Peter "Bobricius" Misenko Teases the Raspberry Pi PICOmputer, a Precursor to a MicroPython Armachat

Compact design borrows from the Raspberry Pi Zero-powered Zepir, and includes a full microswitched QWERTY keyboard and small display.

Engineer Peter "Bobricius" Misenko has teased a compact, handheld portable computer powered by the Raspberry Pi Pico and its RP2040 microprocessor: the Raspberry Pi PICOmputer.

Best known for the Armachat family of off-grid wireless communication systems, Misenko has a sideline in ultra-compact portable computers. The Zepir saw Misenko build a pocket-size machine from the Raspberry Pi Zero gumstick-format computer — and now he's doing the same for the Raspberry Pi Pico microcontroller, launched earlier this year.

Like the Zepir, the Raspberry Pi PICOmputer uses one of Misenko's compact microswitched QWERTY keyboards — though this time it's located below a considerably smaller, but full-color, screen. Next to the display is the Raspberry Pi Pico itself, soldered down in module form without headers, while power can be provided directly to the Pico via its micro-USB port or using a battery on the rear of the board.

While the Raspberry Pi PICOmputer is a standalone design in its own right, it's also a prototype platform for a next-generation Armachat which will move the communications platform to the MicroPython programming language.

Misenko hasn't yet released any firm details of the project, but says that it may be released under an open source license — "all depends," he jokes, "if I have food for my children." More details are available on Misenko's Twitter thread.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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