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Production of Diskio Pi

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

  • The first photos

    Dear contributors,

     

    Here are some pictures of a test with a Raspberry Pi 4, which works completely with the new daughter board. The "flash" icon of the Raspbian firmware no longer appears, except when the battery is discharged.

    The temperature tests are relatively good, but the fan option is essential with this new version of Raspberry Pi.

    So I did a test with the "stress" software, which pushes the processor into full activity.

    At most, the processor is at 60°C after 4 minutes:

     

    Then when the test ends, the temperature drops quickly to 50°C, here 52°C.

    Further tests will be implemented, especially to define the lifetime of a load. The Raspberry Pi 4 consumes about twice as much power as the 3B+ model, so the battery life will certainly be reduced, to a maximum of 4 or 5 hours.


    In terms of external appearance, no major changes. On this prototype, the colors are mixed but this allows a better view of the different parts. 

     

    Detail: the 3 position button, with the screen only at the top, in the middle OFF, and at the bottom the screen + SBC board

     

     

    The external connection (the mini USB input port of the HUB is not soldered)

     

    In terms of 3D printing, it remains to do half of the feet, and all the framing.

    I calculated that the very last contributors would be delivered in mid-January, despite all my efforts to deliver everyone before Christmas... The first ones will certainly be luckier.

    That being said, the electronic study is complete. The tests went well, and everything is working as planned. There will even be some extras, like:
    - Software battery gauge, via I²C (the software will be developed later, or forked)
    - Switch off the fan via "halt or shutdown" (by adding two GPIO cables and a line in config.txt)

    The CAD files of the cards are therefore being processed for serial production.

    The packaging is also being designed. I had planned to cut foam with a laser machine, unfortunately the laser doesn't cut anything at all, because the foam is white...
    The laser was therefore only used to engrave a small design on the boxes.

    So there are still a few details to fix but it's nothing, there are plenty of solutions!

    See you soon, and thank you for your patience !

    Guillaume

    Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

  • About the progress of 3D printing

    Dear contributors,

    For this September's news, I will focus on the part that takes the most time to manufacture tablets: 3D printing.

    Printing a part for the base

    If all the small parts are already printed (screen brackets, battery forms, SBC plates etc.), the most impressive prints are in progress.

    At this time, 25 casings are finished out of the 85 that will be delivered to you. There is therefore still work to be done to print the body of the tablet, whose 3D drawing will only be validated when the final cards are received and tested (or at least the prototypes).

     

    In terms of printing details:
    Despite all the care I take to ensure the printing quality, each case will be unique. It is up to you to decide whether or not to make finishes (plaster, paint...), but I think it is visually acceptable to use the device as it is.

    For colours, each has its advantages and disadvantages. The filament used, despite the same brand, same material, must be worked at different temperatures for the cleanest possible result.

    Here are the main parts in detail:

    Black has a shiny appearance, white is more matt.

     

    Despite the reinforcements, the part where the USB and HDMI connectors will be placed is relatively fragile, I had the misfortune to break some of them... These broken parts will obviously not be delivered.

     

    The other side of the black housing

    As for the grey, I printed only part of the housing in order not to get a mixture of colours in the printer's nozzle: I just start the rounded part because all the white parts are finished.

    Example of a grey PETG back of the tablet. Depending on the printer used and the color, the result may differ!

     

    Finally, there is also the base to print. I started with the small printer (first photo) the rounded part, which requires 16 hours of printing. The cardboard is far from being filled, but after hours of adjustments and tenths of different gcode (file read by the printer), the assembly is finally validated.

    The result will be strong, as the forces will be exerted in the direction of the printed fibres. (a bit like woodworking)


     

    In short, you will have understood that there is still a lot to do.

    At the electronic side, we see the end coming. Nicolas is making the final adjustments and new prototypes will be sent to production within 1 or 2 weeks.

    I hope to be able to present you the final daughter board in October, and the first copies assembled for the final result.

    Then there will be the study of packaging, something I dread a little because a kit is not necessarily easy to pack, then the shipping carton. But everything in its time...

    Other very latest news: the project is officially Open Source! The OSHWA association validated the project under the number FR000007.... The seventh French project it would seem....  https://certification.oshwa.org/fr000007.html

    Thank you all for your great patience, and of course if you have any questions / remarks do not hesitate:
    - a comment at the bottom of this page
    - an email ([email protected])
    - Twitter @DiskioPi
    - Facebook (I'm rarely there)

    There is a choice!!!

    See you soon,

    Guillaume

    Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

  • 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.