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One week with the Pyra

Discussion in 'Pyra News' started by EvilDragon, Mar 19, 2016.

  1. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    As you all know, I've had the the Pyra prototype for about a week now.
    What were my experiences so far?

    Well, don't expect me to tell you how it can be used in everyday life!
    We're still setting everything up, so my main focus is getting a basic working system first and testing the hardware itself.

    Here are some results:

    Case:

    It seems to be pretty robust. Like the Pandora, I've had it with me in the pockets and it survived that.
    One little thing is that the LCD-to-LCD-PCB connector came off one time, but that can be fixed easily by doing a minor modification in the case (so that it keeps the connector in place).

    It's a bit thicker than the Pandora, but that's not really an issue (at least not for me).
    It feels a bit weird at the beginning, but you quickly get used to it. The rounded edges are great when you hold it in your hand for a longer time.

    The weight is similar to the above: It WILL be a bit heavier than the Pandora. We can't change that. The battery itself weighs 30g more.
    The mainboard and cases are almost the same, but right now, the LCD-PCB adds another 20g. These can be brought down a lot though. as that PCB is full-sized and takes has a few copper layers. We can cut out large areas (as not much space it needed) and remove a lot of copper, which will reduce the weight down to probably 5g or something like that.

    The Pandora weighs about 320g, btw.


    Heating:

    I can't say too much about the heat it produces yet, but it can be quite a handwarmer.
    Right now, we have done nothing yet to spread or reduce the heat. We haven't put any heat spreader in there or connected it to the SD Card slots, so we're in the worst possible state now.

    I will do some tests with that and different heat dissipation methods once I've finished setting up the basic stuff.
    Additionally, right now, all components are active (so that they can be tested) and there are nearly no powersaving features included in the OS right now (the OMAP itself doesn't do any powersaving at the moment!), so that's also the worst possible state now.

    I can't say much about the battery life right now, as we haven't calibrated the battery yet (so I don't know when it's fully charged or empty) and as we run everything without power saving now, it wouldn't be a very accurate result.


    OS:

    I got our own OS to work (with MATE desktop), but haven't done much. I want to implement our keyboard layout first. WIthout it, I can't even enter my Wifi password. Yes, I know I could use a normal keyboard, but I want a mobile Pyra experience :)

    I'll create the keyboard layout next week so I can fully enjoy the OS.


    Nubs:

    As the upper part of the case is still partly printed (and therefore a bit fragile) and I don't have a tool to calibrate the touchscreen yet, I mostly use the nubs for mouse navigation.

    And geez, these really rock! They're a hundred times better than Pandoras nubs, very accurate, and really usable as mouse replacement.
    I have issues controlling the mouse when I take the Pandora into my hands, after I've gotten used to those.
    They're a huge improvement!


    LCD / Touchscreen:

    Well, since it can't all be rainbows all the time, here is my currently biggest concern.
    The LCD is great, but I'm not happy with the touchscreen yet.

    It is VERY grainy, sadly, it decreases the picture quality quite a bit.
    So that's something we need to fix.

    The bad thing is: 1000 LCDs exist with that touchscreen already applied to, so they need to be reworked.
    This is going to cost us a bit (probably between 5000 and 10.000 USD), but it seems we can't prevent that...

    How did that happen? Well, when we tested the touchscreen, the OS we were using had a black background. And you don't see the grain before black, only with bright colors.
    So when we approved it, we thought it was good... but now, when running the normal OS, I can see it isn't.

    Well, I'm trying to find out who the manufacturer of Pandoras touchscreen is (the last ones were also custom made for us), as that one really really rocks.

    I guess even if you try to do your best, some fallbacks happen... and here it seems we didn't test it good enough (though I have to admit I've never seen so much grain in ANY touchscreen I've ever seen, so I didn't expect that and we mostly tested the function of it).

    Besides cost (and more work for me), it shouldn't do any delays, as replacing the touchscreens can be done within a week and the leadtime for the PCBs is a lot longer.

    So, I'm mostly content with the Pyra right now, except for the touchscreen (which really frustrates me right now!), but we'll get that right as well!

    Heating is still a bit of a concern, but I'll concentrate on that one too, and the battery manufacturer has agreed to help us here when we provide them case data and informations where the heat spots are, so we should be fine with that.

    What I'm really looking forward to is when we have the system released:
    Improvements in the future. Thanks to the fact that everything is replaceable, it'll be fun working on new CPU boards, etc. to improve the system.


    Preordering:

    As so many of you are asking about preorders:
    I'm having a meeting with Global Components next week to find out the production cost details.
    I can then continue to work on the prototype during the easter holidays (keyboard layout, etc.) so that I'll have a good feeling about it.

    So preorders should start shortly after the easter holidays.
    Oh, ans as many mentioned they would like to get two or more: I'll probably make a discount for that. Can't say how much though until I got the final prices, right? :)
     
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  2. Caine

    Caine Advanced Member

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    Thank you for the update Michael. I'm not too worried about the extra weight or size. Great to hear those nubs are rocking!

    The screen is an unfortunate setback. But better to incur a penalty than push out a crappy screen.

    Take your time to make it great!
     
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  3. sepulep

    sepulep Member

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    I don't mind extra weight as long as it fits the same volume, so for me no need to remove the copper :)...

    bummer about the touchscreen, you sure they will all have the same graininess??
     
  4. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    Yes, they're all cut from the same material after all :)
     
  5. vcoleiro1

    vcoleiro1 Hardcore Member

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    ED, Can you post a Pic of the grainy touch screen.
     
