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Documentation about the Vampire hardware

Vampire Laptoppage  1 2 

Ian Parsons

Posts 159
08 Sep 2017 22:23


Don't forget to order one or more speaker modules if you want to listen to MP3's and movies or hear games on a PI-Top as it doesn't come with speakers in the basic kit IIRC. A driver and suitable control connection with the hub will be needed if you want volume control of the speakers.


Ian Parsons

Posts 159
08 Sep 2017 22:31


Are you talking about using an Amiga external floppy disk drive on a Vampire based PI-Top? How would that work? I've seen it said that connecting a floppy to the Vampire 4 expansion IO may be possible but I would expect that to need some additional hardware and a maybe a specialist core, no details of the expansion IO have been published yet that I know of. Then you have the problem of getting a connection from the Vampire out to the external drive, you could just open the top bay door to make the connection but it would be an ugly solution.


John William

Posts 246
09 Sep 2017 00:30


There could be an adaptor that fits one of the IO..then you can have an amiga external disk drive extension port and just have it as one of the laptop ports and then you can hook any of the external amiga disk drive on it. That means the laptop case need to be a little bit thicker and provide a custom disk drive port hole.
 
  There you go! It could be part of the laptop case kit too for an additional fee. You order the laptop case with a disk drive port hole and actual disk drive port attached into the hole.
 
  It would be cool to make it thick enough for that port because I would love to also have a laptop dvd player too and hook a real 2.5" mechanical HDD in the IDE port of the v4.

That is my condition for converting it into a laptop.


Dave / Iot-dev.net

Posts 1
11 Sep 2017 12:28


Obetto Sannala wrote:

  Is anyone already working on a Vampire Laptop?
 
  For example like this: EXTERNAL LINK   
 
  If no one ist working on it, I'll start the project, as soon as I can buy the standalone version.
 
  Otherwise I'm happy to help someone else.
 

 
  I think the idea for vampire 4 on laptop is great, also it can be good if we have something like raspberry pi for iot application on 68k vampire cos most of iot stuff now works on linux and will be great if we have AROS for IoT devices.
 


Chris Dennett

Posts 65
12 Sep 2017 16:02


Pitop also seems highly priced like a lot of NG Amiga gear, so users are already familiar with it


Björn Persson

Posts 11
11 Feb 2018 07:04


Hi guys!

Any progress in the "Laptop Amiga corner"?

I missed this thread yesterday posting one here instead. Sorry:

CLICK HERE 
Well. Is there any work in progress anywhere?

I would like to contribute in any way I can.

What I would like is a high end looking device and the best way might be just to pick a widely sold standard laptop and replace the main board with a custom made V4 board or maybe adaptors on a stock V4 board.

A custom V4 (layout) would probably be nicest letting end users buy a used HP or Apple laptop, opening it up, replacing the main board and closing it. The numbers of sales of big brads laptops like business HP line or Apple are so big that we can find units and spare parts for many many years. The quality is also high.

Anyone with skills up for working with this? Maybe someone has already started a project?


Björn Persson

Posts 11
11 Feb 2018 16:56


Sorry for spamming guys but I found some ebay item that might do the DIGITAL-VIDEO -> LCD problem go away. One of the the biggest issues I thought. Might be as easy as ordering the right kit and have it programmed for the specific LCD. Correct me if I'm wrong.
   
EXTERNAL LINK     
   
Other things to sort out is:
   
Keyboard support
   
EXTERNAL LINK     
Touchpad support
   
EXTERNAL LINK     
   
Charging (if needed, powerbank?)
 
Various cables to reuse the hosting laptops ports (USB, DB9, VGA (use for second DB9), ethernet
Some adaptor to actually fit the V4 inside with screws etc (if not custom made PCB for V4 is possible)
   
EDIT: links

EDIT2: new link Motorola Droid Bionic. Possibly possible not so fully integrated version.

EXTERNAL LINK


Captain Zalo

Posts 59
11 Feb 2018 18:08


You can go cheaper. Check out the Pinebook.


