Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Portables Displays Hardware Hacking Build Hardware

Pi to Go: Hot Raspberry Pi DIY Mini Desktop PC Project 134

Posted by timothy
from the tab-a-slot-b-fruit-x dept.
MojoKid writes "Hot Hardware recently set out to design a custom mini desktop system with the popular Raspberry Pi single board computer. People have configured the device for a variety of applications, from micro-servers to low cost media players. Basically, the goal was to turn what is currently one of the cheapest bare-bones computer boards into a fully enclosed mini desktop computer that could be taken anywhere without the need for cabling or setup. This small DIY project is just one of many examples of the flexibility of the Raspberry Pi's open architecture. And to think you can even run Quake and Minecraft on it."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Pi to Go: Hot Raspberry Pi DIY Mini Desktop PC Project

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 02, 2013 @07:56PM (#43892229)
    They used an off-the-shelf project box made the old way in a gloopy factory? Luddites. They should have 3D printed a case which would have taken days and weeks of design and tweaking and dozens of prototype runs. All that to end up with a ridged wobbly blob. That's the future.
  • Pi Madness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by maxrate (886773) on Sunday June 02, 2013 @08:11PM (#43892309)
    This simply isn't newsworthy.
    • Re:Pi Madness (Score:5, Insightful)

      by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Sunday June 02, 2013 @10:06PM (#43892793)
      They built a crappy laptop. What many people are missing is that the Raspberry pi is best for two groups of people. Underprivileged kids who will use the Pi as the basis of a scrounged together machine. Or for people needing a fairly decent machine for their embedded project (robot, car computer, etc).

      To simply reinvent the laptop seems like a waste of a Pi.
      • Re:Pi Madness (Score:4, Insightful)

        by gl4ss (559668) on Monday June 03, 2013 @02:16AM (#43893715) Homepage Journal

        They built a crappy laptop. What many people are missing is that the Raspberry pi is best for two groups of people. Underprivileged kids who will use the Pi as the basis of a scrounged together machine. Or for people needing a fairly decent machine for their embedded project (robot, car computer, etc).

        To simply reinvent the laptop seems like a waste of a Pi.

        an underprivilidged kid scrounging together a machine from a Pi would indeed be news...

        everyone I know who has bought a pi has a job.

      • Re:Pi Madness (Score:4, Informative)

        by lxs (131946) on Monday June 03, 2013 @04:36AM (#43894089)

        If underpriviliged kids want a PC they would be far more successful dumpster diving a couple of discarded PCs and an old crt and cobbling those together. Probably cheaper too.

        • Re:Pi Madness (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Errtu76 (776778) on Monday June 03, 2013 @04:52AM (#43894139) Journal

          Not to mention a chance of finding some interesting data on those discarded harddrives.

          • Heh, chances are that on a random disk, you could find data that, when sold into the right hands, would buy you at least a new top-of-the-line machine. In the worst case, you could at least blackmail the original owner. Unless it was a police department, of course. And who knows, maybe even then. :p
        • by CastrTroy (595695)
          You're right, except that they'd spend their life savings on the power required to run the thing. I can run my Raspberry Pi off a couple of cheap 18650s for about 5 hours. Basically, a 2 cell laptop battery, except that the 2 cells aren't even close to as good quality as what you'd find in a commercial laptop. Most laptops don't even run for 3 hours on a 6 cell battery to give you a comparison. And if they were unlucky enough to find a Pentium IV in the dumpster (which is common), then they would spend
      • Re:Pi Madness (Score:4, Insightful)

        by RabidReindeer (2625839) on Monday June 03, 2013 @08:09AM (#43894771)

        They built a crappy laptop. What many people are missing is that the Raspberry pi is best for two groups of people. Underprivileged kids who will use the Pi as the basis of a scrounged together machine. Or for people needing a fairly decent machine for their embedded project (robot, car computer, etc).

        To simply reinvent the laptop seems like a waste of a Pi.

