Wednesday 1 November 2023

Elecrow 11.6" Touchscreen for Rasperry Pi (and others) for a Retro-PC Project


I am working on a retro-styled computer based on the Raspberry Pi, and I'm going to use Elecrow's new CrowVision: a bare 11.6" touchscreen display.

The two big reasons I like it are that it's big, and also a touchscreen. Also, the display is meant to be built into something, which is nice.

Most flat-panel displays or "portable monitor" type displays have connectors on the sides, or other design elements making them troublesome to build into enclosures. The CrowVision is nice in that it is designed to be integrated into an enclosure, and it has a few other handy features as well.

I have always been inspired by LowBudgetTech's Callisto-2 printable retro computer design, but I find the screen too small. Getting my hands on the 11.6" display from Elecrow meant dusting off my own design.

You can see the CAD model above, and the top red section represents the 11.6" CrowVision display. The keyboard area is actually a socket to fit a Raspberry Pi 400. However, the CrowVision display has adjustable mounting holes for just about any kind of single-board computer, like the Raspberry Pi 4 or others.

The Raspberry Pi 400 isn't particularly powerful, but it does the job and is completely self-contained inside a keyboard, shown here. Above the Pi400 -- the black rectangle -- is the front of the CrowVision display. It'll be perfect for my retro design.

Right now the CrowVision is available from Crowd Supply, but once that campaign is complete it should be on Elecrow's website eventually.

One last thing to mention: my CAD design is too big to be printed in a single piece on any of my 3D printers, except for my Snapmaker Artisan which I occasionally am very grateful for its enormous print bed size. It's pretty gratifying to be able to print something like this in a single piece, instead of having to chop it up and assemble it after the fact. 
Sometimes, a big print bed is a very welcome feature.

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