Björn Persson

Posts 11
11 Feb 2018 19:09


Captain Zalo wrote:

You can go cheaper. Check out the Pinebook.

Yes! Inside looks a little promising.

EXTERNAL LINK 
Looks like a separate controller card for the touchpad. Controller looks integrated on the main board sadly. With any luck this open source laptop might have open specs to change into a host for vampire V4.

Might buy one and take apart.


Captain Zalo

Posts 59
11 Feb 2018 20:24


Björn Persson wrote:

 
Captain Zalo wrote:

  You can go cheaper. Check out the Pinebook.
 

 
  Yes! Inside looks a little promising.
 
 
  EXTERNAL LINK   
  Looks like a separate controller card for the touchpad. Controller looks integrated on the main board sadly. With any luck this open source laptop might have open specs to change into a host for vampire V4.
 
  Might buy one and take apart.
 

 
  TL, the hardware engineer, knows where to source FHD IPS panels btw. I've mentioned the Pine company on this board earlier as a means of getting hardware manufacturing up, but I assume you need a proper customer base before pouring money into such a project.
  (I like the idea of a 1 GHz 68080 ASIC Vampire laptop for 400 EUR. Could be doable with a 5000-or-so unit run.)


Björn Persson

Posts 11
11 Feb 2018 21:10


Captain Zalo wrote:

TL, the hardware engineer, knows where to source FHD IPS panels btw. I've mentioned the Pine company on this board earlier as a means of getting hardware manufacturing up, but I assume you need a proper customer base before pouring money into such a project.
  (I like the idea of a 1 GHz 68080 ASIC Vampire laptop for 400 EUR. Could be doable with a 5000-or-so unit run.)

Sounds very doable (and would be fantastic!) but not sure about 5000 units possible. Maybe a hybrid custom kit letting us fit a standard V4 into one of these would be the most realistic ideas to start with.

On a second look at the Pinebook inside it looks like we could fit a V4 board in the center keeping the original linux board letting that one do all the boring stuff like charging the battery, talk to the touchpad, listenings to the keyboard etc. Leaves us with the task of inventing an USB device that sends this stuff forward to the V4 internally. Possibly we can also configure the linux machine to be our bridge to WiFi that way and while charing network we can access its storage and maybe connect to the X server being able to use modern web browsers in a window parallell to doing native Amiga stuff.

This turned into a hack i know but the V4 will for sure open up thousands of possible configurations. Hacks or not. Lets hope for a slim product with some usable I/O possibilities.

As for the Motorola Droid Bionic Lapdock it looks like a very much simpler way to get a portable Amiga since I guess the V4 is meant to have USB mouse and keyboard anyway (dont see any other input options in the specs) and the DIGITAL-VIDEO is there from start also. Mostly a matter of putting the V4 in a nice box and connecting it. The Motorola will handle charging and feed the V4 with power. Not a fully integrated laptop but almost. Would try it out for sure.


Ian Parsons

Posts 159
12 Feb 2018 09:34


On the 14" Pinebook the battery goes between the motherboard and far side connector board. EXTERNAL LINK 
Keeping the ARM board would probably be a big power drain for the relatively trivial tasks like keyboard and trackpad input (a task the Pinebook leaves to a cheap 8bit microcontroller according to the hackaday article the pic comes from, EXTERNAL LINK and there are other issues too). The V4 would also need a display controller and some way to get to the display connector instead of the ARM board. There's nowhere for the V4 connectors to exit and connection to the ARM board would probably be a hack.

A custom Vampire/Apollo board designed for a specific laptop body is the way to go I think but not an Apple, HP or other big brand model. The only ways to source parts for big brand laptop would be second hand or relatively expensive spare parts. It would probably be best to partner with a Chinese supplier and maybe do some crowd funding to bootstrap production. I think this would be better if it was done after an ASIC was already funded and in production for other systems. So that leaves V4 hacks for now for people that really want a Vampire laptop.


