Illustrated Kristina with an IBM Model M keyboard floating between her hands.

Keebin’ With Kristina: The One With The Pickle Pi

Image by [jefmer] via Hackaday.IO
The unstoppable [jefmer] wrote in to alert me to Pickle Pi, their latest Keebin’-friendly creation. Why “Pickle Pi”? Well, the Pi part should be obvious, but the rest comes from the Gherkin 30% ortholinear keyboard [jefmer] built with Gateron Yellows and, unfortunately, second-choice XDA keycaps, as the first batch were stolen off of the porch.

If you’re wondering where the rest of the keys are, they are accessible by holding various keys rather than tapping them. Shift is Shift when tapped held, but becomes Enter when tapped. [jefmer] wrote out their entire project description on the thing in order to break in the Gherkin.

The brains of this acrylic sandwich tablet is a Pi Zero 2, with a Pro Micro for the keyboard controller. Although programs like Ghostwriter and Thonny work fine, Chromium is “painfully slow” due to the RAM limitations of the Pi Zero 2. On the upside, battery life is 7-8 hours depending on usage. Even so, [jefmer] might replace it with a Pi 4 — the current battery pack won’t support a Pi 5.
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PiGlass V2 Embraces The New Raspberry Pi Zero 2

Well, that certainly didn’t take long. It’s been just about a month since the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 hit the market, and we’re already seeing folks revisit old projects to reap the benefits of the drop-in upgrade that provides five times the computational power in the same form factor.

Take for example the PiGlass v2 that [Matt] has been working on. He originally put the Pi Zero wearable together back in 2018, and while it featured plenty of bells and whistles like a VuFine+ display, 5 MP camera, and bone conduction audio, the rather anemic hardware of the original Zero kept it from reaching its true potential.

But thanks to the newly released Pi Zero 2, slapping quad-core power onto the existing rig was as easy as unplugging a couple cables and swapping out the board. With the increased performance of the new Pi, he’s able to play multimedia content through Kodi, emulate classic games with RetroPie, and even stream live video to YouTube. Using the custom menu seen in the video below, a small off-the-shelf Bluetooth controller from 8BitDo is all he needs to control the wearable’s various functions without getting bogged down with a full keyboard and mouse.

Although it might not have the punch of its larger siblings, the new Pi Zero 2 is definitely a very exciting platform. The highly efficient board delivers performance on par with the old Pi 3, while still being well positioned for battery powered projects like this one. We’re eager to see what develops as the new SBC finds its way into the hands of more hackers and makers in the coming months.

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