Some personal stuff - and prototypes building!

Discussion in 'Pyra News' started by EvilDragon, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Mar 4, 2003
    Somewhere buried in the last news thread I've already made a small status update post, but here's a proper, more thorough information and a bunch of pictures, as I'll document the prototype building process very thoroughly.

    Well, the current delay in prototypes building can be blamed on me - not any company or anyone else.
    I've had a few rough weeks. First a colleague with whom I've worked for 20 years now has suddenly died due to a heart attack - then I catched a cold (maybe even the flu)... and while I'm usually recovering within 2 - 3 days, this time, it took more than 2 weeks until I fully recovered.
    I tried to work on the prototypes - but literally fell asleep in front of them, which wasn't helpful :)

    Maybe it was also a small burnout, who knows. But I guess it was all just a bit too much. A lot of work, death of a colleague which also leads to some demotivation, flu season... all that added up and took its toll.

    Anyways, I gave myself some time to recover, as it won't help ANYONE if I continue working in Zombie mode, and it seems like I've fully recovered now, as I'm feeling fine and FINALLY started to work on the prototypes this weekend!

    I hope you can understand that

    Now, onto the important stuff: The news!

    1. The cases

    While the new company has already done some tweaks and design changes, they didn't have too much time as they had a huge project by one of their biggest customers which had to be done within a timeframe. They already told me that when I was visiting.
    Well, the deadline for that ended last Friday - which means that they can now fully work on the Pyra case.
    I can't wait to see the fixes they'll do :)

    2. Small change for the keymats

    The manufacturer of the keymats ran into an unexpected small issue while doing the mass production run: It was nigh impossible to prevent visible air bubbles inside the glue when attaching the keycaps.

    That's why they're changing the design of the plastic caps so that they will stay affixed on top of the mat without glue.
    Everything else stays the same. As soon as I know more, I'll let you know.

    3. Prototype building

    Finally, long overdue, the prototypes are being assembled by me.
    And while I won't do a video (as such a setup is too complex and just hinders the assembly), I'll do a LOT of pictures for you to enjoy, basically a step-by-step guide on how the units are assembled!

    I will post these pics here in this thread and will try to update it daily, as I continue to assemble the prototypes.

    First some pictures which don't have anything to do directly with the assembling of the prototypes:
    One resistor had a wrong value and needed to be replaced. Does anyone remember how MWeston had to replace over 400 resistors to fix Wifi on the first-built Pandoras...?

    Yeah, we had something similar - though luckily, we noticed it before the mass production. This wrong resistor value limited the power input of the USB port to 1.5A - which caused a slower charging.

    01 - SDCompare.jpg
    The resistor is REALLY small. The second one from the left in front of the small chip needs to be replaced. And yes, that's a Micro-SD Card to show the size :)
    Fun fact: The third resistor from the left is actually 90° rotated. That's from the pick and place machine :) It sometimes happens and is the case on multiple PCBs. That's not a problem though, just a fun fact.

    02 - Desoldered.jpg 03 - Desoldered-2.jpg

    Here are two pictures of the desoldered resistor.

    04b - Resoldered.jpg 04 - IndexFinger.jpg

    And here's the result: The new capacitor is in there. And my index finger once again shows how small those resistors are.

    05 - BunchOfBoards.jpg 06 - BunchOfBoards-2.jpg

    Well, these boards have all been modified - so let's start to turn these little ones into prototypes this week, right?

    Now, let's start with the real assembly!

    The Lid

    The first thing that needs to be assembled is the lid.

    07 - Bumper.jpg

    Let's start with a sheet of bumpers and a bunch of LCD PCBs.

    08 - BumperAttached.jpg 09 - BumperAtt-Closeup.jpg

    These rubber bumpers are being sticked on the PCBs.
    There are two reasons we're doing this with bumpers and not directly inside the plastic:

    1. You would see marks on the outer side of the lid if this would be done inside the plastics, which we want to prevent.
    2. When you push too hard with the stylus onto the touchscreen, the soft rubber will cushion that a bit and prevent damage.

    BTW: The mass production LCD PCBs will look a bit simpler. The solder pads for the once-planned rotator chip will be gone as well as the ones for the other display we looked into. The 0R resistors in the middle of the rotator chip area will also be gone.

    Next, we'll need the LCDs.

    10 - LCDs.jpg
    They come on trays - these are actually LCDs from the mass production batch, no prototypes anymore.

    Now we'll connect the LCDs to the LCD PCBs:

    11 - DisplayAttached.jpg 12 - DisplayAttached-Closeup.jpg

    Simply plugging in the small connector...

    13 - DisplayAttached-2.jpg 14 - DisplayAttached-3.jpg

    ... and simply wrapping the flex cable around the PCB, so that the LCD is in front of the LCD PCB.

