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Production of Diskio Pi

Diskio Pi, an Open Source touch device, compatible with Raspberry Pi / Odroid

  • Special news for batteries

    Dear contributors, dear everyone!

    Here is a news that will interest those of you who have ordered a battery with their Diskio Pi, because it has a lot to do with the board that will manage the charge and gauge.

    The people who follow the project on Twitter are already aware of almost everything, but I am gathering the information via this news.

    So here's the prototype of the board:

     

    Nicolas managed to get all the components into the board, which is 7.5 cm x 2 cm. There is also a height constraint, which means that the I2C port will be bare upon delivery, it will be required to solder wires if necessary.
    The pin Vbatt / GND / Vcc is connected to the daughter board, which will have to be adapted for V1: version 0.3 was composed only of Vcc and GND.

    From what I understand, this is how it works. The MP2619 is the main gauge and manages battery safety: over-charge, undercharging, short circuits, etc. This protection is doubled because the batteries are already equipped with internal protection. 

    The MP2619 therefore manages the analog gauge, connected to the switch and voltage comparators, to indicate the charge with the multicolor LED, which will be from red/yellow to green/blue depending on the battery charge.
    We have also thought of the most daring of you, in order to have the possibility of displaying a gauge on the screen. This is where the MAX1726 comes into play because it can communicate with a Raspberry Pi using I2C.

    Nicolas tested the port with an Arduino and here is what it looks like:

    It will still be necessary to transpose the script (and maybe improve it) into Python (or better in C/C++) so that a Raspberry Pi can read the battery output voltage, then display the corresponding icons.
    The software will not be available immediately, we will think about it after delivery. But at least it will be possible.

    To complete this news on the batteries, here is how you will have to place them in the case, the charge board being screwed on top:

    The battery cables are all of the same length (simpler production, and the same electrical resistance for each pack), so there is no particular order of assembly.

    The batteries are ready to be sent!

    Finally, to be as complete as possible about the batteries and to thank you for your great patience, here is as a video bonus the mechanical part of the switch button on the gauge, and how the LED lights up.

    For the next news, I will show you what is already printed, what remains to be done (a lot!), and I will try to estimate a second delivery date, with also some pictures of the V1 prototype of the daughter board.
    But know that the machines are running at full capacity and that they don't have time to cool down!

    See you soon,

    Guillaume

    Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

  • We have tested the Raspberry Pi 4 compatibility

    Diskio Pi's friends,

    It wasn't expected before 2020, but it's there: the Raspberry Pi 4 is available since June 24th!

    This latest version is, according to some observers, a revolution. And having tried it, I must admit that the performance of this board is quite impressive compared to previous versions.
    I would not dwell here on its technical characteristics, but on the 3 available versions (1Gb/2Gb/4Gb of RAM), I immediately thought about the possibility or not of compatibility with the Diskio Pi. 

     

    So I didn't wait too long to order the 4Gb version, the potentially more electricity consuming version.

     

    • The physical compatibility does not seem to be a problem: same dimensions, same SoC position (upwards), unchanged GPIO port...
      Since the RJ45 port is inverted compared to the USB, the LAN cable is not disturbed by the display board, however, care must be taken not to hit a small coil on this board.
      The USB cable can be connected to the USB2, and in the picture I placed a USB3 storage key, immediately recognized by Raspbian.

     

     

    • Electrical/digital compatibility :
      We therefore need to review the power supply stage of the daughter board, because of course we want all Diskio Pi to be compatible with RPi4.
      Another adaptation required: the Micro HDMI port. To do this, it's simple: you have to replace the HDMI adapter of the Raspberry Pi 1~3 with HDMI microphone.
      And since there are two ports, we will have a custom-made dual adapter manufactured, one of which will go to the screen, and the other to the daughter board. The external HDMI port of the Diskio Pi, initially an HDMI input, can therefore be changed to an HDMI output to use an overhead projector for example.
      NB: This adapter will be sold as an option, without a specific availability date.

     

    For the project contributors, a question then arises:

    I initially proposed compatibility with the Raspberry Pi Zero, which requires 2 special cables and a Mini HDMI cable. However, with this new version, we will still need additional connectors.
    Since we cannot provide you with full compatibility, we will have to choose between the Zero version cables or the version 4 cables.
    So, is it really necessary to have Raspberry Pi Zero compatibility with its 500 MB of RAM? While knowing that in the future, both options will be available.

    A survey is available on Twitter, feel free to participate. 

    https://twitter.com/DiskioPi/status/1146725788647075840

    If you are not a Twitter subscriber, send a small comment under this news, I will take your opinion into account before making the final decision.

    Apart from this slight upheaval in the calendar, everything is going well. The batteries are received, the video cards (screen) are in the plane, and the cable samples (excluding USB C, which was not planned) have yet to be validated.
    Nicolas has a little more work to do, this week we have determined the cause of under voltage and it remains to redo the circuit on paper, then in prototype.

