MrMalto4

New Member
Hello to everyone reading my first post on THERPF,

Today I will be sharing with all of you my version of the Pip-Boy 2000 MK VI, using the base kit made by The Wand Company, and highly inspired by both YourGeekFix (Jeromy) and Esso Bregor (Roger Bosse).

This project started out after seeing a random video online for the Pip-Boy 3000 Bluetooth Edition, to be more specific, what caught my eye was a video about the USB Holotape that came with this collectors edition Pip-Boy, which got me to then investigate the actual Pip-Boy and "re-spark" my interest in the Fallout Universe and wanting to "own part of it". I have always loved the Fallout universe, I started with Fallout 3 in 2008, and ever since then I have been hooked to the Post-Apocalyptic setting of Fallout.

Now, I could go on for quite a while about my love of Fallout, but thats not what this post is about (and I feel that it would be way too long). Aaaanyways, getting back on track, after looking around at the Pip-Boy 3000 Bluetooth Edition, I saw that many people reported the same issue, that the screen stopped working after a while, or that it would just stop turning on, some of the reasons that it stopped being sold. Seeing that I couldn't, and didn't really want to risk, buying this version, I decided to look around at other options, and that is when I found The Wand Company's version of the Pip-Boy 2000 MK VI.

I investigated the Pip-Boy 2000 MK VI, and started looking at modding videos on Youtube, people that took the base kit and decided to make it their own, adding custom paint-jobs, including bluetooth speakers, flashing screens, etc. (The video I watched quite a few times was from Punished Props Academy). Until I finally found YourGeekFix's video, specifically Part 1 of his Pip-Boy series. After watching the video "religiously", I finally found an unopened kit second-hand and bought it straight away, along with a BlackBerry Passport (specifically SWQ100-1 model).

After anxiously waiting for the BlackBerry Passport and Pip-Boy kit to arrive, I receive the BlackBerry Passport in the mail. Now, luckily the seller mentioned previously about the "BlackBerry 10 Services being shutdown". In theory you would think "I am not going to use any Blackberry Services, so I should be fine", and in some specific cases you may be right, but... if you so happen to receive a factory reset Blackberry Passport, you will most likely run into an issue when trying to get through the quick-setup. Cutting a long story short, when you get to a certain point, the phone tries to access BlackBerry servers in the background, and seeing as they are shutdown, it "locks" the phone in the quick-setup menu. Luckily, there is a relatively easy solution using BlackBerry Accesibility options.

So I now had my new BlackBerry phone, and shortly after, my Pip-Boy 2000 MK VI kit, so it was time to get started, after a photo session of me opening up the kit:

1657309494395.jpeg
1657309528497.jpeg


After the photo session, I decided to first start working on the BlackBerry Passport, following YourGeekFix's guides, managing to get the following:

1657310128567.jpeg


Success... or so I thought, little did past James know, that there was sooo much more waiting ahead. So, after getting to this point, I started working on the actual Pip-Boy 2000 kit, and eventually got the "Monitor" part to the point where I could try inserting the screen, and I found that the BlackBerry was slightly too big in order to fit the back plate on the Monitor:

1657310310288.jpeg


So, at this point in time, I was deciding to make my Pip-Boy 2000 slightly different from YourGeekFix's, I thought I could leave the original screen on the BlackBerry, turn it such that the USB port was out the right instead of the left (going through the right-side modules), after seeing the following project from Vinz. Vinz managed to get the Pip-Boy app to rotate using the Rotation APK, so I thought I could make use of this for my idea to avoid buying a second screen.

After cutting away at the BlackBerry's metal frame, the motherboard (slightly) and the Pip-Boy plastics, I managed to get the phone to fit inside of the Monitor (although it was an extremly snug fit):

1657310831506.png
1657310878478.png


Once I managed to fit the phone inside of the Monitor module, I sadly started to face the reality about the issues of having the USB facing the other modules, meaning I would need to really cut through most every module. So I decided to plan how to connect a second BlackBerry Screen just like in YourGeekFix's videos, and in the meanwhile, try moving on to the radio module, my thought process being "if I don't manage to get the phone working, I at least want a working speaker module to bluetooth my Fallout Playlist to".

So I managed to find an old small Bluetooth speaker laying around the house and started taking it apart. It was slightly larger than I thought, and just barely managed to fit inside the radio module, but I did manage to do so without making any major modifications:

1657311306921.png
1657312666585.png




Once I managed this small win, I decided to try going back to the screen, and my hot streak took a sharp turn.
I managed to find a cheap-ish BlackBerry screen online and ordered it. After 2 weeks of anxiously waiting for it to arrive, I receive the screen, the only thing is that it wasn't the screen advertised (if anyone else has seen YourGeekFix's videos, you should know that there are two types of Passport screens, one with a "back-plate" and one which is only the screen). I ordered the "only screen" and got the back-plate, which meant using a dremel to cut down the plastic around the ribbon cable until it was long enough to move around.
After finally getting everything ready, I take a moment to sit down and look at connecting the new screen to the motherboard, and I sadly make a slight mistake and fry the motherboard...

