Project Update 07/04/19: Raspberry Pi Keytar

I’ve been a bit busy lately, but I am gradually making progress.

After the last update, I realized I had more components that I might be keeping, but needed to remove for when I paint the case.  I think this bit was some sort of capacitive input for they keytar.  I’m keeping it 1) because i need something to plug the whole it was in and 2) because I’d like to see if I could figure out how to use it for something one day.Capacitive Bar.jpg

Buttons to plug holes and/or be reused.Buttons.jpg

Here’s what the case looks like with most of the components removed.

Buttons Removed.jpg

I’ve also been taking a look at layout for the components with the Raspberry Pi, and finally gotten a screen to work.  I had to trade in the screen I had, and then order a combination of screen and case specifically for the Raspberry Pi 3 B+.

Working Pi.jpg

While I had the time on the 4th of July, I’ve also started working on some other things.  Here is picture of the current draft of my holder for the Pi inside it’s case.  I’ve been designing it in AutoDesk Fusion 360.  It’s supposed to allow me to put the Pi on the keytar while still being able to remove it if necessary, and allow for airflow.  I still need to figure out where I want to put the screws to mount it to the overall case, and put the appropriate holes in this case and the keytar.

Pi Holder.jpg

I also stopped by Home Depot to pick up parts so I could make some progress… and I need to do some rethinking.  I eyeballed the part I was planning to use for the keyboard tray.  Let’s just say… it’s thicker than I thought and the space for it is shallower than I thought.  I really should have measured that and taken it with me.  Now the top of the keyboard extends above the keytar case instead of being within it.  I need to pick a different material (I’m currently using PVC board) and get it cut to fit.  I guess I’ll just put something to cover up where the hinge screws are going to punch through, unless I decide to keep the ridiculously thick tray.

keyboard tray fail.jpg

If I keep it, here’s what it looks like.

current look.jpg

I have already slightly sanded the exterior to aid in later repainting, and I’ve got the paints on standby.  Black paint/primer, glossy clear coat, and matte clear coat.  I’m still deciding whether I want the eventual stickers to be sealed in by the clear coats, or to put them on the exterior of all the paint like it would normally be done.

Upcoming work:

Making up my mind on and purchasing the components for the internal electronics.

Figuring out how to have the power wires exit the case.

Completing the design of the screen holder and 3d printing it.  The design still needs screw holes, mounting points for a cover for the ribbon cable and the hole the wires are coming out of, and possibly a wedge of material to be attached as additional support behind the computer in the area where it overhangs the case.



Raspberry Pi Keytar

As you’ve seen references to before, I’ve been fiddling with a Raspberry Pi.  I was gonna use the case I posted, but the case is not designed well, and I decided to go another route.

I’ve going through a lot of cyberpunk stuff lately, so I thought I’d make my own “cyberdeck,” or at least a semi-functional prop of one.    I figured the idea would be that a decker or console cowboy character might want to be able to somewhat hide in plain sight… at least in a cyberpunk world.  In this heavily 80s inspired environment, they might try to hide their portable cyberdeck as an instrument for when they need to duck into a crowd and disappear.  What better instrument than a keytar?

I did some looking around, and I couldn’t find a keytar within a price range that I’d feel comfortable tearing it apart.  Also, it needed to have just enough space for the keyboard I had already gotten for the Pi.  I did find this, a keytar controller built for the rockband games.  Not even $30 at a secondhand store.

Unopened Keytar

Conveniently, it came with a strap for carrying.Keytar Strap.jpg

Here’s the case with the cover off.  I had to cut some of the wires to get it open.  They must have snapped the connectors in while closing it up, but I was unable to pull them apart, and I’m not planning on reusing most of them.  The ones I thought I might try to figure out later I cut, but left a lot of wire dangling.


Here is the case with the white keys removed.  Starting to reveal some of the underlying components.

White Keys Removed.jpg

This part threw me off.  Apparently the keys had some sort of silicone based lubricant on them, which.  I wasn’t so sure about it, so I used gloves to remove some of the internal components.


Like I said, gloves.  I didn’t want to mess around with it.


Here is the case closed back up after removing most components.  The components that remain attached are ones I’m considering keeping or modifying for the casemod.


Here’s the case with just the keyboard in it.  It’s loose, but I think I can fab up some pieces to hold the keyboard in place.


Now that I’ve ripped the case open, here’s the general arrangement I’m trying to get to.

