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TomJ's Avatar
Posts: 505 | Thanked: 664 times | Joined on Oct 2009
#1
Let's assume a best case scenario, that in n months the Neo900 lads deliver new boards that we can throw into N900 bodies. That'll leave a load of N900 boards homeless, despite being full of potentially useful components. How much hardware and software modding would it take to use them as a Raspberry Pi style bareboard computer? Such a bareboard N900 (π900?) would lack touchscreen, keyboard and cameras, but would still have its processor, memory, wireless comms and μSD slot. Some thoughts to that end...

Will the Neo90 need the 3.5mm A/V plug in the N900s case or will it use its own? If it's not needed, could it be attached to the board to give the π900 composite output? If it is needed, could a replacement be found, perhaps cannibalising an old N95 or other device that had TV out. It looks to me as if it would need to be held in place somehow: epoxy like the USB strengthening attempts, or good old fashioned tape?

Is losing most of the I/O going to upset maemo, or does it present an opportunity to stop worrying about getting upstream software to work with them? Would we even need maemo, or would a more mainstream distro work now it didn't have to worry about the small screen?

Would/could/should you hack a direct power supply, or could you get a battery connected?

Bear in mind, the most likely candidates to get Neo'd are N900s with something wrong with the mainboard and everything else sound; given the N900's known weaknesses this means no USB port. Is this a problem or, given we are no longer worrying about fitting it back in a case, an opportunity to attach a better port?
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#2
err i say it would be best to get a new proper housing and place the board in it.
 

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TomJ's Avatar
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#3
Originally Posted by nokiabot View Post
err i say it would be best to get a new proper housing and place the board in it.
Well, yes, but if you had a full housing, with screen, keyboard et al, you might as well have stuck the Neo900 board in it. If you're rigging up a new, custom case to hold the old board my questions still apply. Ineed, they would dictate the design of the new case.
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#4
You're aware that I'm spending a few hours per day during last maybe 9 months to get you complete devices as well? ;-) I guess that's what Nokiabot meant.

For your questions: I need to go through them point by point, but a short initial statement: theoretically it can get done, but N900 is known to not boot without display. Reasons for that are still up to further investigations.

cheers
jOERG
 

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#5
Originally Posted by joerg_rw View Post
You're aware that I'm spending a few hours per day during last maybe 9 months to get you complete devices as well? ;-) I guess that's what Nokiabot meant.
:-)


For your questions: I need to go through them point by point, but a short initial statement: theoretically it can get done, but N900 is known to not boot without display. Reasons for that are still up to further investigations.
Cheers Joerg; that last is the sort of thing I wanted to find out and we'll have to find a way roung. Just don't let me distract you from the main effort of making the Neo900 a reality.
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#6
I've been thinking about this a little further:
  • We would ideally have worked out how to flash a N900 board into a state bootable without monitor/keyboard before Neo boards ship. I assume the boards will come with fairly detailed instructions on how to replace a board in an N900, and flashing the old board to be useful would be the first step.
  • I will be taking a job in an organisation affiliated with a university with a brand new rapid prototype and 3D print facility. If the idea of a π900 is viable, I might talk to some engineering students about helping design a 3-D printable housing.
  • Or actually, a range of deigns; a thought based on a half remembered thread about using an N900 as an entry cam led to finding a more releavent one: http://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?t=86285. A π900 in a weatherproofed casing designed to be permanently affixed to a wall with the power cable coming out the back to go through said wall out of sight, and a "button" designed to set off the accelerometer: you've got yourself a security cam and/or entry-phone, with backup battery and cellular comms in case of power cut for the really paranoid. Of course, it'd need to keep its camera for that: Joerg, would it be possible to order a Neo board with camera prefitted?
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#7
Originally Posted by TomJ View Post
Of course, it'd need to keep its camera for that: Joerg, would it be possible to order a Neo board with camera prefitted?
Odds are that every Neo900 will come with its own N97 camera, which seems to be identical to N900's one except its interface. Reason: N97 cameras are cheaply and easily available, while SMIA95 sockets used in N900 cameras are not.

http://projects.goldelico.com/p/neo900/issues/515/
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#8
Simple homemade casing with power source and USB keyboard, and AV output. I've got my self a nice toy connected to my TV
 

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#9
Will it boot if the only display available to it is external TV?..

Nice toy, yes. Aka, computer with external input-output devices. You don't even need a USB keyboard, if you get good enough speech-to-text UI; you can just give commands to TV from afar :-)

Oh, and about paranoid people: you could get N900 to guard your home in your absence, if it can listen to many microphones distributed across your house, and when something unexpected happens, speak through the many speakers, to frighten thieves away. Or, if a fire is starting, call the emergency. Smart house, in short...

Thank you. Best wishes.
 

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#10
Originally Posted by Wikiwide View Post
Will it boot if the only display available to it is external TV?..

Nice toy, yes. Aka, computer with external input-output devices. You don't even need a USB keyboard, if you get good enough speech-to-text UI; you can just give commands to TV from afar :-)

Oh, and about paranoid people: you could get N900 to guard your home in your absence, if it can listen to many microphones distributed across your house, and when something unexpected happens, speak through the many speakers, to frighten thieves away. Or, if a fire is starting, call the emergency. Smart house, in short...

Thank you. Best wishes.
Why not, I think it can be done to boot it with only a TV as a display
 

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