CPC Laptop.

Started by Bryce, 14:20, 25 October 14

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TotO

#50
If you don't need to put parts on the other side, you should have better to directly use keyswitches, if compatible...
It will be faster to install and sure to be the good usage.



30x Microswitch Tactile Push Button Switch Momentary Tact Yellow 12x12x7 3mm SMD

"You make one mistake in your life and the internet will never let you live it down" (Keith Goodyer)

Bryce

There's a very robust metal plate under the keyboard which I'd obviously like to keep and it also has the mounting points on it. If I use through-hole parts the buttons are way too high and would also need an additional layer to avoid short circuits. I think I only have about 1.2mm under the keyboard as it is!

My plan is to glue the buttons to a 1mm sheet of plastic and wire them manually.

Bryce.

TotO

Sure, I understand well.
"You make one mistake in your life and the internet will never let you live it down" (Keith Goodyer)

Bryce

I'll do a few pictures when I'm trying things out, then you'll see how little space I have to pack it into. I really thought that older laptops had pretty chunky keyboards, but this keyboard is almost as flat as the brand new laptop I'm using at the moment.

Bryce.

TotO

If at end, your switches are to thick (1.2mm), take a look to those... (should produce less noice too)

0.8mm tack switch:
30pcs Membrane Switch Tact Switch Button SMD 4 4 0 8mm 4x4x0 8M | eBay

0.3mm membrane switch:
30pcs Membrane Switch Tact Switch Button SMD 4 4 0 3mm 4x4x0 3mm | eBay


"You make one mistake in your life and the internet will never let you live it down" (Keith Goodyer)

Bryce

Yes, I have some of those too which I can try. It will all depend on what sort of "pointers" (the rod that pushes the membrane) are under the buttons and how much travel they have.

Bryce.

Lazy Dude

cool project, also you will need a model number or a name for it!
hope it all works out well for you

TFM

TFM of FutureSoft
Also visit the CPC and Plus users favorite OS: FutureOS - The Revolution on CPC6128 and 6128Plus

Bryce

Na, it would have to be PCPC128+ to keep in line with the Amstrad PPC numbering.

Bryce.

Lazy Dude

how about CPL128+
could you imagine back then having a colour personal laptop - prob would have been the size of a suitcase lol - just don't get any ideas of trying to fit your reworked board into one of them creaky old Amstrad word processor thingies - they looked awful  :o

TFM

#60
Quote from: Bryce on 23:18, 30 October 14
Na, it would have to be PCPC128+ to keep in line with the Amstrad PPC numbering.

Bryce.


The PPC hat no Z80, so L for LCD would make sense.  ;)


Quote from: Lazy Dude on 00:37, 31 October 14how about CPL128+


No, Bryce will have (I guess) 576 KB RAM. So CPL576+ would do it.
TFM of FutureSoft
Also visit the CPC and Plus users favorite OS: FutureOS - The Revolution on CPC6128 and 6128Plus

Bryce

I'll worry about names later. Now I've got this to play with :):):):):):):):):):) :

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It's an 8.4" 800x600 Monitor. According to the Datasheet it has Composite, S-Video, RGB and VGA inputs, but the menu just lists PC, S-Video and VGA. Unfortunately only the VGA socket is separate, all other inputs are in this 22way connector and I don't have a pinout. The two large pins are obviously power (It takes 12V at about 1A).

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The PCB is from a different company, need to check if I can find data on it.

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It should fit in the lid with those PCBs in place if I remove the two connectors and wire directly to the PCB. I hope I can find RGB/Sync points in the circuit so that I can wire directly to the CPC without any adapters. Second choice is S-Video which should be very sharp too.
I haven't tested it with a source yet, but the screen works, it just complains abut the lack of signal:

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It's an industrial LCD for security cameras. They sell new for a few hundred €, but I picked this one up from Insolvency Auction (ie: Stuff from a company that went broke) for an extremely reasonable price :)
Unfortunately the previous owner hacked up the cable to the 22way and it now just has the PSU and a BNC socket at the other end. I need to open it up and check what other cores were there.

Bryce.