1657313115531.png


So, BlackBerry screen replacement 101, the ribbon cable on the screen can go on "the correct way" and "upside down". If you connect the screen correctly, all is good, if you connect it upside down, you break a perfectly fine phone and get extremly upset with yourself...

After going down a small downwards spiral, I manage to pick myself up and decide to take the phone to a repair shop to see if anything can be done (even though I was fairly sure it was quite dead). While the repair shop was looking at the phone, I decided to finish the Pip-Boy build with the bluetooth speaker mod, to see what the final project would look like (and try to cheer myself up)

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And I will leave you all on this Cliffhanger for now..., or at least until tomorrow when I should have enough time to finish writing up this small novel it seems I am preparing.

Thanks to all who read this far through, stay tuned for part two!

- James
 
Last edited:

MrMalto4

New Member
Hey everyone, so here is part two of this 3-4 month journey on this project.

So, after having built the Pip-Boy, I decided to leave the project for a few weeks, waiting for prices of second-hand BlackBerry Passports to go down and in the meanwhile, decide whether or not I wanted to continue with the project (I was still fairly scared about breaking another BlackBerry Passport).

One day, I saw a fairly priced BlackBerry Passport on ebay and it resparked my interest in the project. I decided to put off buying the phone at that moment, to properly investigate how difficult it would be to continue with the project. So I took the broken Passport with the extra screen that I bought, and continued with the project as if everything was still working fine, and this is where the issues started again.

I managed to get the second screen connected to the phone motherboard (not connecting it upside down this time) and proceeded to try and insert it into the Monitor module, but for whatever reason, it seemed that the second screen was too big for the monitor module. Watching YourGeekFix's videos over and over again, on 0.5x speed to see if I could catch anything I couldn't see previously, I still couldn't work out why the screen wouldn't fit. I decided to start slowly carving down part of the Monitor module insides to try and get it fit easier, but still no luck.

Finally, I decided to give up on the "taking apart a BlackBerry and buying more screens", and deciding to investigate other options as to how I could continue with the project, and that is when I remembered "Roger Bosse", he managed to modify his Pip-Boy to allow a fully intact Blackberry phone to be inserted without any issues.
I started to watch his 4 videos constantly, seeing all of the modified parts and debating whether it was worth "damaging" the Pip-Boy for this project, and after a long internal debate, I decided to buy a new BlackBerry Passport, and start modifying the Pip-Boy:

1657390485237.jpeg


Say hello to BlackBerry Passport number 2 (I am still 2 BlackBerry Passports away from beating YourGeekFix's record of broken BlackBerries).

I started with carving the Pip-Boy backplate to allow the BlackBerry passport to slide into the Pip-Boy (it was really trial and error, seeing how much I had to cut away to be able to insert the BlackBerry)

1657390709577.png


I also had to carve the inside of the Monitor module to allow the phone to fit "completly inside". I cut the top clips so that I could push the phone in slightly more, and the bottom clips to stop the back of the BlackBerry Passport from being scratched/damaged (I later decided to add an extra layer of protection to the BlackBerry using "sticky plastic" - will try and find a picture later). To then keep the two parts together after removing the clips, I used superglue, and to this day everything seems stable

1657390855566.png


I also decided to add in post a hole in the top of the Monitor module to allow access to the power button (at the moment it is a simple drilled hole to access, although I plan to make it look better with an actual button):

1657392474634.png


And here is how the BlackBerry should look like "inside" of the Monitor module:

1657390962803.png


**Note, in Roger Bosse's videos, he carves the entire backplate middle section out, but I felt that was a but much for me, so I decided to follow YourGeekFix and put a heat gun (my sisters hair dryer) against it, flatenning it afterwards... "subtly" with a mallet

1657392213673.jpeg


The final part I needed to modify was the Holotape module, which I was quite against modifying, seeing as it renders this whole part "unusable" if I make a mistake / an issue shows up further down the line. In any case, I powered through, and eventually got the following (sorry for the lack of photos/videos for this part, it was a fairly long day at the time, just trying to get everything done and working)

1657391412794.png
1657392748525.png


Here I followed YourGeekFix's video on "How to Disassemble the Pip-boy 2000 Kit Clock and Holotape Area", and removed both these two pieces used to push the Holotape out (first photo) along with these other two pieces that pushed the Holotape module part out (second photo)

1657391536905.png

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I then had to cut open the module to allow the BlackBerry Passport to fit inside, and decided to hold everything together with the default bolts and my good friend superglue.

With all of these pieces modified, it was time to go out and find nuts and bolts, specifically, I went out for 3x M5 15mm bolts with M5 nuts, and I was trying to find an M5 60mm bolt, but sadly couldn't find any around the house nor in a hardware shop, so I ended up using an M6 bolt that was long enough, and just drilled slightly larger holes in my Geiger counter module:

1657392028706.png


With all of the pieces in place, I started to rebuild the Pip-Boy with the new modifications, starting with the Monitor Module:

1657392079753.jpeg


And once I had this part done, it was "as easy" as connecting the right modules again, leaving me with the finished product:



1657392892753.jpeg


So that brings us to the end of this project for now, I will continue updating these posts to include more detailed information about the build, trying to add more detailed explanations, respond to any questions anyone may have, and add updates about future improvements - like possibly painting it to look more worn-down, adding lights to the radio module, etc. (although for now I am taking a little break just to appreciate what I managed to acomplish).

