Getting closer...


ible

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i'd probably be happy with the A53s myself. the less times you have to charge things the more freedom you have. i have a dumb phone and it's nice not needing to charge it every day, like i'm imprisoned by the need for information or something... (although i get all that through a laptop, anyways...)
 

levi

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I do think the Pyra will probably have a shorter battery life than the Pandora, at least at first FWIW. Notaz did some good work a year or so ago to improve the Pandora's battery life especially when little used, and I recall back in the early days of the Pandora the scheduler needed to be tweaked. But the Pyra's powering more peripherals than the Pandora did, especially the 4G models, so who knows how long it'll ever run for after all the tweaking if it needs 4G on throughout.

But I guess even phones with smaller batteries can keep 4G circuits running for 16 hours mostly, so perhaps I'm being overly pessimistic here. We'll see.
 

God Ginrai

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ED specifically increased the size of the battery so that the Pyra should be able to hit similar battery life as the Pandora.

And if you can't be bothered to plug in your device when you go to sleep... that's your problem, not a problem of the device's battery life.

-God Ginrai
 

rygD

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Honestly, I don't see any reason you need more than 10 when you have a removable battery. (and when most everyone has a power bank nowadays) Plus, the Pandora had ~10 hours of real use. Why do you think the Pyra would be worse? I would think the Pyra should be able to hit a few hours of real use and frequent checks for a total of 16 hours without a different CPU board.

It's not going to be cheap for ED to develop a new CPU board; He needs to aim for something that the majority of Pyra users will be interested in upgrading to, or it won't be worth development costs.

-God Ginrai
Good point about battery life. I still don't know how long it will actually last me until I try it out, though.

Swappable batteries are nice, but useless when it comes to someone that isn't sitting at a desk all day. You have to charge those batteries at some point, and waking up in the middle of the night to switch them, assuming the first one is charged, is kinda unrealistic. And if you are sitting at a desk, changing batteries isn't very important. Levi shit this one on the head. Swapping is useful if you don't need to do it everyday.

I want thinking ED would be the only one to make new CPU boards. Hopefully, down the road, someone else will want to try something different than what he has done or is doing.
 

Swordfish II

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i'd probably be happy with the A53s myself. the less times you have to charge things the more freedom you have. i have a dumb phone and it's nice not needing to charge it every day, like i'm imprisoned by the need for information or something... (although i get all that through a laptop, anyways...)
My lg f3q lasts 3 days of actual usage, torrents, calls, texts, emulators...its great!
 

Dark Pulse

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I got a OnePlus 5T (after my venerable OnePlus One decided to stop reading SIMs), and I have to say the battery life on it is great, despite being only about 3200 mAh or so. It really can go all day on a full charge, although thanks to my job, I'm able to come home and plug it into the charger for a few hours, so usually it ends the workday (both times - I go back to work after all) at perhaps 70% battery life.

Of course, it also helps the charger delivers it 5V @ 4A, for 20 Watts of power.

It literally does get about 60% of charge in about half an hour through a USB Type-C connector. Sadly, the phone doesn't support Power Delivery, despite me having a power bank that can support that (my Nintendo Switch most definitely appreciates that - it's good for up to 30W, and it caps out at 5V @ 3A for the USB-A ports, or for the Type-C port, 5V @ 3A, 9V @ 3A, 15V @ 2A, or 20V @ 1.25A. Despite the wall charger being good up to 39W, the Switch never pulls that much current - capping out at 9V @ 2A, 12V @ 1.5A, or 15V @ 1.25A for a total of about 18 Watts of charging power).

To be honest, that is probably the single biggest drawback the Pyra has right now - lack of support for that means that heavy battery use will definitely result in a longer trip to the charger as well; a 6000 mAh battery is great for battery life, but it's also twice as much battery capacity to charge as most smartphones have.

That said, without a board redesign, it's not something you could just "add," and to be fair, when the Pyra was in its earliest development stages, USB-C wasn't as common as it's starting to be now - Power Delivery itself is a fairly new spec.

