4 New Community Projects to Explore with Your PocketC.H.I.P.

3D print of marjoras_other_mask's first design

3D print of marjoras_other_mask’s first design

The NTC forum is full of Pocketeers pushing PocketC.H.I.P. to its full potential. The hacks are getting more frequent and more ambitions. If you’re looking for hacks to explore, the forum is a great place to start your adventure.

Just this week, Marjoras_other_mask shared a great case hack with a kickstand, FireflyII added a thumbstick-mouse for precision control, and debianUser and emuboy are trying out different window managers to radically change the user experience.

3D Print a Case with Kickstand & Internal Stylus Slot

Rendering of the first version of the kickstand case

Rendering of the first version of the kickstand case

Forum user marjoras_other_mask created a 3D printable replacement case for PocketC.H.I.P. that features a kickstand and internal slot for a stylus. The case should take about a few hours to print, and it’s best to print the case vertically.

After creating a forum thread to show off the design, other community members suggested to marjoras_other_mask that he should revise the design so thatthe battery would remain enclosed in the case even when the kickstand is propted out. Promptly marjoras_other_mask posted a new design with the requested closed back feature. Both styles are available on Thingiverse and licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

Make sure to keep your eyes on this forum thread, since marjoras_other_mask is updating the design files and chatting with other Pocketeers about possible design improvements. And don’t forget to share in the thread any case design tips or ideas you have!


Add a Thumbstick-Mouse to PocketC.H.I.P.

FireflyII really wanted to use a mouse with PocketC.H.I.P. to get precise control over the device, but didn’t want to lug around a USB mouse. So FireflyII built two different solutions, both of which add a custom mouse directly on PocketC.H.I.P.!

trinketFireflyII first added a 5-way tactile switch and wrote a Python driver to translate the switch input to act as a mouse pointer in PocketC.H.I.P. software. You can see it in action in the video above. What’s not as easy to pick up in the video is that this method took most of the GPIO pins. FireflyII wasn’t having this and wanted to find a better solution, one that didn’t use as many GPIO pins.

His solution was to wire PocketC.H.I.P. together with an Adafruit Trinket, a small ATtiny-based microcontroller board. You can see this in the image to the right. Not only does this save GPIO pins, it also allows FireflyII to more cleanly integrate a PlayStation 2 style thumbstick with PocketC.H.I.P.. The Trinket reads the analog values from the thumbstick and sends the data to PocketC.H.I.P. as mouse data.

Either method you choose to do, you won’t go wrong. Each is a nice little hack to add a cool new feature. According to FireflyII, both of these approaches are still very much in development. If you’ve got a suggestion for FireflyII, make sure to share it in the forum thread.


Hacking the Window Manager

XFCE running on PocketC.H.I.P.

XFCE running on PocketC.H.I.P.

One of the great things about Linux is how customizable the OS is. Pocket Home, our default PocketC.H.I.P. window manager, is only one option for pocketeers. Forum users debianUser and emuboy each went looking for a different window experience, and each came back with a different, exciting results.

Window managers control the visual experience of a graphical user interface –everything from how application windows are drawn to how icons behave when you click on them. But not all window managers enable the same behavior.

The Matchbox window manager running on PocketC.H.I.P.

The Matchbox window manager running on PocketC.H.I.P.

DebianUser chronicles how to install matchbox, a window manager for embedded Nokia devices that reportedly runs quite nicely on PocketC.H.I.P.. And emuboy explains how to get XFCE running, which should be familiar to C.H.I.P. users, since it’s the default C.H.I.P. window manager.

Regardless of which one you choose to try out, always remember that you can easily flash your PocketC.H.I.P. back to it’s default software with our online flasher. And don’t forget to join in the converstation about window managers on the forum. We want to know what you’d like to see on PocketC.H.I.P.!


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Be it 3D printable, hardware hacking, or command-line coding, it’s great to see community members using their skills to customize PocketC.H.I.P. and make it exactly what they want.

A great place to share your skills or pick up new ones is in the NTC forums, where all of these projects are from, and where a larger conversation takes place about how to PocketC.H.I.P.. Make sure to browse on over and add your voice to the mix.

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