    15 - Touchscreen-Attached.jpg 16 - DisplaysFullyAttached.jpg

    Connecting the touchscreen - and then we're done :)

    17 - Magnets.jpg

    Now, here's a bunch of magnets. I've got two different sizes, as I need to test which ones are strong enough to reliably trigger the lid switch. These are some neat NeoDym-Magnets.

    18 - Magnet-1-Attached.jpg 19 - Magnet-2-Attached.jpg

    Here they are, glued to the case.

    20 - MagnetsInCase.jpg
    And a bunch of transparent cases with magnets - hard to see, due to the transparency, eh?

    21 - FoilRemove1.jpg 22 - FoilRemove2.jpg 23 - FoilRemove3.jpg

    Next step: Putting the pre-assembled LCDs with the PCB into the case. We need to lift the protective foil a bit and put it in front of the case - otherwise, you could have a hard time removing it once the unit is assembled (as the foil would be below the bezel...)

    24 - LCDCable-Closeup.jpg 25 - LCDCable.jpg

    Now it's time to connect the LCD cable.

    26 - DisplaysWithLCDCables.jpg

    And here we are - 10 almost-finished lids!
    Now we only need to roll the cable and put the backside of the lid on.

    I couldn't do this today, as I noticed that I don't have the metal logo plates here (they're in the office, and I*m at home). While these will be glued in by the factory for the mass production, I need to do this myself for the prototypes.

    I'll continue the assembly and picture posting tomorrow - so stay tuned for updates here at this thread :)

    And sorry again for the delay - I really needed a bit of time to recover from all the stuff that happened. I'm only a dragon like everyone else :D


    As promised, here is the continuation of our assembly journey :D

    As mentioned, this next step won't be necessary for the mass production (as the metal pieces will be sticky on one side, so no glue is needed), but for the prototype production, it is necessary.

    26-Lid and Logo.jpg

    Here is the lid and the metal part of the logo.

    27-Glued Lid.jpg

    Let's put in some glue.

    28-Logo in Lid.jpg

    And push the logo firmly on top of that. First step done!

    29-Glue on Metal.jpg

    Then we need to put some glue on the metal logo.

    30-Logo glued in.jpg

    Put in the logo (which will be milky-white transparent in the final unit).

    31-FinishedLogos.jpg 32-FinishedLogos2.jpg

    And here they are! The lids and the logo!

    As the glue needs to dry first, I couldn't do anymore right now. But the journey will continue!

    Aaaaand on we go.


    I was a bit stupid - as you can see, I connected the LCD cables first and put the screen and PCB into the lid frame.
    That's how it worked for the Pandora - but not with the Pyra.

    With the Pyra, assembly works better like this:

    27-Rolled Cable.jpg

    First we roll the cable.


    Then we slide it through a tiny slit which is in the case - it's invisible unless you know it's there.


    That's how it looks like once it's through.


    THEN we connect it to the display board!


    And put it inside the backside of the lid.

    32-Applying Frontcover.jpg

    And after that, the front cover is being put on.


    Done! It clicks in on the right and top...


    ... and needs screws on the bottom and left.


    Next, we put the hinge into the keyboard-case-part.
    This is where it needs to be pushed all the way in...


    ... which looks like that.

    37-SlidingIntoBase.jpg 38-SlidThrough.jpg

    Then we slide the LCD Cable into another slit which is in the keybard part.
    39-PreAssembled.jpg 40-CloseUp Roll.jpg

    And here's the finished part!

    41-Locking Hinge.jpg 42-Locked Hinge.jpg

    Now the hinge is being pushed back from the inside into the lid.


    Done! Here is the fully assembled lid with the basement.

    44-MultipleAssembledTops-1.jpg 45-MultipleAssembledTops-2.jpg
    46-MultipleAssembledTops-3.jpg 47-MultipleAssembledTops-4.jpg

    And, of course, I needed to do more than just one :)

    That's it for today... hopefully, I can continue soon. 47 Pictures already, whew :D


    Found some time to move forward :)

    48 - Rubber.jpg

    Now, we need these rubber parts. They are used for sealing the speakers.

    49 - Rubber in Speaker.jpg

    First some rubber for padding...

    50 - Speaker on Top.jpg

    Then the speaker on top.

    51 - Putting in the Keymat.jpg

    Now we simply put in the keymat.

    52 - Nubs.jpg
    And the discs for the Nubs!

    54 - Second Speaker.jpg 53 - Speaker sealing.jpg

    Then both speakers will get the sealing put on top.
    Please note: This will probably change for the mass production. It doesn't really make sense having extra rubber parts for sealing the speakers when we already have a silicon keymat.

    The keymat will most probably change so that they will have this sealing included - but that's currently being discussed. I will let you know more about it soon.

