Pi-Cast is an IP KVM that allows you to connect keyboards, displays, and mouses over the network. It supports all features of the PiKVM platform, including USB simulation and HDMI streaming. Pi-Cast also provides the ability to cast any HDMI source to your iPad, iPhone, Mac, Android device, or any other platform with support for USB Ethernet. It does so at full bandwidth, using a single USB Type-C cable, and without the need for networking equipment of any kind. And it’s tiny. Thanks to its Raspberry Pi 4B form factor, it measures just 85 x 56 x 15 mm. That gives it a footprint smaller than that of a credit card and makes it the most compact PiKVM device on the market.
The traditional way of connecting directly to a CM4, without a network router or switch, would be to turn the CM4’s OTG-enabled USB port into an RNDIS-compatible network card and connect it to your computer directly. Unfortunately, that solution prevents you from taking advantage of one of the device’s most useful features, USB-device simulation, which allows you to emulate keyboards, CD-Rom drives, mass-storage devices, etc.
The other solution would be turn your CM4 into a hotspot, but that only works for Wi-Fi-enabled models and is vulnerable to network instability and other such issues. Using Pi-Cast’s onboard USB 3.0 Gigabit Ethernet, you can avoid these compromises by connecting directly to your CM4 through a simple USB Type-C cable.
If you want to deploy Pi-Cast in a data center, server room, or rack, you might want to connect it to a regular RJ45 port. Thanks to the onboard signal-multiplexer chipset, all you have to do is flip a DIP switch to route the CM4’s Gigabit Ethernet signal between the onboard USB 3.0 Ethernet chipset and the external pin header used to connect to the Pi-Cast HAT.
Want to develop your own HAT? No problem! We will release the symbols and footprint of our Pi-Cast HAT design.
Many of you have asked, in the PiKVM Reddit forum, if there is a way of multiport switching ATX control signals when using a KVM switch. Historically, the answer has been no, but Pi-Cast makes this possible. It is a two-port KVM switch capable of handling ATX signals as well as those for HDMI and USB. You can control the switch in either of two ways: through GPIO or using an EZCOO-compatible USB serial-port control protocol.
To make Pi-Cast even more flexible, we have also manufactured a USB 3.0 expansion board with an M.2 B Key as one of the USB 3.0 interfaces. By inserting an LTE/5G card into that M.2 interface, you can give your Pi-Cast access to mobile data! This expansion board also provides three USB 3.0 Type-A ports for connecting USB thumb drives and other such devices.
|Pi-Cast||PiKVM v4 Plus||PiKVM v4 Mini||PiKVM v3 HAT||TinyPilot KVM||BliKVM HAT||BliKVM CM4||BliKVM PCIe|
|Support Board||CM4 (and 4B or Zero 2W with adapter)||CM4||CM4||4B||4B||4B||CM4||CM4|
|ATX power control||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|USB insertion & removal simulation||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Frame rate||1080p @ 60 Hz or 1920x1200 @ 60 Hz||1080p @ 60 Hz or 1920x1200 @ 60 Hz||1080p @ 60 Hz or 1920x1200 @ 60 Hz||1080p @ 50 Hz||1080p @ 50 Hz||1080p @ 50 Hz||1080p @ 50 Hz||1080p @ 60 Hz|
|OLED display||Yes||Yes||Yes||Additional cost||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|USB 3.0 Gigabit Ethernet||Yes||No||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Open hardware||Schematic available||No||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Size||8.8 x 5.7 x 1.5 cm||Unkonwn||Unknown||8.9 x 8.9 x 5.1 cm||9.1 x 6.1 x 4.4 cm||9.7 x 6.7 x 2.5 cm||12 x 7 x 2.3 cm||Unknown|
We have designed enclosures for six different Pi-Cast configurations:
While the PiKVM software is open source, most available hardware for it is not. We would like to contribute to PiKVM maintainability, hackability, and transparency. Once our campaign has reached its funding goal, we will publish our schematics for Pi-Cast and for both of our expansion boards. We will also publish the firmware for our KVM switch.
You can sign up at the top of this page to be notified when the campaign launches and to receive other updates. We work hard to ensure that only useful information is sent out, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
HackerGadgets is an open electronic hardware design team based in Guangzhou, China. We focus on open source hardware, including consulting on embedded systems design and hardware manufacturing. HackerGadgets is passionate and actively committed to Open Source projects and electronics education.
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