        Three^W four kinds of people. A RPi pulls only around 5 Watts of power. Sufficiently low that it's you can make it solar-powered, which can come in handy for those of us who occasionally suffer multi-day power outages or want a "computer fix" away from civilization The main power draw, in fact, would be the display.

        Another use of a RPi is for a low-power satellite system, for things like word processing, email, or recipes in the kitchen. Take an old monitor, tape an RPi to the back of it, stuff a WiFi ethernet USB dongle into it, and connect it to the SAN. Add keyboard and mouse as needed (or use Bluetooth).

        At $25 for the minimal Pi and $35 for the loaded version, you can practically hand them out as party favors. It's almost certain that whatever you plug into them will cost more than the computer itself, but fortunately. with the possible exception of HDMI, a lot of us have spare parts gathering dust anyway.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      That was my thought, despite what the summary says, this isn't particularly portable. You still need to get a monitor and a keyboard. There are other better projects for this. I get that it's Pi, but seriously, this has been possible for quite some time.

      Wake me up when somebody can do something similar to the OpenPandora on a budget. I've got one and it's great, but the cost is still on the high side due to the small number of units ordered.

      • by Nerdfest (867930)

        It actually has a 7" TFT LCD monitor. The fact that it looks like a full size monitor makes the case look a lot bigger than it is as well.

    • by niko9 (315647)

      This simply isn't newsworthy.

      Agreed.

      The least they could have done was put the board into a Happy Hacking Keyboard or an IBM Model M spacesaver. This way you'd only need a monitor or TV when you're "portable" and still use it as a keybaord when your home.

    • At the price for all the major and minor components, they have to be what, 2/3s the way to the price of a Nexus 7 + Bluetooth keyboard.

      Idiots.
    • by Jawnn (445279)

      This simply isn't newsworthy.

      Yeah, we should be saving room for more stories about Bitcoin. [/sarcasm]

  • by fufufang (2603203) on Sunday June 02, 2013 @08:11PM (#43892311)

    Beaglebone Black is more powerful, for similar amount of money.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by olsmeister (1488789)
      To expand on this statement. [roboteurs.com]
      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 03, 2013 @12:37AM (#43893383)

        The author has some serious misleading information, probably not his intention, but is misleading nonetheless.

        For instance, it's not a "Solid Tie" for the ethernet. The Pi has ethernet over USB, so it can't be compared with the Black having the Ethernet over a dedicated PHY interface. Also the clock specs comparison is outright retarded as it's oranges to apple (The Pi has a armv6l vs armv7l of the BBB). It's like comparing clock speed of a P4 with a Intel i.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        It's only cheap because the Pi is. Before the Pi came along the BeagleBone platform was expensive, even by ARM board standards.

        The comparison you linked to isn't really fair either. Note for example that it lists LCD connectivity for the BeagleBone but not the Pi, despite the Pi having an LCD connector on it. I didn't read the rest in detail.

      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        Well at $45 vs $35, it costs about 30% more than the Pi. So while you can say it's only $10 difference, the price difference is real. Sure the Beaglebone has some onboard storage, but you're going to run up against that measly 2GB of storage pretty fast. From my most recent experience on the RPi, you can't even install all the updates without first expanding the default 2GB partition to use the whole SD card. 2GB doesn't give you must space these days. Perhaps it would be OK if you were planning to go cons
  • by OzPeter (195038) on Sunday June 02, 2013 @08:17PM (#43892339)

    Someone puts some electronics in a box and that's newsworthy???

    If so, then I've got a suggestion for you. Just follow me around at work for a week and you'll get enough stories for a year of stories like this.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mikesnap (2928031)
      Most technology is classified as electronics in a box. If you have such an interesting job where everyday would bring in thousands of views then seizing the opportunity to post your amazing work would be a good idea. -The Author
    • It's Sunday afternoon. You have something more newsworthy? Submit it your damn self.

    • Someone puts some electronics in a box and that's newsworthy???

      People have low attention span these days. "Cool hacks" are no more about finding how a system really works, but just gluing some modules together.

