The Lunch_Box Cyberdeck Contains a Delicious Raspberry Pi for Dessert

Andres Borray’s cyberdeck is housed inside of a small hard shell case, and is aptly named the Lunch_Box.

Cameron Coward
3 months ago3D Printing

The concept of a “cyberdeck” was created by William Gibson and first introduced in his novel Neuromancer. When that novel was published in 1984, a typical portable computer weighed more than 20 pounds and was more accurately described as “luggable.” Gibson’s fictional cyberdecks, in contrast, were more like the laptops of the mid ‘90s. Neuromancer was an extremely influential novel in the geek world, and so a community grew over the years to build real, functional cyberdecks. Those come in many different forms according to their creators’ interpretations of Gibson’s descriptions. Andres Borray’s cyberdeck is housed inside of a small hard case, and is aptly named the Lunch_Box.

The Lunch_Box was heavily inspired by Jay Doscher's Off-Grid Cyberdeck. Doscher's Off-Grid Cyberdeck is housed within a Pelican 1300 protective case that is designed to protect its contents from water and dust. That project called for an EMP (ElectroMagnetic Pulse) shielded storage box so the computer could withstand an EMP attack or solar flare. Borray's Lunch_Box doesn’t have any EMP protection, but it does resemble the Off-Grid Cyberdeck in most other ways — though the actual design is entirely Borray's.

A Nanuk 904 hard shell protective case was used as the enclosure for the Lunch_Box. It’s waterproof and made from durable NK-7 resin. It’s also quite compact, with interior dimensions of just 8.4 x 6 x 3.7 inches. The limited space meant that Borray had to get creative with the electronics, and the most obvious proof of that is the hand-wired mechanical keyboard. That’s a 40% Gherkin keyboard that has a mere 30 keys (using Zelios key switches). It isn’t particularly comfortable to type on, but it is as small as you can get using full-size keys.

The display is an official 7” Raspberry Pi LCD, and a Raspberry Pi 4 is hidden behind the screen. The ports have been relocated to a bezel beneath the screen, where there are also control switches. A tiny trackball from Pimoroni is used to move the mouse pointer. The various electronic components are mounted on 3D-printed frames, which are friction-fit into the Nanuk case in order to avoid compromising the waterproof rating. The result is a fully functional cyberdeck that wouldn’t look out of place among a pile of lunch boxes.

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