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Mobile Raspberry Pi Computer: Build Your Own Pi-to-Go 97

Posted by timothy
from the two-slices-of-cherry-and-a-pumpkin dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Everyone has seen Raspberry Pi Computer, the credit card sized mini PC circuit board that costs only $35. Now there is a new Mobile Raspberry Pi called Pi-to-Go, with a mini LCD, 10-hour battery, and 64GB SSD, all packed together in a 3D printed case. See if you are up to the task to build your own."
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Mobile Raspberry Pi Computer: Build Your Own Pi-to-Go

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  • Batteries (Score:5, Informative)

    by NixieBunny (859050) on Saturday December 22, 2012 @06:41PM (#42371895) Homepage
    The author could have done some research on battery packs instead of hacking up a laptop pack as he did. There is a company called batteryspace.com that sells multi-cell Li-ion packs with a protection circuit built in. They're not cheap, but they are reasonably safe.
    • by Nyder (754090)

      The author could have done some research on battery packs instead of hacking up a laptop pack as he did. There is a company called batteryspace.com that sells multi-cell Li-ion packs with a protection circuit built in. They're not cheap, but they are reasonably safe.

      The author stated in the article that he worked for 10 years repairing Dell laptops, and that was why he choose a laptop battery.

      • by Nyder (754090)

        The author could have done some research on battery packs instead of hacking up a laptop pack as he did. There is a company called batteryspace.com that sells multi-cell Li-ion packs with a protection circuit built in. They're not cheap, but they are reasonably safe.

        The author stated in the article that he worked for 10 years repairing Dell laptops, and that was why he choose a laptop battery.

        actually he stated he had more then 10 years experience and owned his own Dell laptop repair shop.

        • Indeed. But how many of the readers have their own laptop repair shops? A general source of such batteries is a requirement to get this project in the hands of the average tinkerer.
          • Indeed. But how many of the readers have their own laptop repair shops? A general source of such batteries is a requirement to get this project in the hands of the average tinkerer.

            But that's exactly the point in picking something like this. You don't need your own repair shop. You're a million times more likely to find a cheap, generic dell-compatible laptop battery on ebay than you are to find any other sort of high capacity battery very cheap and widely available.

            • by drinkypoo (153816)

              You're a million times more likely to find a cheap, generic dell-compatible laptop battery on ebay than you are to find any other sort of high capacity battery very cheap and widely available.

              That is a load of dingo's kidneys, because R/C cars now typically run on 2S or 3S Li-Ion packs, which are generally high-capacity for their size because if they aren't, you don't get much runtime.

    • Re:Batteries (Score:5, Insightful)

      by node 3 (115640) on Saturday December 22, 2012 @08:42PM (#42372437)

      The author could have done some research on battery packs instead of hacking up a laptop pack as he did. There is a company called batteryspace.com that sells multi-cell Li-ion packs with a protection circuit built in. They're not cheap, but they are reasonably safe.

      As with anything, the person in question could have done many things differently. So what? The fact stands that this person actually did *something*, which is infinitely better than doing nothing other than telling him why he supposedly did something wrong.

      I'll take one not-quite-perfect nerd project like this that actually gets created over a million permutations that *might* be slightly better in one way or another but don't actually exist.

      • Well said, sir!
      • The guy states in his article that the battery pack hack was not something that he'd be comfortable with other people duplicating. That's why I brought it up.

        I, too, applaud his doing of the thing. I make things too, but I try to use parts that are available to the general public when I post how-to articles about the things that I build.
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        The fact stands that this person actually did *something*, which is infinitely better than doing nothing other than telling him why he supposedly did something wrong.

        He got far less product than he could have gotten by simply buying something from aliexpress or dealextreme, and in a really lame and ugly case. I could make a better-looking case out of sheet metal, but I wouldn't get on the front page of slashdot, because it wouldn't be 3d printed.

        I'll take one not-quite-perfect nerd project like this that actually gets created over a million permutations that *might* be slightly better in one way or another but don't actually exist.

        There are hundreds of permutations which already exist if you want a display, a keyboard, an ARM core, and HDMI out. Virtually all of them are superior completed products to a gigantic plastic brick based around a Raspberry Pi.

        N

    • Yeah, and what's with the processor? It's rubbish, and as for the graphics card and expandable port system. Of course, that'll take more power, and the supply is woefully inadequate, so better add that. And a heat sink. And fan. And casing...
    • by Svartalf (2997)

      And the author could've done a bit more research on SDHC cards and wear levelling. While he's right that SD's are slower than a USB to SATA and an SSD, the concern about lifespan on the SSD, especially the one shown in his pictures, has no basis in reality. It's true that it's not in the spec and that early CF's and SD's didn't have wear levelling, all but the cheapest of both types fail to provide it in their designs. SanDisk hasn't shipped anything of theirs without wear levelling in YEARS.

