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Turn Your Pi-Top V2 into a smartphone laptop dock for Samsung S8 or later, Note 8 or later or Huawei Mate 10 Pro or later.


A mini-project to look at other uses for Pi-Top by substituting the Raspberry Pi with some other bits of hardware.

If you try this yourself, you do so at YOUR OWN RISK and I cannot be held responsible for any damage caused etc.

This is made up of:

  1. Pi-Top V2
  2. USB-C dock with HDMI out, USB x2 and USB-C power in - make sure it's compatible with Samsung DeX
  3. Low profile USB extension - this will connect 1 port on the dock to the keyboard connector
  4. Low profile (FPV) HDMI female to HDMI male (30 cm) cable - this connects the HDMI output of the dock to the input on the Pi-Top V2 board
  5. Low profile dual USB hub (vertical configuration) - this will provide 2 additional USB ports on the back - plugs into 2nd port on the USB-C dock
  6. USB-A to USB-C cable - the USB-A bit will be cut off and 5V and GND feeds from the GPIO pins of the bridge will be connected the + and GND cables in the cable
  7. Cable to connect GPIO pin 9 (GND) to another GND pin (39)
  8. Some Insulation tape - this will hold down cables and be used to cover 


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Here's the internal layout of the prototype - it needs some work to tidy it up!

The insulation tape is mainly to keep cables away from the keyboard as it slides up except for the USB extension cable (I have had to remove the shroud around the socket), the GPIO pins and the USB hub for the additional USB sockets.


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Additional work to do:

1. Speakers - somehow I need to add some speakers using USB here.

2. Battery level - anyone have a circuit which shows battery level via LEDs? - there is no Raspberry Pi in the case, just the electronics for the USB -C dock etc.

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I've now added a USB-C socket to the rear of the device so that you don't have a cable coming out of it - you plug a double-ended USB-C cable into the socket and the phone.

It's a much tidier arrangement.

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And here is an updated shot of the internals with the USB-C socket in place - this has been implemented using a USB-C coupler, right-angle USB-C adapter and short extension cable.

Now USB-C to USB-C cable is used to connect the phone to the Pi-Top and can be unplugged when not in use.



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And here is a video of the dock in action



Nice work with this conversion. I'm thinking of doing a similar one to connect my Surface Pro 2 to Pi-Top.

What are the minimal conditions to be able to turn the Pi-Top on without an actual Raspberry connected to it? Is it just enough to connect Pin 9 and 39 on the bridge? Or should a device be on the HDMI or USB too?



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How did you connect the keyboard?



As my S8 has a badly broken screen and I do not want to give Samsung the reward of purchasing such a fragile screen again I also want to repurpose my S8 as a S8-top! I was wondering what happened to the DEX dock: is it not needed? Is a powered USB-c dock with DEX support enough to trick the S8 to enter 'DEX-mode'?

I tried to connect the 9 pin to the 39 pin having a device on the HDMI but no luck. Still a red light. Do I need to do something more?

As someone suggested (I can't find the reply here, maybe he deleted it so I won't name him), I had to connect the pin 9 with the pin 39 AND connect one of the USB to a PC. Now it booted with a green light and I can use the keyboard and touchpad from the PC. But I can see any Image at all, the screens are on because I see light but it's completely black.

It would be nice to have a simple kit from pi-top (I would pay) that replaces the solid bridge with a cable and maybe with a USB extensor with a low profile and a more flexible cable.

The reason of the flexible cable (like in the pi-top v1) is because that way I can have bigger heatsinks/fans on the raspberry to keep it cooled when I use it for gaming or programming. And being flexible helps us to use as a second screen and makes easier to connect the pins.

It even works with Android Q Desktop Mode (native desktop in Android Q Beata 3 on Essential PH1 shown here).


The USB connector at the back of the Pi-Top (on the back left hand side as you view it) needs to be connected to one of the USB sockets in the USB-C hub via a USB extension cable (the orange wire). I had to carefully remove the platic shroud at one end so it wouldn't stop the keyboard sliding up.

The other USB socket on the USB-C hub was connected to a mini-USB hub (two sockets, one on top of the other) - again the shroud was removed carefully to fit and this sat under the heatsink.

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