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Any had any ideas for a Raspberry PiPad?

Thu May 17, 2012 10:12 am

As the title says i was wondering if anyone has been thinking about or even started work on making the Raspberry Pi into a tablet. The advantage of that being that it can be used without needed to be plugged into a monitor/TV meaning that you can code on the go. The problem comes that buying the parts indiviually is very expensive, and you may as well just buy a china pad that runs Android, but if a company could source the parts then we may be onto a winner.

From what I gather this is what would need to be added to make it viable:

- Any drivers for touch screen and HDMI mirroring for the different Linux flavours
- Touch screen (preferably capacitive, but a resistive plus stylus would work)
- An onboard touch keyboard
- Chargeable battery (can be had from Amazon for £20 ish)
- Access to the HDMI port for screen mirroring
- Access to one USB port for adding peripherals (i.e keyboard, mice)
- A suitable housing for all this (with the added benefit, if possible, of the Raspberry Pi slipping out, much like the Asus Padfone)
- Optional: Wi-fi (potentially provided by a nano reciever)
- Optional: Bluetooth (because everything is better with Bluetooth)

Thoughts? Any problems? Anyone got any potential costs?

Cheers for the read and I can't wait for my Pi to arrive next week.

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Re: Any had any ideas for a Raspberry PiPad?

Sat May 19, 2012 5:22 pm

My thoughts: if you're interested in the end result, buy a tablet. If you're interested in tinkering, there's already threads on this forum about that. More expensive than buying a tablet, hours of time to set it up, and some unresolved issues... but will certainly be fun for those into that kind of thing.

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Re: Any had any ideas for a Raspberry PiPad?

Sat May 19, 2012 5:59 pm

I've thought about this. The kind of device you're talking about would be really thick! Although that could contain a really big battery pack and the 2cm thickness in fact might be good.

Since it'd be so thick it might be good idea to get somewhat large rounding to the cornels. 2cm or so with 2cm padding from the display.

Now the pi has rather nasty positioning of the ports. I think it can be solved by doing a some sort of swiwel/popup or even just lid on the back of the pad, which would reveal every edge of the pi. This might even be beneficial as the ports would be hidden and safe from trash and dust when they're not needed.

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Re: Any had any ideas for a Raspberry PiPad?

Tue May 22, 2012 8:18 pm

Making this into a tablet will be EXTREMLY expensive, because if you are going to have a tablet you need a good touch screen, unless you want a crappy stylus screen, because you would probaly need a multitouch screen. Which is kinda pricy

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Re: Any had any ideas for a Raspberry PiPad?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 3:10 am

Hey! I've actually started work on this, I have 2 pi's right now, one for work and one for play. The components I have so far:

-Old resistive tablet/laptop screen (13")
-A few old laptop batteries and chargers
-Port extenders for the usb, ethernet, and audio ports so they can be flush with the exterior. (basically they are male-female cables that have a threaded end and cap so they are IP65 water ingress resistant and will only protrude from the case maybe .25"
-some of the internal wiring, including a breadboard, which I might just make the circuits for and then use a blank proto-pcb for the final product

Stuff I need:
-LVDS drivers/converter from either the hdmi port or the on board connector (I think thats the dsi?)
-Case (I'm going to be milling this out of either a large hunk of plastic or 6 sheets of aluminum, I haven't decided yet)
-touch screen breakout board
-other port extenders: sdcard (might just situate the pi so I can cut a slot), rca, hdmi, usb hub (on its way), gpio (just going to use an old ide cable, or maybe the adafruit specific one), and the micro-usb power is going to be internal.
-bluetooth and wifi nano receivers (also on their way)
-optional solar charger on its way because it way cheap
-an easy way to charge the whole thing like any old tablet (from the breadboard maybe?)
-any probably more stuff I'm missing

Once I have some more free time to myself I'm going to make an actual post about it and document the progress. Any questions/suggestions are appreciated!

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Re: Any had any ideas for a Raspberry PiPad?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 11:22 am

I've had some decent progress on this.
My goal is a low cost low quality build, currently at £96 for the 7" prototype.
Plus £5 for the case and however much for a wireless dongle. Those two items need to be added. ... =41&t=7898

Then I need to design a power system for batteries and shorten the cables. It'll never be as small or powerful as a tablet made by billionaire companies like apple, but it will always offer more flexibility. Good luck finding USB ports or coding and deploying OpenGL on the iPad.

Longer term I'll be adding an arduino mega and some mini breadboards so I can add accelerometer and compass chips, as well as allowing experimental hardware to be added without modifying the tablet design.

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Re: Any had any ideas for a Raspberry PiPad?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:10 pm

I think a PiPad should look something like this. There should be rather liberal 2cm rounding in the cornels, and the Pi itself should be in a compartment inside the pad, such that the ports can be plugged in when needed. if the wirings allow it, cpu-board-popup design of sort maybe?

Didn't spent much time with the picture, as I'm not a mechanic engineer. Someone else should implement this definitely. :D

Edit: seems I'm repeating myself, but I do think there's merits in this kind of design. The model's bit too thick perhaps, but anyway the thickness should include the card entirely. Also thought the LAN and USB could be always exposed, as they are most commonly needed ports there, after audio and composite. But then maybe when it's attached to something, you'll need all the ports anyway.
case_front.jpg (19.73 KiB) Viewed 3944 times
case_back.jpg (38.19 KiB) Viewed 3944 times

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Re: Any had any ideas for a Raspberry PiPad?

Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:08 pm

Maybe a more practical design would set the Raspberry pi more to the rear of the device making a bit slanted. This would leave plenty of room for a battery and, avoid the waist of a lot of empty space that would exist in the current model. Beside the tilt would provide a better viewing angle when the tablet was set on a desk!

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Re: Any had any ideas for a Raspberry PiPad?

Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:58 pm

Had a bt of a go at this, mains powered at the mo, using wireless keyboard, aim is to get touchscreen and bttery pack added at some point...

link to progress so far:

let me know what you think

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Re: Any had any ideas for a Raspberry PiPad?

Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:17 am

Did you use the onboard connector for display since your HDMI doesn't seem to be connected?

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Re: Any had any ideas for a Raspberry PiPad?

Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:23 am

Just for the record...
A guy Michael Castor made a tablet out of a Raspberry Pi and an LCD.


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