    55 - Put in the PCB.jpg

    Now it's time to put in the PCB!
    When it's inserted, the nub discs need to be rotated until they fall onto the nubs. Works like a charm :D

    56 - PCB in the case.jpg

    Here's the PCB inside the case, on top of the keymat and speaker sealing :)
    57 - LCD Cable 1.jpg 58 - LCD Cable 2.jpg
    Next: Clip in the LCD Cable :)

    59 - Almost finished.jpg

    From the front, the unit looks like it's finished already :)

    Next steps (hopefully coming soon): Put in the heatsink and heatpipe together with the CPU-Board - and close everything!

    I realized I need to order some more heatsinks to build the prototypes, but that's not a big deal, as I can put them in after I ran the tester software on them.

    See you next time!


    Okay, since I received the remaining stuff I was still in need of, I can finish with the prototype assembly.
    So here's the next set of pictures :D

    60 - Multiple Pyras.jpg

    So, here we are. Eight prepared prototypes. Why eight? Well, I had two of the ten lying at work for some tests (so I couldn't include them), and I'm saving the remaining PCBs to use in the revised cases :)

    61 - HeatpipesSimple.jpg

    Now it's time to move the heat away from the CPU.
    These are standard heatpipes that can be easily bought in exact that size.
    Remember the custom cutout I posted somewhere? Well, this is the same material, but to save some time (and to check whether our custom cutout and the readily available stripes make a big difference), I used these this times.

    62 - Exposing the Copper.jpg

    Below the tape, they expose copper (and some self-adhesive glue).

    63 - Putting it on the OMAP5.jpg

    We simply need to put these on the OMAP...

    64 - Applied.jpg

    ... which looks like this.

    65 - CPU Board put in.jpg

    Then put the CPU board into the mainboard. As you can see, the stripe is ALMOST fitting perfectly without any modification. Our custom cutout part will - of course - fit better, but who knows if we need it :)

    66 - Heatsinks.jpg

    Next, we got the heatsinks. The copper one is bought as is, whereas the aluminium ones have been bought as stick and manually cut by me (yeah, I know I did a bad job with that one :D)

    Buying them as sticks and cutting them with a machine is simple and accurate, so if that works better than the available ones, I'm happy to do that. But that's what we need to test :)

    67 - Heatsink applied.jpg

    So here is the heatsink on top of the copper strip coming from the OMAP.
    It sits directly above the USB port.
    As said, the standard strip doesn't fit perfectly, as you can see here :)

    68 - Thermal Insulators.jpg

    Next, we have something I'd like to try out: Thermal Insulators.
    This thin self-adhesive material is said to isolate heat - in theory, you should be able to put this on a 100°C hot stove plate and easily touch it with your fingers!

    As we need to keep the CPU heat away from the battery, this might be a solution!

    71 - Alternative Metal Plate.jpg

    So far, as an alternative, we used lasercut 0.4mm thick metal plates - but of course, these weigh more than the other ones and they heat up over time, so maybe that thermal insulator is working better? I'll find that out :D

    69 - Applied 1.jpg 70 - Applied 2.jpg

    This is how the case looks when the material is applied.

    72 - Stylus Holder.jpg 73 - Plugged in.jpg

    Next step is top put the stylus holder into the case. It's simply plugged in. Done.

    74 - Stylus fits.jpg

    Then the stylus snaps in nicely :)

    75 - Shoulder Buttons.jpg

    Time for the shoulder buttons. As you know, these are currently being worked on, so this part might change a bit.

    76 - Lower Shoulder Button.jpg 77 - Upper Shoulder Button.jpg
    Then we put in both shoulder buttons on both sides.

    78 - Putting it together.jpg 79 - Still unscrewed.jpg
    And it's time to assemble both sides!

    80 - Screwing together.jpg

    Screw it together...

    81 - Heatsink inside the case.jpg

    Done! Here you can see the heatsink sitting on top of the USB port.
    We can also add a second one on the second port (using our custom-cut material), but according to our simulations, a second heatsink won't help much as there's only so much heat that can move through the heat pipe.
    But I'll test that, of course :)

    82 - Full Unit.jpg

    And here's the unit fully assembled :)
    What a journey :)

    Now I need to assemble the remaining ones as well, and then it's time to do the test-run!


    Almost forgot! I assembled more of them!

    Here's the picture:


    That's about half the prototypes I have, so I can assemble at least 9 more.
    Time to continue work on the tester SD Card and test these little babies :)
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
    oskda, PowerGod, JDTAY and 79 others like this.
  2. Librelism

    Librelism Still Fresh

    Jun 9, 2017
    Great news! Thanks for the update. Glad you're feeling better :)
  3. dfkman

    dfkman One day I'll be writing code in the car...