TotO

Have you tried to input the RGB signal into the VGA connector?
"You make one mistake in your life and the internet will never let you live it down" (Keith Goodyer)

Bryce

Haven't connected anything yet. I just opened the hack and there's 6 other cores in the cable which is promising:

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I'll track them back to the PCB and see where they go. At least I know where power and composite are.

Bryce.

TotO

"You make one mistake in your life and the internet will never let you live it down" (Keith Goodyer)

Bryce

#65
After some Interweb research, I've found a picture of the original cable, before hacking:

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So it has:
1x Audio Out
1x Composite In
1x S-Video In
1x Power (12V@1A)
2x Audio In (one for Composite and one for S-Video)

So no RGBS on this cable. If the monitor has 15Khz RGBS, then it must (as TotO suggested) be on the VGA port, but I'm starting to doubt this due to stuff I've read in other Datasheets I've found. However, this doesn't mean that there aren't points on the PCB where RGBS could be fed in.
If not, it should still be quite easy to find out which wires are the S-Video for "Plan B".

I don't intend using the monitor audio at all as it's only mono. I'll build a small stereo amp in the base of the laptop and install some small speakers there.

Bryce.

Gryzor

I was about to ask about using its sound until your last line :D Still, if its speaker is of good quality (doubtful) you could consider it... maybe both its own *and* two more speakers?

Bryce

#67
No point really, what's the use of a third speaker? It messes up the stereo effect and is very difficult to control the volume.

Today I did some fitting in the base. As you can see, both the case and the PCB had to be hacked modified.

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As well as removing the three joystick ports, the Lightpen port and the Floppy port, I also had to remove some of the board itself. Luckily, both of these areas are just ground plane with no other tracks. I'll bridge these areas with a wire later to keep the whole plane intact.

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On the case I had to remove part of the two internal "walls" (these held the battery, HDD and floppy on the original). Unfortunately this removes two pillars used to hold the Keyboard, but it's still pretty robust. If the keyboard wobbles later I'll add some sort of support in the middle.
On the back I just did a rough hack to get the connectors through. This area will be covered later with a new piece of plastic, cut exactly for the sockets that are remaining.

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This is how the PCB now fits. The keyboard fits fine with about 6mm space above the components, so lots of space for expansion :)

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Next up I need to get the PCB back into shape, add the upper 64K, file down the copper on the right and install the Joystick port there. Only one Joyport is going to fit, but that doesn't really bother me.

Bryce.


TotO

#68
Instead of destroying the back right round connectors to fit the printer port, it had been better to remove it and embed a DigiBlaster to out the mixed audio using stereo RCA and a composite video in that place. (but, it's late now)
"You make one mistake in your life and the internet will never let you live it down" (Keith Goodyer)

Bryce

Quote from: TotO on 22:21, 08 November 14
Instead of destroying the back right round connectors to fit the printer port, it had been better to remove it and embed a DigiBlaster to out the mixed audio using stereo RCA in that place. (but, it's late now)

The laptop will be used to develop hardware, so I need the printer port as original with no Digiblaster attached.

Bryce.

TotO

Nice to see that should fit and your project goes ahead.
But, if others want to do the same... Now, they know.  ;D
"You make one mistake in your life and the internet will never let you live it down" (Keith Goodyer)

Bryce

If it was aimed to be a gaming CPC laptop there are many things I'd do completely different.

Bryce.

CraigsBar

Quote from: Bryce on 22:07, 08 November 14
<snip>
Next up I need to get the PCB back into shape, add the upper 64K, file down the copper on the right and install the Joystick port there. Only one Joyport is going to fit, but that doesn't really bother me.

Bryce.
Had you thought of wiring up both joysticks to the one port. CPC style? That way all 3 buttons on an AMX Mouse will work ;)


Craig

IRC:  #Retro4All on Freenode

radu14m

Looks Great Bryce :)
Can"t wait to see the rest  :o

Bryce

Quote from: CraigsBar on 23:58, 08 November 14
Had you thought of wiring up both joysticks to the one port. CPC style? That way all 3 buttons on an AMX Mouse will work ;)


Craig

Yes, definitely. I think I'll do a CPC Classic Joystick port. I had a few minutes time to do some more today. As well as fitting the upper 64K, I also filed down the tracks on the floppy port and drilled new holes to mount the Joystick socket. It's not wired up yet. I'll do that later this week.

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Bryce.

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