Hacking the Official Raspberry Pi Keyboard: Build a Battery-Powered All-In-One Pi Keyboard!
I've long been fascinated with the compact simplicity of all-in-one computer/keyboards such as the Commodore 64. When the official Raspberry Pi keyboard was released, I knew what had to be done.
So I built a battery-powered all-in-one Raspberry Pi computer inside an official Raspberry Pi keyboard (well, I guess it isn't technically an all-in-one since it doesn't have a built-in monitor). In addition to a battery, I added a power LED and button so I'll know when the Pi was on and can safely turn it on and off.
The official Raspberry Pi mouse connects directly to the keyboard, giving you a super compact setup with a small footprint. Finally, the keyboard connects to the Pi externally via a small cable; this way, you can still use the keyboard with other computers as a normal keyboard!
I know there isn't much of a point in adding a battery since you still need to connect an HDMI cable -- but I still find it useful since I log into my Pi remotely all the time. Also, it's more fun this way and if you add a portable monitor... :)
In this guide, I'll show you step-by-step how to build your own. Let's get started!
Note: This project [might] involve soldering
Most of this project can be done without any soldering. The battery, power button, and status LED require soldering but are all optional. If you don't know how to solder or don't feel like busting out the ol' soldering iron, you can still put a Pi Zero in your keyboard.
If you want to pick up a soldering iron, check out our guide on the best soldering irons for different tasks.
Raspberry Pi 400
Recently (about a year after I created this project), the Raspberry Pi Foundation released their own version called the Raspberry Pi 400. The official product provides much of the same functionality as mine, but without all the work. One big difference is the Raspberry Pi 400 uses the Raspberry Pi 4, but mine uses the Raspberry Zero—both of which have their pros and cons. Let's call mine the Raspberry Pi 000. ;) Either way, it's worth checking out the official product as well. See our Raspberry Pi 400 review and teardown video to learn more:
Watch the video:
|Official Raspberry Pi keyboard||×||1|
|Official Raspberry Pi mouse||×||1|
|Raspberry Pi Zero W||×||1|
|Adafruit Powerboost 1000C||×||1|
|Adafruit Lithium-Polymer battery, 2000mAh||×||1|
|Short micro USB male to male cable||×||1|
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