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OESF Forums > Distros, Development, and Model Specific Forums > Model Specific Forums > C1000/3x00 Hardware
maytagman
Greetings. I am new to the forum with the purchase of my new SL-C1k from Conics. I am trying to gauge interest in customized composite body replacements for the clamshell design. Since I own a 1k and the body style is common amongst 1k-3200, I have decided to do only this model as a pilot. I will be investigating into either a full kevlar/CF and epoxy resin replacement body to fit your Z, hand molded from my own.

I also have a connection for vinyl auto graphics who has agreed to provide customized logos at a very fair price (<$5 per iteration). This means that your choice of graphics at approximately $5 per color will be laser cut and placed directly on the composite body before it is coated in a gloss epoxy resin. This will give a very clean and professional look to your Zaurus, and is far, far more durable than the plastic outer casing. You will also experience a degree of weight savings over the plastic/metalic bodies.

At this time I am modeling only the top screen portion and the bottom cover of the case, to include the battery cover. The inner case (keyboard surround) is outside my ability to produce to a high degree of accuracy, but can be done on a custom basis for a larger amount of cash if you're composite obsessed wink.gif

Carbon fiber is available in a number of colors, but I will be using the standard carbon pattern that you see on performance cars, etc. The kevlar is standard tan/creme color, and looks quite industrial. Kevlar will be cheaper as it is easier to work with, and less material expense.

I'm shooting to keep the cost under $100 for the complete carbon body set, or kevlar. This is of little or no profit to me, but gives me some nice experience in working with the materials. Please let me know if this sort of arrangement would be of interest to you. Also in the works may be a molded, exact form fitting case for the clamshell 1000 and beyond series. Again, at a cost of less than $100 if possible, including a custom graphic. The case material is strong enough to withstand being thrown at a brick wall by a pro baseball player and will be padded to withstand the most clumsy zaurus user. Oh, and waterproof, and floating. And with less bulk and weight than a leather case (which is only about $25 less than my target price for real carbon fiber!) biggrin.gif

Keep in mind though, carbon fiber is in a general shortage right now due to Airbus, Boeing, and the US's lust for carbon fighter aircraft >.>
So, these prices are totally tentative.

Opinions?
BarryW
I think if you do build one and show the quality, you'll probably get more responses. I for one would love to see it.
maytagman
Well buying a sample amount of material is very expensive. I just want to know how many people would be interested, so I can buy bulk. Of course I'm not stupid enough to ask anyone to commit to anything before theres a product, but I just would like to know who would be interested in a high quality composite replacement. For now just respond as if it were perfect product ;P
I'll always have a use for carbon, so its not like I'm wasting my money buying a roll if nobody actually grabs one wink.gif
Cresho
QUOTE(BarryW @ Mar 25 2006, 08:12 PM)
I think if you do build one and show the quality, you'll probably get more responses.  I for one would love to see it.
*




Jesus barry!! what's going on with you? hehe. I thought you sold the z.
BarryW
QUOTE(Cresho @ Mar 25 2006, 08:40 PM)
QUOTE(BarryW @ Mar 25 2006, 08:12 PM)
I think if you do build one and show the quality, you'll probably get more responses.  I for one would love to see it.
*




Jesus barry!! what's going on with you? hehe. I thought you sold the z.
*




I did! Still hanging around though.
Srono
Interesting. but i would like to see the real one also tongue.gif
If it's nice, i believe u can sell a lot.
Da_Blitz
If the pics are good i would buy one

What i am looking for:
Slightly larger internal capacity
Redesighned outer body (i need one or 2 groves to allow a docking station to click in and stay held, see sig)
Prefrebly the keyboard area as well (can be normal plastic, may be able to get that made see slashdot (http://ask.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/03/25/2054200)

i dropped my case and chiped the paint on a conner as well as denting it, at the moment i estimate it would cost me $100 AUD to replace with a c3100 case (i hate the white)

as soon as you have good quality pics of a good product then i will buy one
pepilo
I'am also interested.
maytagman
The problem with the keyboard surround is that it is quite difficult to machine 50+ tiny holes to exact accuracy. Although it would look very cool, it would be extremely difficult to make consistent productions of that detail. As to body modifications, if you can create a mold out of a non-expanding modeling material, it is relatively simple to lay the product to your specifications. I'll give it a week or so before I put in my material order to see what the deal is.

