Printing a handheld PC
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robertojones
Posted 2017-03-05 10:47 AM
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I've just bought a Pi Zero W, tiny USB hub and a 5" touchscreen (resistive) with the intention of building a HPC format device. Thinking of one of those USB tablet keyboards that connect by USB to keep things simple, I think the keyboard will be about 20 x 10 cm so would make it more Mobilepro sized (albeit with an undersized screen). My idea with the case is to machine and assemble one out of Acetal or similar engineering plastic (thankfully I have access to a tiny milling machine).

Hard bits will be the hinges and passing HDMI and USB cables through them.

It's encouraging to know I'm not the only one contemplating something like this!

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C:Amie
Posted 2017-03-05 12:20 PM
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You can get FPCB runs for HDMI and USB that would pass through the hinge cavity without a problem

e.g. https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/low-cost-flexible-pcb-board-C...

You just need to pinout and solder them together.
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mikeschn
Posted 2017-03-05 12:57 PM
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Oh cool Roberto! We need pics of that as you go...

are you thinking something like this?


Mike...

Edited by mikeschn 2017-03-05 1:01 PM
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robertojones
Posted 2017-03-05 9:23 PM
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Quote
C:Amie - 2017-03-05 12:20 PM

You can get FPCB runs for HDMI and USB that would pass through the hinge cavity without a problem

e.g. https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/low-cost-flexible-pcb-board-C...

You just need to pinout and solder them together.


That's brilliant, I had no idea you could get parts like that made in small quantities! I'll have to look into it.

Mike, that is pretty impressive, is it laser cut wood? Mine would be similar to that except I imagine I'd screw the case parts together.

Still very early days, I'm just playing with the touchscreen so far. I'll post photos of any progress I make.
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Rich Hawley
Posted 2017-03-06 7:24 PM
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I could put an Ipaq HX4700 in the lid part with an USB keyboard below...CE6 handheld in 30 seconds!

Also, don't know how many of you have ever built a remote controlled airplane, but Monocote, Coverite, Skintex are all plastic based sheets of heat shrink material. I could cover that wooden form and using both a hair dryer and heat iron, it would adhere to the wood like it was glued on making it really coverful and shiney and smoooooooooth...as if it were molded out of plastic.
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mikeschn
Posted 2017-03-08 12:40 AM
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Rich Hawley,

Okay, let's see you do it! ;-)

Roberto,

No, it's just a picture I found on the web. It appears laser cut. I only have a cnc router, so I couldn't do those fancy corners!!! But maybe someday, if I come up with a design that's worth cncing,..

Mike...
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robertojones
Posted 2017-04-08 9:45 AM
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Minor update:

I had second thoughts about the Pi Zero when I realised it had no audio onboard (except via HDMI) and also web browsing was quite painfully slow. I'm not sure yet what SBC (single board computer) to use in its place, I think a Raspberry Pi 3 with the RJ45 and USB ports removed would work but I am also considering the Lemaker Guitar https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01C4JOJ8S/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_awdb_bYj6ybANEW8ZX - this has built in support for charging and running from a LiPo battery and a swappable module with the CPU and RAM on, making it upgradable.

I have successfully butchered one of those cheap tablet keyboard cases as I previously mentioned, this yielded a keyboard with a thin metal backplate and a small controller board with the USB cable attached. Dimensions of the keyboard are approx. 205mm x 82mm x 5mm (8.1" x 3.2" x 0.2". Key feel is not as nice as the Jornadas and certainly not a Mobilepro 900 but easily beats a touchscreen keyboard for me. Keys are scissor switches (like a laptop / HPC keyboard) so not too wobbly and with a nice soft 'click'. Pics to follow..

Progress is likely to be fairly slow as I have an upcoming summer project (building a new garden shed / workshop) but I am determined to get this done in some fashion.

Thanks again to all for your encouragement.
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