TERES I DIY Open Source Hardware Modular Hacker’s Laptop update

teres

TERES-I DIY laptop first shipments started in September last year and we quickly sold the first initial production run. Immediately we start to get valuable feed back. Meantime the spare parts now are online and can be ordered.

FEEDBACK

Some of the feed back was quite pleasant like this one sent from Martin Krastev:

Здравейте,

Този път ви пиша не с въпроси по подръжката, а като потребител на Терес с
няколкоседмичен опит и впечатления ; )

Знам, че по идея Терес-А64 е бил замислен като хакерски ноутбук, но вече
седмици го ползвам като машина за разработка:
1. Освен проектите, по които работя, Терес сам си компилира и
компилаторите, които ползвам — 2-та ГБ памет наистина правят паралелното
компилиране възможно, та дори да е само -j2 или 3 (нещата, които компилирам са сравнително тежки, и по-голяма паралелност вече опира до суоп файла).
Така че голямо благодаря за ъпгрейда на паметта!
2. Въпреки нищожното охлаждане на чипа, Терес успва да държи по-голяма част от времето 1152МХц, което беше много приятна изненада за мен.
3. Клавиатурата се оказа доста ергономична, въпреки че в началото имах
опасения, че ще е малка.
4. Избора на чип от програмна гледна точка също се оказа удачен – някои
прозиводители на А53-базирани чипове орязват архитектурни фийчъри (демек – инструкции), но allwinner не са от тях (за изненада! ; ) Това ми позволява да не се тервожа, че код писан за по-глеми армове може да не тръгне на Терес.
5. Батерията носи добре на натоварване – дълги компилации не угасват по
средата! : ) А и шината за sd карти държи прилична скорост – напъно
сравнима с вътрешния флаш (при прилична карта, разбира се), така че и
проблемът с допълнително дисково пространство за големи проекти е решен.

Ами това е засега! Исках само да ви кажа, че с Терес сте в правилната
посока, тъй както сте създали напълно ползваем работен ноутбук за арм
програмисти, което си е постижение!

Поздрави,
Мартин

Google translate does satisfactory translation so I would not challenge my English translation skills 🙂

ISSUES

There were two issues we couldn’t catch during our tests and went with the first lot to our very impatient customers:

1. LCD backlight, some LCDs cause the backlight circuit inductor L11 to resonance at annoying audible high pitch harmonic frequency caused by the 300Hz PWM.

zoomIMG_20171219_083219

According to best Murphy’s law practices this problem didn’t show at the first few laptops we build and tested, but when we shipped the first lot some people complained back about it, so we had to find quick solution.
1.1. adding bigger capacitor 100 uF in parallel to C204 was solving completely the issue, but the boards were already produced and shipped to customers;
1.2. adding double adhesive tape which to press the L11 to the plastic cover solved the issue in most of the cases, if this was not enough sealing the L11 with superglue also stopped the noise, which was caused by L11 vibrations, needless to say this was quick dirty and messy fix

Инфорамция как да ъпгрейднем фърмуер на touchpad и бутони:

This issue was completely fixed with adding 100uF to second production lot

2. Touch panel buttons issue. We run out of GPIOs on the keyboard board so ADC was used to scan these two buttons. Again everything was OK when we tested the few laptops we assembled in house, but soon after the shipment people start complaining that sometimes they press left button but laptop register right button and etc, quite annoying!
2.1. the problem was partially fixed with changing the firmware, we posted new keyboard PCB firmware and instructions on GitHub but this not always solved the problem
2.2. the good fix solution was to decrease the resistor values on the PCB and use 1% precision resistors instead of 5% used initially

We do apologize to all customers who had experienced such problem, we guess they are not many, but if someone has still such issue after the firmware upgrade we will send free PCB3 replacement, just please send us your requests to support@olimex.com.

In the current KITS this issue is solved.

SOFTWARE

The initial version of the Linux software was not in best shape, the community helped us a lot and we are now on the third release. Special thanks to Alexey Korepanov for reporting lot of issues and fixes! He also made his own Gentoo distribution for TERES-I at GitHub!

PLASTICS

As you all know we suck at mechanical engineering and we had to find all plastic parts from Chinese laptop supplier. Some people asked about possible 3D designs of the laptop case but we are not capable to do this. So one of our customers Jeff Moe who obviously has mechanical engineering skills decided to re-design the plastics and make them as models in 3D printed format – he sends me pictures of his progress from time to time which I post here. So 3D makers be patient – there will be soon 3D printed designs and replacement parts for TERES!

EDIT: Jeff just noted me that the design is made by Brent MacKenzie from the Colorado Printing Project.

IMG_20180117_222635

IMG_20180118_101726IMG_20180118_182121

IMG_20180118_182208 (1)IMG_20180118_183356

It looks the LCD back plastic he designed is even easier to assembly than the original one.

IMG_20180118_190156

 

WHAT’s NEXT

I will post more in my next post about our progress in turning TERES-I DIY Laptop in portable lab with additonal FPGA board which makes from TERES component tester, Logic Analyzer and Digital Storage Oscilloscope with Sigrok.

New Product in stock MOD-WIFI-AR9271 libre drivers and firmware WiFi dongle

MOD-WIFI-AR9271-2

AR9721 chipset is the only one on the market with completely open source linux drivers and firmware, this make it WiFi chipset of choice for people who respect their freedom.

