Silent progress

EvilDragon

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It's been quite a while since the last blog post, but of course that doesn't mean nothing has happened here.

A lot of what has happened for me was organizing (looking for companies that are able to produce the keymat, etc.) while Nikolaus was working on the base PCB most of the time.

Here's a quick summary of stuff that happened :)

1. Base PCB design

Nikolaus is now about 95% finished with the design of the base PCB.

All of the parts have already been placed and will be wired up.

If everything works out, then the base PCB does not need another revision - but you never know.

We'll know when it's finished and tested :)

As for the ports on the backside, it seems we can include the following ones:

  • 1x Micro USB 3.0 OTG
  • 1x USB-A 2.0 Host Port
  • 1x USB-A 2.0 Host + eSATA Comboport
  • 1x MicroHDMI Port
  • 1x Headset (an internal switch ensures you can both use Apple and normal headsets)
  • 1x Micro USB Debug and charging port
Plenty of ports. We cannot tell 100% that these will all be included though.

They fit on the PCB, but we need to wait for feedback from the case designers if that works out well.

In case you wonder what the Micro USB Debug port is:

It's basically the serial out port. You can connect it to a PC and it will register as USBtty device.

No more hardware needed - so if you want to do some low-level kernel development, it will certainly be useful.

The port can also be used to charge the unit. This makes it possible to use a USB3.0 device (i.e. harddisk) while the Pyra is connected to the charger.

2. The case

The case designers were mostly working on the keymat, where I should get a first design this week.

This is important, as the keymat is the only part of the case that cannot be produced by FormAction, so I need to get quotations from other companies, and find a suitable one.

And as you can imagine, the keymat needs a lot of testing, as it has the buttons and the DPad included - and those need to be perfect :)

Therefore, the faster we get it, the faster I can test and confirm it.

After they finished the keymat, they will work on the keyboard part of the case and make sure, the PCB fits without any issues. This is also the time to work on the hinge and finalize the keymat design and PCB design.

When that is done, the lid will be designed, and finally, the lower part wit the battery compartment.

3. The touchscreen

The technical design of the touchscreen has been finished and is approved by me, now the production will begin.

We should get samples soon (I don't have a date yet, probably in about 4 - 5 weeks).

I've ordered the highest resolution and sensivity, anti-glare. So we should hopefully get the best resistive touchscreen as possible.

4. New (or old?) help

Some more helpers joined our internal development mailing list.

Two TI employees who are helping us in their spare time (they know a lot more about the OMAP5 than we do, so this will certainly be helpful) and Michael Weston (yep, the one who designed the Pandora) :)

It's always good to have various experienced designers.

There are often multiple solutions for one problem, and different ideas often help to find the best solution.

And proof-reading a schematics before the PCB goes into production is really helpful as well.

I'm really happy and thankful for all the help :)

It helps us to improve the final product and move forward a bit faster.

That's all there is for today. See you soon :)
 
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God Ginrai

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As for the ports on the backside, it seems we can include the following ones:

  • 1x Micro USB 3.0 OTG
  • 1x USB-A 2.0 Host Port
  • 1x USB-A 2.0 Host + eSATA Comboport
  • 1x MicroHDMI Port
  • 1x Headset (an internal switch ensures you can both use Apple and normal headsets)
  • 1x Micro USB Debug and charging port
Plenty of ports. We cannot tell 100% that these will all be included though.They fit on the PCB, but we need to wait for feedback from the case designers if that works out well.

In case you wonder what the Micro USB Debug port is:

It's basically the serial out port. You can connect it to a PC and it will register as USBtty device.

No more hardware needed - so if you want to do some low-level kernel development, it will certainly be useful.

The port can also be used to charge the unit. This makes it possible to use a USB3.0 device (i.e. harddisk) while the Pyra is connected to the charger.
 Great to hear about all those ports. You say there is an internal switch for both kinds of headsets. How will we switch it?

3. The touchscreen

The technical design of the touchscreen has been finished and is approved by me, now the production will begin.

We should get samples soon (I don't have a date yet, probably in about 4 - 5 weeks).

I've ordered the highest resolution and sensivity, anti-glare. So we should hopefully get the best resistive touchscreen as possible.

4. New (or old?) help

Some more helpers joined our internal development mailing list.

Two TI employees who are helping us in their spare time (they know a lot more about the OMAP5 than we do, so this will certainly be helpful) and Michael Weston (yep, the one who designed the Pandora) :)

It's always good to have various experienced designers.

There are often multiple solutions for one problem, and different ideas often help to find the best solution.

And proof-reading a schematics before the PCB goes into production is really helpful as well.

I'm really happy and thankful for all the help :)

It helps us to improve the final product and move forward a bit faster.

That's all there is for today. See you soon :)
Great to hear MWeston is helping out. Also, the news about the touchscreens sound great. :D

And as you can imagine, the keymat needs a lot of testing, as it has the buttons and the DPad included - and those need to be perfect :)

Therefore, the faster we get it, the faster I can test and confirm it.
 Yes. This is exactly why I wish to discuss with you about getting a good button layout. If we push back these discussions, then it will be too late.

-God Ginrai
 

Hồng Thất Công

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Where is the support donation button for this?  Hate to say this but I would rather donate to Pyra than the Preoder fund.  The latter seems to be neverending.

