Impressions, modifications and great additions (IMO) on my a04 Devterm unit (Image Heavy)


This section serves as the author’s ongoing experience with the mentioned devterm unit (A04), the attempt to make it suitable for daily driver’s use and perhaps some reflections on what could’ve been better. Please note beforehand that in this forum where there are plethora of experts and adepts of the linux ecosystem, the author wishes to stress the fact that he knows Jack about it (can’t even do sudo command properly) with the only virtue of trying to contribute to this fabulous community in any way or form, no matter how miniscule it could be. Thus this section is created.

Think of it as an antithesis to other topics in the forum: where they give impressions on the software level, this author wishes to give more on a simpler surface (hardware) level experience.

tl;dr: I know nothing of linux, but I love small devices, so nostalgia! I have a devterm and there’s loads of contributions happening on software-side, so I think I should give some on the outside, no?

Current state of my device:
(hope you don’t mind the pic, I was sitting on the floor :joy:)

  • mostly stock on software side of things (mucking around with it to get familiarized with linux and the OS itself), but serviceable despite the early days of the OS (I do edit several docs and spreadsheets thanks to the inclusion of libreoffice, even use it for youtube at times!)
  • no changes at the backside vents or ports (and it’s probably one of the things I need to do ASAP, reasons below)
  • haven’t spend enough time with A04 (this will probably be the last, depending on future stock availability, I may jump for A06 or the upcoming CM4)

My use case for the unit:

  • Currently living in a private farmland (pandemic excuse, no job, etc) and I am one of the designated employee to handle the POS/sale side of things (we have a website that handles it). Devterm can do all that + the moddable aspect means it’s easily maintained!
  • farmland means the devterm’s frequently outdoors, and current state of the device is not suitable: exposed backside vents, ports, and the screen glare under the sun is atrocious! Those needed fixin’ fast.

I found out I have some of these recently:

Aliexpress have them (Amazon too I bet)

so it fits in just fine (just dont push them in too much, else it’ll be hard to pull them out)

but for some reason mine didn’t come with the 3.5mm jack cover, harumph!
and so far I haven’t seen any usb-c and micro hdmi cover yet, so I need to get those in future.

Any suggestions or comments heartily welcomed, I’ll wait for more items to arrive at my house for my next post

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As those covers are designed, another option could be to modify the entire port frontplate to not have holes.

I got a screen protector that has an antiglare finish, that could help. I haven’t tested in full sun.

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that’s one option definitely! But I opted for the silicone covers since I may use one or two pendrives to store some work documents.

As for the screen protector, I was thinking about using tempered glass at first since the phones/phablets are really long and big now! Is there one that’s really similar in size with the devterm though?

devterm’s screen measures at 18x6.5cm (including the silver bezel) IIRC, so worth a try?

… but the protector would have a clearance issue with the devterm front cover :sweat_smile:

but yeah you’re right, normal anti-glare protector could suffice for under the sun use. I just bought a typical apple macbook anti-glare for the screen, just waiting for it to arrive now.

Some quick additions (not necessary, but I just want to :sweat_smile:) to my unit:

Got some of these today, felt pads that you put under objects to protect them from getting scuffed up.

Used the black one on the picture, it’s almost a close fit (the ones near the battery bay have to be cut down a bit not to overlap the battery hatch) and works just enough to be the devterm’s backplate pads.


I wonder why clockwork didn’t provide any plastic/rubber pads for the backplate :grin: but eh, no biggie.

Second (this one’s a literal no brainer), I opted for an angled USB-C connector for the devterm
With this I can hold it comfortably even when charging.

Quick reflections on these two additions;

  • the felt pads have issue sticking to the upper portion of the backplate because of the mounting pegs/plastic standoffs? (the plastic nubs you can see at the backplate of the devterm), so the pads I applied now are thoroughly worn as a result. I can either shave the nubs off, which is a permanent solution, or a more sensible one is to apply another felt pad onto the worn one for a larger surface contact.

  • the angle USB-C I used could’ve been better IMO, maybe I should’ve gone for the magnetic angled USB-C charging cables instead like such:

more freedom on the angle of the connector and when I’m not using it, it becomes a port cover for the USB-C itself as I’ve already covered all the other connecting ports on my devterm.

That’s all for now! Still waiting for my screen protector to apply on my devterm, it hasn’t arrived yet :sweat_smile: