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wsuetholz
Hello,
This a little bit premature, but, when designing these things, usually the system board layout has to work with the design of the shell that the board will inhabit.

Some of the things that I recall about the current thinking for the body are:

1) Initial design will be a clamshell case like the SL-Cxx00 series
2) A 4" transreflective display 640x480 minimum
3) A hardware keyboard built in (just to be clear)
4) 1 CF Slot, CFIO capable - this is a no...
5) SD Slot, SDIO capable
6) 1 USB port, not sure if Mini or normal, Client or Host, or combined
7) 1 HDMI port for video out
8) 1 Audio out
9) 1 Audio in
10) 1 Camera
11) 1 Power input (again just to be clear)
12) Easy access to battery(ies)
13) Easy access to reset button
14) A Rocker switch (because the Z has it)
15) A Cancel and an OK button (because the Z has it)
16) A Power On/Suspend/Off button (no reason can't work like PC)
17) A speaker
18) A microphone
19) External antenna connection(s)
20) GSM Identity card access
21) a bunch of LEDs (HD, POWER, BT, WIFI, ...)
22) Fingerprint reader

Boy, that's alot of stuff.....

However, there can never be enough... Some things I'd like to see in additon are:
1) 2 CF externally accessable. No internal HD, I'd like to be able to easily switch out HD's. This one will be very hard to accomplish, because of the realestate needed.
2) Both the USB Host and Client ports available in the full sized version.
3) I'd like to see 2 SD slots.
4) Maybe stereo speakers?

The keyboard should have some application keys some of which could be lighted different colors, to indicate on/off status, ie turn on bluetooth, or wi-fi. The rest of the keyboard should be able to be backlit.

--edit-- added in the fingerprint reader, and make comment about CF slot

Bill
Da_Blitz
Actually we have 2 SD slots and no external CF. it makes things alot easire for me. 2 CF slots would be quite hard to do and i am not 100% sure if it is posible so that is why there is one

Stereo speakers sounds nice, i belive thats what we were going to put in in our original post (one ethier side of the screen) however if using it as a phone we may need to reconsider the placment.

we will have at least 1 Full sized host port, i have been against putting in a usb mini B plug to connect to a PC as i belive that samthing like a PC to PC usb cable is a better idea as it can be reused for normal PC's and i would rather have 2 full sized host slots rather than 1 client and one full sized host.

i am open to sugestions on that one, with the correct adaptor even thogh its not a mini B connector you could still turn it into a client port by enabling it as a client in software and then using the adaptor and a normal USB cable ( i have the connecter right here at the moment and have never seen a use for it till now) perhaps i can ship the connector with the unit for those who want it.

trust me the keyboard will blow your mind, i have one or two things in the works for the design of it that still need a bit of refinment (will post them latter) however at the moment the keyboard is looking like a c3000 keyboard with larger keys (less of a gap between them) and a couple more short cut keys, all backlit. the round shortcut keys also have a transperent ring around them with an indvidual LED (because i use mine for VT switching and it would be nice to know which one i am on)

also we might have 2 rocker switches (one front and one back, about 1/4 of the way down the case) apart from that everything else looks correct
morrijr
Fingerprint reader.
wsuetholz
Could we put the application buttons by the screen? That way we wouldn't need to have those touch screen psuedo buttons, and would free up space on the main keyboard for more regular keys without needing fn+. Of course if you use the gull-wing design, the extra application buttons go there, right? I personally don't mind that design, but if you use that, do the 5, 6, or 7 inch screens become more acceptable? Do I hear widescreen? 800x400 anyone?

Bill
wsuetholz
I'd really like to be able to easily get at whatever internal storage is decided upon, without voiding the warranty (warranty??? WHAT warranty?). That was my real reason for suggesting 2 CF slots, since I thought that the current design decision was to use the CF/ATA interface of the chip for an internal HD. If we could design things to use the drives that Apple is using for their iPods that would be really nice :-) because those drives are very inexpensive compared to the CF HD's that the Z uses. Standard off the shelf components are good for a project like this.

