MSG Cyberdeck v2


MSG Cyberdeck v2

This is an update to the MSG Cyberdeck introduced last summer.



Main changes are:

  • Improved air flow: the Noctua fan has been moved to the top, creating a natural upwards flow between the NUC and Pi
  • Back bay has been made a little more spacious to protect the Micro SD card at the end of the pi zero
  • Internal space has been redone to reduce the number of walls and increase space between parts. That made assembly and maintenance much easier. For example now you can take the keyboard out and put it back in without removing the NUC unit
  • Hinges have been redone to make them work better. They are still 3D printed, but the nut is now hidden
  • Right side panel has been simplified. Mini Black Hacker Hat has been replaced with a Hat Hacker Hat and the eink has been separated from the bottom panel. In the prior version there were ~50 solder joints on the panel to the right of the 7 inch LCD. Now there are none, making the assembly and maintenance much easier. It is also much easier now to unplug any parts for testing/debugging or to plug parts that would have conflicted with the SPI or I2C pins
  • LCD panel has been upgraded to a QLED version with toughened glass. Looks better, is thicker that's all I noticed
  • (Pending) Upgraded strap using fancier webbing and hardware.
  • The power plug for the NUC has been moved to the back
  • The power for the pi was previously working off the NUC, charging as the NUC was on. That limited the portability of the unit, since once the pi was out of batteries it depended on the nuc finding a 19V source to charge. Now the Pi powering is independent from that of the NUC. A barrel jack on the right side allows to charge the pi. I custom made a barrel jack - USB A cable so i can charge the NUC from any USB pack
  • Several parts have been “sculpted” for example the kvm switch now sits tight on an indentation and it is bolted to the bottom plate for extra protection
  • A 3 line indented pattern was added to the plate behind the keyboard, purely artsy stuff I came up with. Similarly I added a D-Loop screw behind the mirror to clip stuff there.
  • My wife made a very fancy and comfortable new strap for it, we will all agree that it looks great!
  • Many more small changes to the 3D Design, basically to address issues I had assembling it or using it during the first few months I had it


Most of the parts are the same as in the V1, the ones that have been changed are:

For convenience here are the list of the parts that stayed the same:


Main Components:

  • NUC (sleek chassis) - without a doubt the biggest money pit in the whole build, up there with buying the prusa to 3dprint the case. You can swap it for the i3. I actually bought one and used it for testing. Or you could even bypass the whole nuc business and use the space for extra batteries and have a pi deck that runs for a couple of days.
  • RAM - NUC Kit doesn't come with it, make sure to buy a compatible one since it is smaller than the regular sticks
  • Hard Drive - again, the NUC kit doesn't come with that, I went with an NVME because it is snappy and doesn't add any volume to the build.
  • raspberry pi 4b - I am using the 4GB of RAM one here, but it really comes down to what you are trying to do with it.
  • planck keyboard - Bought one of those around the summer of 2019 and it has been my main driver since. When thinking on which one to use on my deck I went with more of the same. My “other” one is the EZ that comes ready to use, here I went for a more assembled version, since I wanted to keep flexibility on some things, I may replace the aluminum enclosure with a 3d printed one to make room for taller caps. stay tuned.
  • x728 18650 ups
  • 2 port kvm switch
  • 18650 batteries (2x) - I have 4 of those, 2 is not really enough to get the thing going for a day. I will try to find room to add the other 2 at some point. That said, those are the highest capacity ones I saw around.
  • micro dot phat
  • Retrocution usb hub - tinties hub I've seen, works pretty well. We use that because the kvm only gives 2 ports, one for the keyboard and one for the mouse. We break the one for the mouse to also provide a usb port for the lcd touch panel.
  • Zealio zilent switches - I tried using some trash pandas from novelkeys, but the box under the keyboard acts as an echo chamber and makes them way to loud. zilents are ok.
  • keycaps - the current build fits DSA profile (which i got form the on sale section of sa plastics), but I plan on adjusting it to accommodate cherry profiles since I am waiting on the GMK laser from last Drop.
  • Prusament pla for main parts
  • SpiderMaker pla for accents
  • hat hacker hat - That tops the tower of Pi hats, it actually helps holding the 18650s in place too. I don't really use the exposed gpio there, but that could change, maybe a DHT11….
  • paracord for usb cable - vanity thing, but why not. There is some usb cable exposed to run the lcd screen and touch panel, so I went ahead and did a custom sleeveing there.
  • female usb panel mount
  • hook for strap
  • 2.13 inch eInk screen
  • pico hat hacker
  • 6 inch HDMI Cable for NUC
  • 16mm push button for SWX
  • 16MM push button for RPI
  • 16MM push button for NUC
  • Noctua 40mm 5v fan - Make sure to buy a 10mm version that works off 5V. I am not using PWM, but you could use that to control the speed via the Raspberry Pi.
  • hdmi cable for taspberry pi
  • usb female jack
  • 1ft HDMI cable for the screen
  • D-ring for strap
  • 90 degree angle for power cord


Screws & Co:


All the updated STL files can be found at Thingiverse and Prusa

The code used to run the eink and MicroDot can be found at my GitHub.