Just got a crazy idea I probably won't be able to pull off...

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by NamelessPlayer, Sep 28, 2009.

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  1. NamelessPlayer

    NamelessPlayer Mobile Deity

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    I have this OtterBox Armor 1900 Series case just sitting around not doing much, mostly because I only found it for US$20 new. However, it was MUCH bigger than expected, and makes any device put into it decidedly unpocketable by even my standards. I don't have a holster or neck lanyard, either. Finally, when putting my hx4700 into it, even with the replacement screen protectors designed for it, I have trouble getting to the very edges of the screen.

    However, when looking at my spare hx4700 parts now left without a motherboard, it hit me-the problem with putting the hx4700 into it was that the existing device casing took up precious internal space. Why can't the ruggedized case actually be the device case? Less redundancy that way.

    And then the wheels started turning into my head as to making the ideal ruggedized pocket computer. (Not only are these cases extremely thick and designed to take on sudden drops, dust, dirt, etc., but they're also designed to be SUBMERGED IN WATER.) I could try re-using one of the spare hx4700 screens, my 3600mAh extended battery, and possibly look into one of those add-on thumbboards designed specifically to attach to the bottom of one of these cases (though, at US$200 each, they're ludicrously priced) if I can interface it with a whole new set of underlying hardware that gets past the hx4700's aging architecture while still keeping the good stuff (screen and battery).

    Of course, now we have the problem of fitting in the new brains (I don't think most ARM development systems such as BeagleBoards will fit), making it interface with the existing parts (unless I want to buy a new screen + digitizer as well and possibly forego the hardware thumbboard and its old iPAQ connector-specific interface), reinforcing it all so that it gets maximum protection worthy of the case it's housed in without taking up too much precious internal space, and most of all, I probably won't be able to afford any of this stuff, let alone actually put it together into a working device.

    Still, it's an interesting thought...
     
  2. DragonHunter

    DragonHunter Bow, bow, bow, bow

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    It is an interesting thought.....if you have the technical know-how and the inclination to tinker that much...
     
  3. NamelessPlayer

    NamelessPlayer Mobile Deity

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    Oh, I'm a natural tinkerer. You wouldn't believe how much time I spent in the last week just lapping my desktop's CPU and heatsink and applying new thermal paste to see how much my temperatures would drop, and then got to work overclocking it as much as I could when I noticed a massive difference.

    Heck, as soon as I get the parts, I'm also going to mod an old joystick I have lying around so that the potentiometers aren't mounted to the gimbals in such an insanely stupid manner that makes pot play a problem when moving the joystick in one and only one direction.

    However, this type of mod requires skills I don't have-namely the skills involved when working with compact, intricate electronic devices beyond soldering properly. For instance, how am I going to get the hx4700 LCD and digitizer to function properly, or get the hardware to work with the hx4700 battery just fine, without doing any damage to it? And how will I cram it all in there in such a way that it both fits and is structurally sound?

    And, most of all, this will probably cost me more money than even just going out and buying one of those ruggedized GETAC Windows Mobile PDAs.
     
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