No prototypes for GamesCom, but a Wifi Chip and a Pyra in the dark!


EvilDragon

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No Prototypes for GamesCom

I'm really sad to tell you that we won't have fully assembled prototypes ready for the GamesCom.
The CPU PCB WAS to complex - the company that promised to be able to produce them within 5 days (for double the price) found out they couldn't.
They further increased the price and pushed back the delivery date to July 24th - but apparently, that still wasn't possible... we still didn't get the bare PCBs yet.

So they'll be too late for GamesCom and Nikolaus goes on a (well-deserved!) vacation this Saturday until August 14th, so he won't be able to do anything until then.
As soon as he gets back, he'll create the prototype PCBs as planned, so we should have them shortly after the GamesCom.

Of course, we will NOT pay the full price for those PCBs. We won't pay more than a non-express production would've cost us... but still, it's a bit annoying.

WHAT we'll have at the GamesCom is still a fully working devboard and maybe even connected to the original LCD in a case!
We'll keep you up-to-date, but you can be sure to fully test the current version of the OS and play around.

That's the only bad news for today, so let's continue with the good stuff!


The solution for the Wifi Chip

While the chip we originally had planned still has a leadtime of at least 30 weeks, we found a replacement that is available from stock - and it even uses the more recent WiLink8 chipset (and it's well supported in mainline kernel).

Nikolaus managed to squeeze the slightly bigger chip onto the mainboard. So the last missing hardware puzzle piece has been added as well.

The chip is available in various versions:
With and without bluetooth and with or without additional 5GHz channels.

Of course, Bluetooth is a no-brainer (it only adds 1 EUR to the price anyways), but the additional 5GHz doubles the cost (from 14 EUR to 28 EUR), so that's something to think about.
The different versions are all pin-compatible, so we can use any of them without a redesign. The question is whether 5GHz is worth the additional costs.
My experiences with 5GHz weren't too good, to be honest. I didn't really get more speed, but a less reliable network connection.

What do you think? Do you use 5GHz Wifi?



Finalizing the keyboard layout

Thanks to the poll and your comments, we were able to finish a keyboard layout that should be usable and satisfy most of you.
We will still work and tweak on the look of some of the symbols and char, but the functionality should be finished (unless someone finds a huge flaw here).

So, here it is:

Blender.png


Some renderings for you

In case you missed them on Twitter (or in the various threads here), here are some of the latest renderings I created, using the real case and keymat data!

Please keep in mind that the color is not finished, I just used some grey as case color now, but we haven't even thought about the real case color yet.

LatestGrey.jpgLatestGreyTop.jpg

And here is one that shows what the keyboard will probably look like when you're in the dark (although it's hard to tell how accurate that will be):

Dark.jpg


Well, that's it for today.
Hope to meet some of you guys next week at the GamesCom in Cologne! :)
 

elvissteinjr

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The Alt and Ctrl labels are bigger than Start and Select while I'd consider those as gaming buttons and would prefer them to have the samlabel ordering as the round gaming buttons.
 

lordbobjones

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If you are asking for feedback on the 5ghz wifi, I am with you on the spotty experience.  When it works, it works well, but for the most part, I have not noted a huge speed increase.  So my choice would be for the more cost-effective config.

Exciting to see forward progress!   My money is ready!
 

cqz

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Personally I don't think 5Ghz Wifi is a necessity. I've always found that the advantage from supposedly less congested spectrum is negated by inferior range. In the solid brick place I live it's kind of rubbishy unless I'm in the same room as the router.

...That said I wouldn't be opposed to paying the small extra amount for it. It's probably valuable for people living in apartments and such with lots of interference. 
 

lancesg1

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this looks awsome. cant wait to order one.

on a side note, i can live with out the 5ghz band on the chip.
 

stackshadow

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Well 5GHz.. i used it some time and the network stability decrease. So i switch back to the old stable 2,4Ghz-Band.


So no i don't need the 5GHz wifi option
 

jonlad1

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I dont mind paying for the 5GHz option but happy to go with the consensus :)   
 

SoniX

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Hello, 

I looked at the keyboard poll, but I cant find this layout there. 

I dont like the F11 and F12 key upper right there. F11 and F12 dont need an extra Button; its wasted. 

How does the Screen Brightness Button work? Its only one Button for lighter and darker? 

Its not logically for me to put them both on one Button. 

 

Why not make this this way: 

Left Button Brightness down and F11, right Button Brightness up and F12. 

Would be much more logically, easier to use and would look better! 

There will be no "Hardware" Power-On Switch like on the Pandora anymore? I liked that! 

It was also very usefull if the Pandora freezed. Can we make a Hard-Reset with this Power-On Button on Pyra? 

And can we go in Standby with this Button? 

The LEDs are gone? 

On the Pandora we had LEDs for Bluetooth, Wifi, Power-On/Standby, Charging, SD-Card-1, SD-Card-2, .. 

Now we only have two LEDs? 

I read the keyboard is backlighted. How does this work? Do we have a semitransparent keymat and LEDs under the keymat? 

Besides that, I also dont need 5GHz WLAN; 2,4GHz is enough for me. But I really really need a 3G/LTE Modem. 

