EOMA68 Computing Devices

An Earth-friendly way to easily upgrade and fix your own computer

Jul 05, 2016

Project update 2 of 75

Standalone Computer Cards

by Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton

While a Computer Card can certainly slot into the micro desktop and laptop housings, it can also be run on its own with the addition of a some basic cabling. Specifically, the two things you need to run a Computer Card in standalone mode are:

  1. A Micro HDMI (Type D) cable and an HDMI monitor to plug into.
  2. A USB-OTG host cable that also provides power to the host. More on this below.

The HDMI cable is easy enough to come by and shouldn’t be too expensive, but a USB-OTG cable that provides power to the host and allows peripheral devices to connect to the host is a bit trickier. Searching for "OTG Simulcharge" turns up some \$40 options and reports of them quickly failing. Instead, we’ve found a little OTG adapter that’s apparently \$2 retail. We’ll test it, take it apart, see how it works, and so on.

Once we’ve tracked down a reliable HDMI cable + USB-OTG adapter pair, we’ll offer it for sale through the campaign. You could of course find and buy these yourself but we figured it would be nice to have something where we’ve pre-tested it.

Please let us know if you’d like to help find and evaluate USB-OTG adapters or have experience (good or bad) with any particular make or model. Many people find that USB-OTG adapters can either charge the host or connect devices like keyboard and mouse. We need both, just not for $40 and not with questionable reliability. As usual, you can get in touch with us by clicking the "Ask EOMA68 a Question" button near the bottom of the campaign page.

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