hacktop - the emergency gaming/hacking station

I had this quad-code intel atom 1.8Ghz laptop that was slowly falling apart (display hinges died several years ago, keyboard broken) that i initially wanted to convert into a tablet. But then my beloved nintendo dsi died, and i decided to convert the laptop into a gaming console. When i discovered how much space the joysticks and joypads would consume i also planned to include a full querty-keyboard, so i could still use it for ssh related affairs.
Because i'm a tall person (~2 meters) with big hands i opted to use a massive 10" screen, knowingly turning this into a large piece of hardware that i can use comfortably. A size comparison to a raspberry pi:
Thanks to new batteries i got for less than 10$ off ebay, this thing can run for up to 13 hours depending on workload. I had to do a time consuming bq20z80 chip reset on the battries after that :(. Because this is a fully blown x86 machine and not some lowly arm Soc, it can fluently emulate everything i throw at it, even amiga games or half life or (optimized) half-life 2. no half-life 3.
So i can comfortably use this thing for gaming, but for computer stuff as well. The keyboard was built around an arduino leonardo, because i blew my last stm32 bluepill and wanted to get this build finished on that day. i've stolen several internal usb ports from various solder pads and an unpopulated minipcie slot. It was really helpful that i got the laptop schematics off the net.
I really like that it looks like some hacked piece of hardware. the rubber rims (for damage protection) can be flexed out to allow access to lan, usb, audio.
This is the backside. Clear acrylic to get a nice view of the hardware. in low light the many leds really add to the look.
The keyboard is hand soldered. 72 keys+diodes. ben heck would be proud.
the button pad has a 2 layer part to allow flex.
Some games: (hybris/amiga, turtles in time/snes, centipede/2600)
Enough space for 4 xterms. Yay.
I use it for nearly everything. Controlling quadcopters and receiving telemetry. Play while in a waiting room. sniffing. RTL-SDR stuff. music sequencer. robot control. video recording.
svg for laser:
i had originally designed a pcb for it (that is useable for both sides) but turnaround took too long.
This is how i placed the keys on the two 6*5 matrices:

uint8_t keys_nofn[6*12] = { 
    KEY_ESC, '1','2','3','4','5',
    KEY_TAB, 'q','w','e','r','t',
    '\\',     'y','x','c','v','b',
    KEY_LEFT_SHIFT, KEY_LEFT_ALT, KEY_FN, '-','=',' ', 

So next time you want to throw away a piece of electronics think about upcycling it first. it's fun.
Created on 01.07.2018 | Tags [ ]