Design E(h mon - Ferrari Edition) for P2


Drammurt

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Hi,
 
I've been playing around with Sketchup to create a design for the P2. I think the P2 must have some nice nerdy features that make it stand out from the massive crowd of smartphones, tablets, mini computer sticks and the small pcb's like the Raspberry Pi, Odroid and Via Mini PC. That's why I've added some exclusive selling points (at least I think they don't exist yet) in the mix, that might add some design-challenges, but I think it's the only way to be better/different from the rest.
 

  •  
  • A detachable LCD-screen, that can be used as a HDMI-screen. Powered by USB/5v this HDMI-screen could be bought separately. People might want one for their Raspberry Pi or just to quickly add a display to their server through HDMI or DVI. The screen has an integrated stand.
  • The base of the P2 can be used headless, with the detachable LCD-screen or connected to a big screen via HDMI. Imagine connecting a monitor, keyboard and mouse to it and use it as a real desktop or as a client with Remote Desktop-software.
  • The base of the P2 can also be used as a Bluetooth controller like a iControlpad2. Just pair it to your PC and you can play and type.
  • The base will be powered by two 14500 Li-ion batteries. These are the size of regular AA-batteries and can be bought in stores. They are the smaller versions of the more famous 18650-batteries that would add about 5mm in height but are more common. They are 750 mAh (3.7v), so the P2 would contain a 1500 mAh battery. Current battery is 4000 mAh. Two 18650's would give 6000mAh (maybe use a different baseplate for those?). Two batteries gives to possibility to swap batteries without having to turn of your P2 and to bring as much battery power as you want.
  • The hinge on which the screen is connected can be hidden into the device. This gives the unit a much better look, but it's (IMHO) also a geeky detail that makes the product more attractive.
  • The screen has a relative large visible area. The speakers are in the base unit, so there's a lot less wasted space which is more attractive.
Ok, here are the specifications based on the sketch.
 

  • Dimensions...
    Base unit: 139 x  93,6 x 22 mm (W x D x H)
    Screen: 139 x 89,6 x 6 mm (W x H x D)
    Base + Screen: 139 x 93,6 x 29,5 mm (W x D x H)
    Current Pandora is 140,29 × 83,48 × 29,25 mm. The P2 would be 1 cm taller.
  • A full QWERTY-keyboard with 61 keys, a D-Pad, 4 Face buttons, 2 analog nubs, 4 shoulderbuttons and 4 extra special buttons/keys.
    Current Pandora has only 43 keys, 2 shoulderbuttons and 3 extra special buttons/keys
  • Items on the frontside (from left to right): speaker grill, volume control mic jack, headphone jack, full SD slot, micro SD slot, 4 status LED's, on/off switch, speaker grill.
  • Items on the back (from left to right): Battery lid, 2 shoulder buttons, mini USB port, 2 Full USB ports, Hinge (with micro HDMI and micro USB-connector), Full HDMI port, micro Usb port, 2 shoulder buttons, battery lid.
  • The screen is a 5.6 inch LCD panel with 1280x800 resolution (16:10, 270 PPI). IPS or AMOLED with capacitive touchscreen and digitizer would be great, but also expensive. Thats why I haven't specified the screen apart from size. 
  • There's room to store a stylus on the front side and the PCB can be used for both the keyboard (up side) and the other components (bottom side). There's about 10x10cm available for a PCB on the bottom side because of the batteries.
  • There will be a 40 pin GPIO-header on the PCB (bye EXT-connector, welcome IDE-connector).
  • On board flash memory can be added with a eMMC card for future upgrades.
  • As far as the rest of the hardwarespec goes, I haven't put thought into it, because technology moves fast and not every component can be blindy combined with another. Because a Pandora will be more expensive because the low volumes I wouldn't go for latest CPU/GPU, but more affordable choices too keep the price reasonable.
Here are some screenshots I made in Sketchup to give an impression of the design. Click below for a large version.



Frontside base with screen flipped open

http://members.home.nl/drammurt/p2v3_1.png



Frontside base with screen closed

http://members.home.nl/drammurt/p2v3_2.png



Backside base with screen open

http://members.home.nl/drammurt/p2v3_3.png



Frontside base without screen
http://members.home.nl/drammurt/p2v3_4.png



Frontside screen only  
http://members.home.nl/drammurt/p2v3_5.png



Backside screen only

http://members.home.nl/drammurt/p2v3_6.png



Frontside base only with batteries

http://members.home.nl/drammurt/p2v3_7.png

There are some design-errors that need to be and can be fixed, that's why I haven't mentioned them. It's a sketch after all.


