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Pyramon - product idea for ED? Small HDMI monitor

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Grench, Jan 4, 2018.

  1. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

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    So, I was looking around for a small HDMI monitor to use for another project - and there is crap all out there. Everything I'm finding has either really bad native resolution (rPi stuff) or is meant for professional video camera monitor use and costs $$$. For what I'm doing I simply need a small (~5") portable HDMI 720p or better monitor.

    The Pyra has a nice screen and HDMI output and the whole unit can be powered with a microUSB connection.

    How about using the same screen as the Pyra in a small microUSB powered device with a microHDMI input? I recall that the Pyra's display is MIPI - but I'm not sure if that was based on the Pyra's output or the display's only capability. Can the display 'hear' HDMI too?

    No battery. Just a display, two ports and some low creative plastic to protect the traces and board edges. If someone needs a stand they can get some silly putty or velcro.

    If you want to get fancy, the touchscreen could register as a mouse to the USB port that it's drawing power from.

    Just an idea. I'm not sure if it would be of interest to anyone else. Good/bad/other idea?
     
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  2. Silent-Hunter

    Silent-Hunter Advanced Member

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    I like it but we should wait until the Pyra is done and out.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
  3. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

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    Agreed. My thoughts are more toward a product that can use the same parts and maybe a slight further economy of scale.
     
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  4. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    I'm not sure there are so many economies of scale here; the current pyra PCBs handle MIPI out and HDMI out. HDMI in to MIPI out would probably require a very different board.

    I'd recommend that for reusability, he should be looking first at things that can reuse the CPU board, like a full-sized retro computer, or the fabled pyra phone.

    Not that this wouldn't be a worthwhile thing to sell in his shop.
     
  5. Letalis Sonus

    Letalis Sonus Very Active Member

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    MIPI is an entirely different matter. Whereas HDMI is a stupid connection that just pukes out RAW display data without transmitting any kind of command to the display, MIPI kind of requires writing an actual driver for your display.
     
  6. AnimatedFreak

    AnimatedFreak Very Active Member

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    I've too been looking for a portable monitor for when I get my Pyra. I decided that to hold up with my search for when the Pyra is out. I'm sure other people will be searching for that too.
     
  7. Eight Bit

    Eight Bit Advanced Member

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    Well, the Pyra has HDMI and USB output for power, it would be sweet if a case clip-on or attachment could be made so that the Pyra can run a portable extended desktop or dual screen mode :D

    But I agree, Pyra first, and then there's also the wish for a nice dock
     
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  8. rygD

    rygD Nihilistic Mystic

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    Not sure what price is considered acceptable, and this one is a bit larger (7 inches) but https://www.mimomonitors.com/collections/all/products/mimo-um-760-7-display

    I look for little monitors from time to time (they are indeed difficult to find when you have specific needs). If ED made one I see no reason not to add it to my list, although I agree it should wait, and devices that use the CPU board should come first.
    --- Double Post Merged, Jan 5, 2018, Original Post Date: Jan 5, 2018 ---
    Ah, nevermind. You want HDMI, and that resolution is probably not for you. It folds up and protects the screen, though.
     
  9. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

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    Resolution on that one is a wonky 1024x600. The Pyra screen's native 1280x720 would work a whole lot better for these use cases.
     
  10. rygD

    rygD Nihilistic Mystic

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    What I would love to see is a durable small portable monitor that is 1024x768. Generally resolution isn't a major factor for most of my needs (although losing vertical for more horizontal space is not to my liking, and I also like to play old games, so...), which is why it wasn't until after I posted that I remembered that you wanted something with a normal resolution, and that one is odd.

    There is obviously a (small) market for tiny monitors. I don't know that the Pyra display would be enough for most of these people, but most are worse, so why not try it? Plus DS games, and other multi-monitor convenience. It you do find something that fits your requirements please share it. For your project how do you intend to power the monitor (many I find are USB, and probably the RPi loves you mentioned). Also why HDMI? Would USB for everything work for you?
     
  11. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

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    HDMI can easily be used for any HDMI source or DVI source (with a passive adapter). Between the two it can connect to any of my computers. I run several headless - which is fine until I can't remote into them. Then it's a choice of physically unmounting the computer/server (sometimes in a rack) to bring it to a big monitor or balancing a big monitor on a cart and finding power for it.

