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I'm out of ideas for news-titles

Discussion in 'Pyra News' started by EvilDragon, Sep 5, 2017.

  1. CrystalGamma

    CrystalGamma Still Fresh

    Jan 7, 2015
    If it means you can start shipping by the end of the month vs. having to wait another month or something, then I'd certainly be fine with a 2GB (I am hoping you will be selling CPU board upgrades in a year or two …)
    rygD, Kev2442 and Swordfish II like this.
  2. SneHebNor

    SneHebNor Member

    May 15, 2016
    Which flir camera model has been used for the pictures? Just curious!
  3. Swordfish II

    Swordfish II Very Active Member

    May 20, 2015
    Honestly I would be Ok with #1, since I don't have hundreds of tabs open at once, autocad running, and I tend to use LXDE or XFCE, etc.

    What happened with the wifi antenna? I remember someone had mentioned the antenna needed to be swapped due to issues. I also remember Golden Deli mentioned some issue with the (eagle) layout?
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2017
    rygD likes this.
  4. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Mar 4, 2003
    That's not an issue, just something that needs to be measured properly. With two diversity antennas, you shouldn't have any issues.
    Oh, coming along nicely. Battery readout is working, touchscreen calibration, keyboard incl. Shortcuts and the special keys are working...
    Like on the Pandora, it will mature over the years, but it's working nicely already.
    Well, once I give the greenlight, it'll take about 6 weeks and then production can start.

    Sent from my XT1650-03 using Tapatalk
    rSl, Penguin-Guru, rygD and 4 others like this.
  5. pyrat

    pyrat Member

    May 20, 2016
    Please rest.

    Good news you can make some checks upfront, but you still need to test samples, specially if the material is different
    from before. Some stress test or mechanical checking would be in order.

    I have a feeling changing company now would delay it further and introduce new problems that may slip through if checked in a hurry.
    But I understand the scheduling problems with the company you're using now. I guess asking for some quotes can't hurt.

    There's hope this works at last.

    Good that the colling works. I have some questions. Excuse my ignorance.
    • Does the heatsink near the USB port have some impact on any attached USB devices ? Some USB devices get hot on their own.
    • is it possible to plug some external (removable) heatsink in the USB port (maybe for use in a table, not handheld, and far enogh that other ports are not blocked). Or would that put too much heat through the USB port and so stress it and eventually lead to contacts unsoldering or any other problem?
    • At some point I seem to recall the SD cages were also going to help cooling. Or was it that they needed cooling ?
    I don't know if this is possible, but have you tested some way with some bigger heatsink or pipe or some other cooling that is much more efficient than
    what fits in the case, just to suggest whether there's a limit in the heat spreader (the sheet of heatpipe-material getting heat from CPU to heatsink) or the heatsink itself?

    I don't know how feasible this coul be, and I don't think it has priority, but can the Pyra work plugged without a battery (and without battery cover)?
    Could some cooling device be designed, for putting in the battery compartment when the Pyra is plugged to mains, so that
    it improves heat dissipation and the CPU can work at 1,5GHz for longer when on a table near a plug?

    It could just take heat out to external sinks or it could be powered and use fans or whatever. (Or have liquid pipes to heat a keetle or whatever :eek:p).
    It could be combined with some form of docking station if convenient, although I tend to prefer one device for one function.

    I think there are docking stations for laptops with fans, so it would be more or less the same but used without the battery to get
    closer to the heat source. It could even daisy chain and allow the battery to be plugged externally and forward the contacts to the pyra,
    if people want a bulkier desktop pyra combo unplugged.

    It might need case modification to get some better thermal connection to the heat spreader or something... (holes in the plastic between battery and
    cpu board for metal contacts in the cooling device to go through) The difficulty is you don't
    want heat to go to the battery compartment when used handheld with battery (as designed) so any thermal connection should be
    removable or replaceable with thermal insulation. Sounds complex.

    And it depends on the weather...

    Let's finish this one first.

    Glad to hear of ethical concerns. I wish I could help with that but I'm bad at electronics.
    I don't think there are tantalum capacitors made from conflict free tantalum. I guess most providers just source
    materials from different sources and don't give that kind of fair trade guarantee, but I don't really know.
    So I'm hoping it can be fixed with non-tantalum capacitors.

    I don't remember how many 4GB prototypes are out there.

