Tinkering ideas in preparation

Are many of you excited to just build the devterm as it is designed?
Or rather, how many of us are already planning tweaks and potential modifications?

I have a few packages I’ll install upon initial completion. xrandr supports virtual monitors, now, so I’ll likely try to push my A0604 with a li’l --setmonitor magic (virt dual 640x480). Any yall collecting anything with intent to use with the DT? Might plug my Intel compute stick into it (saw that CM4 to CM3 conversion card with coral tpu, which looks nifty). I’ve settled on lower output unprotected Sanyo NCR18650BL batteries (im experienced, i recommend protected batteries if yer new to these) which i’ve also put custom wrappings on to show off thru the translucent back. my dremel is ready… keeping my eyes on all the EXT work yall be doing, too.

Ideas? Intentions? stickers or paint? 3d print?
let us discuss:


Okie dokie, then. I’ll continue:
here i have planned likely locations for my fpc->gpio breakout and “speed holes” (if no vents are present).
obviously trimming any left over flash before assembly.


Been looking at the tamiya brand of paints. anyone got any thoughts or advice in this area? this is new territory for me… also got this untested one-liner ready:

apt update -y && apt upgrade -y apt install -y aptitude && apt install -y tmux zsh cmatrix vlock elinks surfraw gcc git && apt autoremove -y && xrandr --setmonitor VIRT-LEFT 640/85x480/30+0+0 MIPI-1 && xrandr --setmonitor VIRT-RIGHT 640/85x480/30+640+0 none

attempts to use xrandr on a pi3 with a waveshare display have been unsuccessful so far as the display doesnt seem to show up as hdmi connected. apparently this is a RPi issue and may or may not be related to the videoore.

1 Like

Oh man. Paints. One of my big hobbies is Gundam building and painting! If you’re gonna paint, in general get some primer. About the same price as paints.

You can do some pre shading, using tamiya primer. Lau down a dark coat first, then highlight the bits that aren’t edges/detail with white/grey. Then when you spray your actual tamiya colours on, it will have some sexy depth.
Afterwards, I guess you could do a full gloss tamiya top coat. (Lacquer based)

Let it dry for a day or more. Then get some tamiya enamel panel wash to seep into the details you want to accentuate. Lacquer is harder than enamel, so you can get some cotton buds and enamel thinner to clean up your mess that didn’t enter the seeped crevices.

Now’s a good time to apply any other custom hand brush work (use enamel or acrylic paint) or any decals/stickers. After applied, apply a few coats of top coat; either gloss or matte, depending on what you want.

That said if you want a super gloss finish, you’ll need to actually polish the layers of gloss between applications. You can get special tamiya polishing compounds, cloths, polishing wheels etc.

Whoops I totally went off of the rails hyper fixating on one of my other hobbies. Incidentally it’s one of the reasons I love the gameshell. It’s basically a model kit. I still have been meaning to make a gundam themed one, including etching/scribing robot like details. Once I’ve moved into my new house, that will be added to my project list!!

But the main thing. Prime and Top coat!! Otherwise the paint will just rub off! I actually normally use an airbrush and Gaia Lacquer paints/thinners, but eh. It’s basically the same thing as tamiya.

Here’s a gundam I made, just for fun!


i started looking at the whole tamiya line and was talking to my wife about primers, colors and top coats (because of another post you commented on). I was thinking of shooting for something like a 90s laser school photo backdrop but more cyber noir with mate black and glossy neons and a high gloss coat. GreenStuffWorld seems to have some neat colors… Thanks for all the advice. I’m gonna let my wife have full creative freedom with the top cover piece. painting is more her thing… so i’ll share your advice with her. thanx.

1 Like

Oh green stuff works have neat stuff!! I haven’t bought too many of their paints, BUT I did buy some of their glow pigment! Add it to some clear coat lacquer, and TADA! Instant 90’s glow paint!

You’re making me think of splatter effects now! That’s going back!

Ahh all of what I said is baaaasic stuff, and if your wife already paints, she will know it.

The only thing I’d worry about is potentially “squeaky” buttons. The paint will add another layer, so things could get tight!

1 Like

if i think it’ll be snug… i’ll open the holes up some more with a dremel :wink:
that much being obvious… it seems to have done wonders for my popularity, lol.

I actually think that modifying the buttons to be a hair smaller would be a much better option than having to repaint, upon reconsideration.

1 Like

ah yeah. got my paints ordered on GSW, whoot!!! piezo buzzers coming. also pin connector and crimping set. GP dremel bit and buffing wheels, batteries, epoxy, plates aquired… now to lie in wait.

for those curious… paints?: ive settled on a gloss black primer with a chameleon set

Was thinking along the lines of desoldering one of the USB ports on the expansion board and seeing if I can create an internal USB module bay, assuming there’s room. Might have to be decased usb devices depending on what the space is like, but I think I’ll have to wait for the machine itself to show up to figure out exactly what I can do there.

Hopefully it will not be delayed again and I get to mess with it this month, I have a small collection of PDAs and handheld PCs so be interesting to see how this compares. Keyboard size is a concern but it looks similar in size to my HP 300LX so hopefully can find a use for this machine. Hopefully will be good for thumb-typing.


