An Open-Source Banana Pi/Guitar Tablet

2594 An Open-Source Banana Pi/Guitar Tablet

Predicted Finishing Date : 31 January 2016

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1. Project Background :
This project aims to create an open-source tablet out of a Banana Pro (or Guitar), the 7" touchscreen that goes along with it and many items openly available to the public at places like Amazon and Ebay. The tablet will feature at it's core the Banana Pro/Guitar with other peripherals such as the camera module all housed in a custom-built acrylic case with a custom-built Linux operating system to power it. 

2. Project Content:
I'm a Junior in High School living in Hawaii who just wants to tinker and make his own electronics rather than buying "off-the-shelf" items. I could of course buy a tablet for much cheaper but making one and the prospect of seeing the finished product that I worked so hard on lured me to uptake the challenge. The Banana Pro/Guitar offers the horsepower to contend with modern day tablets (much more than the Raspberry Pi!) and it's very small form factor is perfect for the job. I don't have the tools, skills or the money to create my own PCB's, so the project will have to rely on electronics/circuits that I can purchase online. The operating system will be custom made (the foundation being Arch Linux) with tests already being done on a Raspberry Pi that I own. The Desktop Manager, Window Manager, basically the whole GUI will be programmed and assembled by me and will be open for download to the public once I'm finished. The housing for the tablet will be a custom-built black acrylic case (my school has a CNC Router!); giving it a sleek look and making it something I would be proud to showoff to my friends.

3. Project Schedule :
I've been wanting to do this for so long but the increasing surge of Single Board Computers has given me the necessary community and documentation to finally take it up. Step one has already been completed, which is to choose the SBC that would power the tablet, the battery, cables, acrylic to make the case etc. Step two would be to order all the materials and wait for their arrival whilst working on the operating system. Step three would be to assemble the tablet and create an appropriate acrylic case for it. Step four would be to install Arch Linux on the Banana Pro/Guitar and create my own sort of "custom-distro" to power the tablet (I have already created my own desktop managers, window managers etc. for Arch Linux on different platforms). Finally, Step Five would be to document my project and create a tutorial on sites such as Hackaday and Instructables to help other "would-be" adventurers to take up the project. It is important to note that this project is an ongoing one as I will constantly be revising my tablet with better hardware and software throughout the rest of my high school and into my college years. 

4. Project Advantages
This project has the very clear advantage to give me experience in the field I want to major in (Computer Science) along with a custom-built computer that I know in-and-out to program (C++ all the way!) and test on. I will possibly gain credibility in the online DIY communities, although I'm not after fame or the like and I will promote the finished project along with the LeMaker hardware on the YouTube Channel I will start documenting my progress (I will post a thread on the forums!). To put it simply, the advantages from this project (personal satisfaction and pride) will be shared online for all to experience and try out for themselves!