Andy Hearn

Posts 93
12 Feb 2018 10:37


wow, if this can be sorted, I'll have to put *another* vampire V4 on my shopping list! :D


Björn Persson

Posts 11
12 Feb 2018 18:55


Ian Parsons wrote:

On the 14" Pinebook the battery goes between the motherboard and far side connector board. EXTERNAL LINK 
  Keeping the ARM board would probably be a big power drain for the relatively trivial tasks like keyboard and trackpad input (a task the Pinebook leaves to a cheap 8bit microcontroller according to the hackaday article the pic comes from, EXTERNAL LINK and there are other issues too). The V4 would also need a display controller and some way to get to the display connector instead of the ARM board. There's nowhere for the V4 connectors to exit and connection to the ARM board would probably be a hack.
 
  A custom Vampire/Apollo board designed for a specific laptop body is the way to go I think but not an Apple, HP or other big brand model. The only ways to source parts for big brand laptop would be second hand or relatively expensive spare parts. It would probably be best to partner with a Chinese supplier and maybe do some crowd funding to bootstrap production. I think this would be better if it was done after an ASIC was already funded and in production for other systems. So that leaves V4 hacks for now for people that really want a Vampire laptop.

OK. I see. The one I found pictures of (11 or 14") had the battery kept under the keyboard.

EXTERNAL LINK 
And yes if the only purpose is to keep the ARM for use to connect keyboard and touchpad youre right. If one wanted a multi product with Linux included it might be a good idea anyways. I know I always have a second OS with me in my Mac Book Air for tasks it cannot do. Im not the typical Mac user, i bought it simply to get hours using it as my work requires me to have a good know how on all major platforms. I like the design and weight though. Why I am promoting it is for the very very easy design inside combined with good looks outside. It makes it very quick and easy to replace the main board. Even has a separate power board that might me usable. To replace the main board is maybe 1/10 of the time to do the same in an average HP Probook and everything is attached with screws. No plastic stuff that brakes.

EXTERNAL LINK 
Maybe a custom made sister card to fit inside an existing model (or new Chinese parters model) would be the way to do it. Let it handle touchpad, keyboard, wifi and power and connect to a “stock  V4” making it recyclable for a new host later.
If choosing the way of customizing an existing model we need to start looking for a laptop with the correct outputs and straight forward design inside. If we are happy with only wifi for network and external adaptors for 2xDB9 any chromebook model would do I guess as long as it has some big enough connector holes (memory card slot would be big enough to make place for an adaptor).

My wish list would be something like:

Big brand, preferably business line (longer spare parts life cycles)
In sales now (can be bought used for many years to come)
Slim
2xUSB
1xRS232 (use for 1st DB9)
1xVGA (use for 2nd DB9)
Ethernet

As for audio I dont know how the V4 will deliver sound. Most likely through HMDI (?) which makes that a little more difficult since we like to use that for the LCD via a display controller.

Well .. I'll keep dreaming. Hopefully some laptop idea will be possible. In whatever chape.




Steve Ferrell

Posts 207
12 Feb 2018 19:24


I've been thinking of using a VESA mount to attach the standalone Vampire to the back of a monitor that has VESA mounting holes to free up desk space.  Not as portable as a Vampire laptop but still better than dedicating more space on your desk if it's already a crowded spot.


Ian Parsons

Posts 159
05 Apr 2018 23:55


There's a new version 2 of the Pi-Top EXTERNAL LINK much nicer design. Tear down video EXTERNAL LINK


Ian Parsons

Posts 159
06 Apr 2018 00:50


I wonder if this ZyncBerry FPGA board EXTERNAL LINK would work with the new Pi-Top. If so it 'just' needs the Apollo core porting over.


Ian Parsons

Posts 159
17 Jun 2018 15:02


CAD files for the Olimex laptop case have been uploaded to GitHub EXTERNAL LINK 
The files are from FreeCAD EXTERNAL LINK 
Could be a starting point for modifying and prototyping a Vampire Laptop case and later crowd fund injection molds.


Ian Parsons

Posts 159
17 Jun 2018 16:03


This EOMA68 Computing Devices project is also interesting EXTERNAL LINK 
Lots of prototype videos sprinkled throughout this YouTube user's videos EXTERNAL LINK

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