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Featured Member Projects => Completed and Inactive Projects => [Inactive] Ninjabyte Electronics (hardware) => Topic started by: DarkestEx on October 22, 2015, 11:16:52 PM

Title: Design and layout
Post by: DarkestEx on October 22, 2015, 11:16:52 PM
In this topic I would like to discuss the design and layout of the microcat.

adekto made this drawing a few days ago:
(https://codewalr.us/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg.codewalr.us%2Fss%2B%282015-10-19%2Bat%2B03.38.50%29.png&hash=55d61b6c40349e72943d78c267141cb7368290ba)
The green boxes would go on the back and I was thinking about putting headphones jack and usb port on the top.
Also the row of four button ontop might be replaced by two buttons.

What button layout would you suggest? And how do you like the overall shape?
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: Ivoah on October 22, 2015, 11:19:07 PM
I would suggest removing the four buttons on the top and replacing them with two trigger buttons, adding a start and select button in the middle on the bottom, and replacing the four buttons on the left with a d-pad. Maybe you could use a hacked up SNES controller as a case?
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: DarkestEx on October 22, 2015, 11:23:37 PM
Quote from: Ivoah on October 22, 2015, 11:19:07 PM
I would suggest removing the four buttons on the top and replacing them with two trigger buttons, adding a start and select button in the middle on the bottom, and replacing the four buttons on the left with a d-pad. Maybe you could use a hacked up SNES controller as a case?
Well we need one power button and one menu button. I am no fan of the useless select and start buttons.
About the trigger buttons, we probably can't as we want to have the PCB compatible with both case designs that we planned.
But I think we can leave some footprints for trigger buttons there so that people can add them themselves. But they wouldn't be standard. Or we might do a version with them.
Don't get me wrong, we have more than enough IO pins for almost any number of buttons.
Still we need our own case. I am not interested hacking up 50+ SNES controller cases :P
Anyways, thanks for suggesting :)
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: Ivoah on October 22, 2015, 11:25:50 PM
Quote from: DarkestEx on October 22, 2015, 11:23:37 PM
Quote from: Ivoah on October 22, 2015, 11:19:07 PM
I would suggest removing the four buttons on the top and replacing them with two trigger buttons, adding a start and select button in the middle on the bottom, and replacing the four buttons on the left with a d-pad. Maybe you could use a hacked up SNES controller as a case?
Well we need one power button and one menu button. I am no fan of the useless select and start buttons.
About the trigger buttons, we probably can't as we want to have the PCB compatible with both case designs that we planned.
But I think we can leave some footprints for trigger buttons there so that people can add them themselves. But they wouldn't be standard. Or we might do a version with them.
Don't get me wrong, we have more than enough IO pins for almost any number of buttons.
Still we need our own case. I am not interested hacking up 50+ SNES controller cases :P
Anyways, thanks for suggesting :)

While I agree that the select button is pretty useless, the start button isn't, unless you have some other button for pausing the game.
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: DarkestEx on October 22, 2015, 11:27:22 PM
Quote from: Ivoah on October 22, 2015, 11:25:50 PM
Quote from: DarkestEx on October 22, 2015, 11:23:37 PM
Quote from: Ivoah on October 22, 2015, 11:19:07 PM
I would suggest removing the four buttons on the top and replacing them with two trigger buttons, adding a start and select button in the middle on the bottom, and replacing the four buttons on the left with a d-pad. Maybe you could use a hacked up SNES controller as a case?
Well we need one power button and one menu button. I am no fan of the useless select and start buttons.
About the trigger buttons, we probably can't as we want to have the PCB compatible with both case designs that we planned.
But I think we can leave some footprints for trigger buttons there so that people can add them themselves. But they wouldn't be standard. Or we might do a version with them.
Don't get me wrong, we have more than enough IO pins for almost any number of buttons.
Still we need our own case. I am not interested hacking up 50+ SNES controller cases :P
Anyways, thanks for suggesting :)

