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Modder turns mechanical keyboard into Rasberry Pi-powered computer

RaspCherry Pi mod

Recently there has been a number of examples of how the Raspberry Pi‘s small size and low cost can be leveraged to create incredible forms of small form-factor computing. Just last week we saw the RasPi embedded into a battery grip so it could supercharge a DSLR camera. That was an ideal use for the $35 computer, but it’s far from the only notable application we’ve seen. Another clever modder has gotten the RasPi and put it inside a mechanical keyboard, making for a Commodore 64-like computer-and-keyboard-in-one.

This mod, as per the original German article, paired the Raspberry Pi with a Cherry G80-3000 keyboard. The G80 is a popular choice with typing enthusiasts because it’s affordable (under $90), widely available, and uses Cherry’s mechanical MX switches. These are the popular Cherry Blue and Brown switches that are used in Razer Black Widow and the Das Keyboard.

With a great keyboard chosen the next task was to fit the Raspberry Pi inside. The tiny computer was placed in the rear of the keyboard, under the F5-F8 keys. It was located there so that the HDMI port would be available from the outside, after a little bit of dremel work. This placement meant that the HDMI port could be used, but the power, USB, secondary video, and ethernet ports would have to be extended to other parts of the case. That’s not hard to do with USB, but it clearly took some work for the rest. For the time being the system has no audio, but that could be added later or handled through USB.

RaspCherry Pi mod - back

While the RaspCherry Pi mod has some rough edges — for example the RasPi board is held in place with a few pieces of foam so that it can easily be accessed if the SD card need to be swapped and the heatspreader was salvaged from an old laptop — but it’s a practical weekend project that combines two of our favorite things. It’s exactly the type of mod that has created so much enthusiasm around the RasPi.

Preamp (translated), via Hackaday

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