Project Cyberdeck v0.0.2: pruning the rat king

Did you know that you can’t find a true USB-C hub that powers all downstream ports while also supporting DisplayPort alt video out for less than $130?

I’ve also learned that the LattePanda 3 does not in fact support DP Alt mode on its USB-C port? I suspect that due to expecting USB-C to provide power, and the sheer rarity of the appropriate all-in-one hubs that are capable of delivering power and exfiltrating video over the same port, the LP’s designers didn’t bother to do video out. I confirmed this with both Windows and Linux, and neither behaved correctly. Tragedy.

So I bought a powered HDMI to USB-C adapter that can do the video trick and also deliver the 5W of power that the NReal Airs demand. It didn’t work, and it’s going back. It somehow draws the top of the video out at the bottom of the screen, which is just Not Going To Work.

I’ve also consolidated the rat king down a bit with this adapter, dropping the bulky (battery-containing!) special NReal HDMI-to-USB-C adapter.

The OWC Thunderbolt hub works perfectly, and I’ve even sourced a USB-C-to-barrel-connector kit that lets me power the hub from the power brick. This will complicate the ultimate packaging job in that I’ll need some way to turn power to the hub off to keep it from draining the battery when not in active use.

Someone stop me from designing my own single-board computer for the love of God.

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