Tinfoil Haberdashery's SRT SEAX
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Tinfoil Haberdashery's SRT SEAX

Dec 03, 2023

Pseudonymous maker "Tinfoil Haberdashery" has built a pleasingly over-engineered controller for first-person view (FPV) drone racing — housing an entire Microsoft Windows-compatible computer in its chunky handheld chassis: the SRT SEAX-86.

"This is my latest build, based off of the same concept as the SRT SE/A-X," Haberdashery explains, referring to an earlier build which was powered by a Raspberry Pi single-board computer [SBC]. "The biggest difference is that instead of an Arm SBC, this uses an x86 board, the Rock Pi X. It runs Windows 10 at an astonishingly low 6 watts, which, with the 100 watt-hour battery in this bad boy, should keep it going a LONG time."

The deck's design is optimized for use as a drone controller. There's a modular dispalay system which chips to the top of the board, or there's a tip-ring-ring-sleeve (TRRS) connection for analog video to an external monitor. If neither appeal, there's another trick up the system's sleeve: wireless video transmission. "The HDMI output of the board is converted to analog video and can be output to a display either by a TRRS cable or over 5.8GHz analog video," Haberdashery explains. "This works great with my FPV goggles."

In its default configuration, the device's modular expansion bays, one to each side, are filled with a radio control system for direct drone control. "More modules are inbound including keyboards, software defined radios, etc.," the maker explains, "but the telecommand radio could probably run for over 24 hours off of the internal battery and can connect to the PC through the module bay to reprogram in the field. The PC is also loaded up with configurators for things like Betaflight, iNav, and Ardupilot Mission Planner."

The chassis is 3D-printed from carbon-infill ABS, offering what Haberdashery calls a "delightfully chunky" feel, with low-cost D-sub connectors used for expansion. "They provide 3.7v, 5v, and each one also has data + and - for a USB port. I chose them because they're cheap, easy to source, and have a LOT of conductors for their size. You can also just use a VGA cable with a gender change adapter on one end as an extension."

More information is available on Haberdashery's Reddit post.