Cheers,
 
Drammurt
 

Mr_Loon

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Hi Drammurt,


Good to see someone else getting involved with trying to come up with an interesting & exciting feature set for Pandora 2. The more the merrier say I. Please rest assured that if you (or anyone else) want to use any specific aspect of my concept / design then you should feel free to do so, I'd consider it a compliment. Credit would be appreciated but is unnecessary. Even if it's just a minor feature like the inclusion of a standard tripod mount, or kickstand in the base of the unit then go for it. Likewise if you wanted to do something a little more revolutionary and include the PCB in the lid or make the base compatible with 3D printing then don't think I'll be throwing up my hands and shouting 'that's my idea'.


Onto your design :


2) A lot would be added by having the PCB in the lid. If the screen can be removed then why not also let it be connected to the base unit in portrait mode, for Pinball, Shooters, E Reading, Web Surfing etc.


4) Would love to see this as an out of the box feature for P1 it would really add value IMHO.


5) Very unsure about your battery solution, 10 Hours runtime is a good USP for Pandora, we should try and at least get close to that with P2.


7) Have you considered the possible benefit of having 1 large mono speaker in the base instead of 2 small stereo ones?


In general terms I think the ergonomics of the base unit look a little suspect & am not sure that more benefit wouldn't be gained by having fewer but slightly larger keys.


+ 1 for the colour scheme.

this is similar to mr_loons design and my design c, for some reason some ppl just flip out when they see/hear anything related o a tablet.
Shhhh., it's a mini computer with a touch screen interface, or lid with enclosed pcb, remember. ;)
 
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bismuthdrummer

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EDIT: Nevermind, it's already been said.

Nice designs, I will be honest and say this is the first proposition I have seen that is a true second iteration of the Open Pandora. Of course I like it, I like the P1, so...

Would you plan on expanding the ergonomy, meaning is the rectangularness just for ease of sketching?
 
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Drammurt

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this is similar to mr_loons design and my design c, for some reason some ppl just flip out when they see/hear anything related o a tablet.


I don't think you've read the description of my design, since unlike your and Mr_loon's design, the screen is just a screen with a touchscreen. It's not a tablet! All functionality is in the base unit. The screen could easily be sold as a separate product because of the industry standards that have been used.

Some applications for just the screen...

  • Connect the screen to a PC through HDMI and power it by USB and use it as a second screen. Put on a sportsmatch you want to follow a bit, put a social media app on the screen to follow what's going on, put on a "real" second screen website, put on the chatlog of a MMORPG or an flight overview in a flightsim or a minimap in games that support it or any other app you want to have on a separate screen.
  • Connect the screen to a PC through USB and use the screen as an external mouse/drawing tablet. J
  • Connect the screen to a Windows 8 PC though HDMI and USB and you can control the PC using the touchinterface of the new UI.

A simple dock with full size HDMI and micro-USB could be sold separately to give it a permanent place on a desk. An option is to add functionality to the dock that it can be used as a charger of the batteries too and so it can be used on the go without the need for a power source, much similar to the cheap $10 Made in China phonedocks with integrated charger.

So, it's a separate product with industry standard connections that features a high resolution LCD-screen and a USB touchscreen. Hopefully the concept is a bit clearer now.
 

Mr_Loon

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Hi Drammurt, what do you think you would lose, other than the lid being slightly thicker, if the PCB was also located in the lid section?

Do you have any thoughts on the potential benefits of also allowing the screen to be connected to the base unit in portrait mode?
 
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Drammurt

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2) A lot would be added by having the PCB in the lid. If the screen can be removed then why not also let it be connected to the base unit in portrait mode, for Pinball, Shooters, E Reading, Web Surfing etc.
Making the screen suitable for portrait mode is a good idea and can be easily realized by moving the connectors on the side to the middle and adding holes to prevent strain on the connectors. I explicitely chose NOT to have the PCB in the lid, so that it can be designed more easily, it can function as a real HDMI screen, it stays lightweight and because I firmly believe that creating a mini tablet is too difficult/impossible for a small player on the market. Having the PCB in the lid also means more weight, the need for a battery in the lid, limitations on connector, a more difficult hinge and a super complex PCB design because of the limited space, unless you turn the lid into a 20mm+ tablet/brick.