    Would that require a new PCB or is it somehow fixable by soldering a cable on top of it or something ?
    I'm guessing power traces won't be accessible for soldering anything, maybe in a middle layer or whatever :(
    I mean for testing whether this is the case, for production I guess you need a new PCB, since I can hardly imagine
    pick and place machines soldering a cable between legs of different chips, specially "legless" BGA chips :)

    Good luck. That'd be best.

    And can't they just be poorly soldered? Maybe not a missed contact nor a short, just insufficient contact area sometimes ?
    That might also explain why one board works and others don't ?

    Can't you just test the new PCBs, a few with the new 4GB chips and others with the 4GB you already have ?

    In fact if there have been changes, testing the old PCB is not as useful. We're interested in how well the new ones work.
    Everything you can test with the already existing prototypes is fine, but if you're going to build new prototypes and have
    new PCBs, isn't it worth to test if these new PCBs work with the RAM you already have in stock?

    Maybe try in order:
    1- new PCB with old RAM (if this works we're happy, but the test sounds more expensive than 2 so maybe exchange 1 and 2?).
    2- old PCB with old RAM (and new EMIF settings).
    2- new PCB with new RAM (good but you'll lose money)
    3- old PCB with new RAM (you'll lose more money and whatever the new PCB fixes, which I'm not sure it was required after all, or nice to have).

    So the new 500 PCBs you have are the new optimized version (theoretically less noisy), they just doesn't have the hypothethical yet to be discovered hardware fix for 4GB RAM, right ?
    Or you have 500 PCBs with the unoptimized (theoretically more noisy) previous design ?

    I want 4GB of RAM, preferably with timings as fast as possible, I can wait for it. If eventually the only option is 2GB I guess I'd cancel.
    Anyway I don't think I'm in the first 500 preorders, so it might not even matter.

    I think you are already overstressed, but I don't know if RAM prices can be tracked somehow (by someone more or less used to these markets?) so that
    they can help ED know when is the best moment to sell minimising loses (I guess prices fluctuate? currency certainly does).
    rSl likes this.
  6. stevenc99

    stevenc99 Still Fresh

    May 10, 2016
    Successfully tested the Pyra's Wi-Fi at DebConf17. It worked, showed good speeds, but signal strength dropped off sharply with distance from the access point. It seems like, the transmit or receive SNR is worse than it should be.
    rSl, Pyramancer, Penguin-Guru and 2 others like this.
  7. Bernd

    Bernd Very Active Member

    May 4, 2016
    One thing with tantalum caps is, that they're unreliable compared to ceramic capacitors.

    By the way: there is not "the ceramic capacitor".
    There are many different types of ceramic capacitor.
    The cheaper ones have a tendency to whine.
    There are sorts which stay silent.
  8. stevenc99

    stevenc99 Still Fresh

    May 10, 2016
    Confirmed: pre-orders have shipped!
    rygD likes this.
  9. remjey

    remjey Still Fresh

    May 4, 2016
    Thanks ED for the news, it’s always a pleasure to read the in-depth story of the making of the Pyra.

    I hope the 2GB first, 4GB later scenario works for everyone. I’d be waiting for the 4GB version though, but I’m pretty sure lots of people have use cases that don’t mandate 4GB and ordered this version because of the negligible additional cost.

    Having lots of “free” RAM gives space for the Kernel to work faster, using cache and defragmenting the RAM less often for example (what Linux calls “free” RAM is full of cache, as it can be deallocated immediately should the applications need more memory). Cache is very important and modern filesystems make use of it to accelerate random writes and limit fragmentation, which is important on flash storage. People who want to use Eclipse or other development tools or any tools that stress the RAM and/or storage will always benefit more RAM, even if they don’t use all the RAM. Also swapping on flash hurts it and should be avoided.
    jorlinn, error, tarator and 1 other person like this.
  10. JDTAY

    JDTAY Half Pepperoni, All Cheese

    Sep 15, 2015
    North Carolina, USA
    6 weeks? Don't you mean... Two more months™?
    Kippykip, rygD, Kev2442 and 2 others like this.
  11. matzesu

    matzesu Advanced Member

    Jul 22, 2009
    Germany,, Saarland, at home
    Noooo !!! That's too short, I need circa 2 more months (tm) to end gta San Andreas, Half Life 2 and Doom 3 on the GPD Win..

