< 204 ~ZeroTerm


I really like the idea of having a portable terminal emulator, so I thought I'd give it a try. Have a dedicated, command-line-only device I could connect to tilde.town and make my own stuff on.


Inspired by N-O-D-E's first revision (now removed for some reason?), I pulled together a bunch of off-the-shelf parts:


Construction is pretty straightforward, just don't do it on 2 hours of sleep. Got ahead of myself when the last few bits arrived and accidentally soldered 5V and GND from the PowerBoost to random GPIO pins. Thought I killed it dead but thankfully not. Upside to the Pi0 especially is that it's cheap enough to not kick yourself too much over mistakes like that.

But yeah. Solder the PowerBoost's outputs to the Pi's 5V and GND, solder on the switch, slap the Pi on the display's headers, plug in the battery, flip the switch and away you go.


A small amount of setup has to be done over SSH the first time you boot up. Setting up the display, pairing/trusting the keyboard, plenty of work to be done reducing boot time.

But after that you're good to go. The bluetooth keyboard works great for this application, it's backlit, it has a nice sliding mechanism and even tilts up to a full 90° when the slide is fully extended. Has lots of keys like > or | that are useful living the terminal life, not to mention Ctrl. Biggest missing key is tab, although there should be a way to rebind maybe the lock/power button for that. Screen looks good, has touch support although gpm doesn't play nice and consolation doesn't support fbterm. Might fire up an X server and terminal just to get good pointing support.


Full view of the Pi Zero Portable Terminal System™ Picture of the Pi Zero Portable Terminal System™ in its closed state Close-up view of the Pi Zero Portable Terminal System™

Finally, a few pics. It's not 100% complete yet, still need to design and 3D print an enclosure. But it's currently fully functional and usable, just not quite as portable as it will be Soon™.