The μ-hope Cyberdeck Offers Distraction-Free Writing and Coding in a Laser-Cut MDF Chassis
Pseudonymous maker "LGT" has showcased a custom-built cyberdeck, powered by a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B single-board computer, designed to offer a working environment with fewer distractions than a traditional laptop — and in a a housing inspired by classic Commodore computers.
"I designed, produced and assembled a cyberdeck in my spare time, to help with work and give me a distraction free writing and coding environment," LGT explains of the project. "I called it the μ-hope [micro-hope] as between being in the final year of my PhD and entering my first job where I am directly responsible for other people and the success of a business, hope was in short supply."
LGT started with a 3D sketch in Autodesk Inventor, initially planning for a completely flat system with keyboard and ultra-wide display — a portable not a million miles away from, though considerably larger than, the Clockwork Pi DevTerm.
"After realizing that a 40-pin ribbon cable wouldn't give me the flex I needed to lay the UPS and Pi side by side I went through the first redesign," LGT recalls. "Inspired by the Commodore computers I put the Pi, UPS, and screen inline and moved the I/O to the rear."
The result was a wedge-shaped board with off-center display, but still more work was required to get the chassis ready for manufacturing — shifting from a plan to 3D print the parts to laser cutting them from MDF instead. "Laser-cut wood smells like a bonfire," LGT notes. "I had my first hot chocolate in years after this."
The finished build features an off-the-shelf mechanical keyboard to the front with an ultra-wide Waveshare 7.9" touchscreen display at the front of the wedge section, located off-center to the viewer. Inside is the Raspberry Pi 3 plus a Waveshare UPS Hat for wire-free operation, while input/output ports are brought round to the rear of the wedge.
"This has been a really fun project for me, and the deck is getting lots of use already which makes me super happy. I love the aesthetics of it and it is wonderful to use," LGT says. "This definitely reignited my passion for robotics and product design, which takes up the 70 hours of the week I am not sleeping, eating, or playing with my new toy."
More details are available in the build log on Imgur and in the project's Reddit thread. LGT has not published design files publicly, but has said they will share the laser cutting template files on request.