Concept Arrangement.jpg

I’ve still got quite a long way to go, and I’m figuring out a lot as I go along.  I’m going to be asking around in my circles to figure things as I go.  I’m just learning the Pi, so that’s becoming an interesting journey by itself, and I haven’t done much painting or casemodding before.  This thing is probably going to come out rough, but I think I’m gonna have fun with it.  One of the hard parts is going to be remembering “better is the enemy of good enough.”  I keep thinking of more things that could be done on it, and I’m having to make myself write a list labelled “MK II.”

Monoprice Select Mini Pro Maintenance

My printer has been sounding a bit odd lately, so I figured I probably needed to do some maintenance on it.  This is the main/most appropriate video that I referenced before getting started.  No, it’s not mine, but it was very helpful.

Yes, I have a slightly different model (the monoprice select mini pro, rather than a v1 or v2), but it’s essentially the same printer.  Having watched the video, I almost wish the newer model still used the knob instead of the touchscreen.  Big fingers on a tiny touchscreen is not always the best.

I mostly ended up just blowing everything out with some canned air, and lubricated all the moving contact points.  The stuff in the vertical column is hard to reach.  I don’t think I’ve used precisely the correct lubricants, but they are what I had on hand from working on my other 3d printer previously.  I used white lithium grease in a spray can (with a straw on it) for the inaccessible pieces, and sewing machine oil on the accessible parts.  Cleared up the squeaking on one of the belt pulleys right away.  I still need to do some prints to test out whether it’s made the sounds that bothered me go away, and work the lubricant onto the surfaces.

Here’s what the printer looks and sounds like after I’ve done my maintenance.

The little spinny satellite dish is what I used as a test print after maintenance.  It amuses me.  If you want one, you can find the file here:

Monoprice Select Mini Rotating Communication Dish

The printer still seems to make a few noises that slightly concern me, but I’m not concerned enough that I need to take action.  The fan on the print head makes a bit more noise than it should sometimes, which I can usually quiet by tapping on it.  I’ve seen some people recommend lubricating it… but I don’t see a point that I can get the lube onto, even after pulling it off the print head!  I’ll have to consider this further.

FNAF Movie

So, I was chatting with some people earlier today, and remembered that every so often we hear about a Five Nights at Freddy’s movie.  We’ve probably all seen movie adaptations of games where they lost the essence of the game, but I think that FNAF could be good if done right.

I don’t know a way to communicate this to Scott Cawthon or anyone else who would be involved in such a project, but here is my outline of what I think would be a decent start for a Five Nights at Freddy’s movie.  Yes, it’s rough, but I think an outline similar to this could make a pretty good movie.  Preferably PG-13.  Also, yes, I know I’m not a screenwriter or movie producer, so obviously stuff would change, I just felt like including some of the details that I could visualize clearly.  This would not be fully canonical to the games (lots of details are wrong according to later games), but it should get across a simplified version of the story, before much more of the lore was added.


Start with the protagonist (let’s call him Mike Schmidt) as a child.

Introduce their friends.  The introduction should include some recognizable quirk (example: Mike gets a catch phrase that he says in front of their friends, possibly while play fighting a certain way)

The group goes to a large birthday party at Freddy Fazbear’s.

The friends disappear one by one over the party.

Mike looks for them, and sees a back room, just as the front plate of one of the animatronic suits is closed by a guy in the night security guard uniform.  The guy turns towards the kid (face cut out of the frame) and starts moving towards him, maybe trying to lure him back too.  Before the guard gets there, one of the parents whisks Mike away, telling him it’s time to go, not seeing the menacing man.

Later that evening Mike hears his parents talking with the frantic parents of his friends, not knowing where their kids are.  The next day his parents move out of town in a panic, not wanting their son to disappear like the other kids did.  Mike gets an ominous glimpse of the security guard.

Jump years forward, to Mike having grown up and moved back to town (my ideal casting would be Chris Pratt, but I doubt they’d get him).  He’s gone to therapy and possibly repressed some of the memories.  He’s desperate for money, so he accepts a job as a night security guard at a new Freddy’s location, reopened years after closing after the missing children incident.

He needs to have a moment of doubt when he sees the uniform, but not know why.

The new location has both new and old animatronics in it.  The first night or two should be terrifying for him, and needs to include some of the phone guy tapes.  This section should be very reminiscent of the early games in the series.

After a few nights of learning things, and getting past the horror and panic, he’s mastered the job to the point of enjoying it, similar to Night at the Museum after the new guard figured out what to do to keep everything together.