While I agree that the select button is pretty useless, the start button isn't, unless you have some other button for pausing the game.
That's what the menu button is going to do. It will pause the game and open an OS menu at any time. In it you can return to the console main screen, reset the game, change the volume, disable wifi, see the battery level and go back to the game.
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: 123outerme on October 23, 2015, 12:30:18 AM
Looks good enough to eat! No seriously, I'm so hungry...
Jokes aside, looks really good! I agree that it might need a D-Pad or at least the thing that Playstation X  (where X is an integer between 1 and 4) controllers with the weird arrow things. The four top buttons look all right to me. As long as they have a different shape or something than the group of four buttons, I think it'll look great. Maybe you want to make a 3d model in Sketchup or something like that?
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: Araidia on October 23, 2015, 01:42:34 AM
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: Max Leiter on October 23, 2015, 04:00:57 AM
Agree with Araidia, a D-Pad would be super awesome. Personally I don't care about headphones, but it should definitely have a speaker/port
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: Streetwalrus on October 23, 2015, 04:10:38 AM
No speaker is planned because of space constraints, that's why there is a headphone jack.
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on October 23, 2015, 07:04:11 AM
I like the idea so far. As for Start and select, I am fine without them, as long as there is an intuitive way to get back to the menu. Final Fantasy II and III on SNES don't even use Start for pause, after all (they use X or Y, IIRC).

Quote from: Ivoah on October 22, 2015, 11:19:07 PM
I would suggest removing the four buttons on the top and replacing them with two trigger buttons, adding a start and select button in the middle on the bottom, and replacing the four buttons on the left with a d-pad. Maybe you could use a hacked up SNES controller as a case?
I agree about the trigger buttons, and does the console really need two? Because most old games only used one on each side.

Quote from: Araidia on October 23, 2015, 01:42:34 AM

  • I think the  D-Pad is a must because people are so used to it
  • Wouldn't the headphone jack be better on the bottom instead of the top? I wouldn't want to have to worry about a headphone cord getting in the way. You could really just put the USB port anywhere, but the top still seems to be a good idea.
I agree about those, especially the d-pad. Only having joysticks would be annoying for 2D games.

Quote from: Max Leiter on October 23, 2015, 04:00:57 AM
Agree with Araidia, a D-Pad would be super awesome. Personally I don't care about headphones, but it should definitely have a speaker/port
I think the issue is that there isn't enough space left for speakers. Besides, most walkmans and MP3 players lacked speakers anyway.



Also I can't stress this enough: Make sure that it is not easy to hit the power button by accident. On the PSP this was incredibly annoying to play a game, only to have the PSP shut off due to accidentally pulling the power button upwards.
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: DarkestEx on October 23, 2015, 07:30:41 AM
Quote from: 123outerme on October 23, 2015, 12:30:18 AM
Looks good enough to eat! No seriously, I'm so hungry...
Jokes aside, looks really good! I agree that it might need a D-Pad or at least the thing that Playstation X  (where X is an integer between 1 and 4) controllers with the weird arrow things. The four top buttons look all right to me. As long as they have a different shape or something than the group of four buttons, I think it'll look great. Maybe you want to make a 3d model in Sketchup or something like that?
Sure we will make a 3D model in either blender or Solid Works.

Quote from: Araidia on October 23, 2015, 01:42:34 AM

  • I think the  D-Pad is a must because people are so used to it
  • Wouldn't the headphone jack be better on the bottom instead of the top? I wouldn't want to have to worry about a headphone cord getting in the way. You could really just put the USB port anywhere, but the top still seems to be a good idea.
Well we might redesign the bottom a little and put it on the bottom.
Then I might just put both, headphones Jack and mini USB down there.

Quote from: Max Leiter on October 23, 2015, 04:00:57 AM
Agree with Araidia, a D-Pad would be super awesome. Personally I don't care about headphones, but it should definitely have a speaker/port
Sure, but we have very limited capabilities when it comes to manufacturing dpad tops.
Initially we were using an 8 way dpad with allowd pushing it down for enter, but we got rid of it for multiple reasons.

Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on October 23, 2015, 07:04:11 AM
I like the idea so far. As for Start and select, I am fine without them, as long as there is an intuitive way to get back to the menu. Final Fantasy II and III on SNES don't even use Start for pause, after all (they use X or Y, IIRC).