Bill
BarryW
QUOTE(wsuetholz @ Aug 10 2006, 05:07 AM)
I'd really like to be able to easily get at whatever internal storage is decided upon, without voiding the warranty (warranty??? WHAT warranty?).  That was my real reason for suggesting 2 CF slots, since I thought that the current design decision was to use the CF/ATA interface of the chip for an internal HD.  If we could design things to use the drives that Apple is using for their iPods that would be really nice :-) because those drives are very inexpensive compared to the CF HD's that the Z uses.  Standard off the shelf components are good for a project like this.

Bill
*



How about make it so the internal drive is accessable from the battery compartment. You know, pull the battery and there is the end of the drive. Would make it less likely to pull the wrong card out, and free up some edge space.
Da_Blitz
i would be worried about the clearence issues if we make it acsesible from the battery slot. even more so if we use an ipod drive

2CF slots is a no go, i want to keep the device slim and waste as little board space as posible. i have a feeling that we ay run into a board density problem that can only be fiked by adding more pcb layers and spliting the design into 2 boards that are stacked on top of each other

the screen is a bit of a tricky isue, i want to keep it thin. micro buttons would fit however it has been mentioned that the area ethier side of the screen is great for speakers. i guess it comes down to the first pearson to dummy up some pictures and mesurements

i still dont know why you would want to get at the internal storage, if you need the CF for a camera why not just plug the camera in. if its to upgrade then i think it is worth getting out a screwdriver, i promise that it wont be as painfoul as the dis/assembly of the c3k. if its in case you b0rk your PDA then you need not worry, the trusted computing stuff as well as some clever preboot userland stuff will take care of mantaince in the case of catastrfic failure, not only that it will be posible to have live SD cards (live CD's) like with altboot

if we use the apple drive then you will really want the design to be as thin as posible. the problem is that using an ipod drive changes the entire design in terms of placment. with a CF card its best to go with a small board that is "stacked" against other boards. withthe ipod its better to just have the one large board. it shouldnt be too hard to come up with multiple layouts however i will most likly only support one or two due to the cost (i need to make at least one for bug testing)

basically we will see what happens in the comming months, perhaps we will go with large amounts of flash instead
Zuse
Hi everyone,

just my ideas for a body design:

make it flexible.
AFAIK, we want a slim but powerfull PDA, this are two major design rules which run contrariwise.

Many functions means many power consumption which results in big heavy batteries.

If possible I would suggest a modular design, which fits different everyday needs.
Some laptop manufactors use multi-purpose bays. One standardised (at least standard accross there own range of laptops) bay which can be used to plug in different modules (CD-ROM, DVD, HDD etc.)

Extend this to a general purpose PDA bay. Every module include all functions which are need for a particular task.

E.g.
A storage module, which include a second CF and SD slot as well as maybe other card formats and addtional USB interfaces both host and slave.
Makes it perfect if you need your PDA as a file storage container and if you need to access to a lot of different devices (digital camera, storage cards, mp3-player etc.)

A desktop module, VGA-out, USB for keyboard and mouse connection, extended audio plugs (e.g. line in, line out) and a NIC
use your PDA like a real PC

A multimedia module, web-cam, speakers, audio, direct-buttons for media control TV-out
use your PDA as a multimedia box

wink.gif A PDA module, just empty to save power, size and weight wink.gif

A long-life module, include extra battery power and easy charging possiblities (e.g. charge the device by USB port or by any DC-source between 3 and 24 volts (car and trucks))
use to travel with your PDA everywhere even if charging would be tricky at the there.

Car module, GPS, 12V DC supply, GSM
use for navigation with GSM-based traffic reports

A GSM module,
phone biggrin.gif

etc etc.

Important would be to define which peripheral devices belong to one module (maybe some are multiple). It should follow the way how we use the PDA in different situation.

If I have a group-meeting, I need no multimedia functions as well as VGA, GSM or network.
During traveling, battery is important but I do not need VGA or powerful external speakers,
During a presentation, GSM and network functions might not be important, but VGA (for video projectors) will be.
On a daily holiday photo-trip with my digital camera I need my PDA as a dictonary and storage tank for the pictures, I do not need VGA.

etc.