Maybe if there's an upgraded Pyra mainboard or something, or some other way to put in faster charge currents, that could be mitigated, but usually with USB-A plugs, they tend to top out at 5V and 2.1A at most. Hence, it'd be wise to have a powerbank if you plan to heavily use your Pyra on the go a lot - especially if you intend to drain it heavily.

(If we could get some words from @EvilDragon on this, it'd help. I'd really like to know how long it takes to charge a nearly drained Pyra battery, and what sorts of charge currents it's capable of using.)
 

Djoga'Ro

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That said, without a board redesign, it's not something you could just "add," and to be fair, when the Pyra was in its earliest development stages, USB-C wasn't as common as it's starting to be now - Power Delivery itself is a fairly new spec.

Maybe if there's an upgraded Pyra mainboard or something, or some other way to put in faster charge currents, that could be mitigated, but usually with USB-A plugs, they tend to top out at 5V and 2.1A at most. Hence, it'd be wise to have a powerbank if you plan to heavily use your Pyra on the go a lot - especially if you intend to drain it heavily.
Wasn't it said, that the Pyra could be charged via two ports simultaniously?
 

Dark Pulse

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Wasn't it said, that the Pyra could be charged via two ports simultaniously?
If you could find that, I'd appreciate it. The main site itself says "one Micro-USB Serial Output-Port (which can also be used to charge the system)."
 

Djoga'Ro

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My memory is fuzzy on that - been a while. I was just hoping someone with a fancier memory setup would get triggered. Maybe sleeping helps me remembering. I'll try immediately. Night night.
 

slaeshjag

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Will the SoC manufacturer even bother with such low quantities?
At least for the earlier entries in the i.MX series, like the i.MX6 and 7, you can literally go onto mouser.com and buy *one*. Or two. Or five. Or a thousand. Low quantity is not going to stop access to the SoCs.
 

rygD

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I have another palmtop that lasts a few weeks to a month between battery changes, haven't tried rechargeable batteries, so...
 

Pocak

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Wasn't it said, that the Pyra could be charged via two ports simultaniously?
I can confirm that it has been said... and that it do work and allow to charge faster
Is this sarcasm? That's not how it works. The charger chip has only one USB port, so we have a switch chip in the Pyra that senses which USB socket (debug or OTG) has a power source plugged in, and routes that to the charger chip. Meanwhile, the other socket is electrically isolated. (I mean the power lines; a data connection is of course still possible.) If both have a valid voltage source, the debug port is preferred.

The switch chip has a manual mode in which the OTG side is unconditionally selected. It's needed for using the OTG port as host, but could have other uses.

One caveat is that fast charger detection is always done on the OTG port — detection uses the data lines, which are not switched. If you plug your charger in the debug port, it'll just default to 500mA. (If you have confidence in your charger, you could then crank up the current from the OS, up to 1.5A, though I don't know whether there's a driver already.) This might explain why you saw faster charging with two chargers, compared to one in the debug port alone.
 

sebt3

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Is this sarcasm? That's not how it works.
I've no cue on the hardware side. But as a user of a prototype, I can affirm that plug in power on the otg port and on the micro-usb3 port do allow to charge faster than using the otg only.
I can even tell you that it's the only way to boot the pyra with batteries empty if you plug it on a PC for power source (any wall plug that doesnt wait for the negociation to send more than 0.5A would work too)
 

Pocak

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I've not studied the startup behavior, but it's still very odd. Was this area revamped since the schematics were published?
 

WizardStan

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The charger chip has only one USB port
It has a USB charge port and a dedicated charge port, similar to the one in the Pandora. If I recall correctly, the Pyra has a micro USB "charge only" port (also serial debugging port) which has been wired to the dedicated lines on the chip, and the USB charging is wired to the actual USB3 micro USB port. The Pandora's charge chip didn't allow both to be used at the same time but the one in the Pyra is a different design which might allow it, though I don't remember reading that specifically. I'll have to dig up the spec sheet.
 