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  6. FaeMinx

    FaeMinx Rainbow Liberation Instigation

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    All good news.
    Sorry to hear about the graininess on brighter colours... that's something that i discovered on one of my own projects... darker colours and shades are absolutely spot on, but as soon as you start working in the brighter expressions.... there is a very noticeable 'film' that obscures clarity... especially when i am working in ultra fine detail. There is a measure of 'trust' and detachment nescessary that is unavoidable... but at least i have modified my writing impliments to attain perfect accuracy (within the limits of my current hardware)... and the texture feedback from the film is such a fantastic help i can draw 'as if' i am opperating in natural media. The feedback is such a great addition to my experience i am willing to overlook the visual 'muddiness'... I know what i am doing from feel alone, so anything i produce retains all the information i put into it, and crystal clarity is simply a matter of viewing my work on the right screen.

    * I thought of sharing the method i used to modify my impliments, but I realized that people who try to employ my methods without the same degree of sensitivity that comes naturally to me, would in all likelihood stuff it up and ruin some very expensive equipment... and besides, i know that most are too lazy and impatient to put in the effort and focus required.
    So it is probably best I show how these modifications are done with a hands-on one on one demonstration.

    Eagerly awaiting further Prototype developments... and I'm looking forward to the solution that is arrived at regarding greater clarity.

    ED, when you find the right solution... do you have an art application that you can test pressure sensitivity with?
    If we can have a workable pressure gradient that can be made use of in applications... I will be most pleased.


    Sent from my GT-N5100 using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2016
  7. CrazyIvan

    CrazyIvan Member

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    ED, when do you plan to decide on sound implementation? If I remember correctly, you or Nicolaus planned to compare sound quality of internal DAC+amp vs external DAC+amp (pandora configuration) on actual prototypes to decide which implementation to use.
     
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  8. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow Member

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    That's what I really appreciate about this developement. Not only you are keeping us up to date, but you are also informing us about troubles in time. A big thanks for this honesty!

    The touchscreen issue is really unfortunate, especially as is might slow down developement and increase developement costs.
    I'd say that actually I might consider some amount of graininess even as an advantage, as it might reduce reflections.
    But if you say it would decrease picture quality significantly that sounds bad.

    Hopefully you find a relatively quick solution that won't cost too much.

    The rest of the update sound pretty good!
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2016
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  9. AnimatedFreak

    AnimatedFreak Very Active Member

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    I don't mind the extra size and weigh, I have a purse with me so I keep my devices there. Sad to hear about the screen. But happy to see the device coming along so fast. When do you think you will have the upper case part?
     
  10. Christoph.Krn

    Christoph.Krn Very Active Member

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    To clarify, are you only talking about the later Pandoras? My (early) Pandora does have very noticeable grain in the screen.
     
  11. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    You always have a LITTLE grain with some touchscreens. Earlier Pandoras had a bit more than later ones, AFAIR.

    Every matte screen has grain, as that's the reason they're matte. The other option is glossy, but that's horrible :)
     
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  12. Linux-SWAT

    Linux-SWAT Advanced Member

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    Thank you for the report !
     
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  13. sepulep

    sepulep Member

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    maybe there is a double layer of something, or some other manufacturing defect??..anyway I guess you are going to figure this one out in any case!
     
  14. lordbobjones

    lordbobjones Member

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    Wooot. Getting pumped for pre order! Thanks!!!
     
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  15. matzesu

    matzesu Advanced Member

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    Sounds good so far, expect for the grain touchscreen..
    You still use printet parts, so this means all remeaning parts are on Mould 3 ??
    Glad to hear ists still pokatable..
    Even if its 40 gramms heafear than Pandora..

    Cant you ask Craigix where the Pandora Touchscreen came frome??

    Do i have to preeorder?? Or is this allready done whit my Preepreeordering??
    I would say yes, because i should tell you, on which modell you have to put the "Prepreorder Firstbatch Nr 28" Sticker...
     
  16. Faust

    Faust Very Active Member

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    If you cut some copper, it's going to reduce the heat spreading, right? I rather keep more heat spread than having a lighter Pyra.
     
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  17. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    The copper we want to cut is in the display PCB. There's no heat issue there :)
     
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  18. matzesu

    matzesu Advanced Member

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    But ditnt the PCB also stabilisate the Display a bit?? So its a bit sturdiar as whitouth the PCB??
    So it want crack that easy..

    But on the other side: less weight on the Display also means that the hinge gets less stress and the lid will work lots better..
     
  19. ekianjo

    ekianjo Hardcore Member

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    the extra weight is going to be a little of a concern for me, I get joint pains when I use the Pandora for too long.
    As for the display, I hope you find a good alternative to fix it :)
     
  20. PSC

    PSC Still Fresh

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    Thank you for your hard working and sharing.

    It is sad to hear the screen problem, but English is not my mother tongue, I don't understand what means "grainy", the back light didn't spread evenly? Or the pixels are too large then you can recognize them clearly like those screens on Nintendo DS? Or the screen could not display enough colors, then the colors can't change smoothly, like those 16 bit images?

    And I have some questions about preorder, is it means preoder for massive products? I want to buy a Pyra which is mature enough, but I'd like to take part in preorder, if my money could help. I can't say I have much money, only 1000 Euros, I don't know if it is enough to take part in preorder. Oh I even don't know if it is possible to transfer money from China to German, I register on Paypal recently, but Never tried to pay.
     

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