  • With all the posts RPi s used in so many outstanding projects, it's certainly refreshing and newsworthy that someone is using it the way it was designed to be used, and running the software that it was designed to run!

    Sorry, guy who used it to monitor sharks [raspberrypi.org], you are just not as cool.

  • by maxrate (886773) on Sunday June 02, 2013 @08:28PM (#43892397)
    Buy a notebook computer.
    • I bought an inexpensive Acer Aspire One. It's not your aunt's netbook. Dual Core (but slow) processor, and it's undocumented but you can cram 8 gigs of RAM in it.

      8 gigs in a 3 pound laptop. VirtualBox runs great on it.

    • While you can do that, to some of us, DIY is more fun.
      • by ceoyoyo (59147)

        It's also easier to interface (and power) a Pi with low level hardware, as opposed to a notebook.

        The Raspberry Pi was never meant as a computer to run spreadsheets on. It's a hacker toy.

  • by DogDude (805747)
    Doesn't anybody buy used computers? I get perfectly usable Core Duo machines from my local thrift store for $25 apiece, and they do a heck of a lot more than a Pi.
    • Re:Used? (Score:4, Informative)

      by mikesnap (2928031) on Sunday June 02, 2013 @09:16PM (#43892611)
      My project goal was to utilize what the raspberry pi was able to do and learn about linux programming on a small scale. I have plenty of computers that could be utilized if I needed a computer that is faster or has larger capabilities. -The Author
    • by sidevans (66118)

      Doesn't anybody buy used computers? I get perfectly usable Core Duo machines from my local thrift store for $25 apiece, and they do a heck of a lot more than a Pi.

      True, they weight a lot more, take up a lot more space, and they use a lot more power!

      • by tftp (111690)

        Most of that weight and space are occupied by the monitor and the keyboard. However you minimize the motherboard, the setup cannot be smaller than these devices. A notebook also does a good job on protecting them in transport position.

        • by sidevans (66118)

          I couldn't agree more! And that's why I've owned notebooks as my main system for the past 3-4 years.

          However with the price of power these days, a Raspberry Pi is probably the best bang for buck you can get when it comes to power consumption and usability combined. A Raspberry Pi will serve much better as a CarPC or low voltage system than any 2nd hand dual core desktop system, if you have the space and power at home for desktop systems, now worries then.

          I've got 4 Pi's waiting at my office, 1 for my RC Car,

    • by dido (9125)

      Indeed. However, power usage is something to consider. A model B RPi uses a piddling 3.5 W, whereas a Core 2 Duo E6850 by itself consumes nearly 20 times as much power (65 W). If you're running it 24x7, that's the difference between 17 kWh per month and 327 kWh per month. With an electricity cost at about 12 US cents per kWh (US average), that translates to a US$37.20 per month difference. The cost of the Pi is thus more than made up by electricity savings in just a month. Other factors, e.g. the fact that

      • by tftp (111690)

        Please check your math, it's an order of magnitude off. Often whole houses don't draw 327 kWh/mo.

        Per my calculations, R-Pi will cost 30 cents/mo, and an E6850 will be $5.70/mo. However if you close the lid of the notebook it draws much less, about 23-25W, and then the costs drop down to about $2.50/mo. Nobody worries about such a piddly expense.

        For example: 3.5W * 24 hrs/day * 30.5 days/mo = 2.562 kWh (30.744 cents/mo.)

      • While your electricity cost calculations are a bit off, you have a point there: many people have way overpowered machines running HTPC/server setups, and could easily save a lot of power there.
    • by stymy (1223496)
      You could easily end up spending more on electricity than on the computer - especially if you use it as a server.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 02, 2013 @08:43PM (#43892457)

    The Raspberry Pi is not open hardware at the board level (schematic but no gerbers) nor at the SoC level (no full reference manual on the Broadcom BCM2835 device) nor at the boot level (booting and boot options are handled by the proprietary VideoCore IV) nor at the GPU and DSP levels (the VideoCore is entirely closed/under NDA). In fact, the only fully open thing about Raspberry Pi is its old and rather obsolete ARM11 processor.

