[GB] Model MF - GB CLOSED

Pick our controller... Voting ends on Friday

The mini-xWhatsit that WCass shrunk down. It uses the same mini-controller design as Ellipse's F62/77, but with a connector meant to slip onto our PCB (inverted running parallel to the backplate)
16
30%
The CommonSense that DMA has recently put together. This is young yet, but has the most long term promise (not a question). It will have a very similar connector (possibly perpendicular vs. parallel slip-on mount)
37
70%
 
Total votes : 53
Do you have an estimate for the time frame for the plates once they're in your metal fabricator's queue?

Looking at your previous posts, it appears that it took over a month for the final prototype plates to get to you. I am wondering partly because I was not anticipating these delays (though I do not mind at all waiting a bit longer) and may have to request an update for my shipping address.
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Unread post19 Mar 2017, 18:26

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The claim is currently 3 weeks, but we will sort that out late tomorrow afternoon. Apologize if we are running later than anticipation. My life really got in the way with everything. I should have some concrete dates on the plates to share Tuesday. I will have everything hot dipped (Chromate) while the powder coating is taking place.
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Unread post19 Mar 2017, 18:46

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lot_lizard wrote:DMA has proposed, and is succeeding at, using software against essentially a single chip to perform the same function. This has real benefits not only now (smaller form factor, somewhat less power consumption by the controller itself, functional flexibility, cheaper to produce, etc...), but certainly in the future since software by its nature is extensible. It's a big deal... if it works!!!

It's not software. It's still good old hardware, just conveniently pre-packaged and with programmable switches inside, so you can connect practically any component to practically any pin (which makes PCB routing SO MUCH EASIER).
lot_lizard wrote:Keep in mind going in, you will learn a lot, but this is a topic that isn't for the faint of heart

Don't go there, I'll prepare a human-readable version soon, in a different post. Probably in deskthority wiki even if allowed to - external websites are just too likely to die. And if deskthority does - well, there will be no one interested in preserving this knowledge if that is allowed happen.
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Unread post19 Mar 2017, 18:49

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DMA wrote:It's not software. It's still good old hardware, just conveniently pre-packaged and with programmable switches inside, so you can connect practically any component to practically any pin (which makes PCB routing SO MUCH EASIER).

And quite interesting hardware at that. The FPGA and ASIC like aspects of that MCU are easy enough to confuse for software at first glance.
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Unread post19 Mar 2017, 19:13

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Question: Will there be a round 2?

I'm sure i'm not the only person to miss this amazing GB. Have an Industrial Model M w/ typesetting keycaps that would be perfect :o
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Unread post20 Mar 2017, 02:53

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Short answer: No, at least not from lot_lizard. But there are arguably more exciting things in the works for later MF phases! :mrgreen:

See: group-buys-f50/model-mf-drop-in-kit-for-converting-the-ibm-model-m-into-an-f-t15091-750.html#p357418
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Unread post20 Mar 2017, 03:03

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Mattr567 wrote:Question: Will there be a round 2?

Lot_lizard won't run another GB, but he is making some extras to sell later so he can raise funds for future MF projects.

Also, all of the files are going to be published, so anyone with the funding will be able to use those to produce and sell more of what will probably become known as the Model MF classic.
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Unread post20 Mar 2017, 03:16

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Is there a place we can get in line for the extras? I'd be happy to overpay for an FSSK PCB because I missed the first (only) round.
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Unread post31 Mar 2017, 03:35

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emdude wrote:Do you have an estimate for the time frame for the plates once they're in your metal fabricator's queue?

Looking at your previous posts, it appears that it took over a month for the final prototype plates to get to you. I am wondering partly because I was not anticipating these delays (though I do not mind at all waiting a bit longer) and may have to request an update for my shipping address.

I'll have to update my shipping as well. Big move from NC to UT in a few weeks. Still, I've got zero issues with delays, as I really had very open expectations. With any project of this scale delays will happen, and life should come first.
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Unread post02 Apr 2017, 22:40

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Techno Trousers wrote:
Mattr567 wrote:Question: Will there be a round 2?

