Transform Raspberry Pi 400 into a hacker cyberdeck

Resisting the desolate consumerism of the suburbs is a serious business for hardware hacker Zack Freedman. Zack transformed a Raspberry Pi 400 into the Voidstar Data Blaster, a portable cyberdeck to fight against becoming a normie.

The suburbs thing is explained at the beginning of Zack’s build video. Subscribe to his YouTube channel.

Hang on, what is a cyberdeck?

Zack explains:

“A data blaster [cyberdeck] is the trademark battlestation of console cowboy antiheroes running nets through cyberspace.”

There’s a whole subreddit devoted to exploring what does and does not make a real-life cyberdeck, so if you were looking for a rabbit hole to go down, knock yourself out.

view of cyber deck on a desk

How do you turn a Raspberry Pi 400 into a cyberdeck?

Added features to transform a Raspberry Pi 400 into the Voidstar Data Blaster include:

  • Detachable wearable display
  • Battery handles
  • SDR receiver
  • Antennae
  • 1280×480 touchscreen
data blaster strapped to forearm of maker
Wear your data blaster with pride

Handles make the cyberdeck nice and portable. Console cowboys can also use them to flip the deck up onto their forearm and easily “jack in” to cyberspace.

Rules around which keyboard you can use on a legitimate cyberdeck are pretty tight. It can’t be touchscreen (because that means it’s a tablet); however, it can’t fold away on a hinge either (because that makes it a laptop). Enter Raspberry Pi 400, a computer built into a mechanical keyboard about the length of an adult forearm. Perfect.

The SDR receiver means that users are cyber snooping-ready, while the head-mounted display provides a cyberpunk design flourish. That display acts as a second screen alongside the mini touchscreen. You can drag anything from the main display into sight on the headgear.

Authentic cyberpunk aesthetic

A lot of trial and error with a 3D printer finally yielded a faceplate that allows the screen and headgear to fit in perfectly. Zack also designed and printed all the flair and logos you see stuck around the cyberdeck. LEDs make the decorative filament fluoresce. Integrated pegs keep all the wiring neat – an inspired practical addition.

Rear view of the underside of the data blaster
The underside of the data blaster

Here are all the STL files if you’d like to create your own cyberdeck. And the design files let you take a closer look at a 3D render of Zack’s creation.

We saved the best bit for last: not only can you play Doom on the Voidstar Data Blaster, you can play it on the wearable display. Stay punk.


miguel vasquez avatar

This guy rules. I watch all his videos!
Amazing builds!

Howard avatar

That looks like a membrane keyboard to me, not a mechanical one!

Gary avatar

I see height on the keys, and it’s a build for a Pi 400.

Jz80 avatar

Would be cooler with openBSD. When will their be official openBSD support on the raspberry pi? Perhaps a raspberry pi openBSD kernel.

NascentMaker avatar

I’ve been using Manjaro with Sway, and it’s fast and responsive on the Pi 400.

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