Three-Piece Cyberdeck Plays The Role Of Military Computer That Never Was

While we’re not at all sick of the cyberdeck movement yet, we do have to admit that some of the builds we see are starting to fall into categories that are beginning to seem a little familiar. The clamshell aesthetic comes to mind, but really, with spaces for a display and a keyboard, the form factor is pretty much a natural for cyberdecking. Which is why we like this three-piece twist on the cyberdeck concept so much.

Like many cyberdeck builds, inspiration for the awesomely mustachioed [Max]’s deck came from the military surplus world. As the story goes, he has a smallish clamshell case that once held radio tools and supplies for the Bundeswehr. Figuring it would make the perfect case for half of a split keyboard, he tracked down a couple more of the sturdy aluminum cases and got to work. As a mechanical keyboard aficionado, [Max] already had PCBs that would fit into two of the cases, so he populated those with suitably clicky switches, came up with cool-looking faceplates, and connected the two boxes with retractile cables. The third case got a Raspberry Pi 4 with a trimmed-down heatsink, a battery and power management, and a generous touchpad and LCD panel display. A Kali Linux install completes the tacticool look.

The three-piece cyberdeck looks very cool when all wired up together, but [Max] needed one more piece to really sell it. So he 3D-printed a slipcase for all three units; painted in military colors and suitably distressed, the whole thing really just works. We’ve seen a lot of cyberdecks lately in all sorts of styles, but this one really pleases.

15 thoughts on “Three-Piece Cyberdeck Plays The Role Of Military Computer That Never Was

  1. I like this build – especially as it is actually a functional deck. The split keyboard, something I generally abhor, works well with this build – and gets away from the ruggedised laptop look that we all know and are bored with.

    The whole really is finished off very nicely with the slipcase.

  2. “While we’re not at all sick of the cyberdeck movement yet,”

    Is it really just a fad?

    I think Cyberdecks deserve to have a place in this community as long as commercially built laptops remain the proprietary, hard to repair, barely upgradeable and short lived quick-to-become landfill tile throw away tech that they are now. Maybe people will get bored with building the less practical ones that are meant more for looking cyber punk than actual function. Or maybe not. Throwing the latest SBC along with a portable power source, a display and input devices into some sort of an innovative case is something that will be with us for a long time to come.

    1. I don’t think these custom computer props are used by their creators for anything after they are made. Too focused on style, lacking in substance. Half of them are just modded cases for a SBC or laptop/desktop. It’s a fad, and lame fad at that…

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