How do you guys think does Debian work with Pyra? There a many specially adapted softwarepackages like the PSX emu for Pandora. Would they be ported? 

Thank you so far. 

Greets
 
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thatgui

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The CPU PCB WAS to complex - the company that promised to be able to produce them within 5 days (for double the price) found out they couldn't.


They further increased the price and pushed back the delivery date to July 24th - but apparently, that still wasn't possible... we still didn't get the bare PCBs yet.
I hope it wasn't the company I suggested (contag), they seemed like a very nice company to work in, did not think that they would have totally opposite politics regarding their customers.

What do you think? Do you use 5GHz Wifi?
5Ghz support is definately a nice to have feature. What was the per unit price for the originally intended chip? If it was higher, could leaving out the 5 Ghz band give you more "room to breath" - on the final price calculation side of things ? I would rather see this spend either on improving something else, or just lowering the final price (even if its just a few bucks)

Finalizing the keyboard layout
- Could painting the Pyra logo on [Pyra] in the same color as the FN functions lead to confusion on the newbie side ?


- I would like to see the [Enter],[backspace] and [shift] arrows having a more similar (to each other) design (maybe like on my Cherry G230 keyboard) ?


- One user requested to have some kind of marking on two keys to find keys more easily without looking, the user "Saber" wrote that you are looking into it, could you comment on that ?
 

matzesu

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I was ok whit the Pandora Wifi, so i want need 5 ghz Wifi on Pyra, dosnt have a 5 ghz router..


Also in my Place, Mobile Network is quite faster than home internet..


Its a bit sad that there wont be a full prototyphe on gamescom, but at least it wouldnd cost twize as the 5 weeks pcb


The render looks great, expecly the iluminate keyboard,


Only its a bit strange, its not realy symetric, because the DPAD is still dark..


But the iluminatet gaming Buttons are cool..
 

thatgui

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I looked at the keyboard poll, but I cant find this layout there. 

I dont like the F11 and F12 key upper right there. F11 and F12 dont need an extra Button; its wasted.
The keyboard poll was not meant to choose the final layout, it was meant to give ED an idea in which direction the community was tending regarding the different ideas and features in the specific layouts

There will be no "Hardware" Power-On Switch like on the Pandora anymore? I liked that!
Yup its gone, iirc there was no space left to put it on the front again
The LEDs are gone? 

On the Pandora we had LEDs for Bluetooth, Wifi, Power-On/Standby, Charging, SD-Card-1, SD-Card-2, .. 

Now we only have two LEDs?
Sadly they are gone too, but there is an additional led on the back of the lid (it will illumate the Pyra-Logo)
How does the Screen Brightness Button work? Its only one Button for lighter and darker? 

Its not logically for me to put them both on one Button.
It was a suggestion by the community to do it that way, to save up on dedicated keys. As it looks like this key is responsible for the LCD and keyboard backlight. How it axactly works isn't anncounced yet. Afaik you will use the modifier keys to access the different functions and there may be an endless loop implemented (repeated pressing increases the brightness level, after the max level, the min level is set again)
I read the keyboard is backlighted. How does this work? Do we have a semitransparent keymat and LEDs under the keymat?
jupp
How do you guys think does Debian work with Pyra? There a many specially adapted softwarepackages like the PSX emu for Pandora. Would they be ported?
Debian (well with some Pyra specifics) is intended to be the official distribution so I guess ED will do what he can to make it work. Most of the software adapted to the Pandora will probably see a release on the Pyra (especially if the code is available)
 
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Inqui

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Could live with the 2,4Ghz chip.


Have a dual band router at home, reason for 5Ghz I use for all hardware that supports it: 26x 2,4Ghz found and 2 different 5Ghz networks are in range.


So living on top of 4stages house, and you see it in the Networklist whats goining around here.


BUT I think 2,4Ghz will work also fine, but I would pay the extra for the 5Ghz.


Also think about direkt connection to other hardware thats may supporting 5Ghz in future.
 

SoniX

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What If we scramble these two Buttons (Brightness, F11/F12)? 

-> Left Button Brightness down and F11, right Button Brightness up and F12. 

I think that would be easier to use and will look better. 

It would also be more logically for me. 

Thanks for the other answers thatgui :) 
 

FaeMinx

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Awesomness!


Whoa! That's a very bright keyboard in the dark.


If the outline of the keys is going to be that pronounced, I see myself always keeping key brightness on lowest setting.


Does the outline have to be *that* noticeable?


I was hoping for a more subtle effect.


In terms of Wifi.... I will take stability and range over speed anyday.


Please choose the chip that can be proven to be more reliable.


Thanks.


I assume the 'slower' chip would be more than enough for any form of streaming we end up doing? Yes?


So the case colour is undecided?


Boy oh boy! More polls, moar threadz, MOAR drama time!!!


Oh excitements excitements... Let me find a costume... don't start without me!


*what will I wear?*


*what willl I WEAR!??!*
 

benoitb

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About the wifi chip:

- how much does the +14€ on the chip itself add to the final price ? +14€ ? +20€ ? more ?

- I understand the wifi chip is on the mainboard and not on the CPU board.

If it is not upgradable, it might be worth it to get the 5GHz version right away for futureproofing.
 
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