By this way I can plug the module I need to my PDA. All other modules can be stored in my bag or wherever.

Just the everyday needs devices need to be integrated into the PDA directly. One SD slot, 1 USB slot, bluetooth and Wifi, headphones and microphone. That's it.

The modules can have the same size as the PDA and attached under the back-side of the PDA (like a docking-station). Thus, different size (in thickness) could meet the different moblitiy criterias. The desktop-module could be bigger, no modules result is a slim and lightweight PDA for traveling. Slightly, addtional size in the width my be usefull for integrated antennas etc.

Just a idea for a very flexible design.

Bye
Zuse
Da_Blitz
this has to fit in my pocket
Da_Blitz
we plan to use the bay concept and backpacks (see the compaq 3x00 series) however it is case dependent and very hard to pull off corectlly, remeber i am designing the PCB not the casing
BarryW
QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Aug 13 2006, 02:50 AM)
we plan to use the bay concept and backpacks (see the compaq 3x00 series) however it is case dependent and very hard to pull off corectlly, remeber i am designing the PCB not the casing
*



I saw some firewire drives online once that had firewire ports on the top and bottom. You could stack them together and they would daisy chain together. Now if you could do that with say, mini usb ports you could do the "dock" part pretty easily. Add a few screw holes like the SL-6000's sleeve to hold it together.
Da_Blitz
thats a very nice solution, i will think about how to engineer somthing like this, my idea was a sleave with a high density ronnector at the end of the PDA
wsuetholz
That is a very nice idea, maybe each unit can have it's own battery, that could be used by the whole machine? Power and charging through the USB connection... Might want to use the micro USB connectors for this though because they wouldn't stick as far into the case. Maybe all the power and charging could be through USB ports, rather than needing the round power connector?

Bill
BarryW
QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Aug 13 2006, 11:12 PM)
thats a very nice solution, i will think about how to engineer somthing like this, my idea was a sleave with a high density ronnector at the end of the PDA
*



I'll see if I can dig up the drives, that way you can see what I'm talking about.

Found it.

http://www.applelinks.com/mooresviews/quadslim.shtml
Da_Blitz
very intresting, i dont think i would use a mini usb sockect but somthing with a higher diensity so that we can put other things on the connector (perhaps that is a better way to get SPDIF and video out off the device)

i dont like the styling much however i am sure we can whip somthing up that looks simmilar to the PP case

onec again a great idea, keep them rolling in
morrijr
QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Aug 15 2006, 03:45 AM)
very intresting, i dont think i would use a mini usb sockect but somthing with a higher diensity so that we can put other things on the connector (perhaps that is a better way to get SPDIF and video out off the device)

i dont like the styling much however i am sure we can whip somthing up that looks simmilar to the PP case

onec again a great idea, keep them rolling in
*


Please, whatever you choose, don't have a custom plug/socket. I think usb would be a good idea, primarily because it's just everywhere! Perhaps a usb + a higher density? Would make it easy to add (read convert) usb dongles smile.gif

Perhaps having a seperate one for power would be advantagous? That way plugging in a sled which is just a battery would be easy... and you could just keep adding battery sleds (would be in parallel?) to extend battery life smile.gif
Da_Blitz
in this case a custom socket is more of a requirment, the minisub is too deep if placed on the bottom

however dont forget that we will have USB sockets on the back already

part of the reason i like the slide on case is that we could make it use the exsisting USB sockets if i put them on the side rather than the back meaning less parts but i think this idea is better (ie stacking)
wsuetholz
I don't know if I can explain this properly, but...

How about a USB connector that is parallel to the bottom of the case covered by a spring loaded cover that the addon would push down on to make the connection.. The connector on the main body would be recessed.

Bill
Da_Blitz
to many things to go wrong, anyway you have at least one on the back why do you need one on the bottom as well?
morrijr
QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Aug 17 2006, 04:32 AM)
to many things to go wrong, anyway you have at least one on the back why do you need one on the bottom as well?
*


Having one (or more) connector(s) on the bottom would allow you to 'stack' sleds which are exactly the same size as the original unit while leaving the original ports free.