Quote from: Ivoah on October 22, 2015, 11:19:07 PM
I would suggest removing the four buttons on the top and replacing them with two trigger buttons, adding a start and select button in the middle on the bottom, and replacing the four buttons on the left with a d-pad. Maybe you could use a hacked up SNES controller as a case?
I agree about the trigger buttons, and does the console really need two? Because most old games only used one on each side.

Quote from: Araidia on October 23, 2015, 01:42:34 AM

  • I think the  D-Pad is a must because people are so used to it
  • Wouldn't the headphone jack be better on the bottom instead of the top? I wouldn't want to have to worry about a headphone cord getting in the way. You could really just put the USB port anywhere, but the top still seems to be a good idea.
I agree about those, especially the d-pad. Only having joysticks would be annoying for 2D games.

Quote from: Max Leiter on October 23, 2015, 04:00:57 AM
Agree with Araidia, a D-Pad would be super awesome. Personally I don't care about headphones, but it should definitely have a speaker/port
I think the issue is that there isn't enough space left for speakers. Besides, most walkmans and MP3 players lacked speakers anyway.



Also I can't stress this enough: Make sure that it is not easy to hit the power button by accident. On the PSP this was incredibly annoying to play a game, only to have the PSP shut off due to accidentally pulling the power button upwards.
Well I will add the footprints for the trigger buttons, but I night not fit them eventually depending on the way we manufacture the cases (3D print under 100 units, laser cut >= 100).
We probably can't afford making a mold to form the cases.

We don't have joysticks at all.
But we might support external ones (if we have enough spare pins).

About speaker, yes we lack space. Also nobody is having sound turned on anyways when using a speaker. Its just adding about 5 euros and requiring space for a mostly unused feature.

About the power button, I will for sure make the console display a warning when pressing it while playing and asking whether you really want to power down having your game not saved.
In the main menu I don't plan showing it though.
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: adekto on October 23, 2015, 04:22:52 PM
wel here is a concept render (not fully acurate, like the wifi will be on the botem but its mainly to show that the true hole parts cant interfear with that bourd)
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: Snektron on October 23, 2015, 04:24:04 PM
Ohh that looks pretty sweet :) You know what would be cool? To make straps on it so you can wear it like a watch.
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on October 23, 2015, 05:08:56 PM
Just make sure that buttons aren't too close to each others. Else only people with small hands will be able to play games.
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: DarkestEx on October 23, 2015, 05:17:31 PM
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on October 23, 2015, 05:08:56 PM
Just make sure that buttons aren't too close to each others. Else only people with small hands will be able to play games.
Sure we will try to make it fit in different hand sizes.

I think we need to remove the trigger buttons and the two buttons in the top right as we can't afford losing these board areas that we now need for power regulators.
5 of them we need (3 of them require their own chip and 4 their own inductor coils).
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on October 23, 2015, 10:55:23 PM
I am ok with that. IMHO the minimal setup should focus on a d-pad where arrows aren't connected to each others (allowing left+right or up+down to be pressed simultaneously) and have the 4 buttons on the other side be setup in a similar fashion. There could then be two more buttons somewhere for home menu and the like. L/R triggers aren't needed unless someone makes some shooter with dual-d-pad gameplay (where the A/B/X/Y buttons are used as a second d-pad for camera).
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: adekto on October 24, 2015, 01:51:50 PM
ok about the d-pad
iv been looking around for off the shelf tactile key caps. so atm there all seperate caps not one big cross conection.
reason why we dont want to use the cross dpad is that the buton assambly is biger then the hole unit almoust and involes custom parts

other ways to make it smaller is using silecone pads (used on xbox,playstation and nintendo devices) but at our curent volume its not realy posible to get molds for those

so we are curently looking at caps like these for both dpad and action butons
(https://codewalr.us/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fg01.s.alicdn.com%2Fkf%2FHTB1fbkwHVXXXXbdXFXXq6xXFXXXl%2FTSA12110-090-Tact-Switch-with-new-height.jpg&hash=7d5f9eab992506b8773bdca755e4953675c77cf2)
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on October 24, 2015, 05:10:57 PM
Are they much bigger than standard gamepad buttons? What about bulk pricing?
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: adekto on October 31, 2015, 04:05:11 AM
whats the standard? the bulk pricing is resonable anything above 2000 caps (asuming all the same button size and color, sorry i cant get multicolor at the moment)
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on October 31, 2015, 04:49:59 AM
By standard, I mean Playstation 3, 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, 3DS and PSVita buttons (the size of the A, B, X, Y, circle, square, X and triangle buttons). But again, the 3DS buttons are a bit on the small side IIRC.