Why do we have to give in to Apple that Pyra has to conform to Apple "standard" by providing a switch?  I would rather save that space for something more useful.

Other than that, thanks for the update.  You have good guys on your side ED! :D
 
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God Ginrai

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Where is the support donation button for this?  Hate to say this but I would donate to Pyra than the Preoder fund.  The latter seems to be neverending.
 EvilDragon has mentioned before that Donating to the Pre-order fund directly benefits the Pyra, by paying off all the Pandora debts, IIRC.

Why do we have to give in to Apple that Pyra has to conform to Apple "standard" by providing a switch?  I would rather save that space for something more useful.
I agree, however I'll let other people fight that battle. For me, the most pressing issue at the moment is the button layout.

-God Ginrai
 

Wrath Of Khan

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^^^^Probably lies or a drug induced fantasy!! It's the daily mail afterall. Its not a million miles from the national enquirer.
 

Tenka

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Can you tell me if the keyboard will be just as close to the game buttons as on the Pandora?  I really hope that they remain this close together, I use O and P for the leftmost buttons of six button layout emulators, and the two new game buttons won't be easier for me to use in those settings than say, 9 and 0.
 

hitbyambulance

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Sounds good. Speaking of "sounds", another thread made reference to the design of the Pandora's circuitry, where care was taken to avoid introducing as little interference with the audio output as possible. Is this still the situation with Pyra?
 

God Ginrai

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EvilDragon has mentioned before that Donating to the Pre-order fund directly benefits the Pyra, by paying off all the Pandora debts, IIRC.
 The preorders from Craig are not debts to DragonBox. They are totally separated companies.
The pre-order fund pays for Pandoras to send to pre-orderers who never received theirs from Craig.

And since every Pandora sold means more money returned for the Pyra development per EvilDragon's comment here:

Don't forget: The Pandora business plan was setup so that all the money would be back on the account once all Pandoras have been sold.
That means that by donating to the pre-order fund, you are putting money back into EvilDragon's pocket for use with the Pyra.

-God Ginrai
 

Kiga

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Thanks for the summary, seems like it move fast, maybe we will have it for christmas.

Why do we have to give in to Apple that Pyra has to conform to Apple "standard" by providing a switch?  I would rather save that space for something more useful.
I don't care about Apple, all I want is the Pyra to work with all the headset (and we are forced to note that a lot of them use Apple's way). You give in to Apple by act based on them. ;)

Two TI employees who are helping us in their spare time (they know a lot more about the OMAP5 than we do, so this will certainly be helpful) and Michael Weston (yep, the one who designed the Pandora) :)
Nice, I hope Michael Weston will help you to improve the sound quality if it can be done.
 
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cinaeco

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Nokia and some Samsung phones use the same TRRS order as Apple - I wouldn't really say any of this is "giving in" to anyone's standard, just acknowledging that companies decide to wire mic input in differently (second ring vs sleeve).

Just curious: Is there any chance that "internal switch" means it would automagically detect stuff? Or is it literally a small (dip?) switch that we'd have to flick based on what we have?
 
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ShleeDragon

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EvilDragon has mentioned before that Donating to the Pre-order fund directly benefits the Pyra, by paying off all the Pandora debts, IIRC.
The preorders from Craig are not debts to DragonBox. They are totally separated companies. 
Not legally, but ED has been paying off Craigs debt one way or another.... so helping the preorders, helps ED.
 
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ekianjo

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Not legally, but ED has been paying off Craigs debt one way or another.... so helping the preorders, helps ED.
ED has clearly said anyway there's likely won't be enough Pandora parts to fulfill all preorders, even if he had the money. Plus donations for the pre-orders don't go to make the financials better since these debts are not declared as HIS debts, as I mentioned. So, no, it does not help Dragonbox, it only helps the preorders left by Craig.  
 

God Ginrai

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Not legally, but ED has been paying off Craigs debt one way or another.... so helping the preorders, helps ED.
 ED has clearly said anyway there's likely won't be enough Pandora parts to fulfill all preorders, even if he had the money. Plus donations for the pre-orders don't go to make the financials better since these debts are not declared as HIS debts, as I mentioned. So, no, it does not help Dragonbox, it only helps the preorders left by Craig.
What are you talking about? The donation money for the pre-orders goes to EvilDragon. EvilDragon has already made the last batch of Pandoras. Hence, the money for all Pandoras left to ship out are already paid by ED, and any money for donations is money in his pocket and one of those already made Pandoras to be shipped out to an original pre-orderer.

-God Ginrai
 
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Linux-SWAT

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Does "Silent progress" means it's not related to audio ?

Glad to hear that MWeston is around :^) .
 

_wb_

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It would be awesome if all those ports would be there!

My laptop, which is not a cheap one, only has one USB-port and one USB+eSATAp port. It would be very nice that on a tiny device like the Pyra, I would effectively get twice as many USB ports! :)

@EvilDragon: For which aspects of the design can you now still use community input? It seems to me that most of the design has already been finalized, but you have to give us something to discuss to keep us busy! The button label thing is getting a bit boring ;)

Maybe we could discuss the colors of the case and buttons/keys?
 
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