HR78
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2020 9:13 am

Pi Home Computer

Wed Mar 18, 2020 3:27 pm

Hi and first of all, sorry for my English.
I' m an old time computer geek, first with a ZX Spectrum Plus, then with an Amiga 500, before start using a Windows Pc.
Years (MANY years) have passed but I' m still in love with the old home computers, those with the entire hardware inside a big keyboard.
It' s just aestehical, not a necessity for sure, but I think the "Keyboard PCs" really had more character.
I searched a lot in the Internet and I found that I' m not the only to like the idea, with many hobbysts or technicians trying (and managing) to put a Raspberry in a keyboard.
Usually a Raspberry Zero in a standard keyboard, but one guy (I found the link here in this Forum) managed to do it with a Pi 2, but with lot of modifications and desoldering.
Another guy did a maxi keyboard with a 3D printer and put a rapsberry 3 inside, (he called it "AMI-PI").
This should be the example to follow as I see it, to keep price lower as possible and ot make it possible for everyone, also non-technicians (even kids!) to assemble their computer with their own hands.
I played five minutes with MS Paint and an A500+ picture and come out with something that, if well made and in the market under 50 euros, I would buy immediately.
I think such a thing could be more iconic, like old Commodores, ZXs, MSXs etc., something that you recognize at first glance.
Maybe it could have the standard Raspberry colours schemes, white-red and black-blue.
Attachments
PiHC2.jpg
PiHC2.jpg (42.3 KiB) Viewed 792 times
PiHC1.jpg
PiHC1.jpg (44.1 KiB) Viewed 792 times
Last edited by HR78 on Wed Mar 18, 2020 7:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
I have a Raspberry Pi 3B+ (and I' m sorry for the level of my English)

ejolson
Posts: 4861
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:47 am

Re: Pi Home Computer

Wed Mar 18, 2020 3:42 pm

HR78 wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 3:27 pm
Hi and first of all, sorry for my English.
I' m an old time computer geek, first with a ZX Spectrum Plus, then with an Amiga 500, before start using a Windows Pc.
Years (MANY years) have passed but I' m still in love with the old home computers, those with the entire hardware inside a big keyboard.
On my opinion, the reason this has not been done recently is because the internationalisation of keyboards and computer sales mean different people speaking different languages in different countries expect different keyboards with different characters printed on the key caps. A possible approach is to bolt the Pi the to the back of a monitor with four screws and four standoffs and call it done. It would be nice, however, if the monitor and the Pi could share the same power supply somehow.

On the other hand a modular approach allows interchangable parts and reduces costs, especially if something breaks.

HR78
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2020 9:13 am

Re: Pi Home Computer

Wed Mar 18, 2020 7:25 pm

I think it could be done with three drop-down menus in the menu of the buying page:
1 - select keyboard color (i.e. red/white or blue/black)
2 - select keyboard nationality (not every nation of course, or maybe yes if it uses the internal piece of an already existing best selling keyboard)
3 - select your Raspberry model (for the L-shaped piece of chassis to close the rear-left part of the keyboard, depending on the Pi connectors)

...or it could be done in only one color and for one model (let' s say the Pi 4) but leaving the choice of nationality.
Or better yet, as an open project, every manufacturer could do it and sell it for every nation/version/color they think it could sell enough.
Other have tried and failed (Great Wall U310/Diablotek U310/Gigazone U310 - and the Commodore Vic-Slim before) but they had pityful Intel-based hardware (pityful because it has to run Windows, not Raspbian) and were way too expensive (200 to 500 dollars, depending on brand and year).

Maybe it's only that I like the idea, but it seems possible to me... ... ... ?
I have a Raspberry Pi 3B+ (and I' m sorry for the level of my English)

fruitoftheloom
Posts: 22576
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:40 pm
Location: Delightful Dorset

Re: Pi Home Computer

Wed Mar 18, 2020 8:12 pm

HR78 wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 7:25 pm
I think it could be done with three drop-down menus in the menu of the buying page:
1 - select keyboard color (i.e. red/white or blue/black)
2 - select keyboard nationality (not every nation of course, or maybe yes if it uses the internal piece of an already existing best selling keyboard)
3 - select your Raspberry model (for the L-shaped piece of chassis to close the rear-left part of the keyboard, depending on the Pi connectors)

...or it could be done in only one color and for one model (let' s say the Pi 4) but leaving the choice of nationality.
Or better yet, as an open project, every manufacturer could do it and sell it for every nation/version/color they think it could sell enough.
Other have tried and failed (Great Wall U310/Diablotek U310/Gigazone U310 - and the Commodore Vic-Slim before) but they had pityful Intel-based hardware (pityful because it has to run Windows, not Raspbian) and were way too expensive (200 to 500 dollars, depending on brand and year).

Maybe it's only that I like the idea, but it seems possible to me... ... ... ?


https://www.inside-tech.co.uk/quad-core ... eyboard-pc
Rather than negativity think outside the box !

Asus ChromeBox 3 Celeron is my other computer.

richrussell
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:52 am

Re: Pi Home Computer

Wed Mar 18, 2020 8:15 pm

There are several companies selling modules that will allow the keyboard from computers such as the Amiga, ST, Spectrum, C64, PET and others to act as a standard USB keyboard. Also modules to provide other ports such as Atari joystick. These are intended so you can take out the original (possibly failed) motherboard from something like an Amiga and put a Raspberry Pi inside. Then either use the Pi with Raspbian but with a retro keyboard and mouse, or run an emulator so you can relive having a working Amiga.

Might be an option if this is the sort of thing you want to achieve? Not a mass produced product though.