5) Very unsure about your battery solution, 10 Hours runtime is a good USP for Pandora, we should try and at least get close to that with P2.
I choose to use standard Li-Ion batteries so that the P2-team doesn't need to produce batteries and you could carry around i.e. a set of 4 extra batteries giving 3000 mAh extra. The 18650 batteries are 4mm thicker (and 15mm longer) and would give 6000 mAh but also are heavier. It would be possible to create 2 bottom plates for the different battery types giving different options: lighter, thinner with 1500mAh capacity or heavier, thicker with 6000 mAh battery. The alternative is to use a custom created battery without the option to change them and forcing users to buy these spare custom batteries. Difficult decision. :)

7) Have you considered the possible benefit of having 1 large mono speaker in the base instead of 2 small stereo ones?
There's enough space to add two 20mm speakers. Adding a larger monospeaker would mean it had to face to the bottom which would hamper the sound.

In general terms I think the ergonomics of the base unit look a little suspect & am not sure that more benefit wouldn't be gained by having fewer but slightly larger keys.
Would you plan on expanding the ergonomy, meaning is the rectangularness just for ease of sketching?
The rectangularness is just because it's a sketch to give an impression. Of course it would require rounding of edges for an ergonomic design, but that's something to do in a later stadium. The keys are not small: 8 x 7 mm which is about the same size as the current Pandora-keys which has 12 keys in a row, while this P2-design has 13 keys but is also 10 mm longer.  
 

bismuthdrummer

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The rectangularness is just because it's a sketch to give an impression. Of course it would require rounding of edges for an ergonomic design, but that's something to do in a later stadium. The keys are not small: 8 x 7 mm which is about the same size as the current Pandora-keys which has 12 keys in a row, while this P2-design has 13 keys but is also 10 mm longer.  
I like the current size of the Pandora keys, so that is good. I have three other handheld keyboards and the Pandora's is far and away the most thumb-friendly.

Of course the rounding can be addressed later, my only point in bringing that up is that I think a fair criticism of the P1 is its boxy design. On the one hand I really don't have a problem with it myself, but on the other hand adding some mild curvature to the sides would go a long way in terms of comfort. The tradeoff is that it becomes less easy to store and travel with, but you could mitigate by having detachable grips... anyway, not something I expect to see in your designs here, just a notion to keep handy.
 

Binky

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I like the idea of having an HDMI screen.

The vast majority of the the P2's thickness should be in the base, but the exchangeability adds sales value.

It avoids problems with USB connectors/batteries in the lid and differentiates itself from phablets

If the lid had two (identical) HDMI ports you could turn it for portrait mode (good for reading)

I also like the idea of a console complete with SD slots and a keyboard that can be plugged into a big screen at a moment's notice.
 

Mr_Loon

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I explicitely chose NOT to have the PCB in the lid, so that it can be designed more easily

I believe my P2 concept is easier to design, if the lid did not have to be super slim, because the PCB is in the lid. Consider cable routing between the base & the lid.

Cable routing for your setup


Lid to base :


Touchscreen


Base to lid :


Power


Video Signal

For my setup


Lid to base :


Edit : Audio


Base to lid :


Power


USB3 (or bluetooth)


My suspicion is that it would be easier (Edit : or at least no more complex) in design / manufacturing terms to route USB3 + Audio between the lid & base than Video + Touchscreen. If for some reason it would be difficult to route the USB3 then bluetooth could be used.

it can function as a real HDMI screen

It still could if the PCB was in the lid. 

it stays lightweight and because I firmly believe that creating a mini tablet is too difficult/impossible for a small player on the market. Having the PCB in the lid also means more weight

Creating a mini tablet is easier than creating a mini laptop if it does not have to be super slim. You are correct, the one, fairly minor, sacrifice to be made by having the PCB in the lid is the additional weight / bulk that this brings.

the need for a battery in the lid, limitations on connector, a more difficult hinge and a super complex PCB design because of the limited space, unless you turn the lid into a 20mm+ tablet/brick.

You do not need to have the battery in the lid


How would your hinge work? I've had a slight redesign. How does your hinge work in terms of the detachable screen / hinge locking mechanism?


The PCB design would be no more complex if the tablet did not have to be super slim, how about if the existing P1 PCB was used? How tall is that, without nubs etc. attached?


My guess is that without the need for having the battery at the top my P2 concept would add at most 4mm to lid thickness.
 
