Raspberry Pi Cyberdeck is So Cyberpunk 1977

The cyberdeck in all its glory
(Image credit: Bongoplayingmonkey)

The cyberdeck, a curious amalgam of 80s aesthetics and cutting-edge tech, in this case the Raspberry Pi, is a favoured build of the cyberpunk-inspired maker, and this particularly good example caught our eye today on Hackster.

The cyber-fruit of the electric imagination of a maker going by the rather splendid name of Bongoplayingmonkey, this build takes a late-70s Sanyo radio/cassette player as its retrofuturistic base - “I’ve always felt that the design of sci-fi stuff should naturally flow out of the design of 70s and 80s consumer electronics because that’s what the visual environment was for writers like Gibson,” Bongoplayingmonkey writes in a post on The Cyberdeck Cafe.

Bongoplayingmonkey wanted to keep the VU meter and world map from the front of the cassette player, but removed the rest in favor of a two-line LCD display and a 65% mechanical keyboard (an AJAZZ AK33). Inside the casing there’s a Raspberry Pi 4, a Geekworm x708 UPS and some batteries, all custom-mounted to hang securely. On the side is an excellent bit of hacking, a HID device made up of a rotary dial, analog stick, and two buttons that emulate mouse clicks all connected via an Arduino mimicking a USB input device - perfect for scrolling and reading text, according to Bongoplayingmonkey.

The pièce de résistance, however, has to be the screen. A small seven-inch Elecrow LCD on a 3D-printed mount that hangs over the left-hand side of the cyberdeck on a jointed arm. It’s a remarkable piece of engineering, and sets off the look of the deck perfectly. Ethernet, USB, HDMI and GPIO are all accessible through the top of the case, so the deck is expandable too.

There’s a little more work to do - the code for the VU meter (to show information such as Wi-Fi signal strength or battery level) and LCD display isn’t finished yet, but this cyberdeck already stands out as a particularly cyberpunk blend of hacker ingenuity and old junk off eBay.

Ian Evenden
Freelance News Writer

Ian Evenden is a UK-based news writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He’ll write about anything, but stories about Raspberry Pi and DIY robots seem to find their way to him.