Goal: Hack together a portable computer using an old Beaglebone Black with some off the shelf items. At start mock up the case design with cardboard pieces and affix parts temporarily. Next step is to model the parts in Fusion 360, and print out the plastic pieces with a 3D Printer at my work.

Day 1 - (Thursday August 3rd)

Beginning of Portable Beaglebone

Started with this project about a year back, I wanted a way to bring a Beaglebone Black with me and to have it work as a portable.


Micro USB Keyboard Case for 7 Inch Tablets - Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/SANOXY-Tablet-Stand-USB-Keyboard/dp/B004OB0EBQ alt Cost: $7.99

Found these on eBay as well, same model as above, you might be able to get it cheaper with less shipping, their are other variations.

4 Port USB Hub - Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-4-Port-USB-2-0-Ultra-Mini/dp/B003M0NURK/ 6.99

I removed the plastic shielding from this as it added some thickness.

20000mAh USB Powerbank (Thin) - Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Ultra-thin-20000mAh-Capacity-External-Portable/dp/B013AUFMI6/


I have a much thicker 50000mAh battery that is heavy duty and has adaptors for all sorts of laptop and other various power plugs. It is a bit heavy and thick decided against using it for this project as the 20000mAh is enough for most scenarios.

7" LCD With Capacitive Touch - 800 x 480 - Adafruit - https://www.adafruit.com/product/2407

alt The touchscreen is pretty unnecessary but I figure if I am lacking a mouse it might help in some cases and it was not all that much more than the non touch screen version of the monitor.

Additional items....

Of course a standard Beaglebone Black and a few other USB/HDMI cables to make it work. HDMI to HDMI Mini, Micro USB to USB, USB to Mini USB etc. I would say overall with the monitor and the Beaglebone its less than 150 USD at the time for all the cables and parts. I probably could do it cheaper today, as Beaglebones and the monitor have dropped in price, and I could get the monitor that is without touch capabilities.

Testing Components I tried to plugging everything in and powered both the beaglebone and the monitor from the USB pack. I even was able to power the monitor using the USB hub plugged into the beaglebone. Monitor looks great, everything is a go! I tested the USB hub by adding a mechanical keyboard and mouse everything looks good.

Day 2 - (Thursday August 6th)

Case Mocked machine setup

Quickly mocked up a bottom section to hold the pieces with a sturdy piece of cardboard.
I wrapped it up in some tape/stickers to give it "some" temporary water proofing. Got most everything tacked into place, hooked up everything and it works great. On the sides it has 3 USB ports, 1 RJ45, 2 Power adapters for Beaglebone, 2USB Charging Ports, 1 Micro USB Port to USB, 1 Mini USB to charge Battery.

Todo: Measure out dimensions on bottom, make case in Fusion 360, make case for Screen in Fusion 360, put it back together.