2022 Cyberdeck Contest: Prototype Cyberdeck Is Anything But Questionable

We see many projects here at Hackaday, about which their creators are unreasonably modest. We like a good cyberdeck, and we think [betaraybiff] is one of those creators from their project description for a Prototype Cyberdeck of Questionable Practical Use. It may be a prototype, but we think it could be quite a practical computer.

At its heart is the ubiquitous Raspberry Pi 4 paired with a PiSugar power supply and a minimalist mechanical keyboard. The case is the interesting part, because it’s well-designed to be 3D printed in sections with the HDMI display hinging up from above the keyboard. The Pi is open and visible on top of the deck, but this could easily be covered with another printed piece if desired.

So we disagree on the practicality, given a train journey and this cyberdeck we think we could easily crack out a Hackaday article or two. Never undersell your creations, like this one they’re almost certainly better than you think.

If you’d like to see more of the 2022 Cyberdeck Contest, take a look at the best of the best.

Cyberdeck Contest 2022: Gibson Rev 001 Thinks Outside The Pelican Case

As we’ve gushed previously in these pages, we saw an incredible turnout for our first-ever cyberdeck contest — so many cool ‘decks rolled in that it made judging them all quite the feat, and we would be remiss if we didn’t feature the favorites that, for whatever reason, didn’t make the cut. One of these is the aptly-named Gibson Rev 001 from [Gadjet].

This cyberdeck may be on the pocket-sized side of things, but don’t let that fool you, because it’s loaded with I/O and sensors galore. A Pimoroni Breakout Garden provides particle/smoke and pulse oximetry, temperature/pressure/altitude, an air quality sensor, and a UVA/UVB light sensor — plenty of feelers for judging conditions on the fly. As you might expect, the brains of the operation is a Raspi 4, which is running Twister OS.

We love the dual-display thing going on with the 7″ touchscreen and the color e-ink display — really gives it a cobbled-together-yet-polished, futuristic feel. May the rest of the post-apocalypse gadgetry have such clean lines and cheerful colors (if that’s what you’re into).

A widescreen slate-style cyberdeck with a small keyboard sits in front of a cassette deck stereo. Headphones sit to the left of the deck and an old Casio calculator watch is to the right.

2022 Cyberdeck Contest: QAZ Personal Terminal

The slabtop form factor has had a resurgence in the cyberdeck community, and [Greg Leo] has designed the QAZ Personal Terminal to be about as small as a slabtop could be while still having full-sized keys.

Since the device is using a 35% QAZ keyboard as its primary input device, [Leo] has helpfully given a quick overview of how text is input in the video below. Coupled with that surprisingly popular 4:1 LCD screen we’ve seen elsewhere, this cyberdeck looks like a modern interpretation of a TRS-80 Model 100. The Banana Pi powering the QAZ Personal Terminal is running Debian with spectrwm, a tiling window manager making arranging windows a breeze with either a mouse or keyboard. The integrated mouse layer on the keyboard means you don’t need a separate mouse at all if you don’t want to spoil the 1980s mobile chic.

[Leo] has another video all about doing calculus on this cyberdeck with the math shortcuts integrated into the keyboard. Fractions, exponents, and common Greek letters are demonstrated. We can see this being a really great note-taking device for engineering and math courses if you wanted something more portable than a laptop.

It’s hard to get very far hacking without a little math. For more math-focused input devices, check out the Mathboard or the MCM/70.

Continue reading “2022 Cyberdeck Contest: QAZ Personal Terminal”

An ortholinear keyboard with predominantly blank white keycaps. There are two red keycaps on the bottom outside corners. The center of the keyboard houses a large LCD in portrait orientation on a red PCB.

2022 Cyberdeck Contest: Keezyboost40 Is A Cyberdeck Masquerading As A Keyboard

There’s something to be said for über-powerful cyberdecks, but there’s also a certain appeal to less powerful decks squeezed into a tiny form factor. [Christian Lo] has designed a cyberdeck that looks like a simple ortholinear keyboard but is running a more flexible environment.

There are games and animations you can play on QMK, but [Lo] felt that a different framework would give him more flexibility to really stretch the limits of what this Raspberry Pi Pico-powered deck could do. He decided to go with a Rust-based firmware with the keyberon library and says, “it felt like I was in control of the firmware.” While the board is using Rust for now, [Lo] says he’s open to conversations about other firmware options to achieve his goals, like a virtual pet game for the board.

