2023 Cyberdeck Challenge: KOAT0 Portable Terminal

We’ve had cyberdecks as part of the scenery for long enough now that there are a series of common elements that appear across many different builds. The Raspberry Pi, for instance, or the mechanical keyboard, with a 3D printed body. [RobsonCuto]’s KOAT0 Portable Terminal has some of those in a particularly slim and neat design. The orange and grey color scheme is great really pops. Where this deck really shines though, is the display.  He’s eschewed LCDs or OLEDs, even CRTs, and gone for an unusual choice in a dot-matrix VFD.

The VFD in question is commonly available on AliExpress where it appears to be used for displaying Chinese characters. It’s not an obvious choice for a cyberdeck, so once the tidy-looking case is complete the real challenge in this project becomes how to drive it from the Pi. To that end, he appears to have some kind of text output working but still needs to complete a framebuffer driver. We applaud the effort and we really like the display.  We’re curious as to how its meager resolution might best be used in a Linux device.

All in all, this is a ‘deck we’d be happy to use ourselves if it were an option. We particularly like the on-the-arm style of use, and we’re pretty sure it’s the first time we’ve seen one of these displays on these pages.

16 thoughts on “2023 Cyberdeck Challenge: KOAT0 Portable Terminal

  1. We’ve had cyberdecks as part of the scenery for long enough… and it’s just as cringe as that one tacticool dude who comes dressed full spec-ops to a sunday family plinking event at the range.

    1. Getting annoyed at others having fun, never seen here. Using “cringe” in a sentence unironically has become cringe on itself. Besides, if we’re being mindful of other people hobbies, honestly can not believe “sunday family plinking event at the range” is a thing. Had to do research to make sense of your analogy.

    2. There it is, the classic Hackaday Negative Nelly. This is one of the best-executed cyberdeck builds I’ve ever seen. Also if you really can’t stand “just because” type-projects like this, you’re on the wrong website.

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