I've done numerous automotive components of equal or greater detail to the Z, but that keyboard area is just too much of a pain to justify doing at the target pricepoint. The goal is to make a rugged exterior that you can simply take some auto paint compound to when it becomes scratched or dull, and restore it to new. Also, it will look very cool! I am casting my molds tonight if I have the time smile.gif

If you can source the keyboard elsewhere, that would probably be your best decision. I don't think you'll find a vendor who is willing to do a composite faceplate unless they are using a very expenisve CNC machine to cut extremely accurate holes after the epoxy binding has been cured.

Edit: I've been getting some questions as to installation. If this goes down, I will be providing the *parts*, to be installed by the end user. As I've mentioned previously I don't have a safe, clean, static free environment to be doing that sort of work, and I'm risking my own Z just by leaving it out naked on my desk rolleyes.gif
But, the case doesnt seem all that difficult to disassemble so far, so I doubt it will give you any issues.
rrnwexec
I am interested too. Even better if it is "modified" to include a bit of extra space for electronic (internal) add-ons.

I'd love to see a SL-6000 version as well.

Cheers,
Randall.
cycle_55
sign me up. I'd take two depending on the cost of course. You can always email me at hotmail.

cycle_55
zeigerpuppy
interested, especially if it allows access to the internal cf slot or space for internal usb/serial bluetooth/wifi
bam
same here, a little extra space, just enough to slide in a bt and wifi dongle.....(.125" will do)
Da_Blitz
I always have liked how people are so paranoid about static, i have dropped the bare board on the carpet and watched it slide with no ill effects

the enviroment can play a huge part in static buildup, a slightly mosit enviroment can keep static to a minimum, but i guess most people dont want to risk a device like this like i do smile.gif]

installation cant be that hard if its the same procedure as taking off the case

about the case size mdoification and extra groves for a docking station, would you be able do do the molds or would i have to, i dont mind modifing the standard case by extendeding the top of the bottom half and placing groves along the outside, however i would much prefer a more angular case that meshes to the top of the doking staion better

somthing a bit more rectangular, should i just contact you directly?
alban42
I am VERY interested I have a Z3200 on Order ...
PLEASE Make It Waterproof I got My Z3100 Wet & it Died ... (;-{)
ztep
I'm also interested in buying one of these.
Fushnchupsh
Yeah, I'd totally be interested!

Keep us posted!

--Fish
InSearchOf
Yea... keep us posted... if they are reasonably priced... count me in...
maytagman
Okay, I have a mold struck on my C1000 and I've put in a material order for a small sheet of kevlar.
To this point I've had difficulty finding a reliable carbon vendor whose prices don't suck, but I'm getting closer.

With regards to added features, modifications...
I don't know what you want, and I want everyone to have *exactly* what they want. For now I am re-creating the sharp body panels exactly, from a struck mold in composite. The idea with the internal CF access is a good one, as well as some of the other thoughts. Keep in mind, though, every modification to the relatively simple base design complicates things pretty heavily. Each hole/opening in the composite requires it either to be laid in (as in, the material is layed with a hole in the desired area prior to any finishing) or machined in. Machining is easier, laying looks prettier. But still, I chose to do this only because the case of the zaurus is relatively simple in shape and angles. The challenges will be the CF/Headphone/IrDA ports, battery door mechanism, and speaker outlet.

If you want to submit a custom design, that's fine. However, I cannot tell just what you want and where you want it by you telling me 'do this'.
I will need you to provide a mold for the design you wish, and hopefully a CAD model or just a detailed drawing of how you want the finish product to look. If you want to go nuts with accessability and extra ports, you may want to look into an option such as plate CNC machining. CNC machines can take your CAD model and mill it exactly from a solid chunk of aluminum (or other material) to your specs. The upside, it may be cheaper, and it will be faster and more precise. The downside is, it will be heavier, less durable, and won't look nearly as cool (although brushed aluminum does look nice and hides scratches well).

I personally would go for a CNC job if this is what you are looking for.

