If you’re looking for a Linux-based handheld PC these days, there are plenty of off-the-shelf kits you can purchase. But if you’ve got the parts, desire and skill why not build something like the Blackberry Pi yourself?
The device you see here started out as a Gameboy-inspired build, but maker IMBalENce had always wanted to create a cyberdeck-style device.
After gathering up the spare parts and laying out a plan, the Blackberry Pi was born. It’s powered by a Raspberry Pi Zero W — which likely would have been replaced by a Pi Zero 2W were it not for supply constraints.
Power is provided by a 2500mAh battery. An Adafruit 1000C PowerBoost charger keeps it topped off and a small 5V fan is installed atop a rear-facing vent just exhaust any unwanted heat (even if there’s not likely to be much). A Raspberry Pi camera NoIR v2.1 captures video and still images and the 3.5-inch 320 x 240 pixel LCD handles video output.
Situated below the display is a Solderparty BBQ20KBD keypad, a faithful tribute to the QWERTY input that once made BlackBerry devices so incredibly popular.
It’s all nestled neatly into a 3D-printed housing that features a couple slick details. First, there’s the cleverly integrated GPIO ports at the top that make it easy to attach additional hardware. There’s also the ZX Spectrum engraving and multicolor stripes, a nice tip of the hat to Sinclair Research’s classic PC.
IMBalENce says “everything works pretty well,” and has promised to provide more information in the future to present an even more detailed look at the Blackberry Pi.