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Binky

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Any setup with detachable a screen introduces huge mechanical complexities. These exacerbate the cable-routing problems that you (Mr Loon) use as a reason for having a detachable lid

Making a mini-tablet may be easy

Making a mechanical clip system is most certainly not - your diagrams may work out, but they would involve shedloads of expert case design to be sturdy, reliable and long-lived

4mm is around 10% of the current pandora's thickness, probably more after thinning optimisations have been applied

When I dismantled my pandora, I saw that it is actually beautifully simple in construction - what makes you think that adding two different mechanical socketed connections and running cables through them is easier than running fewer connections that we do already through a permanent hinge?
 

Grench

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EDIT: Nevermind, it's already been said.

Nice designs, I will be honest and say this is the first proposition I have seen that is a true second iteration of the Open Pandora. Of course I like it, I like the P1, so...

Would you plan on expanding the ergonomy, meaning is the rectangularness just for ease of sketching?
I actually like this one.  The monitor side is simply a dumb screen and the unit can run with or without it or it can be upgraded/swapped/removed with the unit still functioning.   The interface between the live base and the dumb screen is good too - I like that it is a docking style connector with guide & reinforcement pins riding up into the screen side.

The primary drawbacks is that the reinforcement pins & docking connector for the screen (and the kickstand) will add thickness to the device AND the battery life as described needs to be re-thought.  Still, way better than the tablet ideas.

this is similar to mr_loons design and my design c, for some reason some ppl just flip out when they see/hear anything related o a tablet.
No, this is completely different and semi-viable as a Pandora.  Your's and mr_loons designs are tablets plus duct-taped-on controls. by comparison.
 

Mr_Loon

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...


The interface between the live base and the dumb screen is good too - I like that it is a docking style connector with guide & reinforcement pins riding up into the screen side.


... 

Can you or the OP elaborate as to how this achieves a firm / sturdy connection between the base & lid and how the screen can be locked in place at an angle desired by the user?


From my perspective a good design in this area would probably be equally applicable if the PCB was in the lid rather than the base. Something is needed to lock the screen & the base together. My solution is short thumb bolts with a recessed hole for an allen key. As I've stated before I'm all ears for a better solution that is non patented, tried & tested & could be designed / manufactured without undue complication.
 
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Grench

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...


The interface between the live base and the dumb screen is good too - I like that it is a docking style connector with guide & reinforcement pins riding up into the screen side.


... 

Can you or the OP elaborate as to how this achieves a firm / sturdy connection between the base & lid and how the screen can be locked in place at an angle desired by the user?


From my perspective a good design in this area would probably be equally applicable if the PCB was in the lid rather than the base. Something is needed to lock the screen & the base together. My solution is short thumb bolts with a recessed hole for an allen key. As I've stated before I'm all ears for a better solution that is non patented, tried & tested & could be designed / manufactured without undue complication.
Guide pins transfer sheer forces from the connector to the pins.  Locking it down onto the pins can then be as simple as a slide-catch like you would find on a screen door.

Locking this design in place for screen open/close angles would likely use a pair of hinges just like the ones on the Pandora.  Since there is no electrical connection through the hinge, there can be paired mechanical units.

Why the 'Make it a tablet!' designs fail:  If you're creating a system that separates screen from base, then the PCB needs to be in the portion of the unit that houses the battery. Housing all of that in the lid will make an unbalanced device with a chunky lid and a light base.  It has no real advantages over just buying an ICP2 and connecting it to a tablet.

The Pandora is special because of it's integrated controls - not despite them.

For a properly functioning device, the bulk & weight needs to be in the lower half of the clam shell.

Frankly, given the choice I'd rather see us keep the screen connected to the control/processing/battery section as one unit.
 
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Drammurt

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Hi Mr_Loon. I'm a little short on time, but just wanted to tell you that I"m working a further iteration of the concept with an easier to construct hinge, a different screen and a different battery sollution. I hope to have it ready by the end of this week.

I hope you agree that our concepts are different. Your design integrated the pcb and screen into one product, while my design results in a separate headless minipc and a HDMI-screen that could be sold separately. Just add a hot/cold shoe and sunshades and photographers might be interested to buy it as a field monitor comparable to i.e. http://cheesycam.com/5d-ii-5-6-1280x800-lcd-hdmi-monitor/.

