HackMyPiAndEatIt
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Help With creating a rpi-based laptop

Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:13 pm

I'm an inexperienced tinkerer and i'm trying to make a raspberry pi laptop [shown here http://blog.parts-people.com/2012/12/20 ... rpi-to-go/]. I was just wondering; is it possible to use a nintendo DS lite battery and a screen from an canon ixus camera (it has a ribbon connector) instead of the parts featured in this page? Or is it more hassle than it's worth?

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Jim Manley
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Location: SillyCon Valley, California, and Powell, Wyoming, USA, plus The Universe

Re: Help With creating a rpi-based laptop

Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:15 am

If you have to ask, you don't have the skills and knowledge needed to tackle this highly-advanced project. To give you an idea of how much effort it takes, no one else has done this with any arbitrary laptop-style display yet, either, not even the engineers at the Pi Foundation. They've made noises in that direction, but won't even think about it (out loud) until after the camera board and other higher-priority projects are completed. The RPi-to-Go project uses a very low-resolution composite display that plugs into the yellow RCA-style jack on the Pi board.

You might be interested in this forum thread on using a lapdock as a much simpler alternative that many others have pursued.
The best things in life aren't things ... but, a Pi comes pretty darned close! :D
"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." -- W.B. Yeats
In theory, theory & practice are the same - in practice, they aren't!!!

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johnbeetem
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Location: The Mountains

Re: Help With creating a rpi-based laptop

Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:20 pm

Jim Manley wrote:If you have to ask, you don't have the skills and knowledge needed to tackle this highly-advanced project. To give you an idea of how much effort it takes, no one else has done this with any arbitrary laptop-style display yet, either, not even the engineers at the Pi Foundation. They've made noises in that direction, but won't even think about it (out loud) until after the camera board and other higher-priority projects are completed. The RPi-to-Go project uses a very low-resolution composite display that plugs into the yellow RCA-style jack on the Pi board.

You might be interested in this forum thread on using a lapdock as a much simpler alternative that many others have pursued.
I, for one, encourage the OP and everyone else to ask questions like this. RasPi is all about learning about computers, and if you don't ask "ever so many questions" you won't learn. Sometimes the answer is that something is intractable -- like soldering together your own RasPi -- but sometimes the answer is fairly simple so "if you have to ask..." is not a good filter.

The LCD interfacing is hard mostly because there's no documentation about the interfaces involved. Lapdock's HDMI interface is probably much more involved technically, but since it's standard you can get the cables and adapters to make it work without having to mess with internal signals. Even then, if you get the wrong HDMI cable it won't work, though that's now explained at the RasPi Hardware Wiki.

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Jim Manley
Posts: 1600
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:41 pm
Location: SillyCon Valley, California, and Powell, Wyoming, USA, plus The Universe

Re: Help With creating a rpi-based laptop

Sat Mar 30, 2013 8:26 pm

John, I don't normally get into back-and-forths with "my esteemed colleagues" and other "distinguished gentlemen" here, but I'm going to make a special exception just for you ("lucky" you! ;) ). You should know by now that I've been more than helpful to a lot of people here and my choice of words was meant to impress upon the OP (and others wondering the same thing) the level of difficulty of what he's proposing. A simple search of the subject keywords would have revealed that and we shouldn't answer the same question a million times when the answer has been well-documented already. That results in not being able to spend that time on questions that haven't been answered adequately already. If you have a beef, start with a PM, OK?

For HackMyPiAndEatIt (one of the better handles, BTW!), John is right about not hesitating to ask questions, so if I came across as the grumpy old crank that I am, please realize that we have seen this kind of question many times before, often with the expectation that it should be a simple matter of just plugging things together and applying a SMOP (a Small Matter Of Programming). Some things are at that level, but connecting an LCD display directly to the Pi is one of the most difficult things one can undertake without inside knowledge. There is a Display Serial Interface (DSI) on the Pi designed for this purpose, but it requires knowledge of and programming access to the Pi hardware at a very low level that the Foundation has not (yet?) provided. It also requires details about the (often parallel) interface for typical LCD displays being considered that may only be provided by the display manufacturer to product manufacturers. This is often a matter of engineers not having time to do so without compensation, not to mention being more than busy working on the next generation of display interfaces.

Just out of curiosity, what was your expectation of what you were going to be able to display on the DSi screen? It's awfully small (3.25 inches) and low resolution (about 256 x 192 pixels) and it would barely be able to display text, especially in a GUI with any usable level of detail. I assume the intent is to display game graphics and that would be fine as long as anything requiring readable text beyond game output isn't being attempted. It wouldn't make for much of what one would typically expect a laptop to be able to display.
The best things in life aren't things ... but, a Pi comes pretty darned close! :D
"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." -- W.B. Yeats
In theory, theory & practice are the same - in practice, they aren't!!!

HappyPiUser
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Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:47 pm

Re: Help With creating a rpi-based laptop

Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:22 am

For those who are interested, though, there are some options out there for interfacing "bare" LED or LCD displays, using HDMI to LVDS adapters.

Apparently, several folks have been successful doing this.

Just Google "Raspberry Pi HDMI to LVDS adapter" and you will get a lot of links, including several threads on this forum.

Chalkboard Electronics even has a device they claim will do the trick for the Raspberry Pi.

http://www.chalk-elec.com/?page_id=1283 ... d=14647633

I was ready to order one for about $35, but it seems it's hard to get the "bare board" version from what I've read in various forums. I think they are working on getting more soon...according to their web site.

They have a bundle including the LCD and those seem to be in stock all the time. The most interesting one, to me, is the 10" bundle, with capacitive touch screen and ambient light sensor.

http://www.chalk-elec.com/?page_id=1280 ... d=14647624

Would be the start of a nice prototype of a "PiPad" project. :)

P.S. I do agree the "recycled lapdock" approach is the best and cheapest solution for most folks who need "Pi Portability". But some of us enjoy playing with hardware. :)

Castriff Pi
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Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:48 pm

Re: Help With creating a rpi-based laptop

Fri Jul 26, 2013 1:12 am

As long as I'm here (I FINALLY found a forum about this project!), I had a couple of questions about the wiring. If anyone has answers or can direct me to someone who does, I'd appreciate it. Mainly, I need help wiring the on switch and the power for the USB hub. And he wasn't clear about what the power connection to the Pi should be for anything other than a revision 1.

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