The case of the case.

EvilDragon

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In case you've been wondering what's been happening for the last few weeks, then it's time to let you know :)

1. LCD testing

As you know, 1080p is causing issues with rotation, so we'll try out a 720p one (well, two, to be exact) together with a chip that can do tear-free scaling and rotation up to 720p to solve that issue.

5 samples of the chip will arrive within this week, one of the displays should arrive within the next 10 days as well, the other one following soon after.

Nikolaus is already designing a new display PCB where we can connect both of them so we can test and choose the best :)


2. New Base PCB

Nikolaus is working on finalizing the base PCB (the one with the keyboard, Wifi chip, etc.)
It should be finished mid April, so we should have working prototypes in May.

These will be mostly finished. They'll have all parts populated as well as the connectors for the CPU Board up and working.

To test them, Nikolaus will create an adaptor cable which allows us to connect the OMAP5 EVM to the baseboard using the CPU Board connectors.
Once everything is confirmed to be working, the next step will be to design the CPU Board... and then we're ready for the final prototype tests.

Hold your horses though, it'll still take quite a while until that has all happened :)



3. New battery and AC Adaptors

Fatih has gotten samples of the modified (bigger) battery as well as for AC Adaptors.
The AC Adaptors will use different plugs (similar to the current Pandora ones) so you can use them worldwide, but they'll have a USB port.
So you can use it to charge the Pyra or any other USB device.

Once we got the battery, we can check whether we can make them fit the case or not.

Speaking of the case...


4. The status of the case

... the first design files from FormAction have arrived.

1stcase.png

Heavily based on the Pandora case (as mentioned), you can already see a few changes and enhancements.
Let's take a look at them...
 

  • The nub disc is not glued anymore. Instead, the part consists basically of two discs so that it won't fall out when the unit is assembled. It will simple be put into the case and that's it. As the case design files will be released after the Pyra is out for sale, you can theoretically create your own nub layout and replace it.
  • They keyboard area is a bit recessed. It'll also be a bit more rounded in the end, so that it'll be more comfortable to hold than the Pandora.
  • Speakers are in the keyboard area, we've got more keys and buttons than before. The buttons on the top row will still move a bit.
  • There's one more screw in the lid frame - for a good reason: The top part of the case can be opened and closed without the need to open the lower part. So if you want to replace the LCD or do any moddings there, no need to fully disassemble the unit. We'll try to cover the screws as good as possible though.
  • You can already see the hole for the Sim Card / MicroSD Combo slot in the battery compartment
  • The hinge are is not yet changed (except for a small change so that the display doesn't open as far), but the new plastic will have a bit more friction so the LCD stays open at every angle. Still, this is not the best solution, and we'll get a quotation from a company that's specialized on Hinges for a laptop-like-hinge.
  • The keymat is not yet fully finished. Once it is (hopefully, within the next three weeks), the top priority will be to get quotations from various companies for the production. Let's hope this will be fast and we'll get samples soon after.
  • Battery area and LCD area are still designed for the old planned parts (Pandora battery and 1080p LCD). Of course, this needs to be adapted for whatever we choose :)
I will get a printed case in about 4 days, so we can test the size with the PCB and check that the CPU PCB will fit in there.

5. Working on the website!

Well, it's time to work on a proper website for the Pyra!

Please check my post at the Website-Section of the boards and let me know if you can help and how!

6. Come visit us!

If you want to see the Pyra in action (well, as far as it is finished), you should note the following dates:

More dates coming soon :)
 

Natsu

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1. LCD testing
Hopefully, the 720p screen wouldn't be that much of a deterrent for people. 
 
 
2. New Base PCB
Come on Allwinner!
 

3. New battery and AC Adaptors
~6000 mAh batter, right? Hopefully it will fit. Fit as much as you can. :p
 

4. The status of the case
I guess the position of the 6 buttons are pretty much final. At least they are there.
Can't make out where the mic will be. Still the same place as Pandora?
 

  • There's one more screw in the lid frame - for a good reason: The top part of the case can be opened and closed without the need to open the lower part. So if you want to replace the LCD or do any moddings there, no need to fully disassemble the unit. We'll try to cover the screws as good as possible though.
Well, that's interesting and convenient.
 
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God Ginrai

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EvilDragon, the case looks great! Love the idea for opening the lid without opening the whole device.

About the Nubs, is there a reason the bottom disc is larger than the one the user will be using? Also, will the bottom disc not rub against the case top causing friction? (I have no idea if it would, it just seems that way to me... :\)

4. The status of the case

I guess the position of the 6 buttons are pretty much final. At least they are there.
I should hope not. EvilDragon and I were just discussing it further on Friday. EvilDragon mentioned before when discussing the screen that making changes to the case would not be so hard, and I have every expectation that this should hold true for the buttons once any concerns EvilDragon has about my suggested layout are put to rest.

Can't make out where the mic will be. Still the same place as Pandora?
Yea, I was wondering the same thing.

-God Ginrai
 
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ssokolow

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Looking good so far... my only concern is that squashing the buttons like that may make typing harder but I'll withhold my judgment there.
 

Will the Pyra still be compatible with a supply that's limited to 2A? I was considering getting one of these for an experiment and it'd be nice if I could also use it to charge my Pyra.

