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Raspberry Pi 400


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[mention=3]Perifractic[/mention], would you accept a request making PET chicklet style design? I love its red/blue/silver color scheme with Microgramma font.
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e3/PET_Keyboard_improved.svg/2643px-PET_Keyboard_improved.svg.png


I'm all done with that project for now but I'll keep it in mind if I revisit. [emoji106][emoji973]️
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2 hours ago, Cyber said:

I wonder if they'll make an official Raspberry Pi laptop someday.

I know there are plenty of Pi laptops from third parties, but comparing RPi 400 to other third party all-in-one keyboard designs, I think Raspberry would do a much better design.

I'd love to buy a Pi 400 for my kids to learn and thinker, but definetively a laptop form would be perfect for them. I'm sure Pi foundation is doing it, or at least testing/validating the idea 😉

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  • 2 weeks later...

Loving my RPi400 so far. It's very portable and I've gotten connectors to connect it almost any display I can 'hijack' (DVI, VGA, DisplayPort).

I've been inside it and see the keyboard ribbon cable appears to be a simple lattice for scanning key states and all the decoding must be on the main PCB. I'm sure there will be some engineering types willing to pull apart the keyboard and get a pinout. I could but I've have had real bad luck with screw/bolt modding IBM model M's and not willing to burn up $100. 🙂

I will welcome a custom 3D printed enclosure with Cherry MX keys that would accommodate the RPi400 guts. Also, add an audio-out jack hack while you're at it. 🙂

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I have the red and white Official Raspberry Pi Keyboard (UK model) and Mouse, and the keyboard has the same ribbon cable as the Raspberry Pi 400 keyboard, because it is the same keyboard except for some printing (e.g. ScrLk is power). Somebody replaced the keyboard on the Raspberry Pi 400 with the black Official Raspberry Pi Keyboard (DE model). I'm also interested in the pinout of the ribbon cable because I thought of developing my own keyboard controller using e.g. an Arduino. Now the keyboard controller is using a one time programmable (OTP) microcontroller: Holtek HT45R0072.

 

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  • 1 month later...

I just got mine, and so far, it feels just like using a Pi 4B, but without the extra box hanging around on my desk.

I have a 4B installed in an ArgonOne M.2 case, and that little machine does pretty well. By comparison, this one might be a bit faster on the CPU, but I already miss having the SSD support - if for no other reason than that I like having a separate file system for actually working in. (I actually boot the Argon Pi from SD, then use the SSD for all of my programming stuff.)

So when my 400 arrived, I took the Argon case off the desk and plugged in a 256GB SD card. So far, so good - the system booted right up with the same card I was using to run my Pi 4, and everything seems to be working as expected, so far. Next I'm going to install the Commander X16 emulator and see how it compares to running it on a PC.

 

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Good news... the X16 emulator runs pretty well on the 400. 

I used the snap method; I'm not sure how new this release is, but the installation process is simple:

https://snapcraft.io/install/x16emu/raspbian

Some people have been reporting that the Pi isn't fast enough to run the emulation at full speed... so far, my own super-basic test shows that it's a bit slower than on a PC - somewhere between 60-90% for text mode programs.

 

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1 minute ago, codewar65 said:

In case someone was wondering, this site has a pinout for the keyboard ribbon cable if someone wants to case / keyboard mod their 400 with custom mechanical keys.

https://www.40percent.club/2020/12/orthopi.html

Thanks for that. I'm actually surprised someone is not already making a mechanical keyboard Pi case. I use a mechanical keyboard with the Pi 4, and I really like the setup. The keyboard has custom Commodore style keycaps from WASD, so it's great for VICE. 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, TomXP411 said:

Thanks for that. I'm actually surprised someone is not already making a mechanical keyboard Pi case. I use a mechanical keyboard with the Pi 4, and I really like the setup. The keyboard has custom Commodore style keycaps from WASD, so it's great for VICE. 

 

 

The specs are all on that site. The keyboard is kind of nonstandard. I'm thinking you'd have almost use the same layout as the original 400. Maybe Perifractic could provide us with a LEGO RPi400 mod. lol

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Just now, codewar65 said:

The specs are all on that site. The keyboard is kind of nonstandard. I'm thinking you'd have almost use the same layout as the original 400. Maybe Perifractic could provide us with a LEGO RPi400 mod. lol

Yeah, I'm not up to assembling a custom keyboard at this point in time. I don't have the space or the patience. I'd buy one if someone made one, though.

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15 minutes ago, TomXP411 said:

Yeah, I'm not up to assembling a custom keyboard at this point in time. I don't have the space or the patience. I'd buy one if someone made one, though.

Same. My original thought was to transplant my 400 into a Unicomp Model-M, but it's not 1 to 1 keywise. If I had a hugeass 3D printer to make a custom case, I might try my hand at a real retro mod. 