A big thank you to YourGeekFix and Roger Bosse again for all the information they supplied to help me make my Pip-Boy, and a big thanks to everyone that read all the way through my ramblings!

- James
 

MrMalto4

New Member
Very cool man!! I always wanted to do a pip-boy build. I will one day in the future i’m sure of it haha.
I highly recommend it! I think I overcomplicated the project quite a lot, but looking back on it, it only really requires a few modifications to the default kit to allow the BlackBerry to fit inside.

If you do end up doing a Pip-Boy build let me know!
 

MrMalto4

New Member
Hello again everyone, it has been a fair while since I last updated this post, but I can assure you all that I have been hard at work improving the custom PipBoy 2000 MK IV.

So, picking up from the last post, the PipBoy was born, and after installing the Fallout 4 PipBoy Companion App, it really started feeling like the real thing. That being said, it felt like something was missing... as I mentioned in my first post, I fell in love with the world of Fallout after first experiencing Fallout 3, and then Fallout New Vegas, and have really always preferred these to the other Fallout games. I often find myself watching old gameplay videos like "Fallout 3 Play by Will Strife" or "Return to New Vegas by SSoHPKC" (both of which I highly recommend for a flash to the past). So now that I actually had my own PipBoy, I wanted to make it more like the PipBoy 3000 from Fallout 3 and NV, so I decided to start looking for APPs similar to the official Fallout 4 Companion APP (link here if anyone is interested).

After looking for a while, I found an app made by Саша Серегин which was just what I was looking for.


His APP is amazing, it looks just like the original PipBoy 3000 interface, with his own few custom extras for Android (like being able to control the Flashlight on your android phone, use Google Maps for actual location, etc.). I downloaded his latest version of the APP and... sadly it didn't work with my Blackberry Passport. I tried multiple ways of trying to get the APP onto the BlackBerry, but there was no luck (Looking back now, I believe it was due to an incompatibility with APK version and the BlackBerry Android equivalent version - 4.3).

At that time, after seeing that somebody had been able to make the APP, and not being able to get it to work on the BlackBerry Passport on its own, I decided to start investigating into Android Studio, to see if I could make a similar APP compatible with the BlackBerry Passport, along with a few extras that I had in mind. So I downloaded Android Studio, opened up hundreds of video tutorials and started learning Kotlin (the programming language I decided to go with for the APK).

So, after a few months, and a lot of debugging versions of my APP (PipDroid), I finally made the following:

20221006_232842.jpg


Instead of copying "Саша Серегин"s APP, I decided to start from scratch, removing the World Map feature (seeing as my PipBoy / BlackBerry would have GPS location disabled most of the time) and also removing the Piplight feature (because the phone camera light is covered by the actual Pipboy).
That being said, I decided to implement other features and menus that felt more nostalgic to me (There are still a few things that I need to work on and polish, but I feel the APP is in a Stable enough state to be able to be shown).

### STATS - Status
This menu is pretty much the same as "Саша Серегин"s, the "typical" CND, RAD and EFF tabs from the games.
I have plans to draw custom damaged limbs and be able to apply Stimpacks to them, along with being able to add RAD (and remove with Radaway) and Effects.



### STATS - S.P.E.C.I.A.L.
This menu is the same, an attempt at a direct export from the games.
After talking to YourGeekFix, I have plans to try and animate the icons (but will need to learn Flash / similar first to animate).



### STATS - Skills
Same as S.P.E.C.I.A.L., this menu is an attempt at a direct export from the games.
I will also look into animating these icons



### ITEMS - Weapons
To try and make this menu similar to the in-game menu, I created a new top-menu-bar, where it shows CAPS, Carry Weight, etc.
Sadly I haven't been able to find the icons for these weapons in high definition yet, so I have decided to just leave the Barter icon.



### DATA - Radio
This menu was where I tried to put most of the aditional features. I decided to add the GNR, Enclave and Fallout NV Radio playlists, add a Clock feature after talking to YourGeekFix (where the top left corner shows the Battery life of the BlackBerry, such that I can leave the Clock on and see the current time) and finally the User Settings:



In the User Settings, I decided that I wanted to be able to change the Player Name and Player Level (to make it feel a bit more personal), and I also wanted to be able to change the Theme like in Fallout 3 and NV (I might be incorrect, but I don't believe you could do it in Fallout 4).
The Theme change was quite hard to get working properly, and still has a few errors now (scrollbars and Weapon CND still shows green instead of Orange, but I think these should be easily fixable).
I am planning to implement other Themes too, along with the posibility to be able to customize S.P.E.C.I.A.L. values and possibly skills.



So there you have it, a small update on this project to share with you all!

If there are any other improvements that anyone can think of, please let me know to see if I can implement it into the APP.
Apart from that, if I see a lot of interest in the APP, I can always think about making it available for everyone (it works on any Android phone, it just looks "better" on the BlackBerry Passport).

Thank you all for reading!

- James
 

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