    So why exactly is anyone associating the word "open" with Raspberry Pi?

    Far more open is the similarly priced BeagleBone Black [beagleboard.org], which provides full gerbers, full SoC reference manual, and full open source boot control (U-Boot). The BeagleBone Black's TI SoC does have a closed GPU, but since the board isn't aimed at running games nor consuming media like the Raspberry Pi is, it hardly matters. And the BeagleBone Black is far more capable in almost every other respect.

    It's cool that Raspberry Pi has helped to bring ARM board prices down, but it shouldn't be called an open platform when it's mostly closed.

    • So why exactly is anyone associating the word "open" with Raspberry Pi?

      Anything which does not run Microsoft/Apple capitalist software and gives a nice warm, homebrew feeling, is associated with "open source". :P

  • by OhANameWhatName (2688401) on Sunday June 02, 2013 @08:44PM (#43892465)
    A desktop computer you can carry anywhere, someone should have thought of this 30 years ago. It really needs it's own category name don't you think?

    What about the 'kneetop' or perhaps the 'stomachtop' or maybe the 'palmtop' .. hmm, they're just not *quite* right are they?
    • by EEPROMS (889169)
      or just use the old name from 30 years ago for these things, transportable's.
      • I have a Compaq Transportable. Amber Plasma display and all. I think the processor is a '286.

        • by H0p313ss (811249)

          I have a Compaq Transportable. Amber Plasma display and all. I think the processor is a '286.

          All the ones I saw were 8086, (I have a clone we bought in asia in 1986, you have to re-seat the daughter boards every time you move it...)

        • by H0p313ss (811249)

          This one? [oldcomputers.net] Not many of those out there, Compaq was struggling by then.

          Compaq does not get a lot of love for it's machines from the '80s, but those of us that used them have a certain fondness.

  • by Osgeld (1900440) on Sunday June 02, 2013 @09:07PM (#43892575)

    well gee golly shit, here I am putting my computers in paper bags for the last 30 years, and its bout time someone made a computer that can run quake, its been sitting on my shelf for 17 years and no computer to run it

  • without the need for cabling or setup

    Unless you want a keyboard or mouse?

    EIther way as others have said, this really doesn't seem newsworthy. We're talking about some very basic case modding and a little custom wiring here.

    • by wmorrow (16909)
      One new thing they did here was put a heatsink on the SOC. I have not seen that before. Earthshaking innovation, I know.
  • To: the critics, (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MacTO (1161105) on Sunday June 02, 2013 @10:03PM (#43892779)

    You are perfectly correct: we should discourage people from entering the field of electronics by focussing upon advanced projects. Yes these projects are exciting to read about, but they are impractical for the novice to attempt building. It's impractical because it's too complex to understand, too expensive to botch, and tedious for those who don't have the construction skills. We should also discourage people from entering the field of electronics by instilling the mentality that it ain't worth trying if it ain't new, thus ensuring that any project is out of reach of the novice.

    After all, we wouldn't want to encourage people to get into electronics by pointing to articles about stuff that they can actually try doing.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You are perfectly correct: we should discourage people from entering the field of electronics by focussing upon advanced projects

      Of course not. However only small children manage to achieve some trivial feat and then run to their mommy and daddy to show what they did. We accept that because for those children it is a good achievement. But we do not go to the national TV to announce that little Johnny figured out, all on his own, how to open a car door. From the inside.

      This project is good as an educati

      • by MacTO (1161105)

        I understand what you (and others) are saying. Yet everyone has to start somewhere, and that somewhere frequently involves some pretty basic stuff.

        Now I'm not going to argue that this is the best article for that since it leaves out a lot of details that can help out that novice. Yet the article will expose the novice to some of the parts, tools, techniques, and terminology. Keep in mind: newcomers probably won't know what a project box is, nevermind a single-pole/single-throw switch; they are unlikely t

        • by tftp (111690)

          Keep in mind: newcomers probably won't know what a project box is, nevermind a single-pole/single-throw switch; they are unlikely to have sliced and spliced cables together; and may be at a loss on how to keep things neat and secure.