Finally I understand your "There's no battery in the lid"-comment, but that means you can't take off the tablet without power shut off or first adding the battery through the clip on-system you have in mind. Don't forget that this battery has to be really really sturdy and can't be too thin and will cause the top to become top heavy when fastening or before releasing the tablet-part.

Thanks to everyone for the comments. Next version in a few days.
 

Grench

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Hi Mr_Loon. I'm a little short on time, but just wanted to tell you that I"m working a further iteration of the concept with an easier to construct hinge, a different screen and a different battery sollution. I hope to have it ready by the end of this week.

I hope you agree that our concepts are different. Your design integrated the pcb and screen into one product, while my design results in a separate headless minipc and a HDMI-screen that could be sold separately. Just add a hot/cold shoe and sunshades and photographers might be interested to buy it as a field monitor comparable to i.e. http://cheesycam.com/5d-ii-5-6-1280x800-lcd-hdmi-monitor/.

Finally I understand your "There's no battery in the lid"-comment, but that means you can't take off the tablet without power shut off or first adding the battery through the clip on-system you have in mind. Don't forget that this battery has to be really really sturdy and can't be too thin and will cause the top to become top heavy when fastening or before releasing the tablet-part.

Thanks to everyone for the comments. Next version in a few days.
I'm looking forward to it.

A thought I had for batteries - pick a well sold cell phone and use the 3rd party batteries that are sold to be compatible with it.

Example:  http://www.ebay.com/itm/3500mAh-Replacement-Battery-For-Samsung-Galaxy-Note-II-2-N7100-16GB-32GB-/370702103940?pt=PDA_Accessories&hash=item564f913584

3500mAh and it's around 1/2 the physical size of the existing Pandora's battery.

For the screen-device interface, if you make your guide pins stainless and notch them, a set of engaging teeth in the screen housing could result in a very secure connection.
 

Binky

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Relying on 3rd parties for vital components is a BAD idea!  The P2 may well outlive its contemporaries - at which point the batteries will be extremely difficult to find
 

Mr_Loon

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Hi Mr_Loon. I'm a little short on time, but just wanted to tell you that I"m working a further iteration of the concept with an easier to construct hinge, a different screen and a different battery sollution. I hope to have it ready by the end of this week.

Looking forward to seeing that :)

I hope you agree that our concepts are different. Your design integrated the pcb and screen into one product, while my design results in a separate headless minipc and a HDMI-screen that could be sold separately. Just add a hot/cold shoe and sunshades and photographers might be interested to buy it as a field monitor comparable to i.e. http://cheesycam.com/5d-ii-5-6-1280x800-lcd-hdmi-monitor/.

The concepts are indeed different, but there are similarities. This is a good thing in that we can take the bits we like from each others designs & add them to our own. For instance I like the idea that the screen could also be used as a separate monitor for other devices. If adding Video in is feasible in my final design & costing goals then I may well add that. Why not incorporate my idea of using a full size camera tripod connector in the case for the screen (and maybe base as well). If your goal is to sell to Photographers then that would surely make sense.

Finally I understand your "There's no battery in the lid"-comment, but that means you can't take off the tablet without power shut off or first adding the battery through the clip on-system you have in mind. Don't forget that this battery has to be really really sturdy and can't be too thin and will cause the top to become top heavy when fastening or before releasing the tablet-part.

This is true but I'd ask is it not better to have the option even if you 'can't take off the tablet without power shut off or first adding the battery' or the lid becomes top heavy?


As for sturdiness, the battery would be enclosed in a plastic case. A plug would protrude from the case and slot into a socket in either the base unit or the lid.

3500mAh and it's around 1/2 the physical size of the existing Pandora's battery.

I'd be incredibly sceptical about the 3500mAh claim for that particular battery, the Stock battery is 3100mAh. I speak from personal experience of 3rd party batteries for phones, nds etc. From experience cheap 3rd party batteries tend to last about 80% as long as originals and therfore still represent excellent value for money.


I like the general concept, though you'd need two of those batteries to give anywhere near the 10 hrs battery life that is surely a must have feature for P2.

For the screen-device interface, if you make your guide pins stainless and notch them, a set of engaging teeth in the screen housing could result in a very secure connection.

I reckon Pogo Pins are the way to go, they are a proven & reliable solution to the problem of docking electronic devices / systems.
 
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Binky

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Where is the person who designed the P1's case?

This discussion hangs on durability and feasibility, yet noone here truly understands case design (afaict).
 
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