Decided to build my own PDA - from "scratch"

Discussion in 'General Smartphone/Handheld/Wearable Discussion' started by Konrad Pierce, Sep 14, 2007.

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  1. pdaadp

    pdaadp Mobile Deity

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    wow.... great idea....

    count me in, if you're taking "pre-orders" :)

    what about a e800 shell (no, can't give up mine just yet...lol)? there are a bunch of units on ebay, selling for peanuts....
     
  2. NamelessPlayer

    NamelessPlayer Mobile Deity

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    Really? I just have to get myself one of those EM-ONEs now...

    ...but it's also known that the EM-ONE is equipped with an nVIDIA GoForce 5500 GPU. How does the Triton module interface with it?

    One more comment on the Triton module-it seems to have significantly less RAM and NVRAM than the Colibri(64 MB vs. 128 MB, 128 MB vs. 1 GB). If I'm going to get a PXA320, might as well double the RAM while I'm at it...
     
  3. Konrad Pierce

    Konrad Pierce Village Idiot 2.0

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    "pre-orders"? My intent isn't to mass-market a new PDA, but to construct one (or a few) powerful custom units for my own uses. Once the parts arrive and I actually do something more than read and talk about it, I'll be sure to document my progress for any other "DIY types" out there who'd like to try the same.
     
  4. Konrad Pierce

    Konrad Pierce Village Idiot 2.0

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    If you actually watch any of the videos on youtube, you'll see that the Triton and Colibri processing modules plug into dedicated slots on various UMPC motherboards. These "big" boards contain auxiliary logic like the nVidia GPU and larger RAM busses ... I'd guess that when these UMPCs were built, the then-available Triton modules didn't incorporate a lot of these features directly in the main processor die. Anyhow, to upgrade you just swap the processor board and move a couple jumpers and you're ready to go.
     
  5. Flandry

    Flandry Mobile Evangelist

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    This is a most fascinating idea. I had no idea that integrated solutions were available that would permit a hobbyist to undertake such a mad scheme.

    I highly recommend using a Zaurus clamshell case. I absolutely love my C860's keyboard and the flip-around screen. If only a modern version was available with wifi, faster processor, etc. :/ If you have success with your project, i might try to "upgrade" my Z. I wonder if that new drool-tastic sharp display would fit where the old 3.7" one did, once one does away with all the unnecessary border.

    BTW, have you considered using one of the PDA linux distros for it? I see that there will be "third party solutions" for that later on...

    Regarding connections -- the datasheet shows the breakdown, and it's basically all through the SODIMM pins.
     
  6. Konrad Pierce

    Konrad Pierce Village Idiot 2.0

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    Another push for the Zaurus, eh? I shall redouble my efforts to find a vendor who carries those parts.

    I've just finished sifting through my junkpile and taken inventory of all the various connectors, slots, cables, ribbons and stuff ... by the end of today I'll have purchased the rest of the "critical" miscellaneous parts. I think I'll just string everything up on a big flat substrate made of something nonconductive (like that El Cheapo coroplast stuff) in a "temporary" fashion while I work on it. Assuming that the wire lengths are not particularly excessive, I don't foresee any problems with this arrangement. It'll let me see just what the "maximum" hardware for this board will be, perhaps even get a gauge on various hardware combos and battery life.
     
  7. NamelessPlayer

    NamelessPlayer Mobile Deity

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    Did you hear my suggestion to use a Sharp Zaurus SL-C1000/3x00-series case, by any chance? It's a clamshell like the C-860 mentioned above, and also similar to the Sony CLIÉ UX-40/50. Unlike those devices, though, it has a really nice D-Pad, and also looks a bit sleeker on the exterior.

    Some pictures can be found here.

    I would just love to have that form factor, but with more processing power under the hood(not to mention integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, which could be done through an internal CFIO or SDIO card)...
     
  8. Konrad Pierce

    Konrad Pierce Village Idiot 2.0

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    I've followed up on every suggestion here, so far. The problem I've found with all of those Zaurus models is that there's no way to get one. The case I mean, hell even a dead unit for cheap - doesn't matter. Absolute lack of availability could be a real factor in my final choice ;)

    Thanx for the linky, NP ... helps me be lazy <g>. I like those cases as well, but just can't find any for sale anywhere online. From the specs I have been able to locate, there should be plenty of room to pack a between 2 and 6 of these battery cells underneath the screen-side of the clamshell. (Yeah, I ordered 8 "sample" pieces at $1.84 each - no shipping charge, 14-day delivery. <g>)

    (I also really like the HTC Omni case ... again, it seems utterly impossible to get one - either in or out of the case - at this point.)
     
  9. Flandry

    Flandry Mobile Evangelist

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    Someone needs to learn to read. lol


    Post a message in the for sale/ wanted forum here asking for a completely dead Z clamshell model. If you explain your plans and offer a severance, you'll get one, eventually.
     
  10. Wail

    Wail Member

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    Konrad,

    Sorry I have no Zaurus, but I do have a few good iPads which I am more than happy to send off to you if any of them suit your needs.

    I will make a list of these and post them here for you later tonight, or by tomorrow at the very latest.
     
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