PhatFil
Posts: 1640
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:55 pm
Location: Oxford UK

Re: Pi Home Computer

Wed Mar 18, 2020 9:40 pm

Lurve the idea, I dont know about manufacturing but you could perhaps make a prototype from a composite like fibreglass for yourself. Find a suitable donor keyboard gut it and use modeling clay to extend it to make the form for a negative fibreglass mold for your ideal shell.

Not easy quick or very cheap but those are generally secondary considerations when it comes to passion projects..

car repair fibreglass kits are widely available pretty cheap just very messy and dusty when cutting/grinding/sanding..

Moonmarch
Posts: 355
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:34 am

Re: Pi Home Computer

Wed Mar 18, 2020 9:50 pm

Supposedly there is a OS image that emulates a Commodore 64 called Combian 64 which uses the VICE emulator to emulate the Commodore computers which are computers I am not entirely familiar with, well being creative is the secret sauce in Raspberry Pi computers yes people remove old hardware from computer enclosures then install a RPI computer inside you drill out holes in the enclosure for the cables, well if you saw the price of the RPI desktop kit which includes the RPI computer, keyboard, mouse, power adapter, cables, fans, etc., the price is going to be over $100.

I had this other idea of concealing the RPI computer you can mount the RPI computer underneath a desk or attached to a wall the RPI computer should be near a power outlet then attach all of the cables to the RPI computer, then you will see your desk will not have a visible computer on the desk you will only have a mouse, and keyboard on the desk I don't know where you would mount the computer monitor use a monitor mount attached to a wall if you know how to install the mounts.

User avatar
k6ccc
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed May 22, 2019 4:46 pm
Location: Near Los Angeles, Calif., USA

Re: Pi Home Computer

Wed Mar 18, 2020 10:24 pm

Personal opinion here is that this is bad idea. Now you end up with a fairly large clunky keyboard with a bunch of cables hanging off of it. At the absolute minimum, you would need to have a power cable and a video cable hanging off your keyboard. Additional cables would (or could be): a second video cable, a USB cable for a mouse (could be wireless), an Ethernet cable (again, could be wireless), potentially others. Unless you NEVER move the keyboard around, a bundle of cables (most of which are non-locking connectors - so they can easily pull out), would be a real problem.
Am I missing something?

To be constructive however, as someone else mentioned, these days 3D printing would seem the logical way to build the housing for this (as least for a single digit production quantity).
Jim

HR78
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2020 9:13 am

Re: Pi Home Computer

Thu Mar 19, 2020 11:52 am

Hey thanks for the link, I never found that item!
I have a Raspberry Pi 3B+ (and I' m sorry for the level of my English)

HR78
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2020 9:13 am

Re: Pi Home Computer

Thu Mar 19, 2020 11:59 am

Thank you all for the replies.
Does anyone have an idea how much could it costs to assemble a maxi keyboard (like the cut-down Amiga I posted) with a 3D printer?
And if it could be enough robust and well built, compared to the industrial ones?
Sorry but my experience with 3D printing is=0
Last edited by HR78 on Sun Mar 29, 2020 8:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
I have a Raspberry Pi 3B+ (and I' m sorry for the level of my English)

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 25933
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: Pi Home Computer

Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:03 pm

HR78 wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 11:59 am
Thank you all for the replies, I' m starting to think we Home Computer "concept" nostalgics aren' t that many, nowadays :oops:
Does anyone have an idea how much could it costs to assemble a maxi keyboard (like the cut-down Amiga I posted) with a 3D printer?
And if it could be enough robust and well built, compared to the industrial ones?
Sorry but my experience with 3D printing is=0
I seriously doubt you could make that keyboard/Pi combo and sell for Euro50.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Contrary to popular belief, humorous signatures are allowed. Here's an example...
“My wife said to me `...you’re not even listening`.
I thought, that’s an odd way to start a conversation.."

HR78
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2020 9:13 am

Re: Pi Home Computer

Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:18 pm

jamesh wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:03 pm
I seriously doubt you could make that keyboard/Pi combo and sell for Euro50.

No, with 50 euros I meant only the custom keyboard, not including the Pi.
Keyboard + Pi + microSD + PSU let' s say 100/110 euros?
I have a Raspberry Pi 3B+ (and I' m sorry for the level of my English)

Moonmarch
Posts: 355
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:34 am

Re: Pi Home Computer

Thu Mar 19, 2020 9:40 pm

I can't imagine this keyboard enclosure for the RPI computer will be a higher quality product in comparison to let's say a Logitech keyboard or even the Raspberry Pi keyboards a keyboard can cost as much as $20, and to purchase a RPI enclosure with a built in keyboard would defeat the purpose of purchasing any other keyboard, because a keyboard connects to a PC using a USB port which is the same USB port you would find on any modern day computer, what I'm trying to say this keyboard idea is not a great value.

Well if you were interested in cheap keyboards for the RPI computer here is a link to a small wireless keyboard for the RPI computer for $25 this keyboard includes a built in touch pad:

Rii k12+ wireless mini keyboard Ultra Slim with touchpad for HTPC PC Rechargable
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Rii-k12-wirele ... SwqiVaHoZt

HR78
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2020 9:13 am

Re: Pi Home Computer

Sun Mar 29, 2020 8:10 am

Thanks for the replies and infos.
I have a Raspberry Pi 3B+ (and I' m sorry for the level of my English)

ejolson
Posts: 4861
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:47 am

Re: Pi Home Computer

Sun Mar 29, 2020 2:28 pm

HR78 wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 8:10 am
Thanks for the replies and infos.
I just found a similar Pi in a keyboard type of personal computer.

Image
http://www.drunknretro.com/2018/01/dosp ... d-dos.html

Return to “General discussion”