Decided to build my own PDA - from "scratch"

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  1. #1
    Village Idiot 2.0
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    Default Decided to build my own PDA - from "scratch"

    The Aceeca link introduced in this thread got me thinking. Got me looking around. I've noticed quite a bit of "other" stuff being made for industrial, corporate, military, and other specialized uses. Most of the customers are themselves large-scale device manufacturers who market custom-sector machines which compete against PDAs.

    I've just ordered two of the most expensive parts I'll need: a Toradex Colibri PXA320 IT mainboard and a Sharp 4.20" XGA (1024x768x24-bit) touchscreen LCM.

    Gonna build my own fancy (PDA-based) mobile computer. Forget about the underpowered half-crippled toys that HP, Dell, Apple, Sony, Toshiba, Palm and all the rest want me to buy. It's all junk. And it's cheaper this way, too.

    I'm all set to go and still a little bit vague on exactly what I'm building ... but the mainboard only measures 67.6 x 36.7 x 5.2mm and the LCM is only 4.2" ... I might be able to squeeze it into a large PDA casing. Probably not though, if I want to pack the twin SD slots, twin CF slots, RS232, twin USB hosts, biggish battery, and all the rest in there. I suppose the 806MHz PXA320, 256MB DDR2 RAM, 1024MB Flash ROM and all the rest might produce a little bit of heat, too. Hey, at least it comes pre-installed with WinCE 5.0 or my choice of linux flavours.
    Mobile widgets modded iPAQ h2210B • modded Axim X51v • P3050 Touch/Vogue (TELUS) • Satellite A210-MS9 • ~39GB flash storage • ULT31803 & SUN-300A flash readers • Go Wi-Fi! P500 802.11b/g CFIO • CFU2 USB1.1 Host CFIO • DSCF-100 RS-232 CFIO • BT-359 SiRF-III GPS • ER-6 Earphones • TI-83+ • iPAQ hx2750 • iPAQ hx4705 • Axim X50v • Palm TX • Inspiron 8000 • KDA (Ό-built)
    The optimist sees the glass is half full; the pessimist sees the glass is half empty; the engineer sees the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.[/Konrad]

  2. #2
    Mobile Deity
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    Default Re: Decided to build my own PDA - from "scratch"

    consider the windows based handhelds that are used in Apple Stores for check out too, they have it all BT, wifi, not sure about storage?
    iPhone 4, iPhone 3G, Plantronics 320, Mac OS 10.6.3 on a 15" MacBook Pro, Airport LAN & WiFi, att.net, PDA path: Palm i705 (2004 - son)=> Palm Tungsten TX (4/06 - sold) => Nokia 6682 (7/06 - 7/08) => iPhone 3G (7/08 - 7/10 now used by son) => iPhone 4 (7/10 - current w/ work SIM) & Nokia (?)(7/10 - current w/ home SIM)
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  3. #3
    Village Idiot 2.0
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    Default Re: Decided to build my own PDA - from "scratch"

    I haven't done an exhaustive search - but I'm willing to guess that no consumer PDA (or even UMPC) exists at this time which can support all the technobabble built into this Colibri mainboard. The specs for the CPU, RAM, ROM, and screen resolution alone blow anything out of the water. I can't wait.
    Mobile widgets modded iPAQ h2210B • modded Axim X51v • P3050 Touch/Vogue (TELUS) • Satellite A210-MS9 • ~39GB flash storage • ULT31803 & SUN-300A flash readers • Go Wi-Fi! P500 802.11b/g CFIO • CFU2 USB1.1 Host CFIO • DSCF-100 RS-232 CFIO • BT-359 SiRF-III GPS • ER-6 Earphones • TI-83+ • iPAQ hx2750 • iPAQ hx4705 • Axim X50v • Palm TX • Inspiron 8000 • KDA (Ό-built)
    The optimist sees the glass is half full; the pessimist sees the glass is half empty; the engineer sees the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.[/Konrad]

  4. #4
    Nokia N800 + HTC Wizard
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    Default Re: Decided to build my own PDA - from "scratch"

    Cool. Post pics! This'll be fun, now won't it?
    Past and current devices: Palm m505 (Sold) > Palm Zire 71 (nonfunctional working) > Tapwave Zodiac 1 (nonfunctional) > Palm Tungsten T5 (nonfunctional tenatively functioning) + SE w300i + 2GB SanDisk SD + Cheap $5 keyboard (that works…)(sold) > Cingular 8125 (retired) + 2GB MicroSD in adapter > Nokia N800 + 4GB SDHC + 8125's 2GB MicroSD in adapter + Palm M505

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Decided to build my own PDA - from "scratch"

    Konrad,

    If anyone can pull this off, then it sure is you. I wait anxiously to see the parts put together and the final result. Who knows, you may be the one to give us “power users” what we really crave for.

    God speed.
    I do not intend to tip-toe through life only to arrive safely at death!

  6. #6
    Life is a circus!
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    Default Re: Decided to build my own PDA - from "scratch"

    Colibrν is one of my favorite words in Spanish. It means "hummingbird."

    Good luck, Konrad!
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Decided to build my own PDA - from "scratch"

    I have to say that what you’re attempting to do is one of the exciting things to hit the PDA world, as far as I’m concerned, since GM started to build home-made iPaq sleeves back in the early days of the iPaq.

    Please do keep us posted, with lots of pictures; and bear in mind that you may be on to something good. If memory serves me well, GM did exceptionally well with his iPaq sleeve business.
    I do not intend to tip-toe through life only to arrive safely at death!

  8. #8
    Mobile Deity
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    Default Re: Decided to build my own PDA - from "scratch"

    This could be quite interesting. Best of luck with your project.

    One question, though-can you find a way to stick an Intel 2700G, nVIDIA GoForce 5500, or other GPU in there? That is one thing I do NOT want to lose if I leave the X50v(even though I've been tempted by the Sharp Zaurus SL-C3x00 line, which has no such GPU, but does have a really nice form factor and a promising OS)...
    Current Mobile Computing Loadout:
    Samsung Galaxy S III SPH-L710 + HP EliteBook 2730p

    Former Mobile Computer History:
    PDAs: Palm m100 → Palm Tungsten|C → Dell Axim X50v → HP iPAQ hx4700
    Tablet PCs: HP TC1100 → Gateway E-295C -> Fujitsu T5010

  9. #9
    Brighthand Reviewer
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    Default Re: Decided to build my own PDA - from "scratch"

    Wow, that's ambitious. And 4.2" XGA? You'll definitely have to keep us appraised of this. Managing to implement even half the functions that board has would be way too cool.

  10. #10
    Older 'n louder w/KB envy
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    Default Re: Decided to build my own PDA - from "scratch"

    yes, very interesting. another thread to keep watching. and if it goes commercial, I can imagine the cool logo...
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