Espruino mini-laptop with chatpad keyboard

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  • Hello,

    Inspired by the "Pixl.js home computer" tutorial (­mputer) I figured I'd make a tiny laptop.

    I had a Microsoft chatpad keyboard in my box of electronic stuff. These can be obtained quite cheaply now and can be easily used with microcontrollers.

    They output a 4800baud serial signal which can be connected straight to the serial port of a microcontroller.

    The pinout for the one I have is:

    red wire: 3.3v supply
    black wire: data out (I connected to pin A0 but it doesn't really matter)
    orange wire: gnd supply

    (Note that black isn't used for its traditional use of ground- a mistake I nearly made while wiring this up)

    I figured that this could be quite neat when combined with a SIM800 mobile phone module - could build a programmable mobile phone to send and receive SMS, download text data etc etc.

    The code is:

    function onInit() {
      Serial1.setup(4800, {rx:A0, tx:A2});
      Serial1.on('data', function (data) {

    OK. Time to get rid of this Macbook. It's now obsolete, having been replaced by the latest low powered Espurino open source DIY laptop. (I think....)

    2 Attachments

    • chatpad-front.jpg
    • chatpad-rear.jpg
  • Wed 2020.04.29

    Nicely done Colin! I believe this is an external keyboard mini-computer first. Can't wait for the Puck gesture interface that you have been working on that would complete this project.

  • Wow, that's awesome. I'll have to see if I can get one of those!

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Espruino mini-laptop with chatpad keyboard

Posted by Avatar for ColinP @ColinP