The HDMIPi is a 9 inch screen and enclosure specifically designed for the Raspberry Pi. It was funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign. The screen has a native resolution of 1280×800 and the driver board provides two HDMI inputs.
I opted for the version with a black enclosure and my plan was to modify and configure it to create a truly portable Pi based system that I could power up with the minimum of fuss. No, it isn’t a replacement for my tablet or laptop but it would give me a Pi based system to use away from a power socket.
I wanted the following features :
- Keyboard & Mouse
- Internal power supply
- A stand
I added the following to my system :
- Edimax 7811 WiFi dongle
- Tesco Bluetooth dongle
- Generic Bluetooth mouse
- Perixx 804 Bluetooth keyboard
- Lumsing PBJ-6200 6000mAh power bank
Lumsing sent me a PBJ-6200 battery to review and by coincidence it’s shape seemed perfect for the HDMIPi. In order to mount it inside the enclosure I replaced the supplied 12 mm hex standoffs with a 15 mm set. This gave an extra 3mm of height. The battery fits beautifully. It is connected to the HDMIPi PCB using a microUSB cable with right-angle connectors. The battery works great and powers the Pi and screen with no problems. Unlike some other supplies I tried the WiFi dongle works fine as well without any drop-outs.
One of the Kickstarter proects that caught my eye recently was “Plinth”. This is a small light-weight stand designed for tablets but it turned out to be the perfect stand for the HDMIPi. See the myplinth.co.uk website for more details. It folds up nice and flat which makes transporting it easy.
Although I didn’t plan on changing the supplied buttons fate had other ideas. “Dr Jekyll” published a design for some replacement buttons on Thingverse and Graham Taylor (@rpiSchool) kindly printed me a set.
Due to my extended standoffs I had to mount the buttons on the reverse of the backplate.
Mouse & Keyboard
I already had the Perixx keyboard from previous experiments but I needed to source the mouse. It was surprisingly difficult to find a mouse that just had plain Bluetooth. Many of the wireless mice on the market come with manufacturer specific dongles (or “unifying receivers” as Logitech call them). This is a slightly bizarre situation as laptop users will already have Bluetooth so an additional dongle is just a waste of a USB port. Luckily eBay came to the rescue with a £5 device straight from Hong Kong.
Here are some photos of the finished system :
Full details of how I configured the software on my HDMIPi can be found in “My Portable Raspberry Pi HDMIPi Build – Part 2” post.
Update #1 – Cost
Here is a list of all the components and their approximate cost :
|Pi Model B||CPC||£30.00|
|Edimax WiFi dongle||Amazon||£9.00|
I already had half of the components so the actual cost to me wasn’t quite so high. You could reduce the total by using a cheaper keyboard. The total cost is clearly more than alternative devices but the advantage with this set up is that components can be re-purposed in future projects.
Update #2 – Battery Stamina
While playing an MP4 video in a continuous loop the device lasted :
2 hours 48 minutes