I do not see any reason to desolder a port if you can wire up a header to the pins directly. If you are the only one using it… and you are the only one who needs to be aware that there are 2 ports inline… just dont use the onboard port if that is a concern. however, now that i am thinking about it, i wonder what would happen if one did? would it recognize two devices? i need to read some data sheets now…
If i may be so bold as to inquire… why an internal usb port?

and Welcome @TinaStormcaller

Upon further research I’ve found this:
“9.4 USB
The BCM2837 USB port is On-The-Go (OTG) capable. If using either as a fixed slave or fixed master,
please tie the USB OTGID pin to ground.
The USB port (Pins USB DP and USB DM) must be routed as 90 ohm differential PCB traces.
Note that the port is capable of being used as a true OTG port however there is no official documentation.
Some users have had success making this work.”

Now I’m not too sure what device mode endpoints and host mode channels… but it looks like 8…
I almost want to experiment with this now. I wonder how much an extra ext board would cost me

“Feature/Parameter Selected value
Number of Device Mode Endpoints in Addition to Control
Endpoint 0 7
Enable Dedicated Transmit FIFOs for Device IN Endpoints 1: Yes
Enable descriptor based scatter/gather DMA 0: No
Enable Option for Endpoint- Specific Interrupt 0: No
Number of Device Mode Periodic IN Endpoints 0
Number of Device Mode IN Endpoints including Control Endpoint
Number of Device Mode Control Endpoints in Addition to
Endpoint 0 0
Number of Host Mode Channels 8
Is Periodic OUT Channel Support Needed in Host Mode 1: Yes
Total Data FIFO RAM Depth 4096
Enable Dynamic FIFO Sizing 1: Yes
Largest Rx Data FIFO Depth 4096
Largest Non-Periodic Host Tx Data FIFO Depth 1024
Largest Non-periodic Tx Data FIFO Depth 4096
Largest Host Mode Tx Periodic Data FIFO Dept 4096
Non-periodic Request Queue Depth 8
Host Mode Periodic Request Queue Depth 8
Device Mode IN Token Sequence Learning Queue Depth 8
Width of Transfer Size Counters 19”

I also intend to explore options using the fpc to gpio and disabling the onboard radios to free up a whole bunch of used gipo pins on the main board.

Simple, I don’t like stuff hanging out of my portables. The expansion board has 2 USB-A ports with a vast expanse of nothing apparently, and those exit through a plate that looks fairly simple to just 3d print one without holes in it, so why not desolder one or both ports, epoxy them upside down to the PCB and run wires to the solder pads. That way, things like USB mouse dongles, and possibly larger things can go inside the case.

The case looks to be easily openable without tools, so should be fine to swap usb modules in and out in the field if needed, and if I need to just plug something in there’s a third USB-A port anyway. Ideally I would design a new expansion PCB with the USB ports much more recessed inside the unit but I’m not that good at Eagle :slight_smile:


Someone else here created an ext board that offers a gpio breakout, if you are seeking to expand while utilizing the empty space.
It may or may not interest you.


After I get my DT, I’d like to redesign the OEM EXT board with a few variations. One of them being a version with internal USB port like @TinaStormcaller is describing.

The other thing I’d like to redesign is moving the motor drivers (mosfets or transistors I think) for the printer to their own separate board. If the motor drivers components were removed then the connector for the printer could also function as a general-purpose ext connector with nearly the same pins as I designed in the Ext breakout.

I think the OEM EXT board should really be called the Printer EXT board. I think we’ll need an EXT board that preserves speakers and USB while also properly breaks out GPIO pins for tinkering or other modules that aren’t a printer.


thoughts on ext boards supporting daughter boards or stacking/daisy chaining ext boards?


Basically this. I think a redesigned Ext board should have this in mind. Daughter boards or adapted pi hats can easily fit in the printer module area. The printer could easily be abstracted a little more from the Ext board and we’d have this solved.
It’s not a big design change either.


After some more consideration, I am personally considering experimenting with @DustinWoods EXT board in conjunction with a USB Hat.
Specifically, this one: https://www.waveshare.com/usb-hub-hat.htm
I have small usb blowers, so i can even keep my module cool, still, too.

On second thought, these all appear to require daisy-chaining into an exisiting usb port… so maybe not ideal for internal only applications

even this one seems to need to be plugged into a usb port :frowning:

How do you all feel about curly cords?
I like to make custom ones.

1 Like

Acquisition of more gear in prep:
Retractable extension
Squid hub
Right angles
Tactical belt
And pouch

There is a chance I might try to bond the hub to the extension to a right angle adapter. The idea around this is to have a bunch of dongles plugged into the hub, in the pouch on the belt and all i gotta do and gently pull on the right angle to pull the extension and plug it right into the DT. Ya know… that whole '90s cyberpunk aesthetic.


I just got an rpi cam and remembered the dt has a connector, too!!!.. I might try to mount it or something.
In fact, depending how far down the printer door swings down, i might be able to mount it right onto the that with a little hole for the lens. i was even thinking about getting one of the teeny tiny spy cam ones that fight fit better if the mine is too big.
the camera mipi is right next to the printer one anyway.

ok, big thing first. we need a handle.
thinking im gonna 3d print lugs that replace case wheel lock thingys with studs that lock on with set screw, this will form the hinge of a wrap around handle that’ll be able to act as kickstand too