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Printing a handheld PC

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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2019-09-09 6:31 PM
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I am super impressed that you were able to find someone making tiny trackballs in 2019!

The less said about IBM nipples, the better...
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Mobi Page Icon Posted 2019-09-10 4:22 AM
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C:Amie - 2019-09-09 10:31 AM

The less said about IBM nipples, the better...


I've used ThinkPads for years, but I have never been able to get accustomed to the trackpoint. I think that's anathema to the ThinkPad afficionados. So be it.

Edited by Mobi 2019-09-10 4:22 AM
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2019-09-10 6:45 AM
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Yeah, but even their one H/PC, the WorkPad z50, had one.
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2019-09-10 9:32 AM
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They might have been high quality back in the day - before the Chinese got hold of them and converted them into state intelligence assets - but I always and still maintain that their design was and is, awful. They have no style what so ever.
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robertojones Page Icon Posted 2019-09-10 12:28 PM
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C:Amie - 2019-09-09 6:31 PM

I am super impressed that you were able to find someone making tiny trackballs in 2019!



They're surprisingly widely available, the trackball itself was a BlackBerry part originally and someone's stuck it on a PCB with all the connections nicely broken out. Clearly made them in some numbers as they're everywhere and pretty cheap! I've not tested it yet so will report back once I've made it speak to the Pi.

eBay link

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robertojones Page Icon Posted 2019-09-10 3:59 PM
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C:Amie - 2019-09-10 9:32 AM

They might have been high quality back in the day - before the Chinese got hold of them and converted them into state intelligence assets - but I always and still maintain that their design was and is, awful. They have no style what so ever.


I couldn't agree more. In my current job I see a lot of used IT equipment and the Lenovo stuff always stands out as remarkably ugly. The newest ThinkPads look more or less the same as 20 year old ones, and they looked dated (and boring) even then.

I had a little play with the CAD model this morning to try and reduce the logo 'bump'. I've tightened up clearances inside and managed to get it down to just over 2mm proud of the rest of the lid, still quite obvious but a little less clumsy looking. To do away with it entirely I need to either increase the thickness of the lid and therefore whole machine by 1.5mm (not my favourite option after I worked so hard to slim it down), or unsolder the HDMI socket on the display and replace or relocate it (probably beyond my current level of skill and also a significant amount of time if I want to build more than one).

I'm inclined to live with the reduced bump while I get this one built and hope that something comes up while I'm doing so. Open to suggestions as always though!
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ArchiMark Page Icon Posted 2019-09-11 8:20 PM
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Go with a little bump....not a big deal IMHO....

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robertojones Page Icon Posted 2019-09-12 12:11 AM
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I've taken a screenshot that hopefully shows how the (reduced) logo bump would look on the finished item. Time permitting I'll try and mock up a version with the thicker lid and no bump to provide a comparison.

I've also provided a link to the trackball I'm using in correct affliliate link format (hopefully):

Progress on building the machine is likely to be a little slow, at least for the next month or so as work has me doing masses of overtime at the moment. I'm at least spending some of the extra money on tools and 3D printer accessories to make the process a little easier. First new toy to arrive was a heat gun (for applying heatshrink on cable assemblies mostly), if anyone else is interested in such things (and in the UK) there's a great price on the one I got on eBay at the moment:

Thanks again to everyone for your input and for all the insipiration on this thread.



(Pi-HPC Lid Bump.jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments Pi-HPC Lid Bump.jpg (23KB - 0 downloads)
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2019-09-12 9:13 AM
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That helps a little bit. It is looking really good. When will you do the next build?
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robertojones Page Icon Posted 2019-09-13 8:44 AM
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C:Amie - 2019-09-12 9:13 AM

That helps a little bit. It is looking really good. When will you do the next build?


I'm hoping to get the first small parts printed this weekend, mostly just to get the 3D printer set up again and printing reliably. Realistically I would expect about 6-8 weeks until it's fully built (far slower than originallly hoped due to all the overtime I'm doing at work at the moment)

Below is a mock-up of the machine with a thicker lid and no bump vs. my current model. The thicker lid isn't as obvious as I'd thought but I do think it makes it look a little 'top-heavy', design-wise.





(Pi-HPC Lid Comparison.jpg)



(Pi-HPC Lid Comparison 2.jpg)



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Attachments Pi-HPC Lid Comparison.jpg (67KB - 0 downloads)
Attachments Pi-HPC Lid Comparison 2.jpg (48KB - 0 downloads)
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stingraze Page Icon Posted 2019-09-16 1:38 AM
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The rendering / CAD is impressive!
Can't wait till you build it!

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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2019-09-16 9:08 AM
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Agreed
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robertojones Page Icon Posted 2019-12-11 9:13 AM
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Quick update:

Mostly want to reassure anyone who's been following this that the project is still alive. Progress has been far slower than I'd hoped due to a combination of equipment failures and me getting dragged on to other tasks, however it's now moving (forwards) again.

See below for a photo of the lid - other than most of the small parts this is what I've managed to print so far. Currently waiting on new printer filament (there were quite a few failed prints and part redesigns) but in the meantime I'll work on the internal cable assemblies again.

Interestingly enough, an order recently came in at work with a Compaq C-Series, a Psion Series 3 and a Nokia Communicator (9110 I think) on it - I've squirreled them away and will see if management will let me take them home or at least keep them around to play with on my breaks. Good for inspiration although all a lot smaller than my machine!







(20191211_084217.jpg)



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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2019-12-11 10:21 AM
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Where on earth do you work where someone ordered in a C series? lol

Looking good!
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robertojones Page Icon Posted 2019-12-11 3:14 PM
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The company buys in pallets of used IT equipment with varyingly vague descriptions - this one turned out to be donated kit from a charity. Mostly junk as you might expect but my eye for 'historic' technology caught on these...

So sadly not specifically ordered in!
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