The case and the keymat

Discussion in 'Pyra News' started by EvilDragon, May 29, 2015.

  1. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    Once again, I'm really sorry for the long time before posting an upgrade again.
    I guess my days should be at least 50 hours long so I can keep up with everything I want to do...

    Well, besides a lot of organizational stuff I also enhanced the DragonBox Shop quite a bit to increase the amount of customers - the more money we got for the Pyra production, the better :)

    Anyways, here's an update about what's happened so far.
    As it turned out to be quite a lenghty post, I've split it and will post it during the next few days.


    1. The Case

    The case designers have implemented all changes I still had (couple of small things), and what we got should be pretty much final now.
    A new 3D print is on the way and should arrive about June 5th.

    Some of the changes were:

    • Optimize the lid so that the LCD sits perfectly, no pressure is applied to the screen when someone pushes on the frame and the LCD cable is seated neatly.
    • Add the slits for the LCD cable
    • Change the battery compartment to make the battery fit perfectly
    • Change of how the logo in the lid is put together so that it doesn't break (now it consists of multiple parts that are invisibly glued together)
    The only thing that might still change is the battery lid and the battery compartment.
    Using screws instead of clips, we can probably decrease the thickness a bit (due to the battery, we had to increase the thickness about 1mm).
    As this change only affects the base part, battery cover and L1/R1-Button, we can already start to create the molds for the rest of the case.

    I'll proably make a new video once I receive the newly printed case.


    2. The Keymat

    The design for the keymat has also been almost finished.
    If you take a look at the picture, you can see the caps enclosed in the transparent keymat rubber.
    The key caps will be a tiny little bit higher than the rubber surrounding (0.1mm), which helps navigating blindly on the keyboard.
    I will ask to make the gaming buttons a bit convex so they feel better as well.

    keymat.png

    The keys will be flat, the printing will be on the inside of the cap, so it can not rub off.
    The force needed to push a button will be slightly lower than Pandoras keymat, so it should be more comfortable to type on.

    About the keyboard layout:
    Well, I didn't really find the time to read all those posts and threads you made.
    It seems the most important thing on the device will be the keyboard :)

    As the layout doesn't need to be done before the mold is finished, there's no real need to hurry yet, but I feel I need to read a LOT to find out the best solution :)

    So much for today - information about the hardware status following tomorrow :)
     
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  2. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    Amazing!  Easier to press keyboard, convex game buttons, thinner cases - all great news.

    I don't envy you trying to get to grips with those keyboard threads by the way.  I gave up on those months ago, and now tend to glaze over whenever the subject is raised.  Since I found the Pandora keyboard fine for most purposes I'm confident that whatever you settle on will suit me too.
     
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  3. rygD

    rygD Nihilistic Mystic

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    Some of my days ARE 50 hours long, but everyone else says it is 2 days and some change.  Don't push yourself too hard.

    I like that you are considering screws for the battery.  I hope you have time to make a short video again showing the changes to the case design.  

    The key mat stuff sounds good.  I wish I could test it out to get a feel for the, uh...feel of the keys.  I really like that the caps will extend out of the mat a bit.  Are you still planning on gluing, or will they be held in by tension from the silicone to help with moving caps around for those that want to?  Will there be any texture difference or ridges or other home key indicators?

    Can the keyboard folks please put together a short summary of discussions to go along with the final layout thread to save ED some time?  Also, I think it is a good idea to collect the important questions that people need answered.  Remember, it is best for eveyone if he only has to look and read about the final proposals and how and why the layouts got to the state they are in, and not dig through hundreds of pages of posts/debates/complaints.
     
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  4. Tenka

    Tenka Snakes and Fish

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    Unless ED doesn't like their final proposals.
     
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  5. zonova

    zonova Member

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    Question! So, I have heard that the pandora keyboard is a little bit squishy, in terms of how "clicky" the keys are when you press them. Will making the key easier to press on the Pyra make this "clickier?" I know we can only do so much, but I hope the pyra keyboard can be as tactile and responsive feeling as possible, for extended programming :) Awesome update though, thanks!
     
