dual screen cyberdeck

Ditch The Laptop For The Tabletop

The idea of a cyberdeck is simple. A relatively portable case that is primarily a keyboard with some screen attached. Cyberdecks often try to hit a particular aesthetic or vibe rather than focusing on usability or practicality. [Carter Hurd] took a step back and asked himself what would be a cyberdeck-like system that he could practically use every day.

[Carter’s] build is a prototype that allows him to try out the form factor and use it as a daily driver, so many decisions were made to speed up the build and get something functional. For example, rather than spend the time tweaking and printing his own keyboard, he used an off-the-shelf keyboard he knew he liked. While a framework motherboard would have been perfect for something like this, they, unfortunately, weren’t available when [Carter] started the build. So [Carter] used a used gaming laptop for the task. He had hoped to drive the display directly from the motherboard as many laptops use embedded DisplayPort internally. Unfortunately, this didn’t work as the motherboard didn’t support the resolution he was trying to drive at, so he just used the external port to drive the screen. A 3d printed base fits underneath the keyboard to hold the laptop motherboard with little extensions for bits that don’t work well, such as the wifi card. The chassis also has a slot that allows a secondary display to slot right in.

Ultimately, it is something of a modern-day typewriter and something like a cyberdeck. Either way, we love it. Video after the break.

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Chonky Palmtop Will Slide Into Your Heart

You probably know what a cyberdeck is by now, but you’ll find that people’s definitions differ. Some use the term rather loosely, applying it to things that are luggable at best. But we think you’ll agree that [Daniel Norris]’ chonky palmtop is without a doubt, quite cyberdeckian.

One of the hallmarks of a cyberdeck is that it folds up, often like a laptop in the screen-over-keyboard sense. Not only does chonky palmtop do that, but the split keyboard (more on that later) has this impressive pivot geometry and really satisfying slider mechanism thing going on. The whole thing folds up into a little brick, which [Daniel] says is about the size of an old Asus EEE laptop. (Remember those bad boys? Those were the days.)

Inside the brick is some stuff you might expect, like a Raspberry Pi 4 and a 7″ touchscreen. [Daniel] also packed in an AmpRipper 3000 LiPo charger, which is especially good for high voltage projects. Speaking of, there is a voltage button to check the battery level, which is then displayed on a trio of 7-segment displays that are smack dab in the middle below the screen.

Now about that split keyboard — that’s a Corne, which is kind of a happy medium between a lot of keys and too few, and 42 is probably enough keys for most people. Considering the overall size, we think that is a great amount of keys.

Not that you can tell by the keycaps on those Chocs, but [Daniel] is rocking the Miryoku layout and firmware. Slide past the break to watch chonky palmtop unfurl, boot into Ubuntu, and close back up in a brief demo video.

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REMOTICON 2021 // Jay Doscher Proves Tinkercad Isn’t Just For Kids

We invited [Jay Doscher] to give us a view into his process designing 3D printed parts for the impressive array of cyberdecks we’ve covered since 2019.

[Jay] got his start as a maker through woodworking in high school, getting satisfaction from bringing something from idea to reality. After a more recent class in blacksmithing and ax-making showed him what he could do when really focused, his hardware hacking really took off and his line of cyberdecks and other portable computers was born.

If you’ve heard of Tinkercad, you probably think it’s just for kids. While designed as an educational tool, [Jay] found that Autodesk’s younger sibling to the professionally powered (and priced) Fusion 360 had everything needed for making cyberdecks. If you’re willing to work around a few limitations, at the low-low price of free, Tinkercad might be right for you too.

What limitations? To start, Tinkercad is only available in a browser and online. There’s also no guarantee that it will remain free, but [Jay] notes that with its educational focus that is likely to remain the case. There is no library of common components to import while modeling. And, when your model is complete the options for exporting are limited to 2D SVGs and 3D STL, OBJ, and gaming-focused GBL formats. [Jay] has converted those to other formats for laser cutting and the STEP file a machine shop is expecting but admits that it’s something that adds complexity and is an annoyance.

back7-TinkerCad-Alignment

In the talk, [Jay] discusses moving from his initial “cringy” explorations with Tinkercad, to his first cyberdeck, a little history on that term, and the evolution of his craft. It’s mostly a hands-on demo of how to work with Tinkercad, full of tips and tricks for the software itself and implications for 3D printing yourself, assembly, and machining by others.

While quite limited, Tinkercad still allows for boolean operations to join two volumes or the subtraction of one from another. [Jay] does a wonderful job of unpeeling the layers of operations, showing how combinations of “solids” and “holes” generated a complex assembly with pockets, stepped holes for fasteners, and multiple aligned parts for his next cyberdeck. Even if you already have a favorite CAD tool, another approach could expand your mind just like writing software in Strange Programming Languages can.