Right now I am thinking of carving a mold for two variants, a slightly fatter version to accomidate integrated electronics such as bluetooth, wifi, and a larger battery, and the normal sized exact duplicate shell.

But I'm jumping the gun. We'll see if I can get my hands on some raw materials first. If anyone knows a source for thin, non sandwiched CF fabric, normal carbon color, 2x2 pattern preferably, let me know.

I'll keep the thread updated.

Update: Found a few rolls on eBay... checking out the sources, may have it sooner than I thought, although the proto model will almost definetly be in kevlar.
Da_Blitz
cool might shoot you off some diagarams soon, lukily for me i dont need the speaker and i have to rewire the headpone jack due to exessive wear.
kahm
I'd have to put my vote in for an exact replica. I'll be very interested in seeing the results...
jerrybme
Great idea! I'm interested too; at minimum an exact replica. But perhaps one with extra room for a wifi dongle (my dream Z would have both internal BT & WiFi)

Look forward to seeing some pics biggrin.gif
BarryW
Some pics of the build process would be pretty cool as well. I'm sitting at my desk waiting for the ups dude with my new C3100!
adf
QUOTE(BarryW @ Apr 1 2006, 01:12 AM)
Some pics of the build process would be pretty cool as well.  I'm sitting at my desk waiting for the ups dude with my new C3100!
*

Welcome back tongue.gif
BarryW
QUOTE(adf @ Mar 31 2006, 05:38 PM)
QUOTE(BarryW @ Apr 1 2006, 01:12 AM)
Some pics of the build process would be pretty cool as well.  I'm sitting at my desk waiting for the ups dude with my new C3100!
*

Welcome back tongue.gif
*




Still waiting... sad.gif

What, like you guys didn't think I'd be gone long did you? I do have to say I was very dissapointed with the Axim. Hardware wise it's killer, it's just Micro$oft effed it up.
Cresho
QUOTE(BarryW @ Mar 31 2006, 07:28 PM)
QUOTE(adf @ Mar 31 2006, 05:38 PM)
QUOTE(BarryW @ Apr 1 2006, 01:12 AM)
Some pics of the build process would be pretty cool as well.  I'm sitting at my desk waiting for the ups dude with my new C3100!
*

Welcome back tongue.gif
*




Still waiting... sad.gif

What, like you guys didn't think I'd be gone long did you? I do have to say I was very dissapointed with the Axim. Hardware wise it's killer, it's just Micro$oft effed it up.
*




I knew you'd post in here. your a modder at heart. Axim is a piece of crap hardware from what i read already.
BarryW
Well I got it!! Now I'm trying to convert it back to something I can use. It had bsd on it. Trying to get it back to "stock" then go from there. What's the most user frendly rom for it right now? OpenZ looks pretty good, but I don't see the install files for it.
Da_Blitz
http://www.oesf.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=18353; trust me its worth it 2.6 flies
BarryW
QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Apr 1 2006, 12:32 AM)



Except I get a kernel panic at boot with it. So far the only rom I can get to boot is cacko. I can't even get the stock sharp rom to boot, get the hdd1 error there. Pulled the drive and reformatted it on my linux laptop, put the files where they are supposed to go and... hdd1 error.
BarryW
Who Hoo!! Got OpenZ to boot! Missed the initrd / hdimage1 part.
Da_Blitz
Just make sure there is no CF or SD card in the slot, cant wait to try kexec'ing into another kernel

sorry about the thread jacking
maytagman
Still waiting on kevlar to get here
Was cheap, so I'm patient with the shipping ^^
Da_Blitz
cant wait, thanks for the update
komoman
Any pics yet?

Just won an auction for a 3100.

Now to auction off my 5600.
raduga
a few possible bodies:
(and lots of questions!)


1) an exact replica of the original Zaurus body

I'm not *quite* sure what good it would be, though....
most of the damage that I've seen or heard of occurring on Zauruses
seems to be from physical/electrical shock to internal components.

A stronger case would be more resistant to cracks from wear or plastic fatigue,
but they seem to be fairly uncommon.
The Sharp cases seem to scratch and abrade- possibly kevlar or carbon fiber
would be harder, but I would imagine that more to be a function of
surface coating than structural material.