    The PETG printing process is slow but steady. Smaller parts are stored in a cool place, and some larger parts are already ready. The arrival of cells such as batteries confirms the desired dimensions so the production of the corresponding cells can begin.

     

    I imagined the beginning of delivery this July but circumstances will not prove me right!

    Thank you and see you soon,

    Guillaume

    (Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator)

  • Only four more days to choose ! (and other news)

    This news is reserved for project supporters.

  • It's time for a choice !

    Diskio Pi's friends,

    This news is important because it will allow you to choose the color of your Diskio Pi (if you have pre-ordered a copy).

    Summary of previous episodes:

    Two weeks ago, I presented you the cases printed in PLA and my annealing tests ended in failure. So it was with the help of the community that I ordered PETG filament to solve the problem.
    After some trial and error to adjust the machines with this new material, the tests were conclusive.

    In addition, a second large format printer is about to be installed to increase the production rate.

    Here are the available versions, it's up to you to choose the one you like best!

    Warning: Since PETG is a hydrophobic material, paint has less adhesion to this material. Choosing the white version for painting can be delicate, but not impossible (use of primers, sanding, etc.)

    To validate your choice, follow this link: https://framaforms.org/sur-les-couleurs-de-la-coque-du-diskio-pi-2-1558600657

    Try to answer as soon as possible, so I can order the filament in bulk !

    The questionnaire is available until 2 June 2019 midnight, after which the default color will be black (it will no longer be possible to change).

    Here are some photos to help you make your choice, each color has its advantages and disadvantages.

    White and black are the PLA version, the grey front is made of PETG.

     

     

     

     

    Body in silvery PLA grey. The PETG is also dark, without the "silver" side.

     

    The black version, still in PLA. The PETG version will be brighter, here is an example of PETG rendering with a "torture test" :

     

     

     

  • Selected colors, and other news

    Diskio Pi's friends,

    First of all, I would like to thank the contributors who were numerous to vote (almost all of them in fact!). So, thank you, you saved me from making a difficult choice, and I probably would have been wrong.

    This news includes some news - more or less good - on the novelty of the project, its progress, the difficulties I have encountered so far, etc..

    But let's start with the good news.

    So here we are at the end of the survey on the choice of case colours. Including black, four colours have been selected from the ten available, here is the result:

      

    So it was the Grays and whites that were chosen!

     

    As I have known the result for about 3 weeks, I had time to order filament and test.
    No particular difficulties to print (it's the same brand, same quality). The only difference I noticed was a slight fragility of grey compared to black. So I had to correct my drawing (thin walls of 1.2 mm instead of 1 mm for example).

    In any case, the result is, I think, quite satisfactory:

    On this picture, the light grey was used, and a piece of the foot is in silver colour. In white, it will be possible to paint the parts with acrylic paint.

    For reasons of printing constraints, I had to cut the rear housing to screw the central plate. The result is not so bad, although it is invisible if the case is black.

    Note that you will receive the pre-assembled housing, as the main frame.

     The interchangeable part also clips well, and we see more printing lines on the grey than on the black version.

    Finally, the assembly and plastic prototyping is almost finished, I wanted to create parts that assemble without any glue, which took a little longer than expected.

    It remains to be tested the perfect integration of the electronic elements:

    - Screens and touchscreens are ordered;

    - Battery samples (due to a change of supplier) are in the process of being sent;

    - Custom cards are being studied (especially the charger card);

    In short, there is still work to be done.

     

    There is also some less good news:

    - As you know, the case is printed in 3D, and despite the use of a special heat-resistant PLA, it will be imperative to keep your Diskio Pi cool.
    Indeed, the deformation temperature of this material is 55 °C (compared to 50°C for conventional PLA). Only after annealing can this threshold reach 140 °C.
    The tests with my domestic oven were inconclusive, because there were too many temperature variations inside the oven (more or less 20 °C, whereas you have to stay at 60 °C for 3 hours, then 80 °C for 1 hour).
    As a result, the parts become deformed and are no longer of the right size.

    That's why you should absolutely avoid leaving your Diskio Pi in a veranda in the summer for example, or inside a car.

    - Secondly, the manufacturing time.
    If no machine failure or unexpected failure occurs, the time required to print an entire copy is 5 days. I had underestimated this time (at 2.5 days), so unless I still have enough to invest in a second (or even a third) large format printer, you may receive your copy late.
    So I will start by delivering as the contribution dates come up: if you luckily contributed on the first day of the campaign, you could receive your copy in July. Conversely, if you contributed towards the end of the campaign, I hope you will have the patience to receive your copy in October or even November.

    However, I started production starting with the mounting shims, the SBC plate, and the bracket bars on the screen.

    Finally, for the contributors, I give you an appointment in 2 weeks for a new questionnaire, where I will ask you what is your final choice for the color of your Diskio Pi.

     

    Thank you and see you soon

    Guillaume