Would it be that complicated to mount a usb socket vertically down at the edge of the pcb?
Ferret-Simpson
No, That's easy. It's the spring loaded gunk that was too easy to go wrong.

Point in note. . . If you're stacking them. . . Then the USB Socket of the bottom block would still be accessible. o.o

Getting Uni tomorrow (I hope) So will be looking in better detail at linux on it, and of course when it's developed. . The phone.
Da_Blitz
USB sockets mounted verticely are very very bad

reasoning:
pins have to be bent (dont think the PCB company will do this for us) as they are designed to be mounted horizonatlly
width between boards has to be bassed on usb socket and not on the minimum gap
it means that the board will require ektra cutting (yes you could have it at the edge but i dont see that happening)

if we use several square pads and a contact system on the PDA with pogo pins on the backpack we can reduce the cost on the PDA and mave it to the backpack (if you arent using a backpack its slightly cheaper, if you are you are no worse off)

not te mention its simpile to do, all it requires is a couple of squares of PCB lined up on the bottom board, the pogo pins make contact to this area.

it also means that we can route some of the other stuff to the IO boards (SPI perhaps or serial, AUDIO?)
Da_Blitz
we seem to be going down the Z style of casing however has anyone seen the new ROAD pda, that could be the way to go.

it has some nice features in that form factor that could be handy
uMP2k
QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Aug 22 2006, 04:04 PM)
we seem to be going down the Z style of casing however has anyone seen the new ROAD pda, that could be the way to go.

it has some nice features in that form factor that could be handy
*


If this:




is what you had in mind they you would certainly have my vote. Looks like a keyboard that you can actually touch type on.

One thing that I have been wondering about this proposed device is whether or not it will have a touch screen and, if so, whether it is planned to try and emulate the convertible nature of the Z?
Da_Blitz
that really depends, the ability to swing the screen is nic but i never use it at all, i keep it in clam shell so i didnt need to buy a case for it but i guess that most people will use it in that form factor, i felt that the c3000 was a little chunky for using like that thogh but i plan to make this PDA thinner than the c3000

the keyboard on that thing is very nice but i do wonder what it will look like in real life

keyboard wise, i posted in the keyboard fourm i had a new idea or two sad.gif i just hope its not imopsible
uMP2k
QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Aug 22 2006, 07:47 PM)
that really depends, the ability to swing the screen is nic but i never use it at all, i keep it in clam shell so i didnt need to buy a case for it but i guess that most people will use it in that form factor, i felt that the c3000 was a little chunky for using like that thogh but i plan to make this PDA thinner than the c3000


Thinner - I like the sound of that. I have just taken delivery of a C1000 (my first Z) and while I already like it alot it is very very thick compared to the PocketPCs I have had up to now.

QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Aug 22 2006, 07:47 PM)
the keyboard on that thing is very nice but i do wonder what it will look like in real life


Yes, it is hard to tell from the picture. I also wonder if it might be still too small to touch type on, but too big to thumb type....?

QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Aug 22 2006, 07:47 PM)
keyboard wise, i posted in the keyboard fourm i had a new idea or two sad.gif i just hope its not imopsible
*


Love to hear about them when you have thought them through. Designing a new PDA from the ground up is a great opportunity to innovate!
Da_Blitz
its been posted, have a look smile.gif
Ferret-Simpson
Hmmm, I think swinging and touching are a good idea (Double Entendres UNintentional if present.) I've always kept the flip up panel on my Poodle when outside of it's Otterbox, So it's good to be able to protect the screen by folding it flat. . and I use Slate style PDA more than Clamshell. . I only really use clamshell when I have alot of text to enter, like an SMS or an email. web addresses etc. . I use the onscreen keyboard.
craigtyson
CF Battery? ie an additional battery that uses the CF slot when not being used by storage / WIFI. Also a 1/2 backlight mode (I read in bed!)