Pocak

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I wrote the above post based on the schematics. By "charger chip" I meant the bq24297, which really only has one 5V input/output. There was talk of looking for a chip with two 5V inputs, but I don't think anything concrete was ever mentioned, and it just fizzled out. And there's no need, really, since with the switcheroo chip (fpf3040), all the important use cases are covered.
If I recall correctly, the Pyra has a micro USB "charge only" port (also serial debugging port)
Yeah, that's what I've been referring to as "debug port".
 

Djoga'Ro

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Waht I found in chronological order:
That depends on what the charger chip can do, which we're still checking.

There is one huge difference to Pandoras power circuit though:
On the Pandora, when a battery is inserted, the power ALWAYS goes through the battery (that's why the Pandora doesn't boot if the battery if flat even with an AC adaptor connected).

On the Pyra, the charger circuit powers the unit and uses the rest to charge the battery.
If the new charging chip can handle two USB ports at the same time, it could charge the battery faster.



Not really. We already own 3000 Pyra batteries and only have about 300 - 400 Pandora batteries left.
And that plastic part would need an extra mold which costs more than it's worth it.

I think it's better if we just create the design and everyone who wants to use it can print it himself.

BTW: We already checked: Pandoras battery can power up the Pyra when it's aligned properly, so that plastic frame would work.



I thought the limit for 32bit systems (even x86) WAS 4GB?
Windows only could use 2GB, with some boot parameter it could use 3GB, but Linux always could use the full 4GB on a 32bit system, AFAIR.
Just a quick clarification: of course everything works parallel.
We ordered the samples a while ago while working on other things.
Nikolaus picked up the sample RAM at GC yesterday and already populated the CPU boards with them today, so tomorrow he can test if that all worked fine.

So if all goes well, we will know this week whether the Samsung Chips work fine.
This isn't a delay of 40 days, we had a lot of other things to work on in parallel, like changes to the charger circuit (so both USB ports can be used for charging), etc. :)
How many projects with that size have you followed?
I am not aware of ANY hobby project that's nearly as complex as the Pyra.
Do you know any hobby projects that involve a 12-layer PCB with a really small size and such a modern SoC? I haven't seen one.
The OMAP5 is A LOT more complex than the OMAP3 in hardware design. Just the software that TI suggests to run simulations upfront before even starting production costs 90k EUR.

Please point me to remotely complex projects that's being run by just a bunch of people. I'm happy to learn something new.

You might not realize that there are many, many, MANY little things that are customs solutions, which are anything but easy.
Yes, we could've simply got some reference design for a mobile device (as GPD, JXD, many chinese tablets, etc. do), change the layout a bit and be done with it.
That would be easy.

What's different?
Here are some examples:

  • We've got two MicroUSB ports and want to be able to use both for charging. Sounds easy? Well, yes, at first. But there's no charger chip out there that actually supports TWO USB ports. Addtionally to that, USB needs to negotiate the maximum allowed current... and the USB protocol needs to work as well. No easy task, and a pure custom solution.
  • Similar are the SD-Card slots: The OMAP5 doesn't support as many SD Card / eMMC-Slots we're offering. So we need some muxing to be able to handle that. That's also a custom solution that doesn't work out of the box.
  • Design which supports a replaceable CPU board in that small footprint? Also doesn't exist.
Additionally, it doesn't help that the OMAP5 isn't supported that well by TI.
There are many unfinished drivers and other things. Remember we needed to use a rotator chip as TI's implementation of TILER to rotate the screen slowed it down to 10 - 12fps?
We trusted them when they told us TILER is not meant to rotate a full screen. So we looked for the chip.
Well, finding the chip, implementing it and getting it almost to work (without VSync) took about 6 - 7 months. Then zmatt came in and fixed the TILER, and suddenly it worked without the chip.
That was great, yes, but it did cost us quite a few months, and we certainly didn't expect that issue.