    But nothing Stopps me to play whit the Gpd even if I have my Pyra, so let's fix the issues and full steam ahead too Produktion
    rSl and Kippykip like this.
  12. error

    error Active Member

    Oct 22, 2012
    Dallas, TX, USA
    It works fine for me: I'll be happy to wait as long as it takes, and I don't mind other people getting their 2GB models before me.

    I just hope that there aren't so many of us holding out for 4GB that it delays things for everybody.
    rygD likes this.
  13. mecksg1

    mecksg1 Very Active Member

    Jul 20, 2010
    i would ok with a 2Gb pyra if it came to that
    rygD, Kev2442 and zedr0k like this.
  14. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Mar 4, 2003
    Yes, of course, don't worry about that!
    But if I had the 3D data before, I wouldve known before the shoulder buttons won't work.

    Not really. The moulds can be transported there within a few days and they've proven to be a lot more reliable.
    They also have 16 machines instead of only two, so the production would be a lot faster.

    It's not an unknown company we're talking about - I already moved some moulds to them already.

    Not really, It's sitting below the USB port, not directly touching it.

    That would only work if the heatsink would be directly connected to the USB port.

    There's a huge aluminium plate between the PCB and battery compartment, and they're also connected to the SD Card slots.
    So they help a bit of cooling, but not the CPU but rather help to spread the heat inside so that the battery won't run hot.

    We can't use a thicker one, but we can add more width and also use two heatsinks.
    Whether that would help (as the current one is already covering the CPU fully) is not known yet.

    The Pyra can be used without a battery, yes.
    However, your idea is not feasible - as it would mean we would need to put heatpipes directly from the CPU to the battery compartment if you want to cool it there...
    And when the battery is in there, it would directly heat up the battery - which is not a good idea :D

    Not really - unless your weather would heat it up to more than 90°C :)

    zmatt has two, Tony has one, Nikolaus has one.
    I can build a few more though.

    No, it can't be handsoldered. You'd need a new PCB layout.

    Unlikely, as then the memory would show other issues.

    Yes, but populating a few of them would cost about 2000 - 3000 EUR.
    So we'll try to work out everything else before.

    Well, our order is 2, 3, 1&2 at the same time.
    Because 1&2 means a new population with the machine, and that triggers the above mentioned costs of 2000 - 3000 EUR.

    The 500 we have are the optimized ones. The one we're using right now are the unoptimized.

    Naaaah. It's not like buying off-the-shelf RAMs. They don't fluctuate that much and usually have a leadtime of 6 - 8 weeks.
    rSl, Penguin-Guru, rygD and 3 others like this.
  15. Eight Bit

    Eight Bit Advanced Member

    Nov 16, 2008
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    I'd take a capped to 2GB 4GB board if that would be an option. If the problem ends up to be on the software side, great! I'll update that and have 4GB board.
    If it ends up to be a problem on the hardware side it would be nice to be able to trade in the old 4GB CPU board for an improved 4GB board, after which Ed can sell the old 4GB board as a 2GB board...
    Something like that would have my preference. No boards thrown away, faster Pyra delivery, everybody 'appy
    rSl, Haraldur, rygD and 2 others like this.
  16. castlefox

    castlefox Still Fresh

    Sep 6, 2009
    Chicago Area, IL USA
    Thank you alec I was wondering about the issue with Tantalum capacitors
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2017
  17. Caine

    Caine Hardcore Member

    Jun 5, 2008
    Don't worry, you will have plenty of time to finish those while waiting, I'm sure. If not, then you are free to move to the back of the queue :)
    Djoga'Ro likes this.
  18. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

    Oct 3, 2008
    I thought the 500 run of the optimized boards was supposed to help fix the issues that are still being chased on the unoptimized version.

    Wouldn't the next step still be to populate some of the 500 to see if it fixes any of the outstanding issues?

    Yes - somewhat expensive, but at some point it becomes a logical step if the 4GB issues are going to be overcome.

    With regards to the 'unoptimized' boards. You mentioned that there are several populated with 4GB being used to chase down the related issues. How many 2GB unoptimized boards are in developer hands? How are they working?
    rygD likes this.
  19. Kev2442

    Kev2442 Still French

    Nov 4, 2014
    42 (Loire) is the answer.
    I chose the 4GB because I could. Plus I'm a bit worried about sharing memory with the video chip. I can see a game requiring 256 megs of VRAM and 1.5G of memory. This doesn't leave much for the system.
    Anyway, I doubt such a game would make it to the first gen Pyra. And I think I'd gladly take 2GBs if it comes cheaper and earlier, and wait for an upgrade.

