So after seeing more and more cyberdeck post on hackaday I decided to recycle one of my older portable raspberry pi projects into a cyberdeck of sorts. This has to be my most ambitious 3d design to date and also the longest print. Join me below to see how I pulled it off.
So when I redesigned my ZBS (zero boot system) I decided to also make a thinner version of my portable raspberry pi setup. This worked out great and I used it to develop the raspberry pi add-ons and the software for the ZBS. With the current pandemic its a real pain to order anything or get PBC’s made because of the long postage times.
I striped the portable pi down and got about designing the new case. I had already designed a case for the ZBS and because it used the same hardware I could use some of the same design on the cyber deck. My cyber deck was going to be made up of 2 parts, The screen on a hinge that the keyboard attached to so the screen can fold down to cover it.
I used a gopro style hinge in this design, I even ordered some M5 bolts so I could just have to 3d print the rest and add it into my design.
I wasn’t going to put a battery in the screen case like I did with the ZBS so it could be thinner. In the space where the battery when I added a mini to full sized HDMI adapter so you can plug it into a TV if you want to.
I also have a full sized USB port on the side
I also wanted a big clunky switch, To feed the battery power to the power board I decided to use a GX-12 aeronautical style adapter that was panel mounted and I would wrap the cables in a paracord.
I have an abundance of 18650 battery’s so I thought I would use some in this build, It would also give me long battery life to boot. This was my first mistake, I got carried away because I realized that 2 18650 battery end to end were the same length as the keyboard I was using so that’s where the design started. I have already designed a 18650 holder using AA battery spring and dome plates so I added that into my design in freecad and cut off the + side off one and – off the other and pushed them together. This looked great but I stupidly didn’t realize that I had just connected the batteries in serial instead of parallel, Lucky I realized before connecting it up to my pi but at this point I had printed case and didn’t want to redesign and re print it (8 hour 45 min print). Lucky for me I had added a lot of clearance between the 2 battery’s and I was using flat top battery’s. I managed to print a divider plate then used 3 male headers soldered together, This way I would tap off the + off the first battery and – off the second battery without them touching therefore connecting them in parallel and saving the design.
I was taking advantage of the fact that 18650 are cylinder in shape, I used solid core copper wire to go from the spring and dome plates to the space around the 18650.
I was hoping that If I did run out of space in the battery bay I would expand into the battery cover. I had the opposite problem. When I as designing the gopro hinge on the keyboard case side I measured the gopro hinge in relation to the screen so that when I was folded closed there would be enough space for it to lay flat, What I didn’t take into account was the fact that the GPIO stuck up higher the the screen. Luckily I had rounded up the measurements to make sure there would be enough space. Even with rounding up there was still was 1mm short but I had wanted the battery cover to be 2mm thick so I had to steal the 1mm from there.
I had a raised area where the cables came though the cover because I was going to be using a tie wrap to secure the cables. The raised area would also add to some design cues
The keyboard was the easy part, In the portable pi I was using magnetic phone mounts to attach it. I was going to be using the same thing but I would strip the magnets out of the casing and push fit them into the case. I just had to leave a gap in the case of the charging micro USB port and the ON/OFF switch. The problem with the design around the keyboard was that I had really sharp corners on the front so when you were holding it it would dig into your palms. Because that part was a solid print I could file them into a more rounded shape without having to reprint it.
I wanted a lanyard clip so I could hang it around my neck when I’m out and about. I could also just hang something off the cyberdeck to add to the design.
Thingiverse – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4402124