Maybe. Maybe not. Depends. The list of issues is getting smaller, we're fixing more and more stuff.
We're coming closer, we're not stepping backwards.



Yes? I see a lot of people who post here anticipate the release, knowing it will take as long as it will take.
And only a few who are getting really impatient.



I guess you should reread the post. It says that we've got the funds for the full mass production when we got 1000 preorders.
It doesn't say we will start the mass production as soon as we have 1000 preorders (that wouldn't make any sense).



Sure. I didn't know you were with me when all of that happened.
Here's what really happened:

I'm ordering the keymats from an austrian company (production happens in China though, as there are no production companies doing that in Europe).
I got some testing samples (with exact forces on them) so I could give them the exact requirements (force needed, travel distance needed), which they told the chinese company.

So much for your theory that we didn't give clear requirements.

What happened? The keymats we received had a too high travel distance and needed too much force.
Sadly, neither the austrian company nor I had the specific measurement machine to accurately tell what was wrong with that.
So we assumed what we got was what we ordered (they never had any issue with that chinese company before, and they're regularly working with them) and therefore lowered the travel distance a bit as well as lowering the required force.

The result was that the travel distance was too little. Force couldn't really be tested, as the carbon pads did make the contact with the PCB too soon.

That's when I visited them, as something was clearly off here.

At that time, they had bought a 3D scanner for exact measurements, so we checked the keymats we got.
The result: The travel distance of the first keymat did NOT meet our requirement (it was 1,2mm instead of the requested 0,9mm), so our first change (to 0,8mm) was wrong because of that.
The new one was correct (as we could measure now).

We couldn't really check the force though (sadly), but the austrian company is buying the tools for that right now so we can make sure our requirements are set.

Another issue was, as you mentioned, all the coatings:
While the keymat manufacturer has produced a lot of keymats, they NEVER produced a keymat like that.
A keymat that needs various coatings to we have semi-transparent buttons with different colors AND plastic tops on top?
There's a special coating that prevents air bubbles to appear when the tops are glued onto it.
As it turned out, that coating affected the keymat material. They've never used it before, so that was something they also didn't know.
So they now made a stencil layer so that the coating affecting the materials is ONLY on the buttons, not anywhere else.

How would you have handled that?
Would you have spent 50k for measurement devices so you can check the keymats yourself our would you have trusted you got what you ordered?



Yes and no.
Yes: It takes time - but only because the requirements have not been met and I wasn't able to check that.
No: It cost less money, as it wasn't our fault, so the changes to the molds and the later revisions have been paid by the chinese company.

To speed things up, we could've done various versions at the same time - which means we would've needed multiple molds for 10k EUR each.
That would've been costly indeed.



You know a company that can create the full Pyra for 200k EUR?
Awesome, please introduce me to them.

I actually asked a couple of companies in Germany. The offers I received was about 150k EUR for the PCB design and 200k EUR for the case and molds.
And that's without a keymat yet.

That's about twice the budget we used for the Pyra.



Yes and no.
Yes: The Pandora had huge delays with the case design as well. The problem is: There's no budget to use the best company available. I've got a plastic injection company just round the corner from my home - but I cannot afford 200k EUR for the case and molds (we're getting them for 60k EUR). So yes, it takes longer, as they are certainly not as experienced as a huge company in Germany, but it is affordable.

Lessons NOT learned?
Well, I moved to European companies as I can visit them easily when there are any issues, which has proved out to be a good idea so far.
Sadly, that doesn't mean that everything works as smoothly as you think.

What will you do if the companies are not delivering as promised?
Switch to a different one half-way through, hoping they will be better (and having to restart and lose the money you paid so far?)
If I had 1 Million EUR funds, I would've probably done that, or used more expensive companies in Germany right from the start.

The funds were never there though, given its size, it's a low-budget project.



