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Planning Project Amiga : reborn

Discussion in 'Modding' started by GuilleAcoustic, 17 May 2013.

  1. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    Hi mateys,

    after a long period away from the modding community, I'm back with my upcoming but still un-named project. This rig will have several purposes :

    1) Digital creation : Illustration, 2D animation and writing
    2) Engineering : Coding, circuit prototyping and simulation​

    I found the perfect motherboard (even the layout is awesome) : http://www.asrock.com/IPC/overview.asp?Model=IMB-171-L

    [​IMG]

    It provides :
    • LGA1155 (for great raw processing power)
    • 1x PCIe-16x (great, but no use for it yet)
    • 2x RS232 (nice for electronics / robotics) + 4x RS232 headers
    • 4x GPI + 4x GPO (arduino interfacing cheesecake)
    • LVDS + backlight + inverter (control panel here I come)
    • 2x Intel gigabit LAN
    • Watchdog timer
    • TPM header

    Here is the hardware and software listing :

    Hardware :
    • ASRock IMB-171-L
    • Intel core i3-3220T (35W - 2x 2.8GHz + HT)
    • 8GB Crucial 1.35V DDR3-1600
    • 120GB Crucial M500

    Operating system :
    • Xubuntu (with XFCE)

    Softwares listing :
    • the Gimp
    • myPaint + an onion-skin / flip-book plugin (for traditional animation)
    • Inkscape
    • Scribus
    • Kicade
    • Ktechlab
    • Sublime text

    What is left ? I need to find a name for it and to start the design. I'll try to post a first desing in a few days.

    Stay tuned :dremel:

    ps: I'll make a new "GuilleAcoustic's design thread", less messy than the previous one. Like the previous one, this will be a collection of design / idea available for everyone.
     
    Last edited: 18 Jun 2013
  2. bigkingfun

    bigkingfun Tinkering addict

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    That is a sweet little board.
    What are your thoughts on PSU?
     
  3. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    I'm looking for a passive flex PSU. Fortron has a 150W one, but it lacks the 4 pins CPU plug and has only a 20 pins ATX plug.

    I'll probably end up modding an active one and add an aluminium heatsink which will also act like a cover.
     
  4. Evenge

    Evenge Member

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  5. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    Project : Amiga reborn

    well, the board is still unavailable and I really doubt it'll be available in a near future. The recently opened NUC competition gave me an idea. As I do not have a previously finished project, and since I'm pretty slow at building things, I won't enter the competition ... but here is the idea

    [​IMG]

    +

    [​IMG]

    =

    [​IMG]

    I'm a huge Amiga and mechanical keyboard fan. Got my first Amiga at the age of 9, in 1989. That was my first computer and my first experience with coding (many great tools available).

    The idea is to have a small footprint, efficient, silent but still capable computer. The Amiga AIO keyboard is the perfect form factor, it'll bring back memories and save useless cables.

    EDIT :

    The Haswell revision of the NUC will have HD5000 IGP, USB3.0 and an onboard SATA connector .... please Intel, hurry to release it :D

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 18 Jun 2013
  6. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    Hi guys and gals, here is a little update on this project. Been studying the case a lot, mostly the mechanical keyboard feature.

    Here are 2 quickly made sketchups :

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The "keyputer" is around 290 x 210 x 40mm (W x D x H). Switches are Cherry mx blue and are plate mounted. No PCB will be used to connect the switches. The idea is to "hand wire" them to an arduino (probably a Teensy++) using an NKRO matrice. Here is a nice project log showing this : http://deskthority.net/workshop-f7/the-apple-m0110-today-t1067.html

    [​IMG]

    I have to work on the global case in order to have it 3D printed. The NUC will be passively cooled thanks to the top aluminium heatsink. Another cooled feature, the case will house 4x SNES controller connector (wired to a USB through an embedded converter).

    Hope oyu like the idea. Updates are on their ways with detailed wiring, betterr lettering and proper rendering (instead of Sktechup 2D exports).

    - Guille -
     
    Last edited: 5 Jul 2013
  7. The_Crapman

    The_Crapman Don't phone it's just for fun.

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    You not going to use an actual amiga shell then?
     
  8. bawjaws

    bawjaws Well-Known Member

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    Would have loved to have seen a real Amiga case/keyboard being used (preferably an A1200).
     
  9. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    the A1200 is too big. Plus I do not want a keypad :). Maybe the A600 will be usable, but I'm affraid it will be too small
     
  10. bawjaws

    bawjaws Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, the A1200 bit was purely an expression of personal preference. Can see from your original posts why you're going for an A600-ish form factor.

    Would still love to see a real Amiga case being used, but I'm intrigued to see how your scratch built case works out. Good luck!
     
  11. Nexxo

    Nexxo Stopped treating this country as if it was his own

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    The Amiga 500 was my second computer, in 1986. I was already a 20-year old by then. My first was a Commodore 64, which first hit the market in 1982, when I was 16. Ah, the memories! Both were awesome machines, with real personalities.
     