    USB for everything fails because it is driver dependent. Stripped down OSs on computers that I can't remote into isn't a good starting point with a USB only monitor.

    The Pyra's screen size is about ideal to me. Fits in a shirt pocket About the size of a phone, very light (no battery), USB powered, HDMI/DVI input. Shouldn't need to be overly expensive. rPi low resolution crap display pannels sell for $40 without cases. I could see something like this commanding $80-$120.

    Drawbacks - will likely need a logic board to take the HDMI input, rotate the image the push it to the MIPI screen. That bit could require actual development.

    It's a bit of a dream idea.
     
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  12. rygD

    rygD Nihilistic Mystic

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    Sounds good (and useful) to me. For my personal use I would want to add another input or two. Add a couple "spare" screens to your prototype order and do it yourself (possibly with help from the community). Maybe ED would be willing to get cases made, or they can be printed (either way, should be fairly simple compared to the Pyra case), and he can stock then in the shop. (Alternately we can have all the info available, and maybe he would be willing to sell the kits, sans case which we can get printed ourselves.)

    It really doesn't sound too complicated, and it could be a useful Pyra add-on. We could make it more complicated by adding a hinge and way to connect it to the Pyra so it can flip back, and add a speaker and mic...hell, add a touch layer to it too. Toss a camera in there to top it all off. That is a dream idea.

    Another random thought I just had is to put a removable panel on the back so it can be easily connected to another part with the CPU board and stuff and battery for a highly modular PyraPhone. Make a larger screen version so I can have my PyraPADD. And an e-ink one. Ok, I am getting quite carried away.

    But, seriously, I like this idea.
     
  13. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

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    Mmm... doesn't need to be complicated up though.
    Just two ports - microHDMI and microUSB.
    Pyra's screen would probably be less expensive than an e-ink.

    Including the Pyra's touchscreen layer and have it link through the microUSB as a trackpad would be cool. Note - not as a normal touchscreen as those have to be calibrated with client software. Just a trackpad mouse that happens to overlay a screen. As far as the computer is concerned, it would see a trackpad on USB that draws a hundred mA and a tech with a 2' microHDMI to HDMI cable and an HDMI to DVI adapter could read the post messages on most modernish computers.

    If we want to get REAL fancy on this idea, use the whole Pyra shell, display, keymat with a dumb CPU board that flips the Pyra's HDMI output into an HDMI input. Then internally hub the USB connection into power, trackpad touchscreen, usb keyboard, joystick mouse (nubs). Effectively this version would be a Pyra terminal... Pyraminal? Hypothetically, this could use all existing Pyra hardware and just need a different CPU board with very little CPU, nearly no RAM and not much eMMC that stands all of the connectors on their head to be clients instead of hosts. It would be a pocket KVM - just connect it to USB and video output on the host computer. Holy crap - a person could even hook one up to a Pyra and play multiplayer games.

    I feel like an idea has just been born...

    Edit:
    Since the above version of the idea won't need (or want) a battery, video adapters for HDMI-DVI and maybe even an active adapter for VGA-HDMI could be stored in the Pyra case's battery compartment.

    Note - this would be a pocket KVM (Keyboard, Video, Mouse). Not a KVM switch.

    Bonus points if we can get it to work as a RS232 serial debugging terminal as well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
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  14. rygD

    rygD Nihilistic Mystic

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    I love the terminal idea, especially the RS232 stuff. Looking for something like that is what led me back to the Pandora, and bugging everyone here today.

    I know an e-ink screen would probably cost more, however it would be ideal for me for an ebook reader that isn't extremely limited. A stand alone e-ink monitor is probably not super useful for me, but I guess I could Velcro it to my Pyra, and use the shoulder buttons for turning pages. It would probably be best if it was portrait orientation, although that could probably be controlled in software.

    Back to the more basic monitor, I don't personally have any need for the touchscreen, especially if it will function as you describe. I really despise those on laptops, and how everything gets ruined it my hand brushes it...so I guess it isn't that bad since it wouldn't mess up my typing. For personal use, though, I would have no need. If this monitor were to happen I would rather keep it a little cheaper and have a slightly clearer screen, although it might be better to include it for those that might want it. So would this be something the RPi crowd might also be interested in (I can't remember what they use for video out)? I can imagine a few groups that might be interested in a monitor like this.
     