    Nov 14, 2017
    Don't feel bad ED. Just keep up the good work!
  4. directive0

    directive0 Very Active Member

    Apr 8, 2015
    Toronto, Canada
    Great to hear from you ED. Hope you're doing all right. Thank you for the updates.
  5. Nintendo

    Nintendo Nintendo Switch

    Oct 8, 2005
    Thanks for the update, whether big or small, we all appreciate them.
    And sincere condolences go out to your colleague and the family he or she may have left behind.
    Anyway, on a more positive note, glad you're feeling a bit better now :)
    szr, rSl, Djhg2000 and 3 others like this.
  6. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

    Oct 6, 2008
    Somewhere off the coast of the EU
    Yeah, there some bad bugs doing the rounds these past few weeks. Good to hear your over it and feeling better. My best wishes to family and friends of the deceased also.

    Those are some cute neodymium magnets! Looking forward now to the blow by blow updates!
    rSl and Nintendo like this.
  7. docbroke

    docbroke Active Member

    Feb 21, 2019
    I am so glad that you are feeling alright. Please keep posting, it is great to have some update.

    So as far as I understand, once cases, keymats and some cooling parts are finalized Pyra will be ready for mass production ?
  8. Djoga'Ro

    Djoga'Ro moonstruck

    Apr 3, 2016
    Thanks for the update, ED. It's good to hear you're better.

    Ain't vacuum chambers solving issues like that?
    Failbert, szr and Djhg2000 like this.
  9. ptitSeb

    ptitSeb Serial Porter

    Aug 15, 2012
    France, near Lyon
    Glad you are better, and you seem to go back to old habits quite quickly, with a post at 5:00AM :O !
    rSl likes this.
  10. Bosbeetle

    Bosbeetle Terminally lost

    Sep 7, 2008
    The Netherlands
    Yay you've survived... Can't wait for these prototypes to be out in the open, exciting times.
  11. ingoreis

    ingoreis Advanced Member

    Mar 7, 2012
    I had this Flu took this Year up to 3 Weeks to Recover.
    Normaly i do have a good Immune System but this Year it was realy resistent.

    Good to see the Progress and good to see that you do not forgett your Healthness.
  12. ClockworkCoder

    ClockworkCoder Chaotic Neutral

    Jan 21, 2016
    Thanks for the update. Looking forward to seeing progress of the prototypes and hopefully speedy progress from now on ;)

    I presume this isn't likely to be caught tightly between the PCB and the case enough to cause any problem?

    Everything else looks good. I don't envy you having to replace those resistors. Almost need a microscope to see them!
  13. matzesu

    matzesu Hardcore Member

    Jul 22, 2009
    Germany,, Saarland, at home
    It isnt frapped Multiple Times like a Headphone Cable around a Walkman, , if i remember from previous Prototyphe Assemble Videos, its just around the Corner, and will not harm during use, because its stays in place and dont move,
    Hopefully the Keyboard Change dosnt mean another 8 Weeks leadtime..

    Glad your feeling better now, "flue is a bitch"

    Your Health is a bit more important than the Pyra, and these few weeks later ditnt make much diverent..
    Failbert, CommanderB, rSl and 2 others like this.
  14. ClockworkCoder

    ClockworkCoder Chaotic Neutral

    Jan 21, 2016
    I assume this to be correct. The it's just a detail I don't recall seeing before; most of the focus was on the other ribbon cable for which I really like the solution and attention to detail.
  15. Bernd

    Bernd Very Active Member

    May 4, 2016
    Does that mean its possible to pop of the caps and use small inlays to change the keyboard-layout?
    (Sorry for the resurfacing of the keyboard discussion)

    Take your time and stay healthy.

    If the resistor get changed to increase the charging current to >1,5A, is it possible to reduce the charging-current to reduce the battery wear with software?
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
  16. WizardStan

    WizardStan Mega GP Mania

    May 24, 2008
    Should'a gotten the flu shot.

    Know what boosts your immune system and makes you more resistant to the flu? The flu shot.
  17. codifies

    codifies Very Active Member

    Sep 29, 2014
    nah the important bit is that you were sensible enough to see you needed some down time AND took it! - never neglect your health, compared to the Pyra your health is much more important!
    szr, Neelix, rSl and 5 others like this.
  18. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

    Oct 6, 2008
    Somewhere off the coast of the EU
    It can't be crushed front to back because it doesn't go in front of the screen on the one side, and on the reverse, those bumpers stop it being crushed against the lid top. I expect there's something keeping the LCD in place probably on the screen frame insert (so that the screen stays in place), so as matzeus says, it shouldn't go left-right very much at all either.
    szr and ClockworkCoder like this.
  19. Ted

    Ted Member

    May 2, 2016
    Beijing, China
    Great update, eventually goes into the prototypes stage.:D
  20. ClockworkCoder

    ClockworkCoder Chaotic Neutral

    Jan 21, 2016
    Is it just me, or does it seem a little unfair / unrepresentative to still call them prototypes at this point? More like alpha-release or release candidates if anything.

Share This Page