My real question would be: what added (if any) protection would a
replica replacement case give to the electronics or screen?

__________

2) a ruggedized replacement for the Zaurus body

possibly the same material, same construction, except with a little more room
to accomodate padding for shock absorption. If the case is built to withstand
impact (kevlar/carbon fiber obviously would be) and the internals can be
given room to move within a flexing case, then the Zaurus as a whole
should be more resistant to failure.

no warranty, obviously smile.gif

I'd be willing to pay slightly more for a slightly bulkier Zaurus with a slightly
greater hope of surviving catastrophe.

___________

3) water resistant case (SD, CF, audio, power, usb could have rubber seals)

again, it might help against accidental, temporary contact with water
but not necessarily be immersion-proof.

In custom configurations, some of the above ports might be sealed altogether.

I'm not sure if there is much of a market for the more advanced forms of
Zaurus re-casing; relative to what it would cost to build and sell them,
but I would definitely be interested in either a rugged, or a water-resistant
Zaurus case.

Also, a sealed screen protector (one which covers the entire upper panel, not just a corner of the LCD) but there we might be getting into materials that are outside
your field of interest smile.gif

Harder screen protection may also interfere with function of the digitizer, so it may not be practical in any event.

___________

4) other exotics

- replica Zaurus body with physical storage compartment (spare CF or SD cards?)
- replica Zaurus body with CF port mod to allow WiFi card to mount flush
with body.
- replica zaurus body modified to allow slightly deeper keyboard
+
replacement for Zaurus keys, with slightly higher definition

____________

That's *my* Wishlist, at any rate.

The more exotic, the more difficult to build, and the more expensive to buy. smile.gif

I'm still interested in the Type I, replica of Sharp's Zaurus body,
but if the original poster (or anyone else) can explain just what
a kevlar case would do for my C1000 as-is, I would probably be
more interested still.

thanks!
maytagman
lol, people have some big ambitions. I'll answer some of your questions, mainly the ones I know the answers to. Unfortunately there are some things I don't know and I'm not one to make things up for the sake of spouting off on forums.

The materials are substantially more durable than the plastic casing of the zaurus. The casing Is relatively thin and of marginal quality. Not only does a composite/resin construction have higher tensile strength than plastic (by several orders of magnitude), but the epoxy coat is quite scratch resistant. What's more is, a coat or two of automotive clear-coat will allow you to simply rub off every day scratches with a light compound. Not to mention it looks great. (I WILL have some proto pics up when I have time to finish it off. I have the mold and the materials, all thats left is pressing it in and setting the epoxy. As I said I am a full time employee and a full time student, so time is at a premium)

As for the many different designs you mention, this is quite another story. I am producing the exact replica cases because I have a C-1000 on-hand that I casted molds for myself. Thus, I know exactly what it is, and how it should turn out. When you get into custom work, you are adding many many variables that often are lost in explanation. Without a very good set of diagrams or a CAM model it is very difficult for me to know just what you want. The most feesable mod at this point is a larger battery bay (perhaps by simply adding an extra milimeter or two to the entire bulk of the case) and external access to the internal CF drive. However, at this point I have not yet got a C-3k, so that will be on hold until I decide I need one.

If you have complex ideas on hand, you may consider creating your own! I have been doing composite for a while now, but there honestly isnt much to it. I do it as a hobby, in support of my other hobby, which is motorsport. If you do it yourself (or at least design your own mold), you can simply cast the case of your own Zaurus, then hand-carve any additional amenities or case modifications. This way you have exactly what you want. However, precision work with composites is difficult, and openings are generally cut after the epoxy has cured, making it a chore to finish the cut surfaces. The stock form of the clamshell is relatively simple, making it an ideal choice.

As for a case, I am prototyping a holster-style, formfitting case for the Z. It will not include a capacity to access the CF or any other external jack due to its compact nature. I am making it primarily for me, and in a limited production as with the case replacements. The case will probably have small holsters to hold your CF cards externally, and the case itself will be waterproof as I mentioned.

