Accessories/ultimate Docking Station Thread


puppydee

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Hmm, well like others have said we MUST have VGA out and also some xtra Usb ports. Component video out if that's the red, white and yellow cables like the xbox360. Erm a price hmm, £50. Don't know how realistic that price would be but I just thought I'd throw it out there :)
 
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Drack

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on Aug 1 2008, 02:22 AM
QUOTE

More than a docking station it would be nice to have an (almost) empty plastic "pack" that fits the bottom of the pandora, locks in place in some way and has an internal usb hub and room for a few usb dongles. Ideally it would also have a power connection, so that it could be used to create a battery pack.

It would be excellent to create DIY addons less the homemade electronics look.

I suppose they would be very cheap to produce, but I don't know how much the initial cost for the custom shape would be and how many could be sold.

At 20 EUR I would consider buying one, at 5 EUR or below I would buy a few.


On Feb 12, 2008
'1qwerty' said:
Infrared + same functions PSPs iRShell has (learning other devices signals).
This thread is from 2008, full of pages upon pages of outdated data. Why bring it back today, 1qwerty?
 
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1qwerty

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Oh sorry, I didn't notice the ancient date.
 
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Chip

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'Drack' said:
This thread is from 2008, full of pages upon pages of outdated data. Why bring it back today, 1qwerty?
In his defense, he did just join today. Perhaps 1qwerty did what hardly anybody else does and actually read the Information Index or searched for something he was curious about and found a relevant thread. Then he did something even more rare and replied to that existing thread instead of creating another redundant one.

Gravedigging is a very minor breach of etiquette and is far preferable to starting a duplicate thread.
 
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Chock

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Thinking in terms of portability, I can see where I bring my pandora to some places where a TV is not available but a computer screen is. So a cable with VGA(and/or DVI output) would be nice (versus a bigger dock).
As wifi is not always available (or too slow/unreliable) an ethernet port would be nice too.

When at home, I would also definitely use that combo VGA/ethernet if I want to use the pandora as a computer.
 

Devin.tesla

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Did I miss something I thought the Pandora HAD blue tooth included on the wifi chip and that we could use that .

why is there so much talk about blue tooth dongles and on the dock etc...

I'm confused?

Edit:

Never mind!

I missed the dates thing and panicked

sorry
 
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Chip

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'Chock' said:
Thinking in terms of portability, I can see where I bring my pandora to some places where a TV is not available but a computer screen is. So a cable with VGA(and/or DVI output) would be nice (versus a bigger dock).
Unfortunately this is not possible. There was not enough room on the Pandora board to include a VGA / HDMI converter chip, and there is no way to get raw video data out of the Pandora to be converted externally. As advanced as the Pandora is, there are still some concessions that had to be made in the design, and this is one of them. At some point we had to draw a line because adding anything else would have made the Pandora significantly larger, more expensive, or both.

There is no reasonable way to get HD video off of the device.
 
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Chock

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Well... Just another reason why we need a Pandora II in 2 or 3 years from now...
:p
 
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PoisonedV

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'Chip' said:
'Drack' said:
This thread is from 2008, full of pages upon pages of outdated data. Why bring it back today, 1qwerty?
In his defense, he did just join today. Perhaps 1qwerty did what hardly anybody else does and actually read the Information Index or searched for something he was curious about and found a relevant thread. Then he did something even more rare and replied to that existing thread instead of creating another redundant one.

Gravedigging is a very minor breach of etiquette and is far preferable to starting a duplicate thread.

gravedigging just causes confusion and people mistake old, outdated information for fresh and panic. i don't see why it isnt better to start an ew thread.
 
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joa

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A Remote - The pandora is the perfect gagdget put to the Aux in wherever you go.

Sat on top of a Hifi displaying some visualisations, and fully controlled by remote, I can picture it now :)
 
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joa

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I understand this can already ben done with the bluetooh and a mobile phone.

I might look into it when i get my pandora.
 

CCmachined

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So the most wanted features are
-Cat5 Ethernet somehow
-4+ USB ports
-Extra Battery built in for 20+ hours with the dock, maybe not
-VGA / DVI / Composite out.
 

