Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W Based Pocket Computer Nears Crowdfunding Launch

The Sharpikeebo board
(Image credit: Sulfuroid)

Looking rather like a pocket calculator or a Blackberry cell phone, this beautiful Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W (opens in new tab)-powered handheld computer from Twitter user Sulfuroid (opens in new tab) will be crowdfunding soon on the Crowd Supply website.

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The brainchild of a maker we’ve featured before (opens in new tab), the proposed handheld (which its maker refers to as a ‘Sharpikeebo’) has a familiar form factor. Seasoned followers of SBCs will notice a passing similarity to Pocket Chip, a $5 computer (and $75 PCB) which also used a custom PCB. Sulfuroid's projects uses a Sharp 2.7 inch 400 x 240px display, and has a full QWERTY keyboard, albeit with rather tiny keys (though not as tiny as some we’ve featured recently (opens in new tab)), and an RFM95 long range radio chip which operates at 868 MHz, that can be used for long range communications and control. In one tweet we can even see an external antenna for greater range. Long range communication capable pocket computers seems to be a popular topic for Raspberry Pi.

On the rear of the board we see a 40 pin header for the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W's GPIO. This provides both power and data connectivity to the main PCB. The Pi Zero 2 W is inserted upside down, with the USB port point to the top of the board. Just under the header is space for a LiPo battery which will power the unit when on the move. To charge the battery we see a USB C port, and some form of voltage regulator / battery management chip.

Sulfuroid's Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W powered mini computer

(Image credit: Sulfuroid)

The project has been in development for some time, and going through Sulfuroid's tweets we can see key moments in the development. On January 13 we see the first power on, booting to a terminal in Raspberry Pi OS (even though the console shows "Raspbian" in the top corner.) On the same day we see the unit soldered up and ready for testing, with the creator saying "So excited. With the new quality soldering station. I was able to solder the Sharpikeebo computer." A testament to the adage "the right tool for the right job." Another moment in the project's history is the obligatory "LED blinkies" test, again on January 13 (it seems this was a great day for the project) which sees the onboard 603 package LEDs tested.

The crowdfunding effort has yet to go live. Remember that crowdfunding a project is not a guarantee of receiving a finished product. Backing a crowdfunded project is akin to an investment, you believe in the project and want it to succeed. You are not purchasing a retail product.

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.