One note: I never stated that. That's mostly coming from community members.
I am just stating I want it to be AS GOOD as possible (which doesn't mean it'll be the best product).
It will have issues, downsides, sure. We'll have a lot of compromises here and I plan on improving the case later when the Pyra is selling well (it can be made at least 3 - 4mm thinner, but would need some redesigns that require new molds).
The case is changeable though, so I can offer it to everyone who already has a Pyra at that time.

However, what we're fixing are showstoppers. A gaming device where the DPad doesn't feel good is just not feasible.
A case where the shoulder buttons aren't properly working is also not acceptable.

We ARE doing the last tweaks that NEED to be done. Not the ones that would be NICE to be fixed.



Yes, though that depends on the complexity and the available sample layouts.
As metioned: Intel, Rockchip, etc. all provide sample layouts which you can copy 1:1 onto your layout and most likely have a fully working product right from the start.
We have the schematics from the uEVM, but that doesn't have any batteries included, only one SD Card slot, a totally different power circuit, etc.
So we had to do that completely ourselves - whereas others can just use the existing circuits.



Yes. And?
That doesn't say anything about the complexity of the stuff he's doing.

As Audi is in Ingolstadt and I know many companies that produce stuff for Audi, I know quite some designers there as well.

Car sensor systems, for example?
The hardware usually is a fixed SoM (system on module) which has everything you need, the sensors are connected to it and the software is even a universal software used by many different car manufacturers and just gets the branding changed and features enabled / disabled.

We don't have a SoM, we had to CREATE our own one (that's the CPU board).

Another aspect in the automotive sector: There's a lot of space and things are huge.

Often it's possible to use 2-layer PCBs, sometimes 4-layer PCBs. And you usually don't need to use small footprint BGAs, which means that you can easily modify connections, replace complete parts, etc.
So with one sample, you can often rewire things and change parts until everything works as planned and then use a prototype for testing.

With a 12-layer PCB with BGAs, it's simply not possible to change traces that are below a BGA or inside the PCB.
You can only change it, produce more PCBs and see whether that fixed it.

Additionally, things are REALLY complex here. If the battery readout in the OS is wrong, what's the reason?
Hardware issue? Maybe. But is it the Palmas, the charger chip, the switcher for the USB port?
Or is it part of a software issue? Maybe. But for which driver?

It's not that easy to find out.

Feel free to ask your hardware guy whether he ever needed to design such a complex device as the Pyra (one 12-layer PCB, one 4-layer PCB and a 2-layer PCB) with so many features and customizations at once.

There's one important thing you mentioned:
"Special requirements to safety and security".

That means that things are LESS complex and as simple as possible (depending on the needed features).
Instead of ONE system that does everything, you usually create systems working independently for themselves (sensors, etc.) and then combining them into the full system with various communications.

It's WAY too dangerous to have ONE system handle too much. Which is the total opposite of what we do with the Pyra.
[doublepost=1490214678,1490212594][/doublepost]BTW: I received a first version of aTc's PyraOS working on the current prototypes yesterday.

Just found the time to install and boot it. :D

I'm currently at a hotel near Frankfurt, so I don't have a good camera with me (only my old Droid4), so the screen looks blurry... but in reality, it REALLY looks awesome!

BTW: I REALLY do love the viewing angle of the LCD.
Looking at it sideways doesn't change the brightness or readability at all.

Here are the quick snaps:

View attachment 30195 View attachment 30196 View attachment 30197 View attachment 30198 View attachment 30199
I seems like it always has been the plan to be able to use two charge ports one by one and both at the same time. Then reality hit, though, I don't find anything like "Plans dropped, 'cause such'n'such". And now it seems to be as @pocak describes it. Both can be used for charging, but oly one or the other at any given time. Pity
 

Dark Pulse

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So from the sound of things, both ports can be used to charge it, but both ports can't be used in conjunction to charge it twice as fast as normal.
 
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