ShaRPiKeebo Turns Your Raspberry Pi Zero 2 Into a Pocket Computer

ShaRPiKeebo is a Pi Zero 2 expansion board that adds a full keyboard, a 2.7" 400x240 SHARP Memory Display, LEDs, and a 433MHz LoRa radio.

Cameron Coward
4 months agoGaming / Communication / Displays

Years ago, Next Thing Co. released the Pocket C.H.I.P., which was a very interesting pocket computer based on the company's own single-board computer (SBC). Unfortunately, Next Thing Co. went out of business and stopped fulfilling orders — including my own (yes, I'm still bitter about it). Still, the idea was a good one. Now enthusiasts can get a similar experience out of the far more popular Raspberry Pi Zero 2 (or original Zero) with the ShaRPiKeebo on CrowdSupply.

The ShaRPiKeebo has a crowdfunding goal of $45,000 and has raised just over $5,000 so far. The campaign runs until July 21st, 2022, so you still have plenty of time to back it and get your own ShaRPiKeebo.

ShaRPiKeebo has a footprint slightly larger than a playing card (66 x 115 x 20 mm) and weighs less than 100 grams. But it packs a full tactile QWERTY keyboard, additional arrow and function buttons, and several other features — all backed by the power of the new Raspberry Pi Zero 2 SBC. The keyboard connects through its own microcontroller running QMK firmware as a USB device, so it is fully configurable and will work with any flavor of Linux.

This device's most striking features is the 2.7" 400x240 SHARP Memory Display, which combines many of the features of E Ink screens and LCDs. Namely, it is daylight-readable, energy-efficient, and has a faster refresh rate than conventional E Inks. The screen refresh rate is so fast that ShaRPiKeebo is useful as terminal and even a retro gaming device.

Another exciting feature is the built-in 433MHz LoRa radio transceiver, which allows for long-range communication with other devices or LoRa networking hubs. That is in addition to the Raspberry Pi Zero 2's own Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities. UART and I2C interfaces are available for other add-ons, like GPS or cell modem modules.

ShaRPiKeebo does not ship with an enclosure. The idea is that users will develop and 3D print their own. You can bet that there will be printable enclosure designs available as soon as the devices reach backer hands. The included JST connected lets you easily attach the LiPo battery of your choice, so you can go with a sleek and portable design or something bigger with a crazy long battery life.

Cameron Coward
Writer for Hackster News. Maker, retrocomputing and 3D printing enthusiast, author of books, dog dad, motorcyclist, and nature lover.
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