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Printing a handheld PC

Moderators: C:Amie

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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2020-04-13 10:38 AM
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robertojones, it's looking amazing. You should be doing more to publish your exploits! You need a (video)blog for it!
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robertojones Page Icon Posted 2020-06-16 10:38 PM
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C:Amie - 2020-04-13 10:38 AM

robertojones, it's looking amazing. You should be doing more to publish your exploits! You need a (video)blog for it!


I definitely need to document the process, even if only for myself, but I'm really not good at keeping records and organising. Also a little embarrassed of the state of my 'facilities'... But perhaps I can put something together once Mk3 is finished. It would be a shame not to have some record of how it's all progressed.

On the subject of finishing the latest prototype - I can't believe it's been two months since my last update. I've had quite an eventful time! I had a bit of a battle printing the parts as it turned out - One part in particular proved to be essentially 'unprintable' and had to be redesigned. I'd printed about half of the casing, however, when the heater 'cartridge' (basically the heating element that melts the plastic) in my 3D printer failed and I had to source a new one. As I'd bought a new mainboard for the printer I took the downtime as an opportunity to fit it, which of course was far more involved than I'd imagined, then when I got the new heater cartridge it was the wrong voltage variant and proved unusable (discovered after I'd soldered it to the cable, naturally). Finally I got the correct heater cartridge installed, got all the settings right on the new mainboard and got a few test prints done, only to realise I was missing a motor driver for the second extruder on my printer (needed for printing support material and of course required for my HPC project). So that's now on it's way, at which point I can finally finish building the thing. It's frustrating to have been this close for so long, but there's pretty much nothing left that can stop me now.

Pictured below is the bottom half of the machine - bar a few small parts this is what I've got printed so far.



(HPC Mk3 Bottom half printed.jpg)



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Attachments HPC Mk3 Bottom half printed.jpg (90KB - 0 downloads)
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smb_gaiden Page Icon Posted 2020-06-17 5:32 PM
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Looking Great!
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stingraze Page Icon Posted 2020-06-23 10:41 AM
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I was scrolling through my twitter feed, and found this:

https://bb-madoshi.booth.pm/items/2149970

The person is selling a 3D data for 100JPY ($0.93 USD!)

Edited by stingraze 2020-06-23 10:42 AM




(raspberrypi-4-small-laptop.jpg)



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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2020-06-23 5:36 PM
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That amuses me.
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robertojones Page Icon Posted 2020-06-23 11:54 PM
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That's a really interesting form factor, kind of reminds me of one of the early-ish laptops, something like in the picture below. I especially like the extra hinge that lets you change the keyboard angle.



(Toshiba_T1200.jpg)



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stingraze Page Icon Posted 2020-06-24 6:10 AM
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I never seen those before, I only have seen the Word Processors or "Wa-puro" as they call it in Japan.
Example of "Wa-puro" Word Processors - (Japanese Wikipedia: https://bit.ly/3fVHFzF )

They still sell those retro word processors in stores like Hard Off in Japan, quite pricey too.
(About 10,000 - 25,000 JPY ($93.84 - $234.60 USD))

This online shop in Japan sells lots of Word Processors, and this NEC one looks nice.
https://www.sagas.co.jp/item/811-48.html

I think some people like the fact that those word processors can't connect to the internet.
I've read there's some niche market for those security aware people, some like to use even typewriters!

Edited by stingraze 2020-06-24 6:16 AM
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hmascience Page Icon Posted 2020-06-25 1:54 AM
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The T1100 was my first "real" personal laptop. Half VGA, funky "magic" angle for the LCD, etc.

That said, here in the US, one of the niche market are those that participate in a yearly "National Novel Writing Month" events (as well as more professional writers). The Alphasmart series of devices (really could be considered serial/USB keyboards with a rudimentary screen and memory) has a cult following. You worked away merrily and then (I had one of the later versions with a USB-A connection) when you plugged it into a computer, the computer accepted it as keyboard. Open a modern word processor, hit the send button, and get a cup of coffee as the Alphasmart "typed" your text. Neat way to transfer info.

Prior to the Alphasmarts, my family used NEC Mobilepros (various models) to try to get that "internet free" writing time. Smaller device that felt pocketable (and even was sometimes) but in reality usually lived in a backpack or portfolio case. Color screen was sorta nice (DTSN screen). Music and games challenged us with potential distractions. Pocket Word was nice but could cause trouble with remembering to save the correct (RTF or txt) format if the final computer didn't have the appropriate file converter. CF card just felt like tiny floppy discs. Had trouble with volatile RAM going away when machines reset due to poor batteries and user saved files there... Fun times.

Thanks for bearing with me on this journey down memory lane.
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stingraze Page Icon Posted 2020-06-25 9:48 AM
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I guess I wasn't even born when you bought your first laptop...


I didn't know that Alphasmart "typed" words to the connected PC, that is really innovative.
I searched again for another 3D printed laptop, and I found a pretty cool one, called Spellbook.

https://hackaday.io/project/164091-spellbook





Edited by stingraze 2020-06-25 9:49 AM




(spellbook.jpg)



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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2020-06-25 8:44 PM
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We had those at work for a while, hmascience, but IIRC ours were infrared instead of USB.
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robertojones Page Icon Posted 2020-06-26 10:52 PM
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Brief update:

The casing is now complete, so the 3D printing phase is basically over. I've done a basic assembly of the machine to get a feel of it and took the opportunity to get some photos, see below.

I've just got some cable assemblies to make up now, a little bit of soldering connectors on to the various boards and then it can go together permanently. After that it's just tinkering with the OS to get it to speak to the hardware, thankfully I can probably substantially reuse the little 'driver' I wrote for the trackball back when this was Raspberry Pi based.





(IMG_20200626_2232193.jpg)



(IMG_20200626_2232516.jpg)



(IMG_20200626_2234265.jpg)



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Attachments IMG_20200626_2234265.jpg (50KB - 0 downloads)
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HPC:Fan Page Icon Posted 2020-06-27 1:26 AM
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That's a beauty. I remember a couple of years ago or so I was laughed at when I suggested building a palmtop with the help of 3D printing. Glad to see it getting done, really fantastic work. Looking forward to seeing it complete and running.
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smb_gaiden Page Icon Posted 2020-06-27 3:22 AM
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Amazing! Congrats! Not going to say how much envy
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ArchiMark Page Icon Posted 2020-06-29 12:51 AM
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Impressive work.

Looks great!

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