  • Nice hobby project (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 22, 2012 @07:09PM (#42372025)

    LCD Screen – $17.95
    Raspberry Pi – $35
    Mini Keyboard/Mouse – $29.95
    Standalone Battery Charger- $75.00
    Powered 7 Port USB Hub – $14.95
    64GB SSD Hard Drive – $129.95
    Dell D600 Battery – $88.50

    $391.30 (not including 3d printer and other tools).

    Nice hobby project if you have money to burn.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Instead of spending $391 to make a kludge of shit, you could spend half that and get a netbook.

      I've tried to understand why people want a Raspberry Pi, but I just still don't get it, I guess.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Same here. I used to make mock ups out of cardboard and bought tons of useless miniature keyboards and stuff to try to make "sci-fi" small computers and what not. Thing is, I was 15 and it was the 1980s. Now you just need to do some shopping and you can buy anything you want along those lines for less than what it cost in time and money to build the Pi project.
      • by phizi0n (1237812) on Saturday December 22, 2012 @07:35PM (#42372127)

        Rasberry Pi has its uses but what this guy did is make an oversized underpowered portable computer when you could buy a good android phone (no contract) with better specs for half the cost.

        • by oodaloop (1229816) on Saturday December 22, 2012 @08:06PM (#42372263)
          He built it himself for fun. This isn't for sale. It's not supposed to be better than what you can buy. It was a fun project, an experiment, an exercise, a lesson. Haven't you ever made anything yourself, if only for the sole purpose of the satisfaction you feel?
          • by phizi0n (1237812)

            Pretty much the only thing he did was the 3d printed case, the rest was a bunch of shopping. Raspberry Pi is a $35 computer and he turned it into a $400 computer. I'm all for hobby projects but this one is far from interesting or impressive.

        • by MightyYar (622222) on Saturday December 22, 2012 @08:22PM (#42372327)

          Jesus, I'm old but not THAT old... I remember when you could buy a stereo kit and assemble it yourself. Sure, you could just go out and buy an assembled stereo - but what fun was that? How would you learn how a stereo works by buying one from a shelf? What is more interesting to other people: an off-the-shelf stereo, or something you assembled yourself? One thing makes you more interesting and less ignorant. The other just makes you a regular consumer.

          This seems to be in the same vein, only he actually designed parts of his own kit so it's actually cooler.

        • by Artifakt (700173)

          You're right, a Pi has its uses, but let's get more specific. A low powered device smaller than a typical deck of cards - aren't most uses either going to be monitorless/headless or involve very small, low powered displays? If the design has a component big enough to hold the whole Pi inside some spare, empty space - if you can shoehorn the Pi itself into the big, honking gaming keyboard or the monitor, then that's where it should go, not connected by cables to a 23 inch desktop monitor and other input and

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            I keep expecting to see Pi's used to do things such as overlay a GPS coordinate, date and time stamp on an in-vehicle camera and display system, or put into an Estes model rocket to record a G-sensor's output.

            All of those are things better done with an Arduino, which has plenty of power for the purpose and which is smaller, lighter, and draws less power. Even the old ones do, and they have been used to do all of those things. Raspberry Pi isn't useful for putting a video overlay on the video from your quadcopter back to you, it's useful for implementing machine vision directly on your quadcopter so that you don't have to watch the video output.

            Just because a Pi can technically run Quake 2, doesn't mean it's ideal use is a gaming PC.

            If you couple it with a smallish OLED display you get a very low-powe

      • by node 3 (115640)

        Instead of spending $391 to make a kludge of shit, you could spend half that and get a netbook.

        Setting aside for the moment that netbooks themselves are kludges of shit...

        I've tried to understand why people want a Raspberry Pi, but I just still don't get it, I guess.

        For fun, why else?

    • by fufufang (2603203)

      LCD Screen – $17.95
      Raspberry Pi – $35
      Mini Keyboard/Mouse – $29.95
      Standalone Battery Charger- $75.00
      Powered 7 Port USB Hub – $14.95
      64GB SSD Hard Drive – $129.95
      Dell D600 Battery – $88.50

      $391.30 (not including 3d printer and other tools).

      Nice hobby project if you have money to burn.

      With this amount of money, personally I would use it on something else. Printrbot jr is only $399.
      http://printrbot.com/shop/printrbot-jr/ [printrbot.com]

    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      In what delusional world are you paying $130 for a 64GB SSD? I just bought one for around $55.

      And i live in fucking AUSTRALIA where we get price gouged for everything.

  • Slashvertisements? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Yonder Way (603108) on Saturday December 22, 2012 @08:28PM (#42372369)

    With the frequency of RPi "articles" on /. one might wonder if there is some payola behind the positive press.

    But not a word is spoken about the ongoing supply chain issues, and resellers making candid statements about it not being worthwhile to try to carry them. Can we have a moratorium on articles that drive up RPi demand until the Foundation can get its supply caught up more with the demand you've already created?

