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Pyramon - product idea for ED? Small HDMI monitor

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

  1. spud42

    spud42 Very Active Member

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  2. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

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    Please re-read the above thread. What you have posted is a KVM SWITCH. The idea above is for a KVM device - not a switch.

    A basic KVM Switch takes one keyboard, one mouse and one monitor and provides a box to connect that setup to two or more computers.

    The pocket KVM idea is to have a device that IS the kyboard, mouse and monitor - in a self contained and highly portable package.
     
  3. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    Blame Jeff/skeezix on the previous page; he started the talk of KVM switches. To be honest, trying to overload the well understood term (if you're of a certain age at least) to describe what sounds to me more like a very dumb terminal seems dangerous. Then again, classifying it as a terminal when there's no serial i/o might be risky as well.
     
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  4. rygD

    rygD Nihilistic Mystic

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    What we have been discussing if a pocket terminal, however that is probably a confusing term to more people than saying a KVM device (KVM switches are still around). Regardless of terminology, we still have the issue if common resolutions, although I suppose many people don't want to use tiny displays at high resolution for reading lots of text. @skeezix hit on the inputs that are most important to me. I think I would have everything I frequently work/play with using composite/HDMI/VGA. And while we're at it, might as well include stuff for an optional battery for use with things lacking USB ports. Would it need keyboard backlighting (guess which thread I was just reading)?
     
  5. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

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    Add too much to it and you may as well just use a Pyra with a USB based HDMI capture card.

    The Pyramon KVM idea is also a USB hub with card reader, backlit keyboard, touch pad (touchscreen), dual usb joysticks, speakers, headphone amp mic & jack, and display that can plug into pretty much -any- computer or game console or Roku or server or Blu-ray player or cable box or phone with HDMI output or gumstick computer or satellite dish system or Pyra or other.

    It uses the already developed Pyra plastics, populated mainboard, screen, keymat and nubs. It could/should have a considerably 'dumber' CPU board. Everything but the HDMI becomes USB devices on a hub. The HDMI is passed through at 720p.

    Not sure why so many seem to want to disparage the idea. I'd buy one.
     
  6. ible

    ible Advanced Guard Tower

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    I guess the problem isn't whether you'd buy one, it's whether 2000+ other people would buy one, making the development costs (both mentally and financially speaking) worth it.
     
  7. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    Depending on how much he can charge for one of these, and how much design similarity it can maintain with the Pyra, he may not need to ship 2000+ of these to make a profit, and to retain his sanity.

    If I understand what Grench is suggesting, the HDMI out becomes an HDMI in (not sure if a type-D micro port it ideal for that, but never mind for now). USB ports remain mostly the same, which is probably overkill but never mind.

    Considering the HDMI port path, that'll route more or less directly through to the CPU board. But it'll also branch off to be translated into MIPI to drive the LCD. That may require a mainboard revision - but it may not. It might require a degree of signal cleanup, but provided the signal is there it may not matter whether it originates from the CPU board or from the HDMI socket.

    I don't mean to poo-poo this idea, and I apologise if I've come across that way, but I've personally more interested in the Pyra phone idea, or a kind of emulation stating in a big 80s style computer case interest me more. I usually ssh into my servers these days too, although that does predicate me being able to get an OS onto them and sshd running before I can do that.
     
  8. hns

    hns Very Active Member

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    It matters a lot. You can't feed HDMI signals directly into a MIPI panel. Would be like feeding USB signals into an SD card.
    You need a protocol and level converter (like an USB SD Card reader).
    Interestingly, such a thing exists (but not for the display used in the Pyra): http://q-vio.com/lvds-hdmi-to-mipi-converter/
    So this will definitively end up in a new Mainboard to add these chips (and remove something else since space is tight).
    Or even better a display board so that only the display plastic case of a Pyra is used as screen frame.
    Did you think about using the touch screen as well? Then, it should have an additional USB connection. Maybe anyways for power.
     
  9. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

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    The original idea does include the touchscreen. Ideally this would use two cables. One for HDMI from the host (micro HDMI to microHDMI plus standard adapters to HDMI & DVI). One USB from the host to the USB 3.0 OTG port in device mode (Standard microUSB 3.0 to USB 3.0 A cable).

    The host sees an HDMI/DVI connected monitor and a USB 3.0 hub.

    The USB 3.0 hub shows connections with 2 USB 2.0 ports, a three port card SDXC reader, two joysticks (nubs), a touchpad (touchscreen layer) and a keyboard.

    The Pyra KVM / Pyramon / Pyra'erminal device has no need for CPU, RAM or eMMC. It's just video translating to the screen and a USB hub. So, the 'SoC' board for this wouldn't even have an SOC on it. It would need a board - with logic for video and USB hub and some way to translate our mapped keyboard into an HID USB device.

    Here was the idea post:
    [QUOTE="Grench, post: 1428859, member: 15286"
    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.[/QUOTE]
     
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  10. rygD

    rygD Nihilistic Mystic

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    Yes, most of my additions are just too make it perfect for all of my use cases, which includes old computers and consoles. A cheaper and more realistic first step would be to skip the battery or other ports/adapters and just (mis)use what is already there.