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  6. mcobit

    mcobit Advanced Member

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    From the rendered picture it looks like the gamingbuttons will also be included into the rubber mat? Are they made from rubber or solid plastic? I would prefer the second!
     
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  7. _wb_

    _wb_ Microbe Staff Member

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    About the keyboard layout threads: yes, there is a lot of discussion, which is not surprising since it is basically a matter of finding a good compromise / trade-off between inherently conflicting design criteria.

    The most recent proposals of all the keyboard layout designers can easily be found in this thread:

    http://boards.openpandora.org/topic/17568-final-keyboard-layout-proposals//URL]

    There is a big comparison table which may or may not help to find the best layout:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/14mVNNzLhmhyA4sCIAPSoDv404xtctfLSiEMTtTlEzfw/edit?usp=sharing
     
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  8. ImmaculateChimp

    ImmaculateChimp Member

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    Hadn't Craig at one point suggested going with blank keys and just including a sticker sheet with each Pandora? Why not just go with that solution for the Pyra, that way, everybody wins! :p
     
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  9. Neelix

    Neelix Insecticidal Maniac

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    Heh... Cute, but wrong. Only those who want to design their own keyboard layout win with that solution, everyone else loses.

    - Neelix
     
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  10. Bosbeetle

    Bosbeetle Terminally lost

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    Something like that (say buying a loose rubber mat and loose caps you can glue yourself, as an extra) might be a very cool option for the real keyboardists on this forum... I'll stick with the one ED agrees on. (yup putting all the pressure on poor evildragons shoulders :D )
     
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  11. rygD

    rygD Nihilistic Mystic

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    Same here.  A very strong "yes" for plastic buttons here, although I am guessing the buttons will just go over the silicone that has the stuff for the contacts, as in many controllers and handhelds.
     
  12. Bosbeetle

    Bosbeetle Terminally lost

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    The little prototype that ED shows now and then in the youtube video have plastic ones. (although those are not the gaming buttons) It is a complete different style than the pandora used.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    All caps will be solid plastic bit a rubber surrounding.
     
  14. TeDaDeS

    TeDaDeS Very Active Member

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    Thanks for the update.

    With each update you receive a lot of comments (except the keyboard topic which always gets comments I guess), so it felt a bit like a holiday on the Pyra news front.

    Which isn't bad btw, there is still great progress.

    Any more testing happened on the battery-side?
     
  15. ible

    ible professional vim user

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  16. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    Well, batteries (yep, the final produced one) will be ready and shipped in 10 days :)
     
  17. NoeleyC

    NoeleyC Well-Known Member

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    It's all coming together it seems! As they're mostly together on the keyboard mat (I know the dpad disc is a separate piece), but will the pad and gaming buttons light up too?
     
  18. _wb_

    _wb_ Microbe Staff Member

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    Here is an attempt to summarize the main discussion themes of the keyboard layout threads.
     
    1. Shift symbol pairs (aka "DOSBox compatibility")
    Should the symbols -_  =+   [{  ]}  \|  ;:  ' "  /?  `~  be on the same key, like on a standard US-QWERTY keyboard (which means e.g. "=" would be at Meta/Fn+[letter] and "+" would be at Meta/Fn+Shift+[letter]), or should we avoid the Meta/Fn+Shift layer and have all the symbols on separate keys? The former brings us a bit closer to standard US-QWERTY (which might be a good thing for DOSBox etc, although there should be ways to make DOSBox behave correctly either way), while the latter makes it a bit easier to type the symbols. The opinions seem to be roughly evenly split about this issue.
     
    2. Number of shift keys
    Should we have two shifts (one on the keyboard and one as a shoulder button), or three shifts (two on the keyboard and one as a shoulder button)? The former means we have one more key available for other things, and it is closer to a standard keyboard; the latter might be more convenient for users who don't (want to) use the shoulder button shift. There seems to be a rather convincing majority in favor of only one keyboard shift. It has been proposed that the keyboard shift would optionally be sticky, like the Fn key on the Pandora, meaning you don't have to hold it down to type capital letters.
     