    • by isorox (205688) on Saturday December 22, 2012 @09:27PM (#42372623) Homepage Journal

      With the frequency of RPi "articles" on /. one might wonder if there is some payola behind the positive press.

      But not a word is spoken about the ongoing supply chain issues, and resellers making candid statements about it not being worthwhile to try to carry them. Can we have a moratorium on articles that drive up RPi demand until the Foundation can get its supply caught up more with the demand you've already created?

      I just bought 6, delivered next day. What supply problems?

    • by ctid (449118)

      The Raspberry Pi Foundation is non-profit. I suspect the glut of stories is to do with the number sold and the perceived gap between price and capability. Certainly where I live (UK) supply is not a problem. Even RS, who couldn't fulfil my order in reasonable time, have now cleared their backlog (or so they claim). I cancelled my RS order and got one overnight from another supplier. You can buy them in store now here (eg at Maplin).

      • by rephlex (96882)

        The Raspberry Pi Foundation is non-profit.

        Apparently they do have one employee though. I wonder who it is and how much they're getting paid...

    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      With the frequency of RPi "articles" on /. one might wonder if there is some payola behind the positive press.

      Payola? You have lost touch with how Slashdot works haven't you? Just submit any story (preferably one with a link to your blog to drive up hits rather than to an actual article) and some overpaid idiot of an editor will submit it, change your headline to be sensationalist, add some typos, and ... profit.

      But not a word is spoken about the ongoing supply chain issues

      That's because there are none. There were initial supply issues when they came out. After the initial run of boards the supply issues were mostly solved. If you have issues now they are exclusively reseller

  • by aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) on Saturday December 22, 2012 @08:48PM (#42372469)

    The bulkiness of the PDA-like hackware makes me wonder why the RasPeople didn't design a sleeker board. I mean something as slim as an iPod touch or a Palm Pilot.

    It's not as if there are significant design issues with a flatter board. "Only" the I/O connectors appear to be needlessly sticking out. How much more would it cost to substitute tinier versions of the USB and HDMI ports in the unit? Since feature/smartphones are already outselling PCS, I can only assume that the micro/mini versions of these standard ports have already achieved economies of scale.

    If some Indian company can produce an el cheapo $50 tablet complete with LCD, rechargeable battery, and case, and there are full-featured phones that are cheaper than that, why can't there be a RasPi that one can hack into a homebrew eReader?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The bulkiness of the PDA-like hackware makes me wonder why the RasPeople didn't design a sleeker board. I mean something as slim as an iPod touch or a Palm Pilot.

      It's not as if there are significant design issues with a flatter board. "Only" the I/O connectors appear to be needlessly sticking out. How much more would it cost to substitute tinier versions of the USB and HDMI ports in the unit? Since feature/smartphones are already outselling PCS, I can only assume that the micro/mini versions of these standard ports have already achieved economies of scale.

      If some Indian company can produce an el cheapo $50 tablet complete with LCD, rechargeable battery, and case, and there are full-featured phones that are cheaper than that, why can't there be a RasPi that one can hack into a homebrew eReader?

      The costs of putting in slimmer connectors are significantly more expensive than the taller connectors. Significant in this context is tens of pennies rather pounds/dollars/euros. This adds up to higher costs at the end.

      Also most people don't have the smaller connectors easily to hand to reduce costs. I have around 2 cubic metres of cables from various projects over the last twenty years and I still struggle to find some stupid connector some twat specified who thought he or she was being clever as it woul

    • I'm examining my pi now. The tallest things on the board, at roughly equal height, are the ethernet and USB ports. As the enclosure size is determined by the tallest component, it'd be pointless replacing anything else with (probably more expensive) lower-profile parts unless these can also be shortened. The USB could, with some rearranging, possibly be replaced by two side-by-side rather than stacked - but the ethernet port is an inherently tall connector. It's not getting any slimmer without losing the et

    • by Svartalf (2997)

      Wired Ethernet causes a problem. The cheap connector's tall. A pop-up/pop-out connector that would satisfy your "slimmer" requirement would make the boards nearly half again to double the cost.

      • But the cheaper version of the board doesn't have an Ethernet connector. So your choice for an Ethernet or whatever net connection for those boards will still be a USB dongle.

        *Funny but I just noticed that my Android cheapad which has no Ethernet connector, has an Ethernet option in addition to the usual BT and Wifi.

  • While the machine is ugly, expensive and underpowered, it's an interesting hack. The guy had to figure how to connect all the parts that came from differents sources, not aa a DIY computer kit. He even had to deal with some basic electronics to use one energy imput (laptop battery) to feed several parts with different voltage requirements. He even call this a protoype. And that's what this frankentop is, a fun prototype to do. Thanks for sharing it!

    I miss the times when one visited a radio shack store and

  • That's an awful lot of money to spend on 6 high drain 18650 batteries wired in series. You can pick up individual batteries like this on ebay for about $5 each, if you order them from china. These are the same batteries my e-cigarette takes.

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