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Messages - maytagman

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C1000/3x00 Hardware / Carbon Fibre/kevlar Zaurus Body
« on: April 13, 2006, 04:43:53 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.

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!

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!

Hardware Mods / Looking For Some Soldering Mojo!
« on: April 07, 2006, 04:58:46 pm »
I grabbed the Ambicom model. However, I plan to keep this as my small, clean card for warwalking about. I'll grab the linksys cf11 card (that I believe has a u.fl on board) with a u.fl pigtail and epoxy it to the jack for my big amplified rig.

C1000/3x00 Hardware / Carbon Fibre/kevlar Zaurus Body
« on: April 06, 2006, 02:30:36 pm »
Still waiting on kevlar to get here
Was cheap, so I'm patient with the shipping ^^

Zaurus - pdaXrom / Symlinking Lib Directories?
« on: March 30, 2006, 01:03:55 pm »
Seriously? lol...
I'll give it a try then >.>;

Zaurus - pdaXrom / Symlinking Lib Directories?
« on: March 30, 2006, 11:10:42 am »
Hello, I've noticed that if I install elements on the /mnt/user partition, they often use that as the root to search for their library dependencies in, is there a way to symlink the two partitions' libraries so that no matter which I install on, they can find what they need?

Im sure plenty of other have this problem.

C1000/3x00 Hardware / Carbon Fibre/kevlar Zaurus Body
« on: March 27, 2006, 06:33:06 pm »
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.

C1000/3x00 Hardware / Carbon Fibre/kevlar Zaurus Body
« on: March 26, 2006, 12:25:20 pm »
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    

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  
But, the case doesnt seem all that difficult to disassemble so far, so I doubt it will give you any issues.

Zaurus - pdaXrom / Missing
« on: March 26, 2006, 04:19:32 am »
Why not toss this up on the main feed?
I ran into this problem with... quake2 was it? I just shitcanned the plan though, didn't have time to mess with it then.
Wasnt in the feed last night iirc.

C1000/3x00 Hardware / Carbon Fibre/kevlar Zaurus Body
« on: March 25, 2006, 11:19:39 pm »
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

C1000/3x00 Hardware / Carbon Fibre/kevlar Zaurus Body
« on: March 25, 2006, 10:57:19 pm »
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  

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!)

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.


Zaurus - pdaXrom / Authoritative Ports Collection?
« on: March 23, 2006, 11:07:40 am »
Hey all, I'm just thinking of ways to make pdaxrom's use even more simpler for the less linux-savvy amongst us, and my mind wanders to package management.
There are quite a few packs available to us as it stands, but the pdaxrom's 'feed' system has a pretty limited selection. When I use a major distro like Debian or NetBSD, I have a huge ports collection to choose from. Granted, theres a lot less people making packages for our Zs, but still. I don't understand why we are using seperate packaging process for different OS flavors on the Z. We are all on the same platform, we should all decide on one package format and pattern to use so we have more options. So, a few questions

1) Can packages from OZ, etc be installed under pdaxrom? Or are there too many differences between the varying kernels to make this possible? If so, what are the differences, and how can we equalize them to play nicely with eachother?

2) So, pdaXrom uses ipkg, OZ uses what? Can we cooperate on a ports collection compiled for the xscale/arm architecture as opposed to specific builds?

3) Will precompiled binaries for previous xscale/arm builds on distros like debian/gnu's ports collections function with our machines?

4) I understand there is a debian/gnu variant for the Z, will its apt-get draw from debian's ports collection? If so, then I don't see why we can't get them to work under pdaxrom.

5) Is the pdaxrom feed the authoritative package source right now? I know there are about 9000 personal package collections out there, why arent these consolidated? Is it a question of bandwidth and serving? What is the hold-up here?

My Zaurus nirvana is a land where everyone is cooperating for maximum compatibility between each other. I know there is some spirited rivalry between pdaxrom and OZ-land, and that's fine. However, I think it's best to realize that we all run the same niche hardware, and we might as well try and give ourselves as many package choices as possible. My dream would be simply apt-get'ing from the Z and having it just plain work.

Zaurus - pdaXrom / Recovering From Pdaxrom Shutdown -h
« on: March 23, 2006, 10:53:37 am »
You don't even know how happy I was when it booted back up  

I thought I would have to reflash to get by the softbutton woes. Fortunately, it came back up as expected, into my beautiful, bloat-free pdaxrom.

I think what I love about pdaxrom's default setup after using it for a few days, is that it is built almost exactly how I used to build a Linux installation years ago. Before the days of 4GB default installations on major distros, before the days of stupid uneccesary packages, services that you'll never use, and idiotic package management tools throwing dependencies all over the place.

It's clean, simple, fast, and marvelous. I was going to just throw a bare kernel on the Z and build from the ground up as I normally do, but now I don't have to go through the trouble of tweaking everything to the Z's specs.

I just felt I had to hijack the thread for a moment to give a golf clap to our development team and everyone making all the packages up.

Zaurus - pdaXrom / Recovering From Pdaxrom Shutdown -h
« on: March 22, 2006, 06:55:07 pm »
Bigtime bump here.. but just letting you know.

I just ran into this problem with my C1000.
Latest build of pdaxrom, just installed last night.
I ran a shutdown -h now this morning, came back from work and the thing was dead as a doornail. I didn't have to short anything though, I just had to remove the battery for a little bit and throw it back in..

Did I miss something here? Is the on/off switch a softbutton, and does the Z stop listening when it's completely halted? Hmm, who can shed some light here?

Hardware Mods / Looking For Some Soldering Mojo!
« on: March 21, 2006, 01:11:46 am »
I was looking at the Linky CF card too.. looks tiny as well.
The ambicoms I've heard good about and are $30 on ebay, so I think I'll pick one up. I'll pop it open and post pics, if it has an easily accessable antenna leadoff, or a ufl jack, then great. If not, it'll be my clean small mobile card, and I'll buy a seperate card with the mod for the down-and dirty stuff.

Hardware Mods / Looking For Some Soldering Mojo!
« on: March 19, 2006, 11:19:30 pm »
Heh, guess I'll just slap together a u.fl>N connector on a 3" piggie and call it good ><;

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