However, couldn't buttons like on calculators be used instead of the ones like in the picture above, or would durability be an issue?
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: adekto on October 31, 2015, 12:43:15 PM
i think we lean on the 3Ds size, maybe slightly bigger.

so about calculator switchs are custom injected of silicone  with a conductive pad and usualy coverd by a plastic cap (else you get that zx spectrum rubbery button) anyway thats what most high volume products use like game controlers.

we dont have a budget to make these custom parts, and i dont trust the china stuff (like the arduboy is using)
and since tactile switches are proven to work realy well. dont see why we need to invest in somthing that could posible rot or watever fault could happen, we might still change if we can find somthing off the shelf from a reliable source
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: DarkestEx on October 31, 2015, 01:24:21 PM
Quote from: adekto on October 31, 2015, 12:43:15 PM
i think we lean on the 3Ds size, maybe slightly bigger.

so about calculator switchs are custom injected of silicone  with a conductive pad and usualy coverd by a plastic cap (else you get that zx spectrum rubbery button) anyway thats what most high volume products use like game controlers.

we dont have a budget to make these custom parts, and i dont trust the china stuff (like the arduboy is using)
and since tactile switches are proven to work realy well. dont see why we need to invest in somthing that could posible rot or watever fault could happen, we might still change if we can find somthing off the shelf from a reliable source
Yes, I think so too.
Also button caps for tactile buttons in different colors are readily available to buy.
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: p4nix on October 31, 2015, 02:30:05 PM
Once you are ready, do you think it would be possible to buy the microcat with an individual design? I mean without buying additional replacement buttons like the gamebuino...
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: DarkestEx on October 31, 2015, 02:31:41 PM
Quote from: p4nix on October 31, 2015, 02:30:05 PM
Once you are ready, do you think it would be possible to buy the microcat with an individual design? I mean without buying additional replacement buttons like the gamebuino...
I don't see why we can't.
If we sell over 100 units then we will offer that.
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: adekto on November 01, 2015, 01:33:49 AM
yes we will if we are over 100 ish we can have a bit of extra caps, will also look into difrent case colors aswel
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on November 02, 2015, 06:34:15 AM
I see about the buttons. I actually thought that the other solution would actually be cheaper and easier to find, but I'm glad that the solution you already had is cheaper.
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: adekto on November 07, 2015, 01:26:37 PM
stil WIP, but tell me wat people thing of sandwiched acrilic

curently went witht he idea of low profile (no buton caps) but im not to impressed with it
also the edges are to sharp i feel so need to fix that

by all means tell me what u think or what u would like to see changed, im open to sugestions

(https://codewalr.us/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fpuu.sh%2FlcEff%2Fc88be26e58.png&hash=b8f36aa6e8ec38872c6420e5c6776c9180ef7787)
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: aeTIos on November 07, 2015, 07:58:55 PM
If you bevel and rounden the edge a bit more, that looks fine to me :)
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on November 08, 2015, 04:34:24 AM
My main concern is is the thing surrounding the top of the console some sort of border that is higher than the rest? Because I forsee dirt and dust getting stuck in the corners over time and perhaps it might not be very comfortable to hold. That's unless of course this is an optical illusion caused by using multiple layers of acrylic.

Also it seemed a bit strange that the screws are a bit out, unless it's the acrylic being translucent and making me think the screws are loose. As for the screws being on the top, Couldn't that cause comfortability issues as well? That's unless you plan to add an extra faceplate at the top. I also agree with aeTIos. As for the buttons, are those the final button caps?
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: Streetwalrus on November 08, 2015, 10:40:53 AM
It's a prototype, I think they'll figure out how to hide the screws or at least make it look pretty. There are no caps on these buttons.
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: adekto on November 08, 2015, 12:09:47 PM
ok curently focusing on the front plate, moving screw points out of finger area, beveling the outer edge, reposistioned the butons to acount for internal parts

curent design asumes that the screws will stick out on bothe sides, this could be solved with a a cone shaped screw hole but you will still see ther screws, my idea was to have a double nut in the center of the device alowing easy acces to the inside, alternative was to glue and snap all the parts togeter that would have made it almoust imposible to take it apart. we dont have acces to injection molding so this is the best i could think off.
(i do relise that the top side is not structerialy sound due to all the holes but the screws sude releave a bit of that