  12. The_Crapman

    The_Crapman Don't phone it's just for fun.

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    We had an Amiga 500 Plus for christmas one year. Quite possibly the best present ever, especially as we only had a BBC before that. My brother still has it somewhere.
     
  13. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    Sorry for the lack of updates, but I've been totally cough by white paper and research I made about industrial hardware.

    My Amiga is something that really marked me deep inside. Bought it in 1989, at the age of 9, with saved money from several XMas and Bdays. I started developping on it at 11 and this was a revelation.

    What I keep in mind :

    • Hardware in advance compared to the PC and alikes
    • Unlimited evolution through ZORRO based card, Co-processor, etc.
    • People even hacked the abandonned clock bus to create all kind of extensions (USB port, etc.)

    I'd like something similar to this phylosophy, so an traditionnal computer is unlikely to be used. What is, IMHO, the future of computing ? What do I want ?

    • Low power components (ARM and mobile CPU inside desktop computer)
    • Parallel computing (openCL / CUDA)
    • Versatility
    • Small footprint
    • Homogen hardware (like the good old Amigas)

    My idea is to have a carrier mainboard, instead of the traditional motherboard, housing the I/O and the storage (proly mSATAs).

    The CPU + RAM + Chipset would be on a separated COM-express board (Computer-On-Module), thus you can upgrade only a part of the board and keep I/O + storage. They are available with ARM or AMD / Intel CPU (Haswell mobile I7 quad are incoming).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The mainboard would have several (I think 2 could be nice) connetors for FPGA expansion mezzanine boards. While FPGA can be expansive, it offers several advantages :

    • Reprogrammable logic, meaning it can be used as anything (cryting card, GPU, DSP, bit-mining)
    • Some FPGA are reprogrammable on-the-fly, allowing you to change the way it is use and thus optimse the performance the way you need them

    Take a look at this : http://picocomputing.com/m-series/m-503

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here are interesting figures to illustrate the benefits of a customisable FPGA versus a traditionnal multi-purpose CPU

    [​IMG]

    I hope I'll be able to find everything to accomplish the project. COM-express CPU and carrier exists, PCIe FPGA exists .... just have to find affordable ones :D ... else it will just be a dream and a though on what computing should / could be.

    I'd really loved to have a processor (or several) that could be respecialized on-the-fly, depending on the need. That would be the best way to shrink size and consumption while keeping high level of performance. With a general purpose CPU along it, this could be a nice development machine.

    This is probably just another dream / hope of mine, but this is what an Amiga could be nowaday. What do you this of it ?

    - Guille -
     
    Last edited: 12 Jul 2013
  14. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    Hi mates,

    all apologies for the lack of updates. This project was on hold, due to several big bang in my head. Everything is sorted out now and progress can finaly move forward.

    First of all, I'll drop the idea of using XMOS or FPGA as they are damn too expensive !

    I'll focus on QSEVEN only. QSEVEN uses the same connector as MXM3.0 and can house ARM (Tegra3, OMAP15, etc.) or x86 (Intel Atom, AMD Geode). Expandability will be made through mini-PCIe.

    I've worked a lot on the keyputer case design in order to 3D print it. First attempt ended with a whooping 192€ order price :wallbash:. Still way to go to optimise the production cost. I'm glad that e-printer can give you a instant quote through a mesh analyser, you just have to upload the sketchup file.

    A nice feature with their tool is that it tells you if the overall structure is solid or not, and if not it shows you where the thickness is insufficient. Good news, the 3D model is ALL green (read solid).

    Next step it to order some Cherry MX-Clear switches to play with the arduino.

    Stay tuned for more updates :thumb:

    - Guille -
     
    Last edited: 31 Oct 2013
  15. Boorach

    Boorach Member

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    Good luck with this one mate, I had an A600 and absolutely loved it. Dad dumped it when they moved house unfortunately which didn't impress me much!
     
  16. KidMod-Southpaw

    KidMod-Southpaw Super Spamming Saiyan

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    This is pretty darn epic! :jawdrop:
     
  17. Tyinsar

    Tyinsar 6 screens 1 card since Nov 17 2007

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    Arduino, ARM, http://udoo.org
    Amusingly enough I've been contemplating modding one into a keyboard, or perhaps strapping it onto the back of a large-ish touchscreen.
     
  18. itrush07

    itrush07 Member

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    Looking forward to having some of this, keep us posted. Good luck
     
  19. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    Thanks a lot mates, that helps a lot to keep moving :D

    I didn't know this one, thanks for the link. That board is gorgeous as hell .... the quad core one tempt me a lot. I can imagine a connector to easily plug a bread borad to the keyputer :D

    Edit: this video convinced me, definitly. This keyputer is aimed at development and electronics ....

     
    Last edited: 1 Nov 2013
  20. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    I've tried several revisions and reduced the cost by 25%. I think I'm starting to understand how the pricing works (it's not only about the amount of platic used).
     

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