The PCB is described as “bog standard” with the possible exception of placing the Pi in a cutout on the board to keep things as low profile as possible. The trade-off comes in the form of reduced board rigidity and potentially increased strain on the connections to the microcontroller.

Looking for more cool cyberdecks? Check out the Winners of the 2022 Cyberdeck Contest or go see all the entries on the Contest Page.
Continue reading “2022 Cyberdeck Contest: Keezyboost40 Is A Cyberdeck Masquerading As A Keyboard”

2022 Cyberdeck Contest: A Wrist-Worn Deck With A Hybrid Interface

You’d think that now that the 2022 Cyberdeck Contest is wrapped up, we’d stop writing about it. Sorry, but no — there were so many great entries that we just can’t help but keep focusing on them. And this wearable hybrid interface cyberdeck has a look we love so much that we can’t resist spotlighting it.

We wouldn’t go so far as to call the “hgDeck” a PipBoy, but [Igor Brkić]’s wrist-worn deck certainly bears some similarity with to the Fallout-famous terminal. In fact, the design for this one is based on his earlier hgTerm Raspberry Pi mini-laptop, which honestly would have made a great entry all by itself. But while the two version shares some similarities, the hgDeck puts a serious twist on the form factor. In the stowed configuration, the Pi Zero W puts the main display, a 3.5″ Waveshare TFT, to work using the resistive touchscreen interface. But with the flick of a finger, a motor flips the monitor up on a set of pantograph linkages, which exposes a compact Bluetooth keyboard. Another touch stows the screen and returns you to touchscreen-only operation.

There were a fair number of wrist-worn decks in the contest’s final results, and while this one didn’t win, [Igor]’s build has got to be one of the cooler designs we’ve seen, one that almost seems practical in the real world.

Continue reading “2022 Cyberdeck Contest: A Wrist-Worn Deck With A Hybrid Interface”

2022 Cyberdeck Contest: Picking The Best Of The Best

Given how many incredible builds we’ve covered over the last couple of years, we knew that an official Cyberdeck Contest would certainly receive some impressive entries. But never in our wildest dreams could we have predicted that more than 100 decks would end up crossing the finish line, or that of them, the vast majority would be never-before-seen designs. In fact, the response to this contest was so overwhelming that the judging process took far longer than we originally anticipated.

Ultimately, we decided that there were simply too many phenomenal builds entered into the contest to award $150 Digikey spending sprees to just three of them. So as an added bonus, we’ve rustled up some $50 Tindie gift certificates that will go to the four special category honorable mentions.

With that, let’s take a look at the cyberdecks that took top honors as decided by our panel of judges.

Continue reading “2022 Cyberdeck Contest: Picking The Best Of The Best”

Watch on the wrist, with all the sensors facing the camera. There's a lot of them, and a lot of wires of all kinds tying everything together.

2022 Cyberdeck Contest: IP00-Minus, A Daring Wearable

[Rob]’s IP00-Minus watch stands out on the Cyberdeck Contest project list page; it’s clear he decided to go a different path than most other hackers, and we can certainly see the advantages. For example, if there’s no case, there’s no need to redesign it each time you want to add a module — and [Rob] has added many, many modules to this watch.

Picking between regular LCD, memory LCD, and OLED displays can be a tricky decision to make when planning out your gadget, so he just added all three. The CircuitPython firmware initially attempted to resist the trio, but was eventually defeated through patching. Jokes aside, we can almost feel the joy that [Rob] must have felt after having put this watch on for the first time, and this project has some serious creative potential for a hacker.

Watch on the wrist, showing the wrist straps and how the watch sits on the arm.[Rob] has been focusing on day-to-day usability first and foremost, with pleasantly clicky encoders, impeccable performance of its watch duty, unparalleled expandability, and comfortable wrist fit — it provides a feeling no commercial wearable could bring.

Out of the myriad of sensors, the air quality sensor has been the most useful so far, letting him know when to open a window or leave a particularly crowded place. The ESP32-S3 powered watch has been quite a playground for [Rob]’s software experiments, and given the sheer variety of hardware attached, we’re sure it will bring unexpected synergy-driven ideas. Plus, it’s no doubt a great conversation starter in nerd and non-nerd circles alike.

Good things happen when you give hackers a wrist-worn watch full of sensors, whether it’s a particularly impressive event badge, a modified firmware for an open source smartwatch, or a custom piece that pushes the envelope of DIY hardware.