[Gta04-owner] [ANN] GTA04 Keyboard prototype

Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Thu May 3 10:26:47 CEST 2012

Am 03.05.2012 um 10:03 schrieb Butrus Damaskus:

> Very interresting, but I'm a little bit puzzled as how it should work
> in the real life...

That is a task for further study and optimization. We have just built one unit
and we need some 3D printed cases to do a better evaluation.

Some more general thought: I am not sure how we should handle such ideas and
how this community sees its role.

Should we announce/publish immediately as soon as we have a prototype? And ask
the community for comments and participation in improving it? Or should we silently
finish some design and work with beta testers not on this list...

I think this is a fundamental difference to open software development. There we can
have a stable, a testing and an experimental branch and everyone can download
the one he/she likes. With hardware we have to build physical protoypes and make
experiments (which are not for free) to find out what a good solution is.


> On Tue, May 1, 2012 at 6:06 PM, Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller
> <hns at goldelico.com> wrote:
>> Hi,
>> we have developed a prototype for a 80 button QWERTY keyboard PCB
>> that could eventually be connected/integrated into the GTA04. It should fit
>> into a specially designed battery cover so that you can easily stow it away
>> if not needed. Such battery covers could be produced individually through
>> 3D printing solving the issue of manageing and stocking 20 different key
>> layouts.
>> But watch yourself how we think it can look like:
>>        http://youtu.be/WM94%5fR5eKcc
>> There is also a new video showing a comparison with some other keyboards:
>>        http://youtu.be/wGASnE1zGh4
>> Pleas tell us if you like this idea and what you would like to pay for such an
>> extension unit through the Wishlist function of our shop:
>>        http://www.handheld-linux.com/wiki.php?page=GTA04%3AKeyboard
>> Two issues are still to be developed:
>> a) how to reliably connect it to the GTA04 PCB (soldering copper wires or a
>>    FFCs is a little difficult so it should have a tiny, flexible but robust B2B cable).
>>    Maybe, we can use a micro-USB socket or similar (we need to connect 6 wires).
>>    This may also need a redesign of the GTA04 board (for a nice plug)
>> b) design a 3D printable case with key-caps that is robust enough
>> If you want to support us for developing this idea, please give us a kickstart
>> donation.
>> Nikolaus
>> PS: the keyboard driver for the TCA8418 is already part of Linux 3.3 - and has
>> been backported to the 2.6.32-kernel. This has been tested to work on a
>> BeagleBoard XM.
>> http://git.goldelico.com/?p=gta04-kernel.git;a=commit;h=f19d5c430458bbce8955bc9e04dd161f6a80347d
>> It just needs platform data in the board file:
>> http://git.goldelico.com/?p=gta04-kernel.git;a=blobdiff;f=arch/arm/mach-omap2/board-omap3gta04.c;h=8a7e4b0803920f635e7101bfbd5a60b6b84b1107;hp=3e49efef2de0b42cd419a46a9cd45448fd04a44c;hb=4b2de3db742abce9212c1af2cc576e2a3a64b0d9;hpb=1d7c6b5f043661621ec374d96c3c4a4454f9bb7b
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