Lot_lizard won't run another GB, but he is making some extras to sell later so he can raise funds for future MF projects.

Also, all of the files are going to be published, so anyone with the funding will be able to use those to produce and sell more of what will probably become known as the Model MF classic.

Well I bought a F77 so no worries ;)
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Unread post03 Apr 2017, 05:43

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Any updates so far?
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Unread post05 Apr 2017, 04:21

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Lot_lizard has been AFK for a while, it seems. Hopefully he'll make it back here soon.
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Unread post05 Apr 2017, 05:42

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Thanks for updating Techno, and you are very correct.

I apologize everyone. I have been away from my home, overseas, for the last 2+ weeks on a short notice trip for work. I really haven't been able to check-in (including with my family much). I suspect that I have packages at my place, but would need to confirm with my wife. I am returning home next Tuesday for a breather, and will make sure we have updates then. I can see from the dedicated email for this activity that we have had some progress for sure.

I do know that we need to have a vote about DMA's controller (CommonSense). @DMA... are you ready to have everyone make a decision what they would like to have for the MF buy? We really need to get these controllers ordered. It is the last remaining bit, and is tightly coupled to Wodan's group buy to get prices down all the way around
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Unread post06 Apr 2017, 11:09

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Yep, looks like I'm all ready. I even have an app icon now!

Compiled windows and mac version of the Flight Controller (which is CommonSense configuration utility)
http://jwbh.ru/CommonSense/
Not much can be done without device - but it will show the main window.
Layout window is pretty huge - about 1200px for beamspring - but at least on OS X (I have an old macbook air for a build machine) you can move them to expose the part you need.

Need two things:
1) figure out HOW STRONGLY people need macros - probably as separate item on a poll "ONLY WITH MACROS".
2) get xwhatsit config samples with multi-layer layouts and macros - volunteers can PM me with their exported config.
3)puncture marks on her throat how much layers is enough? I have 4 now, but there's place in EEPROM for 13. layers compete with macro storage space though. I only have 8 layer conditions and 4 layer select keys now. Can do more layer conditions, but number of Fn and layer select keys stays at 4. Not enough scancodes for that.

PS: you can use CY8CKIT-059 - you'll need to change chip to CY8C5888LTI-LP097 in both bootloader and firmware projects, assign pins to your config and recompile. Don't think anyone will do that, but still, it's possible :)

PPS: We envy you, lot_lizard. You have a job! with overseas business trips! :)
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Thanks for the updates and your hard work, lot_lizard and DMA. The CommonSense controller will definitely get my vote in the upcoming poll, exciting stuff!
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Unread post06 Apr 2017, 22:19

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I like to live on the bleeding edge of Model F Cap Sense technology, so CommonSense gets my vote as well. I currently have been using my Xwhatsit Model F's with 3 layers (mainly just using 2 honestly) and I don't use any keyboard macros. So I vote indifferent to macros.
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Unread post07 Apr 2017, 01:45

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Not to prejudice the upcoming vote, but...

Com-mon Sense!
Com-mon Sense!
Com-mon Sense!

Plus another GB for an updated controller late in 2017, once DMA has performed his magic on the upcoming high-powered chipset. No pressure, DMA! ;p
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Unread post07 Apr 2017, 03:30

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I'd agree for common sense. Unifying things now only makes things easier down the line, for little cost. Plus, it makes it easier to maintain.

For layers, I can't imagine being able to keep track of more than 4 layers. I only use 1 additional fn layer, but that's just me.
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Unread post07 Apr 2017, 16:15

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Thanks everyone... especially DMA. I will start the poll for the vote in the coming hours/days. Personally, I am going to use both (the mini-xWhatsit and CommonSense), but we really need to have only one solution for the delivery. Im exhausted at this point with options :lol:. If for whatever reason your choice doesn't match the vote, PM me. I will likely have a MOQ for the minority. It will be small, but I suspect I will have a tiny number of extras either way. We just owe this to Wodan to wrap up his buy that he was gracious enough to run (all is being ordered at once)
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Unread post07 Apr 2017, 18:08

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lot_lizard wrote:Personally, I am going to use both