Smart WIFI drivers that can put the card into sleep mode when not in use ie when your reading the web content you have just browsed to: aka dialup disconnect after x time

Please get rid of the screen app buttons all they do is get pressed by mistake

Decent decoupled audio output

All the conectors on one edge to allow a incar docking station OR all outputs doubled out of the cradle jack to give same functionality as plugging into power , usb , audio jacks

Oh and a left handed stylus clip option OK :0)
Ferret-Simpson
How can you have a "Handed" stylus clip? It's a STYLUS CLIP! I have PDA's with them left and right. . what's the difference?
Da_Blitz
guess someone forgot to tell him that we are having the stylus running at 90 degrees to the frount rather than parrallel to avoid all the [left,right]handed issues smile.gif

docking sation=backpacks
connectors on one side = backpack

if you dont like the screen app buttons then bind them to do nothing wink.gif i dont like them at the bottom of my screen ethier, it all depends on what we can get

smart wifi drivers: i am not a kernel dev, plus you do actually have to "listen" for broadcasts and such, perhaps you should look into changing the transmit strength. dont forget that reasociation takes about 1-2 seconds

i will see what i can do about the audio, make sense to me
derekp
Two more things...
First, one of my biggest usability issues with a pda is constantly stowing / retreiving the stylus when switching from key input to touch screen. What would be nice, in addition to a stylus silo, is a clip at the top of the screen that you can clip the stylus on temporarily while using the keyboard. A second option would be to have an eye hole at the top of the stylus so it can be connected to the wrist strap connection on the pda via a peice of fish line or similar.

Second thing, for those that are looking at stuffing everything into a phone factor. Instead of trying to figure out how to fabricate a case, just pick up one of those cheap 2 dollar toy cell phones they make for kids. They usually have a keypad on them hooked up to a small circuit board that makes beeps & buzz sounds. Rip out the guts, replace it with the PPZ board, and there you go. Cut out the fake display and plop in your lcd, and wire the toy keypad (which actually works) into your gpio pins or keyboard controller.
Ferret-Simpson
But doesn't that completely defeat the object of it being a PDA? Those are usually imitations of a Nokia 7110 or 8110. . . And the screen cutout is about the right size for a 128x128 SPI display and no bigger.

Nice Idea, but only practical for a basic tuxphone. . not for a PDA.
derekp
QUOTE(Ferret-Simpson @ Aug 25 2006, 02:21 AM)
Nice Idea, but only practical for a basic tuxphone. .  not for a PDA.
*


I was thinking that there is a couple of projects going on, and if you can get to a basic cell phone form factor fairly quickly, then work on the ultimate one while you have something in your hand. I have also seen toy cell phones in a few other form factors, plus you could mod the case slightly to get a bigger screen (i.e., if you get one of the "flip" toyphones, you could hack off most of the flip but keep the hinge, etc.)

Another idea that might work a bit better (but still not big enough) is to get a replacement phone housing (esp. one for a pda phone). They usually run anywhere from $15 to around $60 depending on the quality. Here's one for a treo 600 that might come closer to fitting the bill...
http://www.craytonelectronics.com/tr600cdrehof.html
Ferret-Simpson
http://www.mobilefun.co.uk/product/10679.htm

The fabled Universal.
BarryW
QUOTE(Ferret-Simpson @ Aug 24 2006, 05:46 AM)
How can you have a "Handed" stylus clip? It's a STYLUS CLIP! I have PDA's with them left and right. . what's the difference?
*

Like one of these??





Ferret-Simpson
WTH? Never seen one of those before! If I need to use the keyboard, I just bite the stylus. Neither my Z or my Uni, Or Either Palm, or my iPaq had one. What is that, a Palm III?
Da_Blitz
i dont think that most phone cases will work, they are a bit small for most of the things i am trying to put in there and most people seem to want a PDA first phone second

using a PDa case does have an advantage or two but my workload then shoots throgh the roof sad.gif
Ferret-Simpson
Not to mention no brushed aluminium case. wink.gif
BarryW
QUOTE(Ferret-Simpson @ Aug 25 2006, 11:23 PM)
WTH? Never seen one of those before! If I need to use the keyboard, I just bite the stylus. Neither my Z or my Uni, Or Either Palm, or my iPaq had one. What is that, a Palm III?
*



Apple Newton. You know the first real pda.
desertrat
QUOTE(BarryW @ Aug 27 2006, 06:15 AM)
Apple Newton.  You know the first real pda.