Once I have all my molds perfected and my technique refined I'll probably reach a capacity of about 10 units a month. This will depend on my availability. Also the availability of carbon has become a major concern. Aeronautical companies seem to be sucking up composites faster than factories can produce them. But, in either event, I forge ahead! Luckily, the limited supply of carbon I have been able to secure has been residual stock at a very reasonable price. The $100 price point was actually a bit high, and I'm hoping to produce for less. Again, there is little to no profit to me, and I will include a material invoice for all parts used in construction to ensure this. The only money I am making will go to pay for my paypal fees, taxes, post, etc.

If you have custom designs and can provide engineer-grade diagrams or CAD models, I can produce your custom design for a very modest premium. I will prioritize custom projects ahead of the normal cases. However, if you are in an excessive rush, or require very extravagant modifications, I would highly suggest investigating a CNC machined option in a material like aluminium, which lends itself well to such design. Composites are finnicky to work with when it comes to precision manufacture. This is a hobby, which for me is placed on one of the back burners. Although now I have a good idea of the level of interest to expect when I begin serial production.

Thanks for your replies so far and I will be more than happy to field any other questions you may think of. I'll have some pics of the raw materials and my ceramic molds shortly.

EDIT: Ah yes, as for screen protection:
You are correct in assuming that a britle screen protector should interfere with the touch sensitive membrane. In addition, I haven't had experience integrating a material such as glass or lexan into composites before. A resin shell is possible, but removing the touchscreen functionality from the Zaurus seems nonsensical. Also, the unit would not be able to close properly, and it would likely interfere with the exotic rolling hinge design of the clamshell. It is possible to completely redesign the case to close flush an include a hard screen protector, but then you must consider, what is to keep that surface too from being scratched! smile.gif

I think what is best is simply to replace the outer shell as I planned, which will provide added protection from every day abuse such as drops (I also failed to mention that the epoxy coat provides a limited degree of shock resistance), scratches, spills, babies, medievil crossbowmen, spears, mongolian hordes, and zombie pedestrians, while making a clean, good looking Zaurus.

If you are obsessed with a modified, ultra tough zaururs, there are plenty of precision machine shops online who can laser cut your CAD model for very, very reasonable prices. The primary appeal of this case should be its good looks with the fortunate side effect of being tough!
Antikx
My *dream list* would be a bit of a larger case that would:
-have a non-powered hub wired to your internal USB host so that you could have normal modern usb ports on the side of your zaurus for mouse and keyboard.
-have a large PSP battery inside to extent the battery life of the zaurus 2 or 3 times
-space to have a USB WiFi, BT and Ethernet device stuffed in there and then an ethernet port on the side of the case.

A docking station that provides what I've mentioned above would be nice too.

Sorry... just dreaming.
InSearchOf
Sorry Maytagman for hijacking you thread... but Antikx I never thought about making a Docking station for my Z... but that is a very good idea... but I would prolly put in a powered usb hub, wireless(usb of course) and I know there is something esle that I would like but I cant think of it... I think I'm goin to research this...

But Hey Maytagman still keep us up to date with any updates.... Also did you recieve the Kevlar yet?
Da_Blitz
Dont suppose you have a link to a DIY carbon fiber tutorial, im intrugied if it is as easy as you say
raduga
Thank you, maytagman, for a clear and succinct response to my not-so-clear or succinct query!

QUOTE(maytagman @ Apr 13 2006, 12:43 PM)
lol, people have some big ambitions. I'll answer some of your questions, mainly the ones I know the answers to. Unfortunately there are some things I don't know and I'm not one to make things up for the sake of spouting off on forums.


Earlier in the thread you asked something along the lines of "what do you people want?" so, my last post was a shopping list of all the things I'd like to see in a new Zaurus enclosure. smile.gif

QUOTE(maytagman @ Apr 13 2006, 12:43 PM)
If you have complex ideas on hand, you may consider creating your own! I have been doing composite for a while now, but there honestly isnt much to it. I do it as a hobby, in support of my other hobby, which is motorsport. If you do it yourself (or at least design your own mold), you can simply cast the case of your own Zaurus, then hand-carve any additional amenities or case modifications.


I might have complex ideas, but not well fleshed out ideas, or much/any experience in materials forming.