(https://codewalr.us/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fs9.postimg.org%2Fgyo4r60x9%2Fimage10.png&hash=07fadd3f5160b96306663835e4ec1fce52711517)
still wip but by all means criticize this design. it realy helps
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: Streetwalrus on November 08, 2015, 12:14:54 PM
You should upload your images to something better than postimg, they seem to block hotlinking.
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: DarkestEx on November 08, 2015, 12:19:55 PM
I am thinking about screwing from the backside into the front side by having screwposts epoxied to the backside of the front
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: adekto on November 08, 2015, 10:15:17 PM
with acrilic there is no screw post option its ether screws or glue
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: DarkestEx on November 08, 2015, 11:11:22 PM
Quote from: adekto on November 08, 2015, 10:15:17 PM
with acrilic there is no screw post option its ether screws or glue
No. Using metal or nylon screw posts and epoxy them to the backside of the front plate.
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on November 10, 2015, 06:44:05 AM
I like the new screws placement, but I am a bit worried that they would be placed in rather weak spots that would make it easier to bend each side of the faceplate. Could the bottom screws be moved a bit more on each side?
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: Streetwalrus on November 10, 2015, 12:16:08 PM
Acrylic is impossible to bend, it's too hard. It will break though but that's not easy.
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: adekto on November 10, 2015, 02:05:03 PM
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on November 10, 2015, 06:44:05 AM
I like the new screws placement, but I am a bit worried that they would be placed in rather weak spots that would make it easier to bend each side of the faceplate. Could the bottom screws be moved a bit more on each side?

if i move them out more then i need more space mainly for the wifi module, that thing is prety big

Quote from: DarkestEx on November 08, 2015, 11:11:22 PM
Quote from: adekto on November 08, 2015, 10:15:17 PM
with acrilic there is no screw post option its ether screws or glue
No. Using metal or nylon screw posts and epoxy them to the backside of the front plate.
epoxy a screw bold will look horrible from the front, and it still not strong enugh the surfice area for glue and epoxy has to be much larger then a screw bold to achive the same strenght
if you do not like the screws on the top l look into screw covers that are comen in furniture to hide screws
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on November 12, 2015, 09:46:42 AM
Quote from: Streetwalrus on November 10, 2015, 12:16:08 PM
Acrylic is impossible to bend, it's too hard. It will break though but that's not easy.
Ah true, I was confusing it with some soft plastic. Btw how expensive would such case be?
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: DarkestEx on November 12, 2015, 12:02:41 PM
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on November 12, 2015, 09:46:42 AM
Quote from: Streetwalrus on November 10, 2015, 12:16:08 PM
Acrylic is impossible to bend, it's too hard. It will break though but that's not easy.
Ah true, I was confusing it with some soft plastic. Btw how expensive would such case be?
Well if we sell over 100-200 we will use it as the case by default.
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on November 13, 2015, 08:34:46 AM
I am curious about how the cheaper case would look like. Would it be possible to do a quick 3D render?
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: DarkestEx on November 13, 2015, 11:00:43 AM
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on November 13, 2015, 08:34:46 AM
I am curious about how the cheaper case would look like. Would it be possible to do a quick 3D render?
I am sure adekto can come up with a new model, though some things cannot be planned so far, as I haven't designed the PCB yet.
Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: adekto on November 13, 2015, 04:12:19 PM
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on November 13, 2015, 08:34:46 AM
I am curious about how the cheaper case would look like. Would it be possible to do a quick 3D render?

cheaper? wel could just ditch the front plate and just have a sinlge back plate with some nylon spacers, its not prety but it would get the job done

im trying to look for alternatives but i cant find anything that is only cheap at highvolume or is just expensive

Title: Re: Design and layout
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on November 19, 2015, 07:30:04 PM
Oh i was refering to https://codewalr.us/index.php?topic=797.msg25806#msg25806 .

And good luck >.<