Join the dark side! Why both? ;)
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DMA wrote:
lot_lizard wrote:Personally, I am going to use both

Join the dark side! Why both? ;)
haha... nostalgia really. Same reason I wanted a few of the yellow SSK badges from Wingpad's buy. Why do you have to call me out for being a keyboard hoarder?!? ;)
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Unread post07 Apr 2017, 21:15

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lot_lizard wrote: haha... nostalgia really. Same reason I wanted a few of the yellow SSK badges from Wingpad's buy. Why do you have to call me out for being a keyboard hoarder?!? ;)

Not hoarder. Just.. trying to figure out where CS isn't good enough.
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DMA wrote:
lot_lizard wrote: haha... nostalgia really. Same reason I wanted a few of the yellow SSK badges from Wingpad's buy. Why do you have to call me out for being a keyboard hoarder?!? ;)

Not hoarder. Just.. trying to figure out where CS isn't good enough.
Totally being playful... sorry if it didn't come out that way. I just appreciate that other effort here too.


That said... let's get this vote going. Some of you would have been picking up some legacy xWhatsit controllers (the F, beamspring, and solenoid driver) as part of Wodan's buy. This vote is not effected by that all. This is to determine the MF controller. I will run the vote until Friday, and then we order off all the controllers (Wodan's and ours). Thanks for everyone's patience.
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Unread post10 Apr 2017, 21:07

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Is CS going to be available as an option for the beam spring at some point?
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Unread post10 Apr 2017, 21:26

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E TwentyNine wrote:Is CS going to be available as an option for the beam spring at some point?

It already is. I've run the prototype on lot_lizard's 5251 since I got it - 2 weeks? 3 weeks? - and just today moved it back to the F122. Going to run some experiments with sense PCB to see how pads can be improved.

Here's how it looks now: https://www.instagram.com/p/BStuHO-BAaM/
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Thanks for the update! I'll probably be picking up a Model F xwhatsit as part of Wodan's buy, but I believe I ordered a beam spring controller through the MF GB. Will that be an xwhatsit or CommonSense (I think I would prefer the latter)?
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Unread post10 Apr 2017, 21:30

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emdude wrote:Thanks for the update! I'll probably be picking up a Model F xwhatsit as part of Wodan's buy, but I believe I ordered a beam spring controller through the MF GB. Will that be an xwhatsit or CommonSense (I think I would prefer the latter)?
You bring up a good point... I suspect DMA can pound these little connector differences out in reasonable fashion. I didn't ever want to force things on Wodan's buy for the legacy stuff, but it really is an obvious move I think. If DMA is working with an F122 (legacy F covered), the loaned out beamspring (beamspring covered)... We would just need connector variances
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Unread post10 Apr 2017, 21:58

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DMA wrote:
E TwentyNine wrote:Is CS going to be available as an option for the beam spring at some point?

It already is. I've run the prototype on lot_lizard's 5251 since I got it - 2 weeks? 3 weeks? - and just today moved it back to the F122. Going to run some experiments with sense PCB to see how pads can be improved.

Here's how it looks now: https://www.instagram.com/p/BStuHO-BAaM/

I suppose what I'm asking is - I ordered a beam spring controller in this buy, and I think if that can be CS as well, that would be great. Is that going to happen?
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Unread post10 Apr 2017, 23:00

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lot_lizard wrote:We would just need connector variances

Actually, I had the idea about passive adapter "mf-style PCB edge -> PCB-mounted IBM 30pin connector".
Same hardware for all variants.

So, MF-version will be used with adapter for beam springs, and for legacy F you need to solder anyway so it will be triomate-less CS soldered to harness soldered to sense card.

Will solve the "there will be no displaywriter controller GB" problem, among others. Once and forever.

Of course there's an option of making two different PCBs (5251 and displaywriter sharing the design because same connector) different just in the connector part.
May be 3, separate one for legacy F's 3.5mm pitch.
But adapters are more manageable option, I currently think.
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Those of us who have dealt with designing around capacitative circuits will look at DMA's wiring with abject horror.

The fact that he can get reliable data with that mess (no, offense) :-) is testimony to the superior design.
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