JayFoxRox

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- A tiny bar which automaticly handles usb 2.0 devices and provides atleast 2 usb ports without blocking the shoulder buttons
- Real COM Port adapter + LPT Port adapter for microcontrollers etc.
- "Docking Case", a case which protects the pandora and routes out all necessary ports to the outside so you can use it with iWear glasses for example without beeing worried about your pandoras health
- DVI output for following batches

Chip: Stop telling us that it is not possible, you can always route the wires to the outside and have a switch to move the digital video from the inbuild lcd to an external video display. The chip could easily be placed in a plug or something - I have the beagleboard infront of me and I don't know which the dvi-framer chip is, but each of those chips could easily fit into a plug
 
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Chip

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'JayFoxRox' said:
Chip: Stop telling us that it is not possible, you can always route the wires to the outside and have a switch to move the digital video from the inbuild lcd to an external video display. The chip could easily be placed in a plug or something - I have the beagleboard infront of me and I don't know which the dvi-framer chip is, but each of those chips could easily fit into a plug
I do not think you even begin to understand what is involved with your idea. There are about 20 contacts on the OMAP SoC that output raw LCD pixel data and another half dozen for LCD control functions. "Hijacking" this data via the LCD cable is possible, but then what?. You cannot simply T off of high frequency data lines with mismatched wire lengths without introducing crippling interference into the circuit. You certainly would not be able to run both at the same time, so you would need additional hardware to shut down the interface you are not using. You also have the problem of the LCD using 3V logic and DVI framers using 1.8V logic. Even if you managed to sort this all out, where do you put the connector? This is miles beyond what is possible with a home mod.

It would not be impossible for a future version to route the data lines to an external connector, but it would be prohibitively difficult. The PCB is already 8 layers deep and pretty much jammed full. You would need to find a very small 25ish pin connector (easy), and you would have to shift a lot of things around to find a place for it on the board (not easy). You would need to add some sort of buffer chip between the socket and the OMAP, otherwise even a tiny static discharge at the exposed connector could fry it. We would probably need to add at least two more layers to the board to make this happen. At that point, it is probably easier to add two or three extra layers and cram a DVI / HDMI / Component / whatever chip onto the board somewhere and do the conversion internally.

Maybe not impossible, but a huge expensive headache to be sure. At some point it may become more feasible, but not in the near future. The 2nd batch and all foreseeable future batches will be manufactured with the current board design.
 
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cobaltage

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I have been following this thread since it got started. I had a couple questions and/or ideas.

1.- As far as I can tell, there are only the single USB 2.0 and the USB 1.1 ports available. Does this limit the overall data throughput for all devices physically attached via a dock?

2.- I hear two basic ideas going at once: a dock that you keep plugged into a TV or LCD monitor that one would allow one to control the Pandora with an external KB/M, etc.; and a dock (the kind with a second battery, for instance) that allows you to use the built in hardware (especially the controls, I imagine) of the Pandora.

3.- One big reason to have a VGA or DVI adapter function, even without 3D acceleration or with limited data throughput, would be internet browsing and document editing on a higher resolution screen.

4.- That said, current reviews for USB-VGA adapters sometimes claim that movies will play on an external display via USB; but certainly not 720p. Even rapid movements of the mouse results in movement artifacts, apparently. Even if the Pandora could output 480p via USB-VGA, that would be cool. But I think given the limitations of the Pandora, even if clean playback of 480p video via USB is not possible, office related tasks on a larger display (even as low as 1024x768) would be a big difference in user experience, for those who have any interest in that.
 

fischju2000

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The Archos 5's dock uses the LCD pins through a specialized connection that handles everything (USB, usb host, power, tv out, video in, digital out). But it has to do a lot of work to translate those video in (for recording) to the right format, and a lot of work to take that digital output and make it HDMI.

Here is an image of the back of said dock: CODE
http://www.testfreaks.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/dscf6930.jpg
This late in the game, there is no way the team is going to change the board this much. I would speculate that if some industrious modder with a lot of skill and the right tools wanted, they could heavily modify their Pandora and possibly use parts from this dock to make it work. Or they could buy a beagleboard.
 
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WizardStan

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What problem would building such a docking station for the Pandora solve that isn't already solved by simply buying a BeagleBoard?
 
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second exodous

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Well, the only things I would want is what I would need to turn the Pandora into a desktop computer and a multi-media station.