    IMHO, futureproofing the current CPUPCB won't be by with maxing out its usable RAM, but rather its usable clock speed. After all...


    Love that pic. I know this quote is out of context, I just find it funny.
  20. pyrat

    pyrat Member

    May 20, 2016
    Well, you know this business better than I, of course. I was fearing some informaiton lost somewhere,
    some hidden incompatibility, they giving little priority to small orders (guessing yours is small, which I already
    don't know because I don't know what's big or small in that maret) who knows?.

    But if you already have the experience, I'd better shut up.

    Good to hear.

    Ok, but it sounds safer as it is. So all good.

    Err... ok. I didn't remember this. I thought there was only this heatpipe thing touching the CPU and extending until near the USB.
    So this video (near 7:45) is not up to date as to the mounting procedure, there are two more plates to add now. Correct ?

    Now I don't know whether I wasn't clear, I was clear explaining a nonsensical idea and so equally hard to understand or both.
    I was just thinking that if the current solution does not remove enough heat for the CPU to work more often at 1,5GHz maybe
    one could try to diagnose whether it is because the heatsink is small or because the heatpipe can't move enough heat.
    So one possible solution would be to measure with a bigger heatsink (a bigger heatpipe won't fit, I guess), even if you can't
    close the case properly with the bigger heatsink. the goal is not to use that bigger heatsink, just to show that the heatpipe
    can move enough heat to it, so there's some use in thinking about two small heatsinks or some other solution. If the bigger heatsink
    does not make a difference then it is the heatpipe that can't move more heat and there's no point adding a second heatsink or
    a better one or so because the bottleneck is the heatpipe.
    Assume you have a bigger heatsink (just a PC CPU heatsink, for instance). You measure with the bigger heatsink (maybe
    with the case open since it won't fit inside it. Then you measure with the case equally open but the current small heatsink.
    If the two measures are similar, the current heatsink may be enough and you can leave it like now or at most try to improve the heatppe.
    If the measure of the bigger heatsink is much better (lower heat near CPU) than the measure of the smaller heatsink then
    you can think of adding a second heatsink, or replace the current one by something else, or case modification to vent near the
    heatsink, or whatever.

    But now you say you need a bigger heatpipe for 2 heatsinks so Iguess it is not worth it.

    That's the difficulty I said, the goal is the opposite with or without the battery.
    You need something that brings heat to the battery compartment when you use the cooling device
    and insulates it when using the battery.
    I've looked at images again and I don't find how to do that.

    Thanks. So 4 4GB prototypes.
    And none works perfect with the default settings, one works fine with somewhat weird settings,
    and one or three don't work with any known settings (I'm not sure there've been tests with all known settings in all prototypes).
    Or I just didn't understand the situation?
    This makes it difficult to tell whether there's some kind of yield issue that makes some trouble in 3 boards,
    or the hardware design could be improved somehow and some of the chips Tony has just happen to be a little more tolerant
    or all known settings aren't optimal and some unknown one would just make them all work...
    Which is essentially what you've been saying from the start, yes.

    Ah, ok.

    Makes sense. On the other hand if the issue is so subtle that the same design with the same population run produced one
    working and 3 not working boards with the same EMIF settings, then maybe the optimization in the new boards might
    change some subtle condition and make it work with more normal settings or even make the problem worse (unlikely).

    I mean in some way there's some waste in the work on the unoptimized PCB prototypes since the new PCBs is what
    will ship (if made to work with the amount of RAM 500 people accept). In theory the work on the old PCB prototypes is
    useful because the new PCB doesn't change significantly and changes for good. But in theory 4GB should work in the old
    PCBs, so there's missing data somewhere in this theory.

    Sorry, it looks I can't count to 4. I gave two options numbered 2. I meant:

    1- new PCB with old RAM (if this works we're happy, but the test sounds more expensive than 2 so maybe exchange 1 and 2?).
    2- old PCB with old RAM (and new EMIF settings).
    3- new PCB with new RAM (good but you'll lose money)
    4- old PCB with new RAM (you'll lose more money and whatever the new PCB fixes, which I'm not sure it was required after all, or nice to have).

    So I guess you mean your order is 2,4, 1||3 in parallel. ?
    Can you exchange RAM chips on an old PCB (for 4) without a population run ?

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