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> Software, The major holdup
post Mar 10 2007, 02:35 AM
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Well as some of you may have noticed there hasent been much work as off late.

this is mainly due to the software issue, ie what pcb tools will i use. well i had a look at the "pcb" program on sf.net and it seems it now includes an autorouter, i dont know how good it is but ill give it a try. its still lacking features i "want" but i belive at thius point in time that i could do the project with the software in its current state

so basically it looks like gEDA and pcb forthe pcb and scehmatic software, this is probbelly a better thing than what i wanted to use as most peopel who are want to take a look wouldnt need to buy expensive software, but those people probelly wouldnt mind the pictures smile.gif

i will give it a spin in the next couple of weeks, i have some free time coming up again so i think its time for the feature freze and some diagarms, at the least i will have the power supply up which should be "fault tollirent" unlike whatever they put in my Z sad.gif, it should also be able to exceed 0.5A on the usb socket, not recomeneded of course but those who need a bit of surge power to jump start a usb drive will apreciate this.

i will try and design it for 0.7A @ 5v normally and 2A surge (basically using caps for the surge, if you dont need this feature then drop the caps but considering how they are less than a cent anyway i dont see the point)

if i get a chance i will knock up some of the pelimanary usb to iMX3 stuff and some of the support circitry (ie clocks and passives) as these always need to be double checked (you always forget somthing). this is somthing that a non technical person can do, just look at the page numbers i provide as refrence and double check the wiring looks the same in thier examples asit is in the pics i provide, and check the svalues are the same except where stated.

i will have to look at a couple of IO things as well, did anyone want a rs232 level serial port (12v to -12v) or ttl (5v to 0v), is an SPI header somthing that people want (ie add user sensors) and do you want i2c, if so a dedicated connection (ie no devices on the bus) or a shared one (cheaper for me, you only have to be careful that when you add a device you dont use an exsisting device)

some other features others may not have cconsidered, besides the gyroscope/accereometer would you like features like a compus? or teamprature?, i was thinking that a temp sensor on the cpu and an ambient one would be nice, easy to do with I2C. perhaps one near the battery and power supply would be advisable as well.

well thoughts and input people, this week is out but next week the holidays begin (much to my relief)
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post Sep 30 2007, 07:45 PM
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Sorry about the cryptic description of my ideas with qemu, I wrote it in a hurry.

I thought it would be nice if we could use qemu to emulate the PP. We could use qemu to emulate each chip but then import a netlist from gEDA to tell qemu how the chips are connected together. This would give us greater hardware emulation for the hardware design and would also allow to take advantage of the imx31's ability to hook everything up in several different ways. That way we could just hook the chips together in gEDA, export that to a netlist, and load it into qemu and have it emulate what we just drew up. Then as the hardware design changes, or people need to adapt the design to their own needs, they can simply change the schematic, get the netlist, and start emulating their new design.

Sorry, I'm in a hurry tonight too with school and all so I hope that makes sense. I mentioned spice before but I quickly realized that would be overboard and much harder to implement. If it still doesn't make sense, then it is probably too complicated and/or unnecessary to our needs as a hobby project. As I think about how all this would be accomplished I agree that the benefits would probably not be enough to warrant all of the work that it would take, however it may prove to be useful if enough of the people who design the PP actually use it.

I'm running out of time so I'll leave it at that. You guys sound like you have much more of this kind of design experience than I do so I'll leave it up to your wisdom.

Real quick, for the media player I'm thinking that I will use much of the hardware you guys have been talking about. Some of the features I'm thinking about:

ATA 1.8" hard drive
External USB
Large touch screen [the larger one you guys were talking about (5" ?) or maybe slightly larger, I haven't looked into it much and don't know much about them]
Video Out
High quality sound (haven't looked into that much either)
Bluetooth (maybe, so I can carry around one of those folding keyboards if I need it)

Basically I still want it to be like a pda but much more media based. Really, it will have much of the hardware in common with the PP (power management, wlan, bluetooth, usb). Actually the new iPod touch is close to what I want except the hard drive is too small, and after having an iPod, I really don't want my media to be locked down like that. Not to mention with an open hardware and software design I could add any sort of functionality I decide to it. I do understand that this won't be as small as any commercial device but I don't expect to be able to reach those sizes on my budget. I'm more interested in functionality really.
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