Make a montage of scenes like these:

Note: Some of these don’t work at every FNAF location, so it might require hybridizing locations 1 and 2.

“Bad dog!”  as he flashes the flashlight at Mangle to get him to back off.

“Not today!” as he shuts the electric doors in the face of an animatronic.

Spinning around in the chair with the Freddy mask on, shooing the animatronics away.

Tossing batteries to balloon boy so he doesn’t drain the flashlight’s batteries.

He gets to one night (probably night 4), though, where his carefully prepped defenses are messed up.  Someone else has been in the restaurant in his areas, and messed with his tricks and traps.

The animatronics start to get to him, and in the process his badge gets ripped off.  A bit later he gets cornered by Freddy himself, backed up by the other original electronics.  In a last ditch attempt, Mike attempts to fight, using the ridiculous move and catchphrase from earlier in the movie, but bounces off in pain.

The animatronics stop, and Freddy whispers Mike’s name, questioningly, then backs off, and Mike gets away.

At some point (probably night 5) Mike finds out that the killer is back in the building, and another kid has disappeared (maybe her mother called the restaurant, frantically looking for her).  He frees her from where she has been locked into a suit in a back room, and he ends up having to fight the killer, maybe dodging him around the building.

At some point Mike pieces the clues together that the original suits are possessed by the ghosts of the original missing children.  The killer is aware of this as well, and wants to try to create more, having learned of this crazy supernatural power.

The killer tries to engineer a situation where the suits kill Mike… but Mike is able to get them to remember him, and realize that the other guy is the one who killed them.

In his terror, the killer runs back to the Springtrap suit, trying to use it to disguise himself from the robots.  Once he does so, he might start disabling the other suits.

Mike, recalling the training tapes about springlock suits, gets Springtrap to be exposed to water, triggering the springlocks to release, killing Springtrap just before he can kill Mike (off-screen, while Mike flinches).

Mike shoves Springtrap’s corpse into a hidden section of the building.  The place gets shut down again, and abandoned.  As the owner turns off lights and closes the building up, the camera pulls off from following him and looks into a gap in the wall, where the Springtrap suit is stashed.  The eyes of the animatronic flash purple as the scene fades.

New Project Preview

So… I’m trying to build my first Raspberry Pi, and put in a case that I am 3D printing.  Supposedly it was snap fit.

How do you think that is going, based on the tools I have out?

Maybe it’s snap-fit when printed using SLA instead of FDM, but i’m having to carefully apply force at connection points, and edit others with the chisels.  I’m going to have to be really careful with this thing, and probably won’t be able to modify this thing after finally getting it in the case.  Adhesive may be required.

Preliminary Learning Goals

I want to up my game with my technomancy, so it’s time to educate myself more. This list is not fully prioritized or paced yet, but here’s what I currently have my eye on:

Raspberry Pi: I’d like to build a few projects using a Raspberry Pi, but I haven’t gotten around to doing one yet. There are all sorts of cool cases that can be 3D printed for them…. now I just need to find a use case for it.

Simplify3D: I need to learn how to make full used of this slicer software. I’ve been doing pretty well with it, but I recently found out that I’ve been doing something suboptimally, which costs more in print material, wear and tear, and most especially in time. Learning the software more thoroughly should help me save time and be able to print more.

Autodesk Fusion 360: I need to up my 3D modelling game for mechanical parts. I’ve got designs in my head, but I’m still unfamiliar enough with this software that it’s not always easy to render them quickly.

Potential Training:

OBS Studio: I’d like to share some of my gaming, particularly my VR gaming. Letting people see what I see in the hobby. Who knows, I might start posting some videos on a few topics I find interesting.

Potential Training:

Blender: For designing 3D models for prints and for possible game design.

Potential Training:

Unity Engine: For programming games in VR later.

Potential Training:

VR Game Design: I’ve got a couple game concepts I’d like to try to make.

Potential Training:

SCA Fencing Recertification: I used to be certified to fight in SCA fencing combat, but I didn’t attend for a while for various reasons. I want to start going to practice again, and re-up my certification.

Relevance: Gotta be ready when you run out of spell slots.

Japanese Language: I want to visit Japan at some point. I don’t wanna be fully dependent on my tech to navigate and survive. … and yes, it would be nice to be able to understand anime that hasn’t been dubbed in English without reading subtitles.

Relevance: Tech is great, but you gotta be able to survive if it doesn’t work properly.

Maintained by Adept Ral