(Speaking of which, does anyone know where I could inexpensively get a properly wired USB-to-barrel cable with an appropriately-sized connector? I don't have time to spec and build one myself and I'd also like to be able to charge the Pandora off that thing without the crippling 500mA limitation.)
 
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antoniolalo

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4. The status of the case


I guess the position of the 6 buttons are pretty much final. At least they are there.


Can't make out where the mic will be. Still the same place as PandorA 
it seems to be right next to the dpad right in the supperior left corner  :p
 

xiongxioi

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Where's the camera, ED? 1 star, I've lost hope in humanity. :)

In all seriousness, progress is great. Of cause we can use a better battery lid.
 
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levi

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That extra screw on the lid of the Pyra versus the Pandora makes me surprisingly happy!


Regarding the display PCB, is this a testing PCB or another daughterboard designed to end up in production Pyras?


I'm impressed that you've already designed the interconnects for the CPU PCB. That suggests to me that quite a lot of the PCB design is already pretty well understood.
 

rygD

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Looking good so far... my only concern is that squashing the buttons like that may make typing harder but I'll withhold my judgment there.
Do you mean having it recessed or making the keys less square?  I am really fond of the early HP Palmtops, and they have both of these.  The keys are tiny compared to the Pandora, in fact.  On the Palmtop they work well enough (better than the Pandora, imo) and both thumb typing and normal typing work ok.  Then again I have rather narrow fingers, so it may be a problem for some.

I am hoping for more tactile feedback.
 
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Neelix

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About the Nubs, is there a reason the bottom disc is larger than the one the user will be using? Also, will the bottom disc not rub against the case top causing friction? (I have no idea if it would, it just seems that way to me... :\)
The bottom disc needs to be larger than the hole in the case, to keep the top of the nub from falling off.

It would rub against the case top, though I'm not sure if the friction will be much of an issue, the case is being designed with that in mind. Perhaps one or the other will be treated with some kind of lubricating compound?

- Neelix
 

Majin Wamu

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This is another amazing update. There is always excitement contained in each update. By the sound of it, is the Pyra going to be a bit longer, and fatter than the Pandora? Or is it going to be longer and slimmer? Is it also going to be heavier with the larger battery? These are just my assumptions. Please stop me if I am wrong. And please no attacks everyone, let's be curious to one another :) .

Oh and I forgot to mention, the nubs look really awesome! I am excited for those! I got a bit unlucky with my Pandora and got the nubs that only sometimes works, and sometimes they don't want to respond to downwards motions.
 
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takato14

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Dear God, I haven't been on this board in ages, and the moment I check back again you've literally just announced the Pandora II.

Looks wonderful so far, and I love the name of the handheld. The only thing I desperately want changed though, is the way the battery connects to the unit. The way the contacts are positioned in the Pandora is terrible, every time I so much as tap the console, or set it down even remotely roughly it shuts off and I lose whatever I was doing. You should do something like phones, with the locking tabs on the top and bottom, so that this won't be an issue. If you do that, I'm already sold.
 

God Ginrai

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The bottom disc needs to be larger than the hole in the case, to keep the top of the nub from falling off.
That may be true, I assumed the hole would already be smaller than the outer disc, since the outer disc appears to be larger than the area the nub can physically move on its base.

-God Ginrai
 

ssokolow

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Looking good so far... my only concern is that squashing the buttons like that may make typing harder but I'll withhold my judgment there.
Do you mean having it recessed or making the keys less square?  I am really fond of the early HP Palmtops, and they have both of these.  The keys are tiny compared to the Pandora, in fact.  On the Palmtop they work well enough (better than the Pandora, imo) and both thumb typing and normal typing work ok.  Then again I have rather narrow fingers, so it may be a problem for some.

I am hoping for more tactile feedback.
Making the keys less square. Unless the Pyra is a lot bigger than I think, the new rectangular shape cuts the surface area of each key down.

As for the tactile feedback, I agree. In fact, now that I think about it, it's entirely possible the new key design might improve that. If so, I'm in favor of it.

(That, the lack of backlighting, and no comfortable way to thumb-type capital letters on the left side of the keyboard are the main issues I have with the Pandora's keyboard.)
 

matzesu

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Nice, and the hole for the fristband is also not forgotten..

I hope whe can get the Pyra whit this Blue Collor..

The only bad thing is that it has to change a bit to fit the bigger Batterie...

Looking forward to see the first pictures of the first pysikal samples in 4 Days..

Just compared it whit my pandora: there are as much keyboardbuttons, but the 12345.. are on top of the letter buttons..
 

ssokolow

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The bottom disc needs to be larger than the hole in the case, to keep the top of the nub from falling off.
That may be true, I assumed the hole would already be smaller than the outer disc, since the outer disc appears to be larger than the area the nub can physically move on its base.

-God Ginrai
If the hole were smaller than the outer disc, there would be no way to install it unless the thumb sticks were two-part screw designs... which are fragile and complicated to mold when done in plastic.
 

TrashyMG

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The way the contacts are positioned in the Pandora is terrible, every time I so much as tap the console, or set it down even remotely roughly it shuts off and I lose whatever I was doing.
I have three Pandoras and this isn't an issue on any of mine, you either have an issue with your battery or your unit.  I heard of some units having this problem, but easily solved by adding some padding between the battery case cover and the battery.
 
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Askarus

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Hope the case will be fixed in a way you don't get the Pandora marks when playing for some time.

(-> rounded edges).
 
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