I am simply reposting my build logs from the LTT forum to reach a broader audience.
You might be wondering, what the heck is this title ?
is it a ThinkPad ? Did he mean ThinkStation ? What’s with the Pi ? Can I have some ?
NO. . you can’t.
This is a little project of mine, where I will take this old 2007 T61 Thinkpad, gut it, hack the heck out of the frame, and shove a Raspberry Pi 3b+ in it !
you may wonder. Is this possible ? will it fit in ? what about the display ? the keyboard ? how does that all work ?
Well, this is where this goes from a simple computer, to a true project laptop.
Why I want this :
I’ve been doing some fun stuff with an SDR, or a Software Defined Radio. witch lets you do tons of stuff with radio frequencies (receiver only for my unit) I can listen to ATC, the ISS (given I have a proper antenna) and the real purpose of this : Weather satellites !
So then, I wanted a Pi to run this at first, small, compact, powerfull. but then I realised, I need a monitor, keyboard, storage…
Yeah, I could have took my existing laptop… but
I already had a PI I bought a PI !
And it woudn’t be as cool without one.
Tons of people have done “Pi laptops”, but they are mostly either 3d printed, thick and flimsy, or they’re platic kits that are super tiny, and quite frankly unusable.
Project Milestones :
- Gut it
- Gather components
- Get the monitor working with the Pi (potential deal breaker) || Works as of Jan 14th 2019
- Get the keyboard working with the Pi (Has been done before, though most of the projects I’ve seen are abandoned, even the most recent ones.
- Power [EDIT : 26th of Feb 2019 : Thanks to @CUDAcores89, I now have the knowledge to build my own pack reusing the batteries I had. I should start work on this in a few weeks when parts arrive.]
- Fit it all in
- Raspberry Pi 3b+
- Nooelec NESDR SMART Software Defined Radio
- Thinkpad T61
- Corsair Force LS 114gb Sata2 SSD
- Some SATA-To-USB adapter
- HDMI+DVI+VGA LCD led Controller Inverter Lvds Board Kit for LP154W02(B1)(K6) (Controller for the monitor)
- Some thinkpad kbd to usb controller (soon)
- Some power solution (soon)
- Potentially some replacement for the fingerprint scanner & the trackpad (those tiny keyboard w/ trackpad gutted maybe ?)
Link to the updates :
Update 1, The monitor.
Update 2, Fitting the display controller.
Update 3, Finishing the fit of the display controller and first POST in the case !
Update 4, Display controller extension, closing it down for the first time !
I will keep this post updated as I go along. I will post an update post for anyone who wants notifications on this.
Here’s a few pictures of the early stuff :
From this, I have kept the external body, the frame, the keyboard, the monitor and the speakers.
The early fitting of the components :
In here, there’s the SDR (witch fits perfectly through the 3.5mm jack ! made to be !) the Pi and (although hidden) the SSD.
I also had to cut the frame a bit to fit some stuff. The pi is slightly too tall, but the buldge is not toooo bad.
Sneak peak of what I hope this sleeper-pi will look like by the end !
(fully closed with the SDR, Pi & SSD :
The PI is right under the Windows logo with the USB pointing towards the left. here’s a part I cut from the frame :
That’s it for now