Ever since seeing the pocketCHIP portable Linux machine complete with thumb keyboard I’ve wanted to make my own but with a raspberry pi. I was going to use a 3.5″ 320×480 screen a raspberry pi zero along with a battery pack and a Xbox 360 chat pad. Join me on my journey below and find out what went wrong
- Raspberry pi zero
- Xbox 360 chat pad
I was on holiday when I came up with the idea of using the Xbox 360 chat pad since I’ve seen a few other people using it with other projects like Ben Heck Build a Retro Computer: BASIC 80’s Pocket Computer. I did a bit of googling and found out that someone had already done all the hard work and written drivers to use the chat pad over serial to the raspberry pi HERE.
So I ordered a Xbox 360 chat pad from aliexpress but while I was waiting I was in my local CEX shop and I found an official one for just 50p so I snapped it up. After I tore it down and wired it up to my raspberry pi I installed the software and nothing. I even tried the version of raspbian that was release just before the drivers were last updated….still nothing.
This is when I started to look around the internet to see if anyone else had any luck with getting it working. Here are a list of a few projects I found
What do all these projects have in common, They use the same cloned xbox 360 chat pad that the guy used that wrote the drivers. So I ordered one and I was right, So great now I have a working chat pad. The downside is that the clone chat pads have a terrible membrane keyboard.
I could go down a different rabbit hole and reprogram the official chat pad like Ben heck did in the video above but while I was looking I found out that someone had tried just that and failed. The problem with the official chat pad I had it didn’t have a pic16 chip it had a rebranded Microsoft one like in the link so I couldn’t go down that route.
So I failed in the end but at least I learnt a lot. The chatpad wouldn’t have made a great keyboard for the raspberry pi anyway because it didn’t have a tab key and only left and right arrow keys so wouldn’t have worked for what I wanted to do with it.
I hope this helps someone who was in the same shoes I was in.