  15. spud42

    spud42 Very Active Member

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    ghetto, but the concept is sound. i wonder if that board can drive an LCD with higher pixel count?

     
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  16. ible

    ible Advanced Guard Tower

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    800x480 seems "standard" for the 7" screens.
    makes me want to press go on a screen like that, even though i don't really have a use case for it...
     
  17. DAP

    DAP Member

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    It is appalling that there are so many cell phones being mass produced with displays exceeding 4k, and yet there are no small HDMI monitors of even 1080p.
     
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  18. skeezix

    skeezix Certified Guru

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    ebay has hundreds of options; Ididnt' read the thread in detail, just popping by .. but you can get VGA-only, HDMI+VGA, HDMI only, composite.. all kinds of options, for $20-$100 depending on the features, size, speed, etc; at this level you're tending to uncased panels and boards, but you can get cased ones too. (It does annoy me that 'backup camera' screens for cars are very cheap, and pretty nice panels, but typically use composite inputs; such a grag :) .. but you can get a backup cam for $20 that plugs into a r-pi for nothing. But for a pure HDMI you can get a 720p unit, with the LCD, the driver, and the interface PCB and the cabling, for $20-$30 ... then you stick them in on board, or in a small box, or a dollar-store plastic enclosure, or 3d print a little case or... etc. But yeah, not all sexy consumer level stuff that cheap :)
     
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  19. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

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    There isn't a simple phone size 5-6" 720p or 1080p consumer screen with 2 plugs (HDMI and USB) to operate though. There ARE some in the 7" 1080p range that cost $400+ for pro video work, but that isn't knock around the lab stuff.

    My alternate idea of creating a Pyra KVM (not a switch, but an actual keyboard/video/mouse unit), could be an even better solution though.
    https://pyra-handheld.com/boards/th...for-ed-small-hdmi-monitor.82319/#post-1428859

    I originally envisioned just a screen to be able to plug into in-rack servers to see BIOS/Boot messaging that was small and light enough to fit in a shirt pocket - then I would also need a keyboard and maybe a mouse to be able to actually intervene in the boot process - at which point the tech is either unracking the unit or pushing a cart to use as a standing desk.

    The Pyra KVM idea flips the HDMI to input - displaying the results to the Pyra KVM screen. The microUSB 3.0 becomes a device-only mode going to an internal hub with the keyboard, touchscreen and nubs all showing up as USB HIDs. It's a pocket KVM only requiring two cables.
     
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  20. skeezix

    skeezix Certified Guru

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    Sure; most racks I've worked with have either monitor or panel, and keyboard/mouse in each rack, or readily available on the bench or hanging from side of rack. I mean, if you've got a bunch of racks around, do it right, keyboards are cheap; if you have a single rack in your home basement comp-closet... same advice applies :) If you just want to do somethign for fun or for awesome, do it.. but in that use case, head down to yourt used store (Goodwill, etc) .. I find I can get a monitor, keyboard, mouse, hell.. toss in an old PC as well, all for $50-$100 CDN .. good enough :O

    My use case is on-bench monitor, since I build my own video cards and circuits, like for my old zikzak homemade computer; I'm working on FPGA VGA/HDMI generators right now, for example; so I just want a VGA and HDMI display on my bench all the time, so I can look up and ensure the signal is good etc. I've got so much junk on the basement hobby bench already, (logic analyzers, power supplies, oscilliscopes, etc), that I just don't have room for extrra junk. So, the little 5" ebay VGa/HDMI panel is a cheap option. The one I use now, I ordered separate LCD panel and driver boards from various places that Ed had mentioned over the years, think it cost me about $35 .. composite/HDMI/VGA signalling, runs on 4-12V IIRC (so USB, but I use a separate power wall wort just to keep it off the USB.)

    I'm with you on a kvm unit of some sort; the siwtch units don't seem to work anymore.. 20 years ago sure.. you coudl switch VGA and PS/2 mouse/keyb easy. But with USB gadgets, they really don't like to switch -- they like to be initialized and negotiated protocols, and don't seem to like switching around too much. Likewise, HDMI and such isn't super hot with that.. and some of the video protocols use a lot of chatter back and forth and don't like to be switched between devices randomly. Its a big old mess nowadays, using a traditional KVM style 'thing', unless you pay good money (and again, see the used argument above.)

    But making your own 'dock', a keyb/mouse/display, is doable..

    jeff
     
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