Category Archives: Hardware

Typewriter Laptop

Earlier this year RS Electronics held a contest on Twitter to win 1 of 1000 anniversary editions of a Raspberry Pi. They asked for creative ideas on what people would build with it, and I won. I’ve got to be honest, I was pretty excited. I’m sure you’ve already guessed my project from the title, but I’ll give you a bit more of breakdown. First though a little back story, simply because I love telling stories.
Sometime last year I came across, and loved the idea of being able to convert an old mechanical typewriter into a usb addressable input device. But still only dreaming of doing things like that I wrote it off as a “maybe someday” thing to do. Then earlier this year as I was perusing a local second hand shop, and saw one of those old mechanical typewriters. Instantly it all came together in my mind. I had already bought my first Raspberry Pi a few months back, and remembered the conversion project. Upon further reflection I expanded the idea to mounting a small monitor to it, and finding someway to integrate a mouse. And so I submitted that idea to them and and won.
Fast forward to this past weekend, and I’ve finished the first stage of the build. My 60’s era Royal Custom typewriter can now be plugged into just about any computer and used as a usb keyboard. I’m not going to lie, it was a bit daunting of a task. But with the help of my buddy James I pulled it off. I suppose next I’ll be looking for an appropriate monitor for the project. I also have a Pi Supply coming in from their Kickstarter campaign that I’m considering integrating for the sake of having a power switch. That’s it for now though. Pictures to come soon.

(copied over from my previous blog)