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Review: DevTerm Linux Handheld Has Retro-Future Vibe

It’s not every day that an open-source, portable Linux handheld computer gets announced, so I couldn’t resist placing an order for the DevTerm by ClockworkPi back when we first learned about the stylish little terminal, which includes a 1280 x 480 screen (double-wide VGA) and a modular little thermal printer.

Of course, the global semiconductor shortage combined with shipping slowdowns led to delays, but things did ultimately come together for the project. I’ve always been a sucker for small-format machines, especially ones that come as a well-designed kit, and that means I can tell you all about what it was like to put it together and turn it on. There’s a lot to look at, so let’s get started.

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CRT cyberdeck

Old Portable TV Becomes Unique CRT Cyberdeck

Remember the “suitcase” form-factor for PCs? In the time before latops, these luggable machines were just the thing for the on-the-go executive. OK, maybe not really — but the ability to have PC, monitor, and peripherals in a single package had real appeal, and a lot of that rationale is behind the cyberdeck phenomenon. So when we saw this retro portable TV turned into a cyberdeck, it really caught our eye.

Ironically, the portable black-and-white TV that [Lucas Dul] chose as the basis for his cyberdeck hails from about the same period in time that luggable PCs were having their brief time in the sun. Scored from eBay, the Magnavox TV/radio combo had seen better days, and required a bit of surgery to repair what might have been drop damage. With the CRT restored and the video and audio paths located, the TV got a Raspberry Pi, a small touchpad, and a couple of concealed USB connectors. The Pi’s composite output drives the CRT, with about the results you’d expect. The keyboard appears to be just about the right size to serve as a cover, but [Lucas] said that’s a future project.

Still, with the TV’s original handle acting as a stand, this cyberdeck gives off a real Compaq or IBM portable PC vibe. We’ve seen a few luggable-lookalike cyberdecks before, but none that dared use a CRT monitor. It may be a far cry from HDMI, but we really appreciate that [Lucas] chose this way rather than slapping in an LCD.

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A Portable Projecting Pi For Education

We cover a lot of cyberdeck projects here at Hackaday, custom portable computers often built around the Raspberry Pi. It’s not often that we cover a computer that perfectly achieves and exceeds what a cyberdeck is trying to do without being a cyberdeck in any way, but that’s what [Subir Bhaduri] has done. In addressing the need for Indian schoolchildren to catch up on two years of COVID-disrupted schooling he’s created the pπ, a Raspberry Pi, projector, and keyboard all-in-one computer in a neat sheet-metal case that looks as though it might be just another set of spanners or similar. At a stroke he’s effortlessly achieved the ultimate cyberdeck, because this machine is no sci-fi prop, instead it has a defined use which it fulfills admirably.

All the files to build your own can be found in a GitLab repository. The case is laser-cut sheet metal, and he’s put in a cost breakdown which comes out at a relatively healthy 17200 Indian rupees, or around 230 US dollars. We hope that it serves its purpose well and provides a rugged and reliable teaching aid for a generation from whom COVID has taken so much. You can see more in the video below the break.

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Cyberdeck

This End Times Cyberdeck Is Apocalypse-Ready

In the cyberdeck world, some designs are meant to evoke a cyberpunk vibe, an aesthetic that’s more lighthearted than serious. Some cyberdecks, though, are a little more serious about hardening their designs against adverse conditions. That’s where something like the ARK-io SurvivalDeck comes into play.

Granted, there does seem to be at least a little lightheartedness at play with the aptly named [techno-recluse]’s design. It’s intended to be an “Apocalypse Repository of Knowledge”, which may be stretching the point a bit. But it does contain an impressive amount of tech —  wide-band software defined radio (SDR) covering HF to UHF, GPS module, a sensor for air pressure, temperature, and humidity, and a Raspberry Pi 3B running Kali Linux. Everything is housed in a waterproof ammo can; a 3D printed bezel holds an LCD touchscreen and a satisfying array of controls, displays and ports. The lid of the ammo can holds a keyboard, which was either custom-made to precisely fit the lid or was an incredibly lucky find.

There’s a lot to like about this build, but our favorite part is the external dipole for receiving NOAA weather satellite imagery. The ability to monitor everything from the ham bands to local public service channels is a nice touch too. And we have no complaints about the aesthetics or build quality either. This reminds us of an earlier cyberdeck with a similar vibe, but with a more civilian flavor.

Thanks to [Kate] for the tip.

[via Tom’s Hardware]