Depends on what you mean by "real" pda. I believe Psion are widely credited with creating the whole pda market, first with their Organizers then later with the Series 3 and Series 5.

However after seeing the video of the Newton demo doing the rounds on youtube, I would agree it is as innovative as the Psion machines.
Ferret-Simpson
An The old Acorn Pocketbook (Rebadged Psion 3a, right?)

Do they make good Serial terminals?
BarryW
QUOTE(desertrat @ Aug 26 2006, 11:13 PM)
QUOTE(BarryW @ Aug 27 2006, 06:15 AM)
Apple Newton.  You know the first real pda.

Depends on what you mean by "real" pda. I believe Psion are widely credited with creating the whole pda market, first with their Organizers then later with the Series 3 and Series 5.

However after seeing the video of the Newton demo doing the rounds on youtube, I would agree it is as innovative as the Psion machines.
*




Naa, I'm talking chronologically. I'm pretty sure the first Newton came out before the first Palm. I never even saw a Psion untill the Newton's were discontinued. So I don't know a whole lot about them.
uMP2k
Ahhh the Newton - there is no love like the first love as they say....
desertrat
QUOTE(BarryW @ Aug 28 2006, 12:22 AM)
Naa, I'm talking chronologically.  I'm pretty sure the first Newton came out before the first Palm.

The Psion Organizer was released in 1984. The Series 3 (has all the features of a modern PDA) came out in 1991 - couple of years before the Newton.

QUOTE
I never even saw a Psion untill the Newton's were discontinued.  So I don't know a whole lot about them.

Not much of a market for PDAs in the North Pole wink.gif. Seriously, Psion were big in Europe but never did crack the US market. Only with the the launch of the Series 5 did they begin to enter the US market, by then it was too late - Palm had got there already.
BarryW
QUOTE(desertrat @ Aug 27 2006, 06:44 PM)
QUOTE(BarryW @ Aug 28 2006, 12:22 AM)
Naa, I'm talking chronologically.  I'm pretty sure the first Newton came out before the first Palm.

The Psion Organizer was released in 1984. The Series 3 (has all the features of a modern PDA) came out in 1991 - couple of years before the Newton.

QUOTE
I never even saw a Psion untill the Newton's were discontinued.  So I don't know a whole lot about them.

Not much of a market for PDAs in the North Pole wink.gif. Seriously, Psion were big in Europe but never did crack the US market. Only with the the launch of the Series 5 did they begin to enter the US market, by then it was too late - Palm had got there already.
*


Huh, see you learn something new every day. I still like the keyboards the last couple models had.
Ferret-Simpson
Heh? And back on topic. . . ?

Apparently the Screen no longer rotates? Which post was that?
Da_Blitz
i would love to get my hands on a psion, the oldest i have is microsefts attempt at a PDa running windows CE 1.0 (its a casiopeai and its a shame but i lost the ram stick for it and havent built a replacment)

thats one of the problems bieng where i am, we just dont get any of those things over here because we arn't considered a large enough market
Ferret-Simpson
DB? The screen?
desertrat
Sorry for continuing with the OT smile.gif

QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Aug 28 2006, 11:37 AM)
i would love to get my hands on a psion, the oldest i have is microsefts attempt at a PDa running windows CE 1.0 (its a casiopeai and its a shame but i lost the ram stick for it and havent built a replacment)

A colleague of mine had one of those early Casios and I remember comparing it to my Series 5. The 5 had a better keyboard, better screen, better OS, better apps, well you get the idea. My favourite way to show how much superior the 5 was was to print [Epoc] Word documents over IR to the office Laserjet wink.gif

QUOTE
thats one of the problems bieng where i am, we just dont get any of those things over here because we arn't considered a large enough market

Strange, I know for sure that the Psion stuff were on sale in places like Singapore, HK and even Malaysia.

If you do decide to get a Psion then I recommend the 5mx or the Ericsson MC218 (basically a rebadged 5mx with a bit more bundled software) - as opposed to the original plain old 5. It's got better screen, better case (the 5 suffered from peeling paintwork), more memory, faster etc.
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