          I'm afraid you are targeting people with so little knowledge of electronics that they are not very likely to ever embark on such a project. They would be better off building a battery-operated flashlight first, or learning how to hold a soldering iron. Besides, what makes you

    • by Tr3vin (1220548)
      This project barely has anything to do with electronics. They had a box with a small display attached. They stuffed the raspberry pi and cables into the box. I get trying to promote things that are accessible for the less experience, but what in the article would actually help a newbie learn? It is a useless piece of fluff split over a few pages and is only there to garner page views.
    • by BitZtream (692029)

      This should be on slashdot because ...

      If you were smart, you'd just get any one of the VESA mount Raspberry Pi cases and mount the pie on the monitor

      Oh, and in a 10 second Google search, here are a few that do the same thing but you know, a long time ago.

      http://blog.parts-people.com/2012/12/20/mobile-raspberry-pi-computer-build-your-own-portable-rpi-to-go/ [parts-people.com]
      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1952418207/all-in-one-raspberry-pi-case [kickstarter.com]
      http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2013/05/17/raspberry-pi-in-oak-case-with-monitor-p [adafruit.com]

    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      I didnt know that screwing a board to a box was now electronics, no wonder the world is going to shit and the best we can ever hope for is clones of the same crap we have now featuring innovative idea's like speakers facing forward!

    • by houghi (78078)

      If you are interested, you do a google search and will find many, many better things that have been done and can be used as an example of what is possible.

      What this lacks is something that is inspiring and easy for first level entry. This was absolutely not inspiring. If I would be interested in using a Pi, this article would put me off it.

      Also: write for your public. This is /. This is not Facebook. People are ARE already technically inspired.

      If I see an article like this on /. I think: If THIS is what the

  • by Jaktar (975138)

    This would have been much cooler if they'd have VESA mounted the PI to the back of a slightly larger monitor and used their engineering skills to make a power supply and then hot glued that to the back of the monitor. Opposite the power brick they could have put some velcro and attached a multimedia keyboard/mouse combo controller.

    Portable indeed.

  • The linked computer looks very homebrew. It is of course still a nice diy project. (in diy the construction fun is as important as the end result, it is not really important that you can buy a cheap laptop). More attractive, I think, would be reusing an old all-in-one MacIntosh case for this. that would be really a kinda portable all in one computer. Seamlessly attaching a correctly sized lcd screen may be difficult, but that is the fun of diy. Perhaps this has been done already?
  • by Animats (122034) on Monday June 03, 2013 @02:22AM (#43893735) Homepage

    If you want a generic portable computer with an ARM CPU, buy an Allwinner-based tablet. [amazon.com] Those use the Allwinnner system on a chip, which has an ARM core and costs about $7 in quantity. They're under $70 in the US, around $30 in Shenzhen.

  • by jw3 (99683) on Monday June 03, 2013 @03:47AM (#43893943) Homepage

    "fully enclosed mini desktop computer that could be taken anywhere without the need for cabling or setup"

    So, basically, a laptop?

    Seriously -- how is that news? People have been doing it for years now. Here is a random google link from 2012: http://blog.parts-people.com/2012/12/20/mobile-raspberry-pi-computer-build-your-own-portable-rpi-to-go/ [parts-people.com]

  • half baked (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pbjones (315127) on Monday June 03, 2013 @06:48AM (#43894475)

    there are better solutions. RPi in a plastic case? where is the news?

  • There are several more projects out there that are far better then this, Slashdot now just copying the crap from Hack A Day now?

    https://www.google.com/search?q=raspberry+Pi+laptop&safe=off&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=g5qsUcb7GbT_4AOfh4DwAg&ved=0CFAQsAQ&biw=1600&bih=785 [google.com]

    They used a random enclosure that was laying around, added a function that is not needed for any reason (ATA power shutdown? really, on a 5 watt device?) and simply glued a car monitor to the top.

    Tom

Never invest your money in anything that eats or needs repainting. -- Billy Rose

Working...