Picomputer - Universal Pocket Computer

About the project

Based on raspberry pi PICO, retrocomputer emumator, LoRa communicator and retro machines emulator

Project info

Items used in this project

Hardware components

Raspberry Pi Pico Raspberry Pi Pico x 1
Tactile Switch Buttons 10 Pack Tactile Switch Buttons 10 Pack x 1
Adafruit 1.54 240x240 Wide Angle Tft Lcd Display With Microsd - St7789 Adafruit 1.54 240x240 Wide Angle Tft Lcd Display With Microsd - St7789 x 1
Adafruit Micro Sd Spi Or Sdio Card Breakout Board - 3v Only! Adafruit Micro Sd Spi Or Sdio Card Breakout Board - 3v Only! x 1

Software apps and online services

https://github.com/Jean-MarcHarvengt/MCUME/tree/master/MCUME_pico https://github.com/Jean-MarcHarvengt/MCUME/tree/master/MCUME_pico
https://github.com/fruit-bat/pico-zxspectrum https://github.com/fruit-bat/pico-zxspectrum

Story

I am always dreaming about pocket computers, now thanks to Raspberry PICO I can create a very universal
low-power device that you can have all under your control.

It is a universal computer specially designed for Raspberry Pi PICO, exists in more variations but the main feature is a QWERTY keyboard.

I am take care to minimize external components, use maximum features integrated on PICO board: Power switch use enable input on PICO, ON-BOARD LED is visible thanks to missing solder mask, PICO boot button hole. Overall dimensions are smallest as possible.

The project is divided into three main "groups" or maybe is a fusion of three different purposes.

  •  RETROCOMPUTER Retro computer emulation
    - ZX spectrum 48k/128k
    - C64
    - Atari 800
  • COMMUNICATOR
    - Sending/receiving messages over LoRa radio module
  • POCKET COMPUTER
    - Universal programming learning toy


Tested in circuitpython

  • detect power supply voltage and USB connection
  • MP3 Playback
  • Display backlight brightness
  • send message to another device via LoRa Radio
  • QWERTY keyboard
  • multi lines text editor
  • read / store files to internal system
  • safe boot
  • GPS parse
  • I2C sensors
  • display BMP images
  • run different application after boot ti make more universal and versatile ... you can have APPS!!!

Retro computer machine emulators 

FEATURES:

  • Smallest as possibly 100x69x8mm
  • Absolute minimum components.
  • Auxiliary USB-C for power only.
  • Access to boot button
  • flashing logo with internal led.
  • IPS 240x240 display / 320x240. 3 types or more
  • Piezo Speaker
  • free on GPIO header
  • Reset button
  • power switch controlling internal buck-boost
  • micro SD card
  • optional RFM95 LoRa radio
    **you can use RFM95 or micro SD not both !!!! they sharing same GPIO**

PICOmputer exist in more enclosue variations, this is latest with full PCB box


SWOT analysis

Strengths:

  • no competition
  • simple as possible
  • cheap
  • beautiful design (I'm shameless)
  • qwerty keyboard
  • HD IPS display - onboard
    any display, iPS, TFT, OLED, eInk by wires, need just redesign front panel
  • circuitpython
  • micropython
  • arduino core

Weaknesses:

  • my programing knowledge is basic

Opportunities:

  • GUI learning tool
  • native USB
  • ETHENRNET possibility, there is big opportunity in application where is needed something like networking plug and play ... quick connect to LAN with DHCP configuration, etc. simple terminal
  • standalone computer programmable in basic or micropyton

Threats:

-please write in comments, I am blinded by my enthusiasm

Supported displays:

  • 12pin st7789 IPS 240x240 via flex cable 1.3" inch
  • 12pin st7789 IPS 240x240 via flex cable 1.54" inch
  • 12pin st7789 IPS 280x240 via flex cable 1.69" inch round corner
  • 12pin st7789 IPS 320x240 via flex cable 2" inch
  • 8pin st7789 IPS 240x240 via header
  • any display with popular china module pinout GND,VCC,SCK,DAT,RES,DC,CS,BACKLIT

Required components

| Component | pcs | description | note |

| -------- | --------:|:--------:| ---------------- |

| Raspberry PICO| 1 | main green board | - |

| DTS63K| 37 | tactile switch 7mm height, 1N| Or another 1N force is very comfortable to press |

| RFM95W| 1 | radio module with frequency for your country | If you build Armachat |

| SD card reader| 1 | generic aliexpres part | If you build Retro computer emulator |

| 2.0" IPS screen| 1 | 12PIN 320x240 ST7789V| - |

| BSS123| 1 | Transistor | display backlight |

| 10R 0603| 1 | Resistor | display backlight |

| 4k7| 1 | Resistor | display backlight |

| LPT1109DS| 1 | PIEZO | PIEZO sound beeper |

| JS202011CQN C&K or MSS-2235 NINIGI| 1 | Side Switch| For power off (PICOmputer work without) |

Almost all components and alternatives except bag of switches

Latest version use bright IPS display with rounded corners, with alternative PICO board form waveshare you can get USB-C, double flash memory and battery charging without any software/hardware modifications


Schematics, diagrams and documents

Schematic

Code

Sources

Credits

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