile computers go from a few sheets of foam board and a Raspberry Pi into hardware that looks like it’s actually been transported here from an alternate reality. Granted a Raspberry Pi is more often than not still onboard, but the overall design and construction techniques of these very personal computers has improved by leaps and bounds.

The latest of these cyberdecks, a dual screen “luggable” reminiscent of classic computers like the Compaq Portable or Kaypro, comes our way from [dapperrogue]. Powered by the Raspberry Pi 4 and featuring a scratch-built mechanical keyboard to perfectly fit the machines’s specific dimensions, this is easily one of the more practical builds we’ve seen. As visually striking as they may be, few would argue that the small offset display that seems characteristic of most decks are ideal from a usability standpoint.

While the keyboard plate was milled out on a CNC, [dapperrogue] says the design of the HDPE body panels and rear polycarbonate viewing window were simple enough they could be done by hand on a band saw. The PETG internal frame uses a Voronoi pattern that not only reduces the amount of time and material required to print it, but maximizes airflow. The fact that it looks like some kind of alien biological life form only helps the retro-futuristic aesthetics.

There’s still plenty of room inside the enclosure, which is good, as [dapperrogue] says there’s more goodies to come. Adding internal battery power is a logical next step, and now that the Pi 4 can boot to external drives, and SSD is also on the list of future upgrades.

For readers who might be getting a sense of déjà vu from this project, [dapperrogue] notes this design was inspired by the phenomenal Reviiser that [Dave Estes] released earlier this year.

23 thoughts on “A Dual Screen Luggable With Integrated RTL-SDR

      1. Indeed, I’d think that thickness is just about right in PLA/ABS type stiffness range. Not so thick it won’t take some shock out but more than stiff enough to hold everything in its place. Not 100% sure how its all assembled as to if anything is ‘shock’ mounted, if not would be a good improvement as you will drop it at some point.

  1. I i were him i’d throw a HackRF One clone in there from AliExpress for $60 and a WiFi Pineapple too and what aboutthe GSM modem. this thing is still raw in the middle, plenty of space is going to waste in that cyberdeck.

      1. Its cool to wire your own up, and if you need features older keyboards don’t have (like 100% anti-ghosting) or really need to keep it compact its necessary. But if you can use a model M or any other decent mechanical in your build it might well be the ‘best’ way. Not only are the good mechanicals popular enough that replacement parts are usually available but most of them also already come with a good degree of stiffness which leads to good typing feel.

        That said any excuse to have some fun with your design is work taking if you have time!

        1. The kids these days seem to think that EMF means “Electro Magnetic Field”, rather than “Electo Motive Force”. So they probably have no idea what EMI or RFI mean.

  2. I really like this build. For my own purposes I’d want my cyberdeck to be less chunky, but there are so many elements of this that I’m inspired by.
    To this build I think I’d add a parts drawer or something (eg for an antenna and power supply). It should be really good when it’s able to be battery powered.

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