ATREUS


Build Log: Atreus Deck Mark V

Previously.

2020-02-02

After reading about SD cards a bit on the Armbian site, I ordered a couple "Application Class" 32GB SD cards; these should provide better performance as well as much higher levels of durability, tho 32GB is massive overkill for what I'm expecting to need.

Parts for mark V spread out

Parts for mark V spread out

Started construction on the Mark V; so far very few changes from the Mark IV. I did realize that the Pine64 board I got last time was not the main "A64-LTS" one but some earlier build. The main difference is that this one is powered by a barrel charger and has power and reset buttons prepopulated, so I adapted my switch plate to make room for these as well as the heat sink I should have accommodated on the Mark IV but ignored.

Keyboard switches soldered in

Keyboard switches soldered in

Till we get to the screen and battery, the construction of this one is just like the Mark IV, except this time I remembered to flip the flag in the case code to emit an Alps-compatible switch plate instead of Cherry, so I'll be using Matias Quiet in this build. The switch holes do feel a bit loose, so I'll want to tighten the dimensions up before I build another.

2020-02-03

Mark V operational but with battery unattached

Mark V operational but with battery unattached

It's working with the battery and display just sitting on top, but I still don't really have an idea for how to do this any better than the previous build, other than a vague idea that it might be easier to mount the battery on the right if the display is on the left side.

2020-02-05

A screw hole holding the battery pack in place

A screw hole holding the battery pack in place

I had the idea that drilling a hole in the battery pack would allow me to attach it to the chassis. Taking off the aluminum case of the battery pack, I saw that it would be easier to drill the hole in the internal plastic casing than the outer aluminum shell, so I put a hole in between two of the batteries. One screw hole definitely isn't enough to make this sturdy, so I added a rubber band as well; with the current switch plate a second screw hole in the battery case wouldn't have anywhere to connect on the chassis, but that's something to add in the next revision.

Mark V in use with no screen bracket

Mark V in use with no screen bracket

At this point the only thing that's missing for this build is a bracket for the screen. The screen came with some standoff screws that I can insert into the higher two screw holes to angle it, and I can set it on top of the left side of the chassis when I'm sitting, but it's far from being sturdy. I think for a bracket I'll first have to cut a base layer which would be attached above the Pine64 and offer mounting points for a bracket of two triangles to support the screen at an angle.

Back view of the display held by hand

Back view of the display held by hand

2020-02-07

Side view of screen bracket

Side view of screen bracket

I brought back the screen and bracket from the Mark IV because the 4.3-inch glossy screen was just too small and just too glossy, despite having the convenient screw holes.

Introducing an extra layer that sits right above the Pine64 raised by a few washers gives me something to attach my existing screen bracket onto since there's no space on the top layer of the main chassis. I don't love the shape of the one I've got now, but it gets the job done and is sturdy.

Back view of screen bracket

Back view of screen bracket

There's a lot of space in front underneath the screen. The vertical clearance isn't enough for a toggle switch (as I had originally hoped) but there's room for some LEDs, so I might mount a few of those that can serve as a battery indicator. Since the power-management unit is onboard with the Pine64, the OS can read the voltage level, which is handy. I've started a script which I can run on a cron job to set the gpio accordingly, but I need to cut some holes to mount the LEDs first.

Mark V being worn on a shoulder strap

Mark V being worn on a shoulder strap

2020-02-10

I cut a plate to mount the LEDs and they look great. I went to wire them into the GPIO pins, and I must have shorted something out, because the whole thing died when I connected it, and it refused to start back up again. I was sure I had fried the whole board, but after I switched it to a different AC adapter it booted, so somehow whatever I did killed the power supply without actually killing the board, which I didn't think was possible. Anyway, I'm not going to touch the GPIO on this thing because I feel like I narrowly escaped disaster as it is. So those LEDs are going to be cosmetic only and not functional.

4 dormant LEDs mounted on the screen plate

4 dormant LEDs mounted on the screen plate

I think with that I can call this build complete.