Thursday, July 19, 2012

Motorola LapDock and Raspberry Pi

I have had two Raspberry Pies for a while now, and I have been wanting to hook them up to a screen, mouse, and keyboard that was space efficient and used fewer chords. I originally had one of the Raspberry Pies setup with a 22inch screen, a full USB keyboard, and a USB mouse. The screen had its own power cable and DVI. In addition, the screen had its own USB hub. To get some usable USB ports, I had to plug another USB cable from the Raspberry Pi to the screen. I then connected the USB Keyboard and mouse to the screen's hub. As you could imagine, there were cords everywhere, and this took a lot of space. 

I happen across this tutorial for doing this here. This setup uses a Motorola LapDock that was designed for an Atrix 4G phone. The LapDock is pretty much a screen, keyboard, and mouse in a compact package. When the phone docks with the LapDock, It uses USB and HDMI to control it. As it turns out, you can hook this up the LapDock to other USB devices to use its keyboard and mouse. In addition, you can hook up other devices which use HDMI to drive the screen, and the price of these is falling because the LapDock secretly yesterday's hardware. To get this to work, all you need to do is plug in the USB and HDMI into the Raspberry Pi. That's it. The catch is that you are going to need to get a series of adapters to get this to work. If you want to do this yourself, I would recommend following the tutorial above because it has links to everything you need. To continue this, I need to work on is getting the screen resolution right and 3D printing a case/mount for the Raspberry Pi. 

I liked this so much that I decided to get a second LapDock for my server: Moscato. My server lives in my closet because who would be so silly as to actually store coats in there. I have it there so I hear it less. My closet had similar issues with cables for the screen, mouse and keyboard that my Raspberry Pies did. In addition, there is a heat issue having all that jazz working around the clock in a closed space. The LapDock puts out significantly less heat than the previous screen setup did, and it also saves a great deal of space. Check out some pictures of this combination it in action!

My Raspberry Pi running at Workshop 88

A look at all the setup.

A close up of the Raspberry Pi all hooked up.
Here is another overall view.


A close up of the USB and HDMI connectors of the LapDock

A different LapDock hooked up to my server: Moscato.

Moscato's old setup.


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