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Estel's Avatar
Posts: 4,739 | Thanked: 7,742 times | Joined on Mar 2011
#1
OK, after years of dreaming, it's going to finally become true. I'm doing last calibrations/tweakings of my self-made Linux-controlled CNC machine. Amongst first things I'm planning to craft using it, is a - as title suggest - aluminum backcover for N900 (finally, high-quality thing not related to nasty overpriced Mugenians), and even a "de-luxe" variant of full (well, almost - screen part is left intact) body replacement.

Most of backcover/body will be made of aluminum, treated with some funky acid, to make it perfectly black (that's it, no painting, that may get scratched-out!). All backcovers will contain bundled-in mounting point for camera tripods and camera lens cover (also made of metal). Of course, backcover is also going to contain solid kick-stand, probably even better than one found in older Maemo devices. Beside camera-lens-cover and leg, whole backcover is going to be monolite (including tripod mounting point). Of course, backcover is going to be big enough to hold dual battery, either dual-scud, mugen, or whatever one feel fancy to put there. External side of backcover will be effect of so-called "sanding" - making it less smooth, thus much easier to grip.

As for full body replacement, it will take much more time to make prototype, and for sure it's going to arrive later. Every outer part of body will be made of same black aluminum - only keyboard (obviously) and screen and it's frame/backside is going to be left intact, as it's already metallic. For sure, it's going to boost heat-transfer capabilities of body a lot. Body replacement will contain properly shielded cables with Hirose U.FL plugs on inside (to connect into N900's mainboard's Hirose U.FL sockets), and standard antenna mini-plugs (RP-SMA on the external side - allowing one to have easy possibility to plug in external antennas for WiFi/Bluetooth, Cellular, GPS, without need to disassemble anything (it's possible to also add external antenna plug for FM transmitter, though not through Hirose U.FL).

Both backcover and full body-replacement shouldn't weight much more than current, plastic one (negligible difference).
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Further plans include possibility of getting module allowing one to hotswap battery (under *any* load*) on the run, without any voodoo with charging, but those are plans for even further future.
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I'm not sure when exactly those will arrive - it depends on how quickly I'll manage to end satisfying (CNC-compatible) project and create fully working prototypes for my bellowed device Yet, one thing is sure - they're going to arrive for 100%.

Of course, I'll make small batch of backcovers and bodies for fellow N900 users + more on demand. Big backcovers with camera-lens, tripod mounting point and kick-stand leg goodies are going to cost ~50$. Full body replacement (including back-cover) with plugs for external antennas is going to be around 150$. I know that it isn't low price, but neither creating such thing (and materials for it) is.

For sure, it's going to allow our devices get into incredible new level of usability (for people that are less oriented - external antennas + 3000 mAh dual scud sitting in custom backcover... Hell yeah!), not to mention totally awesome, unique look&feel
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What I'm interested now, is how many people would be interested in buying those, considering price tag. I would like to get at least rough numbers, mainly to buy enough material for a start (yet, to not be left with much more than I need + debt in bank account ). Please, share Your thoughts/ideas too.

/Estel
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Posts: 92 | Thanked: 95 times | Joined on Feb 2010 @ Smyrna, Atlanta / Bangalore, India
#2
Good one Estel, just wanted to know weather the back covers you are planning to make are the over sized ones which can hold big batteries[mugen/scud] or do you also plan to make the normal sized back covers which come as default..

Since i am happy with the standard battery and do not plan to mount it on tripod i would be a better option to me to have a standard back cover made of aluminum.

One more suggestion is to correct the flaw in the current back stand which cannot be used when the keyboard is slid out, the device falls to one side, maybe a more wider back stand would make things better.
 

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Estel's Avatar
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#3
I was thinking about making also "flat" backcovers for single battery, yet, I though it's quite pointless to replace same elements. For sure, "big" ones are first priority, yet, in case of enough interest in flat ones, why not?

As for back-stand, as I've written, Aluminum model is going to have *much* better kick-stand, without all those flaws. Don't worry, it's going to be rock-solid even with keyboard slided out. Also, for sure the same will apply to "flat" ones, if they're going to emerge - proper kick-stand is a must

/Estel
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N900's aluminum backcover / body replacement
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N900's HDMI-Out
-
Camera cover MOD
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Measure battery's real capacity on-device
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TrueCrypt 7.1 | ereswap | bnf
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Hardware's mods research is costly. To support my work, please consider donating. Thank You!
 

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#4
Won't an aluminium back cover block the aerials' reception?
 

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#5
Thanks, and to bring one more point to you notice is that from my past 2+ years of experience with N900, I have seen it warm up quite a lot on heavy usage, and aluminum being a better conductor of heat, we would feel it more than that of having a plastic cover..So some sort of insulation from inside would also be necessary.
 

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#6
nice job EsTeL
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#7
I will certainly buy the "flat" version.
: )
 

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#8
Flat (back cover) for me.
 

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Estel's Avatar
Posts: 4,739 | Thanked: 7,742 times | Joined on Mar 2011
#9
@retsaw
Nope, if done properly - see Phones with full metal body. In fact, it can boost reception (even without using external antenna). I've already took this into account while making project Nevertheless, good point, worth to mention.

@bipinbn
Nope, it's wrong assumption. It heats up, because heat is accumulated (due to plastic body). With Aluminum body,l heat would be dissipated more rapidly, which would make it both more pleasant to touch and - what's actually much more important - more healthy for N900 electronics and battery (due to lower operating temperature).

/Estel
__________________
N900's aluminum backcover / body replacement
-
N900's HDMI-Out
-
Camera cover MOD
-
Measure battery's real capacity on-device
-
TrueCrypt 7.1 | ereswap | bnf
-
Hardware's mods research is costly. To support my work, please consider donating. Thank You!

Last edited by Estel; 04-27-2012 at 04:11 PM.
 

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#10
wow.. you can even create base to fit zoom lens to N900

pls do create four 1mm dots on the back cover that will prevent the back from getting scratched..

all the best
GODbless
 

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antenna, backcover, external, gangam_style, mugen cover, n900 body, neo900

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