DIY Terminal device, Very Dumb, Very Ghetto Terminal device.
I own too many computers. And too many computers that I own don't have dedicated screen, since they're either mining, rendering, heating my apartment, or pretend that keeping them is still smart thing to do, considering rising electricity costs.
I also don't really like VNC, or can use one centralised RDP solution to monitor it, so sometimes I'm ending up just connecting a small portable screen and keyboard with touchpad to machine I need to check, do my work, and unplug it, go to another one. Obviously working with setup scattered on my lap/shelf/racks/floor/whatever surface allows me, just to click few buttons, isn't very ergonomic, and annoys me - And I'm pretty sure my portable screen is on borrowed time already, since it was seconds from falling from falling on the ground.
After looking at available solutions that are literally a pc screen with keyboard in form of a laptop, without actually being a laptop, but still be keyboard attached to screen, in form that I can hold in one hand, connect cables, do my clicking, unplug cables, I've noticed few existing constructions, all of them Chinese, and quite expensive:
I like that, but not 350usd like.
After quick brainstorming and looking at hardware I had lying around, I've found cheap RF2.4ghz portable keyboard, and photocamera screen that i use once per year:
So, why not attach them together, and get super-portable, mini laptop?
I could of course duct tape these two together and call it a day, making sure no one ever see me using it, however, that 3d printer isn't just to collect dust.
After making short list of requirements toward the end-product:
- be foldable so i can protect screen during work/moving around
- have power switches/ports exposed, so I can turn it on/ use it without taking out of the cases
- be accurate enough for both parts to be secured inside, without falling out too easily
- locking itself when opened at 180 degrees
- use not-so expensive joining solution - no fancy springs/gears, just two screws and two nuts
After considering all above, after few hours of measurements, thinking about best approach to it and modelling, I've two test prints because I've forgot to make holes for HDMI ports, then third print to make a hole for wireless dongle from the keyboard, the result is here:
I'm quite happy with it, it does it job, so it'll probably stay in use till it breaks.
Note the comically extended large F970 battery adapter - Its actually handy while gripping, but Im pretty sure after some digging for right electronic parts, I'll make a detachable back with 2x 18650 batteries, charging module, and USB power passthrough with step-up converter, so its bit more compressed together. I'll update this post when I'll have the back developed, but can't say when it'll be.