Use a Raspberry Pi to Build a Functional Borderlands Echo Device

You’re probably playing Cyberpunk 2077 haven’t thought about Borderlands in a while, but you still need to check out this Echo device build.

Cameron Coward
a month agoGaming / Displays

Cyberpunk 2077 is the hot new thing right now but the best looter shooters of all time are still Borderlands and its sequels. The entire Borderlands series is centered around how incredibly satisfying it is to pick up thousands of pounds of guns, shields, and grenade mods and then sift through those until you find the combo that increases your DPS by three percent. You view your inventory, the map, your character skills, and more through an “Echo device.” Non-functional replica prop Echo devices are available for sale at a variety of retailers and Eclecticboo used a Raspberry Pi to convert one of those into a working model.

The in-game Echo devices resemble chunky, ruggedized PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants). In Borderlands 3, you can even customize your Echo with a variety of aesthetic skins. The replica prop that Eclecticboo used for this project had the standard Dahl skin, but it worked perfectly as an enclosure for a real device. The original prop, which was found on clearance at a video game store for $20, was really just a hunk of plastic and only contained electronics for light and sound effects. It had decorative control buttons on the front but they aren’t being used here. Eclecticboo’s modifications turn the prop into a handheld device that actually works. No, it won’t somehow store literal tons of looted firearms but it is a completely functional computer that you can use for all sorts of computery stuff.

Eclecticboo started by disassembling the prop, which was essentially just a shell made from injection-molded plastic. The case was then cut and trimmed to fit the new electronic components. Those included a Raspberry Pi, a 3.2” 320x240 Adafruit PiTFT touchscreen, and a generic USB battery power bank. Optionally, a small wireless keyboard with trackpad can be used when tapping on the touchscreen is inconvenient. The assembly process mostly consisted of cramming the electronic components in wherever they would fit. Those were held in place with lots and lots of hot glue. The case was then buttoned back up, with only the display and charger visible. Eclecticboo is just using a standard Raspberry Pi OS installation, but this project is begging for a GUI designed to match look of the in-game Echo device.

Even as it is now, the Raspberry Pi Echo device should make all Borderlands fans envious.

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