QUOTE(maytagman @ Apr 13 2006, 12:43 PM)
As for a case, I am prototyping a holster-style, formfitting case for the Z. It will not include a capacity to access the CF or any other external jack due to its compact nature. I am making it primarily for me, and in a limited production as with the case replacements. The case will probably have small holsters to hold your CF cards externally, and the case itself will be waterproof as I mentioned.


This being an external protective case for a Zaurus to fit into?
Or a replacement Zaurus body with these features?
Either one sounds *interesting*.

QUOTE(maytagman @ Apr 13 2006, 12:43 PM)
The $100 price point was actually a bit high, and I'm hoping to produce for less.  Again, there is little to no profit to me, and I will include a material invoice for all parts used in construction to ensure this. The only money I am making will go to pay for my paypal fees, taxes, post, etc.


$100 is more than I'd like to pay, but it definitely sounds reasonable.
I'd expect to pay at least that or more, for comparable effort.

QUOTE(maytagman @ Apr 13 2006, 12:43 PM)
If you have custom designs and can provide engineer-grade diagrams or CAD models, I can produce your custom design for a very modest premium.


Neither smile.gif sorry

QUOTE(maytagman @ Apr 13 2006, 12:43 PM)
EDIT: Ah yes, as for screen protection:
You are correct in assuming that a britle screen protector should interfere with the touch sensitive membrane.


Do you have ideas or thoughts, on how to integrate a soft (but durable?)
screen cover, either removeable, or integrated into the case?
I've had mixed, but not really great results with most of the
stick-on screen protectors I've used so far.
I'd be willing to give up a *little* precision of mousing,
for a little more durability. I'm not sure if that scales well at all.

QUOTE(maytagman @ Apr 13 2006, 12:43 PM)
(I also failed to mention that the epoxy coat provides a limited degree of shock resistance)


Yeah. It'd be nice to know how much more you actually get, with a cloned
replica case in the composite material.

QUOTE(maytagman @ Apr 13 2006, 12:43 PM)
If you are obsessed with a modified, ultra tough zaururs, there are plenty of precision machine shops online who can laser cut your CAD model for very, very reasonable prices. The primary appeal of this case should be its good looks with the fortunate side effect of being tough!


Obsessed with the concept, yes.
"Very reasonable" is still probably a few orders of magnitude more than I'm interested in spending.

Truly ubiquitous computing - a handheld for all seasons, and all environments
is something that interests me rather a bit; though I honestly don't have any
specific application (or funding, or time) for such research.

so,
mark me down for at least (1) replica body, of one sort or another,
if you ever get them into production.

and many thanks smile.gif
Antikx
QUOTE(InSearchOf @ Apr 13 2006, 05:29 PM)
Sorry Maytagman for hijacking you thread... but Antikx I never thought about making a Docking station for my Z... but that is a very good idea... but I would prolly put in a powered usb hub, wireless(usb of course) and I know there is something esle that I would like but I cant think of it... I think I'm goin to research this...

But Hey Maytagman still keep us up to date with any updates.... Also did you recieve the Kevlar yet?
*

Ya. I agree. If I was making a docking station I would put in a powered USB hub too.
scottielittle
i'm interested in the case as well. I don't think a desktop docking station is really necesary. A case with more built in power, usb, etc would be cool though
BarryW
Hey, did you get the stuff you need yet?? What do the molds look like??
InSearchOf
QUOTE
Hey, did you get the stuff you need yet?? What do the molds look like??

Wondering the same thing...
BarryW
Anybody heard from this guy? He glue himself to his desk or what?
Ferret-Simpson
In a reference to this and the PPZ (PocketPenguinZero: DIY PDA in Hardware-Mods forum) Does anyone know a commercial manufacturer of Carbon Fibre casing? We're looking at using it over Aluminium in the PPZ for sakes of Weight, strength, and size.
lardman
QUOTE
Dont suppose you have a link to a DIY carbon fiber tutorial, im intrugied if it is as easy as you say


Take a look at something like this:

http://www.netcomposites.com/education.asp

You need a vacuum pump and an oven. Other than that, it can be quite simple (prepreg) or quite complex (determining resin/filler percentages), though for this application, the absolute strength of the material is not that important so the filler/resin calculations and uniformity are not too troublesome (from what I remember of my University placement manufacturing composites).


Si
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