    The one thing I dislike from the above roundup is that the touchscreen as touchpad is the only built in mouse. I really dislike touchpads. I don't know how much more difficult or expensive it would be to use a nub, or both (!), for mousing. I could tolerate using the touchscreen, but I prefer to skip that whole layer.
     
  11. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

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    To my understanding - addressing the nubs as USB joysticks should be pretty easy - they translate to X,Y coordinates. Addressing the nubs as mouse/mice would require an active driver in the host machine to interpret the X,Y into mouse acceleration and direction. That is why I called them USB joysticks in the above.

    Once it's connected and the machine it's connected to can run it's drivers there are 'joystick as mouse' options/modes in most OSs already.

    I'm not a touchpad user either. Trackpoint I like - touchpads mostly annoy me whe I hit them with my thumb on accident. But - it's a solid way to make use of that screen touch layer technology in a device like this. It's the only mouse you would have when navigating BIOS screens. Once booted mapping a nub as generic USB joystick as mouse within the OS shouldn't be hard.
     
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  12. rygD

    rygD Nihilistic Mystic

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    It is the heel(?) of my palm that tends to hit it, and somehow mess everything up.

    I didn't want to have to bother, or have other do the same, to have nubs as mouse. It would probably add cost and complexity to do that, so touchscreen it is, I guess. Better than no mouse I guess (because sometimes it is quicker than trying to navigate a GUI with a keyboard).

    I would like to hear a guess from @hns regarding the feasibility of this with just a bare bones CPU board and the cost. Maybe we can design it ourselves, or with a bit of help.
     
  13. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

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    @hns would be the ideal arbiter of will it blend will it hypothetically work?
     
  14. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    I'll race you ;)
     
  15. pmprog

    pmprog Advanced Member

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    Good luck on finding a cable for that... I've given up looking for a miniHDMI to miniHDMI cable - which would be great to connect a RasPiZero to a projector. The only site I ever found that said they sold one instantly cancelled my order... presumably because they're not real :(
     
  16. hns

    hns Very Active Member

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    I got your interesting idea to make a HDMI-in -> MIPI-out "CPU"-board.
    But I would just do a main board with the same dimensions but without a cpu board. This saves connectors and a lot of stuff that is not needed on the main board, e.g. battery connectors, charger chip, WiFi...
    It could still have nubs, keyboard maeanders, etc.
    --- Double Post Merged, Jan 11, 2018, Original Post Date: Jan 11, 2018 ---
    I have used two short mini-HDMI (HDMI-D) to standard HDMI where one has a plug and the other one a socket.
     
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  17. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    Also, cellular comms, wifi, accelerometers, barometer etc. (and probably other stuff) is kind of surplus to requirements on this I think, unless someone can give us a use case that would use them. Plenty of space can be saved on the mainboard.

    I wonder also if this thing could get enough juice from USB to run the backlight and provide +V for the keyboard matrix and any other bits in there. Given this device doesn't have a CPU, remembering the charge it when not in use could be problematic, so if it could life without a battery but just come to life once USB (and maybe HDMI, if that carries significant power) is plugged in, that seems a lot more usable to me.
     
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  18. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

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    Pyra is microHDMI, right? I'm assuming that the miniHDMI talk is Pi related. For the Pi, use this and a normal hdmi cable?
    Code:
    https://www.amazon.com/Afunta-Female-Converter-Adapter-Cable/dp/B00IZYIZKA
    Or - if you're going PyraKVM to a Pi, use a microHDMI to microHDMI male to male cable and this:
    Code:
    https://www.amazon.com/Micro-Socket-Female-Convertor-Adapter/dp/B00RT63EVA
    microHDMI to microHDMI are actually pretty common. Pyra to Pyra should be easy.
    Code:
    https://www.amazon.com/UCEC-11-81-Coiled-Micro-Atomos/dp/B019BVYAZO
    Of course there comes the question of how to get that converted into a normal HDMI.
    Code:
    https://www.amazon.com/Micro-Socket-Female-Adapter-Tablet/dp/B00KMR6XWK
    Or connect the normal HDMI plug to DVI...


    micro to micro is ideal for PyraKVM to Pyra.

    miniHDMI seems to be the odd standard.
    microHDMI seems to be common enough to have some pretty wild adapters.
     
  19. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    Pyra plastics are for type-D HDMI. I dunno if that maps on to mini- or micro- in common parlance because I think I've seen both used for the same thing at different times.
     
  20. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

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    From what I saw with the Keyboard test mule, I'm 90% sure that it was a microHDMI port.
    http://usbandfirewirecables.blogspot.com/2013/03/how-to-tell-difference-between-micro.html

    Yeah, it's microHDMI on the Pyra.
    --- Double Post Merged, Jan 11, 2018, Original Post Date: Jan 11, 2018 ---
    So that would be more efficient than using stock produced Pyra mainboards with the unneeded stuff left off of them and create a CPU board stand-in? It makes sense as there is so much room on the mainboard by comparison.

    Pyra first - yes.

    But, as time allows, maybe @EvilDragon and @hns can have a quick conversation around how much it would need to retail at for n 10n 100n units? Maybe then see if the demand exists at a profitable price point?
     
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