Video: The only thing that is really necessary for this is the chip that allows DVI connectors that the Beagleboard has that Pandora left out. With a DVI connector(http://www.connectworld.net/cis/digital-monitors.html) you can get video to any HDTV and recent computer monitor. It would be ok if it didn't have RCA, err, component output for TV, just wasted money and space, lets be cutting edge.

Sound: Whatever common up-to-date sound output there is would be great, I'm guessing this is optical, my HDTV has it.

Network: Ethernet port would be great, but not necessary. I would say if a wired network is detected it would disable the Pandora's wifi, but I'd like to keep that enabled in case there is another wifi device that could be connected to, i.e. another Pandora.

Other connections: The box would need to have extra USB all the ports/connections that the Pandora has right now, all I can think of is power right now. These connections would allow you to just dock the Pandora, everything else would be already connected to the box, i.e. HDTV/Monitor, mouse, sound, and everything else that is USB. This would also charge the system.

Wireless input: IR would be nice. A lot of people mentioned Bluetooth, isn't this already part of the Pandora?

Everything else could just be connected through USB, like hard drives, DVB cards, and foam missile launchers(http://dvlabs.tippingpoint.com/blog/2009/02/12/python-interfacing-a-usb-missile-launcher).

If it had all this and would look nice next to a entertainment center or on my desk next to a 24" LCD monitor I want to hook it up to I would easily drop 100 US. If it was all this and small I would pay 150-200.

'WizardStan' said:
What problem would building such a docking station for the Pandora solve that isn't already solved by simply buying a BeagleBoard?
I like the idea of having one computer, if I could use this for everything that would be great. Also, the docking station would save me the 150+ of buying a BeagleBoard.

Edit: Sorry, you'll have to copy and paste the links for now.
 
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This is something I'd been thinking about for a while, and this seems like the best thread for it.

Fact: Pandora would make a wicked cameraphone, especially if you paired it with a Bluetooth headset (so as not to have to hold the device up to your head in an awkward fashion).

Problem: Pandora is not a phone and does not contain a camera.

Solution: Connect small USB webcam and mobile broadband device. Use Skype and email for basic phone functions.

Problem: Only one USB2 port.

Solution: Someone linked to this in another thread. Small, cheap, 4-port unpowered USB2 hub with short cord. Attach to the back of the Pandora and plug accessories in as needed.

I mocked up an image of such a device attached to the back (i.e. lid), showing how you could plug in a mobile broadband stick and camera, and still have room for, say, a memory stick, and who knows? An IR transmitter would be pretty nice.
pandorausbmockup.png


Problems this idea has:
1) How to attach it? Anything permanent (glue) is not ideal, as cords break, and if the cord on this thing breaks then you've got to try to pry it off. Velcro just loses its sticking power after too many uses, and it's likely to reach that limit quickly being tugged on in a pocket as one's leg moves.
2) Where to find a camera with that form factor? Most have nice long cords of their own.

One solution to both of these problems would be for the Pandora team to make a version that clips on, and a camera that fits it. Now that you've already put together an entire handheld game console and got all the mass production and such straightened out, it shouldn't be much trouble to build some of these things, and they probably wouldn't end up costing much more than the usual retail prices for USB hubs and cameras. (Hubs can be horridly expensive, but the one linked is only $10... cameras with nice resolutions, say 6-7MP, might be a bit more expensive, since the average USB webcam is in the 1.2MP range, but I'd love to have a real, nice camera on it. :D )
It may not be difficult either to just buy off-the-shelf devices and modify them, but I bet it'd be more expensive.

Stick one of those on the back, get a good data plan (data only if possible) and a Bluetooth headset, get a Skype client going, and there you go, one sweet cameraphone.


There are still two problems I can see with using it as an actual phone:
1) Is there an ARM version of Skype? Could we convince them to make one? Is there an alternative we could use?
2) Would the battery last long enough with Bluetooth and a cellular modem going?

I imagine most people who'd buy a Pandora either work in an office or go to college; in either case they probably have enough time to charge it during the day that battery life wouldn't be a big deal. There's also the possibility of a larger battery (would increase physical size, but may well be worth it) or a second battery pack that can be plugged into the charge port when needed. Of course, even if these issues prevent Pandora from being usable as an actual phone, you have to admit, having a cellular modem (that you can just turn on when you want to check email) and camera attached to the back would still rock. :p

A larger battery wouldn't require a different case; it could simply stick out the back and come with (or function as) a replacement battery cover. PSP had such an accessory.
 
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