    3. "International" letters printed?
    Should language-specific letters like üäöß, éèàç, ñ, åøæ be printed on the keymat or not? The alternative is to leave some letters free of Meta/Fn labels, reserved for language-specific letters, without having them explicitly labeled. Printing more symbols on the keymat adds "clutter" for those who don't need those symbols, but for those who do need the symbols, it might be useful to have them labeled. If they are labeled, it should be decided which languages to support: German? French? Spanish? Portuguese? Scandinavian languages? There is no consensus on this topic either, though most people seem to prefer to label only A-Z, with a default mapping for a.o. German but not explicitly labeled so other languages can remap to the letters they need without having incorrect labels on their keymat (incomplete but correct).
     
    4. The name of the Pyra-specific modifier
    This is an issue that is mostly orthogonal to the keyboard design, but there is a consensus that "AltGr" would not be a good name for the Pyra-specific modifier, since AltGr is usually the same as RightAlt, and we should not have four Alt keys. Suggested names are "Meta" or "Fn".
     
    5. Left-aligned or centered?
    Comradekingu is still in favor of a left-aligned layout where there is room to the right of the letters P and L to map extra letters like on German/Scandinavian keyboards. The consensus is that a centered layout is better though, since there are not really enough keys available for dedicated primary Ü Ö Ä ß keys.
     
    6. One keymat or different region-specific keymats?
    Only one keymat has the advantage that devs know where every key is physically located, so they don't have to take into account different keyboard models.
     
    7. Dead diacritics?
    There seems to be a consensus that it's a good idea to have at least ◌́ acute , ◌̀ grave , ◌̂ circumflex and ◌̈ diaeresis / umlaut available, because they are used in many languages. Also  ◌̧ cedilla (which can be combined with ◌̨ ogonek) and ◌̃ tilde would be good to have (especially if ç and ñ are not labeled), as well as ◌̌ caron (which can be combined with ◌̆ breve). Less essential, but still quite useful, are ◌̷ stroke, ◌̄ macron, ◌̇ overdot (or dotless) and, only for Hungarian, ◌̋double acute.

    Some of these dead diacritics can be made available in a natural and non-intrusive way by not putting Meta/Fn labels on the keys ,< (for cedilla/ogonek and caron) and .> (for overdot and circumflex),  and ' "  (acute and umlaut) or `~ (grave and tilde) if those keys are available as primary keys, or by not having Shift+Meta bindings to the symbols ' (acute), ` (grave), " (umlaut), ~ (tilde), - (macron), / (stroke). There is some controversy about how to indicate the dead diacritics: not at all, using dotted circles (◌), using rectangles or underline or something else.

    8. Position of ,< and .>

    There is a consensus that these keys should be available as dedicated keys (some people would prefer to have ,; and .: pairs instead of ,< and .> though), but it is not clear where to put them: on the left, like on the Pandora, or on the right, like on normal keyboards? If they're on the left, then Shift and Meta have to go to the right, and then the important Meta-symbols should be on the left too (opposite of Meta, for convenience); if they're on the right, then Shift and Meta would be on the left, and the important Meta-symbols should be on the right. This is mostly a matter of staying close to the Pandora layout (convenient for those already used to the Pandora layout) or getting closer to standard US-QWERTY.

    9. The 4 keys on the very top row

    It is unclear whether these 4 keys around the power button should be reserved for "hardware keys" (brightness, usb/wifi/bt/gps/3g/hdmi toggles) or if they can be used for keyboard keys like Esc.
     
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  19. TeDaDeS

    TeDaDeS Very Active Member

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    Thanks for the summary.
     
  20. rygD

    rygD Nihilistic Mystic

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    We were talking about the gaming buttons not the keys.  Edit:  Upon rereading I see that you said that but showed keymat pics.  There have been devices that have all silicone buttons.  As I said, I am pretty sure that isn't the plan, but I just wanted to state my support for plastic buttons.
     
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