I'm on the same boat as you. Waiting for a commercial custom case.

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1 hour ago, codewar65 said:

In case someone was wondering, this site has a pinout for the keyboard ribbon cable if someone wants to case / keyboard mod their 400 with custom mechanical keys.

https://www.40percent.club/2020/12/orthopi.html

They have figured out the keyboard-matrix of the Raspberry Pi 400 (similar to the Official Raspberry Pi keyboard) which is good since I would like to make my own keyboard controller for the Official Raspberry Pi keyboard.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just got one for Christmas, and first impressions are, nice and small. 

 

Unfortunately it pushes Python as it's main Dev environment, which is not my thing. (Don't get me wrong I am sure Python is wonderful, but it's just not my cup of tea).  I was hoping to be able to program directly to the hardware.  I did an amount of googling on it, and it seems it can be done, but it's not as straight forward as the C64 or the X16, and as low level.  However it's nice that you have your the OS on the SD card, so you can potentially dive in and "write your own OS", which I won't do, due to time, but would like to do in an alternate universe where I have time 😛.

Otherwise, I am not sure I like the micro hdmi connector.  There is two of them, I'd prefer to have just one "normal" HDMI connector instead.  Also getting the sound out of it, is kinda a pain to me, it goes through the hdmi port, but my monitor does not have sound support, so... My other monitor is VGA, and there are good mini hdmi to vga connectors with sound output, but did not find them for micro hdmi.   Of course I probably will fall back on going for the blue tooth option, but I guess I am old fashioned, and would like a phone output instead.

I also wish they put an on/off switch on it, and made the keyboard a bit bigger.
Last observation, I love the reference manual, just to have it in paper, but would have preferred it to be a dedicated reference manual for the PI400, and not shared with the PI4.  Also, unfortuanatly it's beginners reference manual, nothing as cool as the reference manuals in progress on this website.
 

All that being said, I am still looking forward to booting straight into VICE or UAE, and fiddling with making a micro os on it, it's currently sitting next to me waiting to be developed on.

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2 hours ago, CursorKeys said:

I just got one for Christmas, and first impressions are, nice and small. 

 

Unfortunately it pushes Python as it's main Dev environment, which is not my thing. (Don't get me wrong I am sure Python is wonderful, but it's just not my cup of tea).  I was hoping to be able to program directly to the hardware.  I did an amount of googling on it, and it seems it can be done, but it's not as straight forward as the C64 or the X16, and as low level.  However it's nice that you have your the OS on the SD card, so you can potentially dive in and "write your own OS", which I won't do, due to time, but would like to do in an alternate universe where I have time

I'm right there with you. I want to build a bare metal environment and boot straight into an 8-bit style environment. I'm even pondering developing a new BASIC interpreter and launching straight into that, much like the Maximite.

Just as a note - there IS a power circuit; the F10 key acts as power button. If you power down from the Logout menu (or run poweroff in the terminal), you can use the Fn-F10 key sequence to start back up without needing to remove the power connector or use an external power switch. 

I actually bought an external power switch to use with my 400 and discovered it's unnecessary, thanks to the soft-on/off built in to the machine. (I'm still going to use it, though, since why not?) 

The Micro-HDMI connectors are definitely a "WTF?", but there's a good reason for that. The creator of the 400 basically lifted the PCB design straight off the Pi 4, and he changed as little as possible, since every time you change the physical layout of a circuit, you have to deal with unintended side effects, including RF issues. 

And yes - the absence of an analog audio port is an issue; I was using the analog audio out from my Pi 4 to play music. Unfortunately, I've found the on board ADC is pretty noisy, so I switched to a USB audio interface, instead. I'm currently using a hub that has a sound chip built in, so I don't actually lose any ports: the mouse plugs into the hub, and the hub plugs into the Pi. 

I think the Pi foundation does encourage people to learn programming using Python; I guess it's not the worst choice, although I'd prefer a language and IDE that actually gives some GUI options right out of the gate. (My favorite programming language is c#, but that is still not well supported on Linux.)  You can certainly code in c++ on the machine, though, and if the GNU make environment is not pre-installed, it's one apt-get away. 

The first thing I did with my Pi 400 is install and build VICE. That worked out pretty well, and I now have a "modern Commodore 64" whenever I want it. I also compiled the Commander X16 emulator, although it doesn't quite run at full speed. 

However, my main purpose in acquiring the Pi 400 is to use with my "Blinkenlights" computers as a dumb terminal, and a Linux based machine is very good at that. I can use Screen, Minicom, and SSH to talk to host systems, and while the Pi isn't the fastest desktop in the world, it's passable as a web browser and media player when I'm not using it for retro computing. 

 

 

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