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Science

This homemade Star Trek Tricorder is powered by a Raspberry Pi

By Corbin Davenport April 16, 2021, 3:08 pm

One of the most iconic devices from the science fiction universe of Star Trek is the Tricorder, a handheld device often used for scanning, analysis, and recording. There have been many officially-licensed toy Tricorders and Tricorder-themed phone cases over the years, but one dedicated tinkerer has made his own functional clone.

Imgur user Himmelen has posted photos of his homemade Tricorder, showing off a 3D-printed folding device that looks much like the prop from Star Trek shows and films (via HackADay). The top section has a small LCD screen and a USB port, while the lower half has a working button panel and another display.

“This is a fully custom cyberdeck-ish project ive been building during the pandemic that I’ve styled after a Tricorder from Star Trek,” the creator said in a Reddit thread. He mentioned the device is powered by a Raspberry Pi Zero, a small single-board computer, fitted with a GPS module and NESDR RTL-SDR radio. The keyboard alone is an impressive achievement, as it’s connected to an external Arduino Nano (another single-board device) that handles input, then sends the results to the Raspberry Pi.

If you want to check out all the photos, head on over to the full Imgur album. The Reddit thread also has a few more comments from the creator on the build process.

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