We have MOD-WIFI-AR9721-ANT for quite some time and it’s very popular item, but the 200mm antenna make it not quite small. Now we add to our web shop the version without external antenna. It’s with 85 x 25 x 10 mm dimension and have same working distance as the external antenna version.

Open Fest is this weekend! Welcome to the TuxCon-Kitty SMT assembly and programming workshop in Saturday!

OpenFest

Open Fest conference is this weekend 4-5 of November! This is the biggest Bulgarian FOSS event.

Here is the program.

We will run the traditional soldering workshop in Saturday and will solder TuxCon-Kitt boards then learn how to program them. The workshop is free (as in Beer) to participate 😉 i.e. no money will be involved just your enthusiasm and motivation to learn new stuff.

TuxCon 2017 full agenda is published

15241999_541171392758646_9152584434294422876_nJune 3rd
First day will be in Technical University Plovdiv and includes presentations of interesting open source projects and the first Bulgarian Home retro computer Pravetz 8D.
Guest lecturer is Igor Pečovnik who will talk for the popular Armbian GNU/Linux distribution  for Allwinner SoCs.
There will be also two booths for OpenSUSE and Retro computers.

10:30 – 10:50 Opening speech by our hosts from Technical University
11:00 – 11:30 Quality Assurance according to Einstein, Alex Todorov
11:40 – 12:10 Network monitoring by using netflow, Radi Dochev
12:20 – 12:50 dnsdist, Petko Angelov
13:00 – 13:30 Open Source Computer vision for your projects, Marian Marinov
13:30 – 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 14:50 First Bulgarian HomeComputer – Pravetz 8D, George Dramchev
15:00 – 15:50 Armbian GNU/Linux distribution, Igor Pečovnik
16:00 – 16:30 Tracing python applications, Nikolay Stoizev
16:45 – 17:45 Lightning talks x5 minutes
17:45 – 18:00 Quiz and closure

Traditionally at Saturday evening after the presentation we will continue with non-formal beer event at near by restaurant “Yuzhen Polah 2” at Bulair St 32.

Sunday June 4th we start at 11:00 in Olimex train building at 2 Pravda St.

We will have brief presentation about how to solder and basic knowledge for the electronic components, then we will solder the specially made for TuxCon Kitty badge and learn how to program it with Arduino IDE. 100 badges are ready as kits and will be given away free of charge, but we have limited number of soldering irons, so if you have one bring it to the event 🙂
Members of the local Radio club will install huge antenna at our backyard and have fun like last year.
radio
TuxCon is totally free event made by volunteers in partnership with Technical University in Plovdiv. No need for registration, no entry fees.
Looking forward to see you this weekend in Plovdiv 🙂

TuxCon Open Source Hardware and Software Conference is this weekend in Plovdiv

TUXCON-1

This weekend is TuxCon, conference about open source hardware and software in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

In Saturday June 3rd the conference will begin at 10.30 o’clock in Technical University in Plovdiv. There are seven interesting lectures and Lighting talks.

Our special guest this year is Igor Pečovnik who will present Armbian – special Linux distribution for embedded ARM SoCs. Armbian is well known in Allwinner community as it supports almost every board with Allwinner ARM SoCs.

In Sunday, June 4th we will have the traditional Hardware hackathon at Olimex training building.

This year our main street is under heavy reconstruction so prepare for the fun to pass by the border of the near gipsy ghetto to may come to us 🙂

 

TuxCon Kitty, it’s a badge with buzzer, LEDs and shape of Kitty, which play songs when you touch it nose.

TUXCON

The PCB is programmable by Arduino IDE and you can compose your own melody.

So far we have NyanCat, Mario Bross and Star Wars ready for upload.

TuxCon 2017 Open Source Hardware and Software conference will be 3-4 of June in Plovdiv

DSC_0010

Just 70 days ahead is the 4th TuxCon conference in Plovdiv dedicated to Open Source Hardware and Software. For more info watch on conference page at http://tuxcon.mobi/

The entrance is free for all visitors. TuxCon is a community event and it is organized by volunteers.

3rd of June is the day for lectures and lighting talks, if you have something interesting to share please send your request to info@tuxcon.mobi

On 4th of June we invite you to the traditional soldering hardware hackathon in Olimex training building.

FOSDEM 2017 is approaching, are you ready for soldering workshops and playing with TERES-I DIY Hacker’s friendly OSHW laptop?

fosdem

FOSDEM is the biggest event in Europe about Open Source technologies.

Every year thousands of FOSS/OSHW enthusiasts and professionals meet in Brussels in ULB (Universite Libre de Bruxelles) in 41 Dev Rooms and talk about interesting problems they have faced during the year.

We just got e-mail that Olimex is approved for booth there!

So prepare for soldering workshop fun with the OSHW-GHOST and FOSDEM-85!

TERES-I Do It Yourself Hacker’s friendly modular Laptop designed completely with KiCAD will be also present at the booth.

KiCAD developers are in EDA room and as far I heard there will be very interesting tutorials and how-to’s examples how to implement simple new commands and extensions to KiCAD for people who want to contribute code.

So plan in advance your flight to Brussels, we looking forward to see you there 4th and 5th of February 2017!

Previous Older Entries Next Newer Entries