Maker Bobricius is at it again with another Raspberry Pi-powered doomsday creation—the Armachat Touch Picomputer. This custom PCB is powered by our favorite microcontroller, the Raspberry Pi Pico. It features a keyboard for input and allows users to communicate directly using LoRa wireless communication.
This is one of several “Doomsday Computers” that Bobricius has made involving some version of the Pi. Previous editions include support for the Raspberry Pi Zero. This one is Pico-powered with a slew of exciting features like an LED-backlit keyboard for text input and glowing green LEDs.
According to Bobricius, his PCB doesn’t use any additional chip for processing apart from the Raspberry Pi Pico. He’s able to run the entire operation using the Pico alone with the help of some software he obtained from Adafruit. With his custom configuration, he’s able to handle input from 30 separate keys via 12 GPIO on the Pico using a CircuitPython library called Touchio.
This project consists of the custom PCB designed by Bobricius along with a Pico module. It also requires a 1.69-inch IPS LCD screen with a resolution of 280 x 240px for visual output. The keyboard has a QWERTY layout and uses 30 individual touch buttons. The entire unit measures in at 150mm x 90mm x 1.6mm.
The software side, as we mentioned before, is driven by CircuitPython. It’s designed to function as a communication system using the LoRa wireless protocol. It interprets keypresses by triggering CPIO pins to change their state before registering the input on the LCD screen. This is how you’re able to get 30 input options using such a limited number of GPIO on the Pico. You can dive deeper into the code over at GitHub to get a closer look at how it goes together.
If you want to recreate this Raspberry Pi project, head over to the product page at Tindie to order your board and get started. Be sure to follow Bobricius for more cool projects as well as any future updates on this one.